In summer, the song sings itself.
William Carlo Williams
Much of my work over these last years has been about finding my voice. I present workshops (I call them playshops) all over and have taught sound and voice at our local community college.
Everyone was born with a beautiful voice but sometimes the emotional ups and downs of life get in the way of our ability to express with truth, clarity and beauty. There are many teachers and guides around the world busy with this work. Healing with sound is a modality that is very much ‘in’ at this time.
I sang lead soprano in the choir as a boy and always sang out loud with friends. But the quality of my voice dropped dramatically at puberty. It was for me, as it is for many, a particularly stressful time. I remember being told in school to ‘”shut up John, your voice carries.” From that moment on, I often spoke a little too softly in public. Also, like many, I developed a fear of public speaking.
My personal experience may give you an idea of how effective the focus on sound and voice can be.
I began chanting (mostly Sankrit chants) in the mid 90s. It seemed a natural extension to the yoga I’d been doing for close to a decade. In 1999 I attended my first two day voice workshop and was immediately hooked on toning. I followed that up with other workshops with different teachers and Teacher Training in The Power of Sound with Chris James in Australia in 2000. During that 16 day residential I began to ‘hear’ songs and to write and sing them. That was a pleasant and unexpected outcome.
In the last years my work with sound, voice and expression has led me on an equally surprising but joyful journey. I now have a weekly radio interview programme, am writing books and MC local events and dances, give talks when requested and, of course, continue to teach sound and voice.
I urge anyone to explore their voice and their expression. My final fear of public speaking was eliminated with the words of a dear friend who is a world renowned composer and conductor in his 90s. He overcame stage fright by saying to himself, ‘I love everyone and I don’t care what they think about me.’ Try using that, it worked for me as well.
Did you know that research indicates that close to 40% of the value of your message is people’s interpretation of the tonality of your voice? Of course, in the age of the email, we’re largely bypassing the importance of the voice. Perhaps we need to spend less time figuring out what to say and spend more time developing how we say it, in person.
I was born with beautiful voice. I love my voice.
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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.
“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”
Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/
“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”
Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews