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

698 thoughts on “Hiding My Natural Voice

  1. We crush children (and adults) when they sing because we value a certain kind of voice, and not the joy of simply expressing ourselves.

  2. Wow what struck me in your blog was someone else’s judgement, or in this case how another person deciding whether you’re in a musical or where you go in a choir can totally shut down someone’s natural and innate expression. This is a massive reminder to never judge someone else’s expression and instead always be encouraging.

  3. It can be so crushing and confidence destroying when as a child we are told harshly or in a way that is insenitive that our voice is different to others or is too high or too low, and then we take on the belief we cannot sing, which can and often does lock up our expression, as was my experience. It is so very freeing to sing again and so much joy too that my whole body feels lighter afterwards.

  4. I like to observe how people sing, voices are very honest, it shows all our quality and our choices. We have been very fooled to think that good singing is only what we hear in the sound, there is a whole spectrum of vibration and quality that is there too.

    1. I never thought about singing showing all our quality and our choices, but yes of course this makes sense, our tone and pace of our voices tell us so much about ourselves and where we are at, are we speaking from our bodies or from our heads?

  5. Those moments in life where we feel crushed or judged in our expression by others, can indeed cause us to pull back and contract from bringing ourselves fully to life. However this sets up a pattern which is not only a holding back pattern, but is draining of our own life-force.

  6. It is beautiful to feel you reclaim your expression through singing, that which is something we all can do with our naturally beautiful and uniquely sounding voices. The joy of singing is felt as we allow the vibration of God resound through our bodies, and with our voices reflect this quality. We all have access to freely express and sing this in our own way, when we simply surrender to how beautiful it is to feel this connection.

  7. When we connect more deeply to our innermost the voice starts to come more from the body and we express so much more of who we truly are.

  8. So much joy is felt in your experience Rachel, the joy that is actually natural to us all when we allow our natural expression to flow.

  9. I’m sure many people have a story similar to your own Rachel. Just one comment from someone when we are growing up is sometimes enough to silence us for years. Yes it is so totally joyful to rediscover the joy of our natural voice, and Chris James is a master at helping people to do this. Really lovely to read your experience and the recent healing that has occurred.

  10. That’s what singing and expressing is all about. I constantly talk with myself and smile too, it’s very awesome.

  11. I also remember belting out hymns in primary school and loving singing too Rachel… though had been put off through someone in my family telling me to “shush, quieten down”. Isn’t it interesting that the one thing we loved as a young child like singing/expression and which was quashed to some extent, turns out to be our strength later as an adult.

  12. Its only in recent times I have become acquainted to my natural voice. I’m not a singer, although sometimes I would like to take some lessons from Chris James to really discover my singing voice. When I recently heard my voice on a recording, I absolutely loved hearing it. There was no harshness, just a gentle, claimed voice.

    I know there are more areas I need to present my voice to and I look forward to my voice unfolding even more and maybe one day I will sing – who knows.

  13. It seems to be a common experience for many that confidence around singing is crushed by judgement or harsh expression of another. So how gorgeous, Rachel that you found your voice and love of expression through singing again.

  14. To live is to truly and freely express, anything less is not truly living. We are naturally very expressive beings and have such capacity to let this out for all to feel and be inspired by.

  15. We are so used to judging our voice and others based on its ability to deliver perfect pitch or a certain sound, all the time unaware that the quality and vibration of the expression is what matters more.

  16. When we express how we feel without fear we give others the inspiration to do the same and this is such a joy to behold. Thank you Rachel.

  17. The joy of finding our natural voice is deeply beautiful very freeing and exquisite and brings us back to who we truly are in our expression and love ” 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.” Absolutely Beautiful

  18. We are often born feeling life and expressing what we feel, sadly it is something which we start to edit and censor wanting to fit in and be more acceptable or approved of.

  19. When we sing from our connection to our bodies it feels so joyous and the quality in which we sing is felt from within, as it fills every space with love and warmth which feels amazing too.

  20. There is something so incredible about not holding back when we sing… It’s like an extraordinary instant life lesson on commitment, connection, expression,… What a package 🙂

  21. So much can be felt when someone uses their voice, whether it is in speaking or in singing, for example when someone speaks to us in a harsh tone we can experience it as very jarring. Words that are spoken when we are connected with the body are easy to listen to even if we are being reprimanded.

  22. I love to sing and especially to dance. I think I’m not pitch perfect however when I sing from my body the sound resonates through me and fills my heart and lungs with a full connection of joy. There is nothing like singing to fill you up and clear the cobwebs.

  23. That is super cool Rachel that you have rediscovered your true voice. It really is all about the quality of our voice rather than the technical ability or skill and when I speak or sing in my true voice that comes from my body it feels amazing.

  24. I loved reading how you are now expressing yourself through singing Rachel. It’s interesting how just the thing we can bring so naturally to others is the thing that is criticized to put us off bringing it.

  25. “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.” I loved what you have shared Rachel, being able to connect back to your beautiful natural voice, this I am in the process of doing as I am learning to step away from the judgment I have held my voice in for so many years and learn to feel my true quality coming from my body.

    1. I love this Adele yep expressing what is natural to us no holding back just being who we are and being at absolute ease with it.

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