The Liberated Voice

Revolutionizing vocal technique with timeless wisdom

What Is Willpower?

willpower, n.
The power of a person’s will; control exerted to do something demanding or to restrain one’s impulses.
—Oxford English Dictionary


Happy New Year, readers!

This morning I kicked off 2023 with an hour or so of stretching and self-myofascial release. As I focused my awareness on where I was feeling tight and considered how it might feel good to move, I began to feel deeply grateful—not only for the fitness and anatomy background that enables me to care for myself in this particular way, but also for the fact that I genuinely want to. Exercise isn’t something I have to make myself do—it’s a luxury that has become a daily indulgence.

It wasn’t always like this for me. Growing up, gym class was an ongoing source of trauma, compounded by the bullying I endured for being “chubby” and uncoordinated. By my mid teens I decided I’d had enough. I started living on iceberg lettuce and cottage cheese and...

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When You Pull Off All the Spider’s Legs…

CW: Animal cruelty




I was recently reminded of a terrible joke I first heard as a child:

A scientist is performing research on a spider in his lab. He places the spider on a platform and commands, “Jump!”
The spider jumps. The scientist makes a note.
The scientist pulls off one of the spider’s legs, places it back on the platform, and commands, “Jump!”
The spider jumps. The scientist makes a note.
The scientist pulls off another one of the spider’s legs, places it back on the platform, commands “Jump!”… rinse and repeat, until finally the spider is completely legless.
The scientist makes a note: “When you pull off all the spider’s legs, it can no longer hear a damned thing.”

This comes to mind today because I feel that classical voice students often end up the unwitting study subjects of a psychological version of this experiment. Along the education and career paths they...

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Why You Hate Exercise

fitness practice wellness Jul 03, 2022

This blog post is dedicated to all of you who think you should be exercising more than you do. Or believe you should be enjoying it more than you do, or wish you were getting better results.

All of you are officially off the hook. I’ve been a certified fitness trainer for some twenty years, and I am here to tell you that we’ve all been duped.

 Fitness culture, at least here in the US, is largely premised on several fallacies:

  • Fallacy #1: The fitness and nutrition strategies developed for elite athletes are also the best strategies for average, comparatively sedentary people
  • Fallacy #2: Visible muscle definition indicates strength and wellness
  • Fallacy #3: Exercise requires discipline and sustained willpower, i.e. “no pain, no gain.”
  • Fallacy #4: There is one ideal set of health parameters that is relevant for bodies of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds, including (or especially) how much you weigh.

To be clear, I’m not saying...

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What It Means to Be a Singing Body

fitness singing wellness Mar 07, 2022
Your voice is everything you are.
It encompasses your mind, your physical body, and your feelings. Its expression is informed by all your life experiences, aspirations, and fantasies.
From your voice’s point of view, it is impossible to separate the role your mind plays in singing from the role played by your physical body. Your brain is, after all, a component of your physical body. And if your imagination originates in your mind, aka your brain, it follows that your imagination is a component of a component of your physical body.
Consider for a moment that, rather than being a musician who makes music with your body, you are your body. A body that sings.
It is the body that breathes.
It is the body that feels.
It is the body that is vibrated by sound, when we listen to music.
It is the body that vibrates, when we sing.
You are the only one who knows what it is like to live as your body—how it feels, how it likes to move, the...
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