Hiding My Natural Voice

I remember as I child I used to sing all the time, making up little tunes and adding words to go with them. I remember adults commenting to my mother about what a happy child I was. I also look back at how that love of natural expression became crushed when trying out for the school choir around the age of 8, when I was told my voice was too deep to sing with the other girls and I would have to stand at the back and sing the second part with the boys. Whilst this may not sound bad, the way it was delivered was so harsh and judgemental that it made me feel crushed, and my natural exuberance for singing became something that I started to withhold and keep in check.

About age eleven I auditioned for the school musical at high school and didn’t even get called back to be a part of the chorus, and that for me was the end of any attempts to be part of a group singing activity. It got to the point where during school assembly I would mouth the words to the hymns but never actually sing them as I didn’t want to be singled out for being off key or out of tune.

I still loved to sing but only when others couldn’t hear me. As a teenager I would have my music blasting, singing along in the privacy and safety of my own room, knowing that the music was so loud no one would ever hear my dulcet tones. As I got older I would do this in the car or at home when I was in the house alone.

I started playing guitar in my 20’s and even started taking music grades; this way I could indulge in my love of music without having to sing. But imagine my horror when during my first music grade the examiner asked me to listen to a note and sing it back to her. Well I simply refused point blank to do it and even got aggressive over it. It cost me 20 marks but there was no way I was going to ‘sing,’ especially not in front of a complete stranger!

More recently, because I have attended events run by Universal Medicine, I have been learning about and exploring expression through voice and music.

I have also watched Chris James sing and work with an audience to encourage them to let go of what stands in the way of them exploring their natural voice: a voice that comes from connecting to yourself and feeling the sound develop, and expressing from your body rather than attaching to how it sounds.

During a Universal Medicine Retreat, Chris James was invited to take the stage and lead the participants in some singing exercises. Tentatively and very quietly at first I found myself joining in with a simple ‘ooh’ and ‘ah’, without pushing or trying. I found my voice was deep and resonant, with a richness that had never come through when singing along to music in my room or my car. It had a delicate quality combined with a power and strength that was so exquisite it moved me to tears – tears of joy and relief for all that I had held back – being allowed to express again as I did so naturally when I was a little girl.

And now I love to sing; I join group sings and don’t hold back when Chris James invites us to sing along or when Michael Benhayon and Miranda Benhayon of Glorious Music perform. I even joined a women’s singing group for a few months where we would sing acapella (without musical accompaniment) and we even gave a performance to around 100 people at a local event – something I would never have imagined or even been capable of a few years ago.

Now I find myself singing when I walk the dog, on my way to work, and even around the office and the supermarket, no different to when I was that young girl, all full of joy and expression that I simply had to let it out.

I have been inspired to sing again through the work of Chris James and Glorious Music and now see my deep, rich, natural voice as something to celebrate and not to hide. And whilst I may not have perfect pitch, I do have a quality when I sing that brings a joy to my heart and puts a smile on my face.

By Dr Rachel Hall Dentist Kenmore Brisbane

Further Reading:
Everyone Is Born With A Beautiful Voice – Singing And Speaking
Exploring, and Singing with, my True Voice
The Joy of Music Without the Pain

735 thoughts on “Hiding My Natural Voice

  1. A great example Rachel, I’ve seen this happen too in children, where an adult has shut them down and they have taken it deep to stir some old held belief.

  2. Without understanding and love anything that is shared can feel very hurtful, like your experience of having to sing with the boys. Interesting to see how this ripples through the rest of your life and ending up with you being angry with someone totally unrelated to the first event. It’s not the responsibility of the choir leaders but it’s great to see what effect unloving expression can have on the rest of someone’s life. Also how loving expression can support to bring us back.

  3. A beautiful sharing and joy felt from finding your true voice and natural expression in singing with the freedom and flow in your body. This is life changing and something I experienced also recently from a Chris James workshop, and with Glorious Music and Miranda and Michael Benhayon and the way of the livingness all being part of this.

  4. I loved the sense of your natural expression as a little girl – and how that has been regained and enjoyed so much by you. Expressing in our natural way is joyful.

  5. Rachel, this is so gorgeous; ‘Now I find myself singing when I walk the dog, on my way to work, and even around the office and the supermarket, no different to when I was that young girl, all full of joy and expression that I simply had to let it out.’ I love to hear children and adults sing or hum, it feels so joyful.

  6. I just had such a workshop with Chris James the other day, and I can only contest that indeed it was so freeing to let go of all the restrictions that I had build on my verbal expression, and what a richness in resonance of the voice that can then come to the fore.

  7. What happens is that we have to fit into an image as we had to in many more ways when we were growing up, this is also true in adult life. But this time not as a visual image, but as an audible image, an image that tries to reduce our natural expression into a uniform voice that is accepted by and will not disturb anyone from their comfort.

  8. The idea of needing to have perfect pitch when singing has prevented so many people from actually expressing their natural voice. This to me is a travesty as singing is such a fun and gorgeous thing to do.

  9. There is so much focus on technical skill around singing and not on the simple joy of expressing ourselves. Considering ourselves good or bad at something can be quite harmful, and it also sets parameters for whether we feel we can or can’t do something (like singing), instead of just enjoying ourselves. I still see the same thing in myself around singing, that it has to fit a certain sound otherwise you keep it private! What always fascinates me, is when I sing at home I feel I express my joy in full and my dogs feel this and really respond by dancing about and getting quite joyful themselves! Singing is often a very healing and supportive experience for me because my focus is the joy of expressing me.

    1. I would like to say that singing is not a natural form of expression for me, simply because it is one that I also keep private, however reading this blog and the comments there is clearly a lot to explore in these uncharted waters!

      1. Go for it Rosanna, there is a lot of inner beauty for us all to let out and we don’t have to fit any prescribed way or picture, just connect to our inner heart and express!

      2. Indeed there is Rosanna! I would willingly come sailing with you to explore the beauty of your own voice that has yet to be discovered….it is a glorious and deeply joyful thing to connect to our true voice when singing from that connection with our body.

  10. There is the belief in this society that we come to the world incomplete, that as we are little we don’t know very much and that we have to take effort to learn new skills. I can relate very much with you Rachel when at school I was told that my voice was not good enough for a choir, this left me with the feeling inside that I was not good enough at all. So from that point I remember trying hard to fit in, looking outside of me to be ‘someone’. This experience has conditioned me more than I can imagine, however by attending the presentations and workshops from Universal Medicine, I can feel inside me that actually I’m not broken and that there is a power, a beauty within to honour and to express from. I feel very grateful for being a student of the School of the Livingness, a unique place in this world where we all are equally precious and where there is no need to become anything, as we are already everything.

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