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. There are many things that can be said to a child which can crush, kind of like black magic being spilled all over them. It is so important to watch our language and what comes out of our mouths because we never know the depth of an impact it is going to have on the person it is aimed at.

  2. The ideals we place on how we or others should sound block something so beautiful, the natural expression of our voice from our body and our essence.

  3. “no different to when I was that young girl, all full of joy and expression” Beautiful. I can feel the joy and the freedom of you returning to your expression as a young girl.

  4. I love that you have found your voice as we need all sounds not just the ones that someone else tells us fits the mould. Perhaps there are different moulds for different moments in time.

  5. As parents And teachers And all others we carry a responsibility in how we express to the Children. Like this story the effects can be big like this story shows.

  6. It’s sobering to be reminded how one comment or one experience can affect us so deeply for so long – we really do need to me aware how what we say and do affects another.

  7. “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.” This is the beauty of giving yourself permission to discover your true voice as its absolutely not about having a perfect pitch, but exactly as you describe and that is the ‘joy that you feel in your heart and the smile that you bring to your face.’ I know this so well Rachel.

  8. From speaking with people, the crushing of our expression, through harsh comments or even ignoring is one of the biggest blows in childhood that continues on to affect us as adults. I have been having sessions with Carola Woods and am surprised to be discovering how powerful my voice is. It also now offers me a marker, so when I use a nice, people pleasing voice it feels like a horrible imposter.

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