by Johanna Fredericks, Perth WA
Recently I attended a True Expression workshop held by Victoria Carter in Perth. A small group of about 8 of us participated. The workshop was open, safe, playful and joyful. The main part I wish to share about is the power of group work.
I know that the words group work and singing don’t seem to have much in common but they actually do! I learned about the true power of group work… it was amazing!
As I have shared in ‘Feeling Free to Sing’, I grew up with issues around singing and purposely decided to stop singing. So it was extra special for me to experience my vocal expression at this workshop. I felt that I had unlocked something very powerful that has always been within me, but somewhat suppressed.
At the workshop I discovered that my presence and my way of being is the expression that my body and my voice magnifies.
We got to play with this and observe each other with some practical daily exercises. Then we were free to make sounds, some ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaahs’ with a partner, with no attached outcome on pitch, rhythm, notes, tune etc. This was extremely freeing for me because I didn’t have to fit myself into a way of singing and I felt safe enough to experiment. I was making sounds that I hadn’t given myself the freedom to make before and it felt great.
I realised that every part of me is communicating and expressing all of the time: and another person receives this communication from my body before I even speak.
I really felt the difference in my communication when I am connected to my stillness, and my body, and when I am not.
In knowing and feeling all of this, we began to make a variety of sounds as a group – at our own pace, in our own rhythm, with our own breath, and when each of us was ready. We sang facing each other in a circle.
This was beautiful, supportive and amazing because as one sound ended, another would start. So there was a continuous flow of ooohhhhs, aaaahhhs, ooooos and eeeeeees that were in perfect harmony. This harmony resulted because we all listened to our bodies, and were in harmony with ourselves. It was a very natural and powerful feeling working together in this way.
Just when I thought that it couldn’t get more heavenly than this, we stepped it up. We stayed in a circle and faced out – singing to humanity. This was awesome because the sound that we made was far greater than the sum of each one of our individual sounds put together. And I could hear and feel that the sound my voice was making within the group was so powerful and divine, but something I had not heard myself do before.
It was like we had a heavenly ‘turbocharge’ to our voices and I cried with joy.
I know that the sound we made was only possible because of the group working as one, in full support of each other.
- Why don’t we work together like this in life?
- And why haven’t we been taught this from a young age?
When we are in harmony with ourselves, we can naturally be in harmony with others; and this supports us all.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that such an amazing sound could come from me, but now I know that it is there…
And I ask, if that is possible, then what else is?
On that day we felt the power of true group work – a group of people working together in perfect harmony – and the power of this.