Think you can't sing?
We challenge you to think again.
Real, medically diagnosed tone-deafness (amusia) is quite rare and can be the result of a traumatic brain injury or a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Most people with amusia have a different way of processing auditory information and don't hear the difference between pitches in music or are unable to identify changes in melody, especially when the pitches are relatively close together.
Keep in mind that amusia affects people to varying degrees.
Total amusia is extremely rare, and for those individuals, music is not enjoyable. So if you're even interested in singing, we believe you can.
We also believe that everyone has the ability to be vocally creative, with or without amusia. And each of us has the ability to improve our sound production, listening skills and musical sensitivity.
If you believe that you have a "bad voice", chances are you have a misunderstanding of the physical process used to produce a healthy sound. In reality, with very few exceptions, every human is capable of producing sound with a full, healthy voice. Listen to a baby's cry and you will believe the same!
Often times the physical singing process is sabotaged by a deeply held belief formed long ago as a result of being laughed at or told as a child that we sound bad, or asked to “stand at the back and mouth the words.”
Our voice is our essence, and when we are humiliated through our voice it creates shame. It cuts deep and the repercussions can last a lifetime. We have heard people say,
"you don't want me in the choir! Everyone would leave!" And even though they are laughing when they say it, we believe it is tragic.
Our singing sessions are based on the belief that when we focus on the sensations of healthy sound production and listen louder than we sing, we can be successful. No one person needs to be able to "carry the tune" because we all carry it together!
Our vocal jam sessions are the perfect re-introduction to the world of vocalizing without the need to match pitch. There are no "mistakes" and nothing to judge. All that is required is a healthy curiosity and the willingness to be in the moment with the other participants.
You can also engage with your voice on your own simply by mimicking sounds - any sounds - that you hear:
Try to reproduce that phone notification, dog, police siren, etc.
How does it feel? Once you start copying sounds you might find yourself copying another person's speech inflections.
Listen to the different ways that people say, "hello".
Notice the difference between a question and a statement.
Can you hear people's voice ascend at the end of the question?
Try reading the above question in a few different ways.
Have fun. Be silly. Play with your voice.
Listen to someone's laugh and try to copy it.
Can you feel it in your body?
And lastly, throw down your fear and come sing with us!
40" x 50" 2010
used for the 2011 Hunting Art Prize Poster
© Pat Gabriel