Where my voice geeks at?!

from the old blog Oct 06, 2016

Growing up I took hundreds of hours of voice lessons and choir classes. In all that time not one of my teachers ever showed me a picture of my vocal cords. None of them fully explained the mechanics of why air flow was the thing that set them into vibration. Instead my voice was this mysterious magical entity that could only be altered by being coaxed, tamed, and drawn out through imagery and metaphors.

Now I have nothing against metaphors… in fact I LOVE them. My students will attest that I use them all the time. However I’ve found that metaphors are so much more accurate when we actually understand the mechanism we’re describing.

I’m really curious why no one ever taught me about the mechanics of my voice. Maybe they thought I wouldn’t be interested? Maybe my teachers themselves didn’t fully understand? What I do know is that it took me until I lost my voice to realize that understanding it was really important to me (that whole story is here). Once I started learning about it I was like: “Well geez, I wish someone had taught me this stuff! I guess I’m gonna have to teach people myself!!”

I believe knowledge is power.

I know other people believe this too, because I didn’t coin that phrase. I also believe that when we understand how things work, we can use them better. I think this is especially important with our voice, because the vocal apparatus is something we can’t actually see. So we think it’s mysterious and we’ll never be able to change patterns that are keeping us tight or stuck or strident or fatigued. Not true. We can totally change our voice. We just have to start by understanding how it works.

Here’s my challenge then: I think there are a lot of us out there who actually want to geek out over how our bodies and our voices and our brains and our psyches work. I don’t think we want to live in mystery and stuck in sub-optimal function. I think we want the empowerment of the knowledge.

What I’m saying is, I think I’ve got a lot of fellow voice geeks.

Will you help me prove that this is true? Come be a voice geek with me! I would seriously love to nerd out with you.



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