2012/02/28

Singing Again ~ From The Heart

Since somewhere around March-April 2010 I've been enjoying my voice more and more. As a teen (aroudn 13 yrs of age) I was told by a music teacher I couldn't sing, so I believed it and never sang again, at least not when someone else was around or could hear me. I still sang at concerts when I thought noone would hear me anyways. But I never sang even in a choir even if my heart was longing for it, I actually applied once, but declined when I remembered I actually "couldn't sing". As a child I wanted to be a singer and sang along to all my favourite artists, even recorded myself sometimes...and kinda enjoyed what I heard as I listened to it...and I really enjoyed the music lessons!!! I didn't have the confidence to sing solo, but I really loved to do the "choir" things and did some performances (playback) with some friends on the "big stage". I really enjoyed it until high school, cuz that was when we got a new teacher, and got to do an exame. The exame was divided into three parts, with given grades to each part, that then would be part of the final grade in the mandatory subject of music.. We were all around 12-13 yrs of age... one part was "Theory" (music history, hearing for example "baroque" and recognize it).. the other two were "practical" ~ one of which was to play two different combinations on a drum set. We had to practice at home using our hands tapping on our legs or in the air.. (for the high hat), if not having a whole drum set at home (maybe one of us were lucky enough to have that lol). The other part of the practical exame was to sing along to a predeterminate song, in a predeterminate key that our teacher played on the piano. The song, now looking back, is actually a pretty hard piece with lotsa high notes. And actually we didn't get any guidance more than that we were supposed to sing it by heart. The melody was a known song, so seemed no problem in that regard. And I remember that when I sang it at home to practice it - it actually went pretty alright despite the "high-key parts". But at the test - not only cuz I was nervous to get "evaluated" and be singing "solo" in front of the evaluator,lol but becasue HE PLAYED ALONG in the same key that he always did - that is, I was not able to CHOOSE the "key" I was confortable with (which I had automatically done when practicing at home). Little did I know then (!), I just noticed that I couldn't sing-a-long well at all. And I didn't pass that part of the exame, he told me I couldn't sing, and that was it. No such thing as "there are singing lessons to make it to comfortably sing that high"..or whatever.. Nope.. This made me so ashamed of my voice that I actually never took the step to follow through with taking singing lessons, I actually thought I was "born that way" LOL. But it all shifted for me in 2010. I was at a chanting retreat, and I had been chanting (singing mantras) pretty regularly for a couple of years. I dared to sing it becasue it was a yogic practice, so there was a meditative purpose rather than a "performance"... So ~ although I still really thought I couldn't sing ~ I sang and loved it.
At this retreat, to my delight, there was actually daily Yogic Voice Practice ~ as well as a very clear message, "Every note is a Good Note", and everyone can get a note out... :))) I started to practice this yogic voice training on a daily basis and just a few months afterwards, actual melodies started to flow through me. My "homemade" melodies... I recorded them on my computer, to remember them. And I've now got more than 30 different pieces of melodies made by me and NOW I am confident enough to LOVE them AND my voice!!! In the end of 2011, I sent a few of them to a friend of mine (an internationally well known devotional musician), becasue I wanted to share them ~ and he LOVED my melodies and my voice!!! This felt FABULOUS to me of course, and when I met him a while later he even presented me as an "upcoming singer"..which of course made my day (or well, maybe my year lol)... Now that I've been studying (actually rather enjoying than studying lol) the Indian Classical music system, both through the yogic voice training and learning to play harmonium - I understand how different "root-keys" for different songs are more or less comfy for each individual... and how wonderful the Indian system is to accomodate everyones most-comfy-key to sing in. In general they differ inbetween two keys to most accomodate men, women and children respectively. But after a while, when starting to get the hang of playing for example harmonium to accompany the singing, the Indian system of notes allowes you to place your root key WHEREVER YOU WANT IT - and it can differ from song to song and you can change it all the time cuz the sing-sheet-notes are very flexible, you dont need to re-write them to move your song up or down a few notes on the keyboard... Changing notes can be done not only because you feel more comfy singing in a certain key, but also becasue the song gets a different feel when using different root-keys. And if the song has alot of high notes, you might want to lower your "root key" so you can comfortably sing all the notes of the song. The Indian system makes it possible to also shift the root-key if you sing with someone that is used to higher or lower key, becasue the notes are not "fixed" to a certain part of the keyboard as the western system is. Meanwhile, for example, the C# of the western system always has the same position... the Indian "Sa" (the choosen root-key) can be placed anywhere on the keyboard ~ so.. the Indian song-sheet needs not to be re-written, instead the song can instantly be "moved" up or down the keyboard.. Rather geniously simple :))) Ps. I've recently submitted a kinda "spiritually inspired" song for kids for a "contest". It came though me as I heard about the "Sing a little Song Project" contest ~ songs for a yogic kids album :))) I've now posted a sneak-a-peak of what I sent in, click HERE to watch it :))) Ps.2: The picutre was found through google images searching "Singing"

4 comments:

  1. Oh beautiful Yogini!!! applause* applause* Beautiful story and what a lovely explanation of the comfy Indian system. Thank you dear friend and perhaps you will sing for us, pleae?

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    1. Thank you Deborah :))) I'll sing for you a little bit, thanks for asking, I'll send you the link to the video I made for the contest :))) So you're one of the first hearing it :)))

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  2. I am SO HAPPY to hear you are so happy about your voice and singing now!!! It's is so sad to know what some teacher can do to the children they work with - they seem to have no idea of the power they wield. What is really sad is - that actually - the western system is no different than the Indian system. You can also transpose and play a song in any key to accommodate the the most comfortable vocal range of the singer. Your teacher was either just too lazy to find that "just right key" for his students or maybe he simply wasn't a good enough player to be able to easily and comfortably transpose the song on the spot to accommodate each student. Whatever it was - it is still unconscionable to tell anyone that they can't sing! I'm SO happy that you were able to finally be freed from his sad and limited judgement. Keep shining and singing!!! Every note really IS a good note!!!

    Love, Kathryn (Akalpreet Kaur)

    ps - so love your blog! Thanks for keeping the inspiration flowing!

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    1. Thank You Kathryn!! My point was that The simplicity and the avaliability of the Indian System - is Genious :))) .. Even a beginner can understand how to transpose, and no re-writing of the songsheet is required.
      And to clarify my music teacher - he ONLY reflected back my own lack-of-confidence, that was it all. And THAT in itself is Genious, cuz without anyone reflecting back where I am - how would I know? :))) So, I'm LOVING that the Universe is made this way, constantly reflecting back "WHERE I CURRENTLY AM".. it is an utterly PERFECT system... :))) Since I am the one that gets my own reflection back, I can change my signal and therefore how the world responds to me. It was all my doing, and NOW I've learned how to adjust my signal.. and he is one of the MANY essentials why I am where I am now and forever :)))

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