the importance of your own sound everyday
Arden has worked with the voice all her life and is the creator of our Voice Workshop in Self-care (also known as Autophonetics). As she talks about it:
“We underestimate the benefits of good vocal expression. This does not necessarily mean singing. It means helping the body vibrate and function to its maximum capacity through an anatomically correct posture which then is activated by one’s own voice. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of learning to make your own sound, each sound you make in a day, in a way that nurtures you, supports you and takes you more directly and fluidly on your life’s path.
Simply learning to make your own sound in its fullest resonance and capacity is fundamental to your well-being and health. This applies even if you don’t sing, can’t sing or have no desire to.
I quote here an excerpt from The Conscious Ear by Dr. A. Tomatis. His research over 40 years ago opened the scientific door to what the wisdom from the ancients has always shown: your own sound creates and expresses your essence as a soul in this body in this time and place on this planet.”
‘We transform the structure of our body when we speak, or essentially speak to it, since one’s body is the first thing to be affected by the sound it utters. All the areas of the body are not equally affected. Little by little, speech sensitizes the sensory segments which detect the sound waves produced by the voice. The areas most receptive to this information obviously are located where the distribution of nerve fibers most sensitive to pressure is at its highest concentration. Moreover, each of us, according to what he is and what he has made of himself, centers his activity in one part of his body, and it is to this part that he speaks. That is his choice. That is why a champion cyclist makes his statements to the press in a hollow voice which is weak in sibilants [consonants in words like sip, zip, ship]— he is talking to the center of his activity, almost the center of his life, which in this case is his legs. The use of voice centered in the low frequency range is necessarily bound up with the centering of interest in the lower part of the body. The ideal would be for everyone to be able to touch, in a homogeneous way the whole surface of the body… “True” sound does not come only from the lips, but from the whole body…….’ (Tomatis, 1991, pages 82-83)
“In our Voice Workshop in Self-Care we cover this theme and offer many exercises to expand your breath capacity and soften the tension in the body through self-touch. They are simple and effective, and you can do them for yourself in just moments any time during your day to relax and center.
Take a moment now and try one of them:
Sit comfortably with your back straight, feet flat on the floor spaced a little apart. Put your hands gently on your chest and breath as deeply as you can with an even inhale and exhale. Try to let your abdomen, sides, chest and entire back gently expand and contract while keeping your shoulders steady. Let your collar bone move in and out as well. Begin to hum in the middle of your range- not too high or too low. As you do so, very slowly move your head up a little or down a little, or to either side to find the position where you feel the resonance generated by your vocal chords pass most strongly to your cervical vertebrae in the neck and up and down your spine and throughout your body. Continue this for a few moments, then let the hum die away and take your time to feel what you feel. Then go about your day.”
Tomatis, A. A. (1991). The Conscious Ear- My Life of Transformation through Listening. Barrytown: Station Hill Press.