Free Your Voice: Expression, Identity, Heritage

“Free Your Voice” is the phrase I associate with my Vocal Technique Studio. It is symbolic of the process involved in learning “effortless singing.” The goal is not only to sing with ease but to free your personal ‘voice,’ to unlock your uniqueness.  

I am not the first to focus on the profound idea that technique frees you. I even tell my students to think of how chefs can chop so fast without cutting off a finger. Accomplished artists make what they do look so easy – dancers, pianists, athletes, singers. Can we learn how to do that?

Of course. this ease is obtained through very hard work, through dogged patience, training (re-educating) muscle groups and altering preconceived internalized ideas, many frustratingly autonomic.

As an overview, this process is clearly physical, relating to your individual physiology and family heritage. And it is influenced by more ‘external’ or acquired factors, your native language, your cultural environment, and very much by your own sense of self. These external influences are pretty much embedded and internalized, so much so that they take as much time as autonomic impulses to access, understand and alter by choice if desired. 

We simply refer to the challenging re-education as “counter-intuitive.” For example, when students are trying hard to perform a vocal exercise correctly, they often frown, a kind of natural body language to reflect their engagement. However, facial tension affects tone, and it is important to learn how to relax the face muscles while vocalizing. Students are surprised at how difficult it is to stop that autonomic expression; like flinching, it’s built-in.

Ultimately, freeing the voice then includes physical training to remove unnecessary muscle tension and tone the muscle groups in your vocal instrument to develop attributes like greater resonance, agility, strength, breathing capacity and such. There is also a process of freeing the singer from emotional tension, or internal blocks to access meaningful self-expression. This ineffable quality of soul and consciousness in vocal expression is what moves us so much. It is what makes a voice reach right into our hearts.