written by Chiara Italia
Talking and singing are experiences that we do every day, since we were born: with the first cry – and therefore the first breath – the child affirms its being in the world, and manifests diversified series of states of being through vocal expression. Sometimes these are even difficult to interpret. Voice is thus the first mode of communication and affirmation in the world: like saying “here I am!” From an evolutionary point of view, song occurred even before the word: the voice, before taking the form of meaningful words, is first and foremost even a game, in the stage that we know as “babbling”, where the child experiences what is happening in its body, making sounds and vibrations, playing and modulating the simplest sound of vowels, then gradually more complex.
But why should we learn to comprehend something that we always do?
What can we expect from this work?
In this path of learning and development of the spoken and sung voice, the main purpose is to “make friends” with one’s own voice so as to find, as much as possible, that which corresponds the most authentically to the person, eliminating the performance anxiety which occurs in different situations of life. The voice should grow with the person, so that it corresponds to them, and it should always be in connection with what everyone “is” in their authenticity, which is not always frequent or easy to accomplish. In this path, vocal techniques are used and not “taught”: the goal is – in the various degrees of awareness – discovering, rediscovering or otherwise not losing their own vocal personality and their ability to identify with their own voice. It is therefore not a course on learning vocal techniques, but it is a path of awareness to understand how you use your own voice, depending on how you breathe and the posture that you assume. The ultimate goal that can be reasonably achieved is to relieve tension, deepen breathing, relax facial muscles, especially the jaw, stand up straighter so that the breathing becomes larger, standing well on the feet until the body can set itself down on the ground with confidence. In this “journey” a calm and greater security will be discovered, our vocal and gestural expression will become more authentic, regardless of the use we want to make with our voice. We will have found a source of joy and vital energy within us that will never abandon us and can be used in all situations of our lives, both professional and personal.
“To be or not to be, that is the problem”
From adults the activity of talking, like singing, can be very entertaining or very unpleasant because they are deeply tied to our emotional sphere. It is an everyday experience to hear that the tone of our voice reveals much more than we would like, for example when it shakes slightly when facing a difficult situation, or when we recognize in ourselves or in others a voice that is not “authentic,” so much so, as to say or think, “I wasn’t myself …. that wasn’t you …”.