Wednesday, March 31, 2010


What is our starting point as singers? It is nowhere, no one, but Who we really are.

Why is this important to know? Because it is the answer to every question we have.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Even in the deepest despair, tears flow forward in time--unstoppable, onward, always toward the future. And sadness, in the depths of its expression, is so close to laughter that the passer-by might not know the difference. So it is for the singer who is lost: even without a voice, she is found in the music she loves. Even when she despairs for not being able to sing, the music, like her tears, like her laughter, flies onward on its path from, and back toward, heaven. (or perchance it never leaves?) Her sadness is her song, and in it, the ever-flowing thread of her eternal happiness.

When the singer knows these things, she has found her voice, and she is as grateful for it as she is for life itself.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Key to Liberation by Andrew Cohen

I don’t believe we have to solve all of our psychological problems in order to become liberated human beings. In the way that I teach, the key to our liberation is simple and direct: it occurs when we discover and recognize something that is more important. When you awaken to something that has infinitely greater spiritual, moral, and philosophical value than your personal problems, when you discover a higher perspective that is inherently more meaningful than the woes of your wounded self, those problems and woes won’t necessarily disappear, but they suddenly appear to be dramatically less important. Now, in a deep and profound and significant way, you are just not as interested in that personal world any more. And that’s how you find liberation. It’s not because you work through your psychological problems; it’s because you begin to lose interest in them. The discovery of that which is higher is the secret to becoming a dignified, self-respecting, caring, and spiritually liberated human being, right now.

Andrew Cohen


Our true voice is the gold in the pot at the end of a rainbow made up of all the colors of our hopes and dreams. When we strike gold after all our searching, the feeling is like having everything we will ever need, forever. It has nothing to do with money per se, and everything to do with being free.


"How to sing" is one of the best kept non-secrets on this planet.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dialogues Part 6

Me: Good morning Voice!
Voice: Good morning. You are chipper today! How nice.
Me: Yes, well, I find it easier to get through life if I stay chipper.
Voice: Who taught you that?
Me: Well, You...and my Grandma, and Mom.
Voice: OHhhh...that's nice! I know your Grandma and Mom very well. In fact I know your whole family very well.
Me: Really? You've read my memories??
Voice: No, no, dear, I've been here all along, so no need to read your memories.
Me: Oh, that's how you know them, because you've been with me all along.
Voice: Yes, that's part of it...
Me: And the rest...?
Voice: This may be another hard thing for you to grasp.
Me: C'mon you know I always give it my best!
Voice: Okay then...I know your family because I am inside of them, too.
Me: Whhooooooaaa. Huh?
Voice: What is it you feel right now?
Me: I feel: Wwwwhhhoooooaaaa...
Voice: Hon, if you could put a WORD to that "Whoa", what would it be?
Me: Well, "Duuude", or "coool", or...
Voice: Keep trying...
Me: ...awe.
Voice: Why "awe"?
Me: Because it seems amazing!
Voice: What seems amazing?
Me: That you are in me, you know me so well, and yet you know my family so well, too! AND you're IN them, too! I am completely in awe, if what you are telling me is true.
Voice: Have I ever told you a lie?
Me: No, never.
Voice: So why would you think I would lie?
Me: Well..
Voice: Be honest. There is no sense trying to hide. I'm here to can't run away.
Me: know...
Voice: Yes, but you need to say it. It will help heal you.
Me: How will it help heal me?
Voice: Please don't change the subject.
Me: Alright, alright! You know I've believed some lies before, some big lies...before I learned to listen to you. I'M SO SORRY I BELIEVED THEM! I felt so sad then.
Voice: I know. I was there.
Me: Why did I have to believe them?
Voice: You needed to find your own way to me.
Me: But why didn't you try to wake me up? Make me see and hear?
Voice: I did, my dear. I did.
Me: Oh.
Voice: Do you know when?
Me: Yes. Yes I do.
Voice: When did I try to show you? When did I try to speak to you while you were believing those lies?
Me: A-always.
Voice: Yes.
Me: It hurts.
Voice: It doesn't have to.
Me: Like growing pains.
Voice: Ha! Yes. Like growing pains. It hurts, but you know the pain means something positive and good is happening.
Me: Yeah.
Voice: Are you okay?
Me: Oh, yeah...I always will be, now that I have you.
Voice: Oh, well, my dear you have a lot to learn.
Voice: Yes
Me: Well, what? For instance...
Voice: Today, in particular, I would say that the next step is for you to learn that you do not own me.
Me: Oh, well if you mean what I just said about "always having you"...
Voice: Yes, I mean that.
Me: You can be very strict sometimes.
Voice: That is the price of freedom.
Me: But you're not strict all the time.
Voice: No, only when it really matters.
Me: Hmm Tough Love.
Voice: You got it, girl.
Me: So next time we'll get to that new stuff?
Voice: Maybe. Whatever is right for that time.
Me: Haha that's funny because guess what?
Voice: What?
Me: I had a completely different question in mind for today.
Voice: I know.
Me: And we talked about something completely different!
Voice: Yes. Now you are understanding.
Me: Understanding what?
Voice: That I am always here, but you do not own me.
Me: it's like when I talk with you I'm just jumping in to wherever you are...
Voice: Yes, go on.
Me: And listening and watching whatever you're doing.
Voice: yes.
Me: Kind of like when I used to talk with Grandma while she gardened.
Voice: Oh, YES! It is an honor to be compared with your Grandmother: a lovely gardener.
Me: What will you be doing when we talk next?
Voice: You'll have to wait and see.
Me: Okay.
Voice: Now get on with your day.
Me: Mmmmm breakfast.
Voice: *smiling* yes. MMmmmm breakfast.
Me: Love you
Voice: I love you too.
Me: I still wish I could hug you.
Voice: You are learning other ways to express your love.
Me: Yes I am. I'm learning a lot.
Voice: I am proud of you.
Me: Thank you! Wow.
Voice: Now go on. I'll be with you.
Me: Okay to you soon.
Voice: Yes. Bless you dear.
Me: *smiling*

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Dialogues Part 5

Me: Voice?
Voice: Yes?
Me: Hi
Voice: Hi
Me: Hmm
Voice: What is it?
Me: I just was...missing you.
Voice: And?
Me: Is that strange?
Voice: Not so, no.
Me: What does it mean?
Voice: Just that you need to work on trust.
Me: Trust? How so?
Voice: Well, I am you, you are me.
Me: Right. I learned that last time we talked.
Voice: That means that there are sort of three of us.
Me: Okay now you've lost me
Voice: Let me'll get it.
Me: Ok...
Voice: See, you are still living in that place where there's "ME" and "YOU".
Me: Right...well, there IS Me and there IS you. I see that very clearly.
Voice: What you are missing, when you miss me, is not necessarily ME.
Me: Of course I miss You!
Voice: No, sweet thing, you miss "WE". You miss "US", together.
Me: okaaaaay...
Voice: It might sound strange
Me: It does!
Voice: But it's quite simple you know
Me: How so?
Voice: You see when you are missing me you are missing you...
Me: Right.
Voice: So why can't you trust that who I am is always with you?
Me: I'm not sure. Maybe because I can't hear you.
Voice: Can you hear me now?
Me: Yes. No. Well, kind of...!
Voice: You don't have to "hear" me to know I'm there. That's trust.
Me: Yes, okay...
Voice: Does that make you feel better?
Me: Well, it does take away the feeling of loneliness.
Voice: There is never any reason to feel lonely. I am always here, and always will be.
Me: Wow.
Voice: Hmm?
Me: It just...feels great
Voice: I know.
Me: But why??
Voice: You know...
Me: Do I?
Voice: Yes, of course.
Me: Hmmm
Voice: What else could feel this good?
Me: Oh! Nothing but Love.
Voice: You've got it.
Me: Heh. I'm learning
Voice: Yes you are.
Me: Okay gotta sleep. You gonna hang around?
Voice: Sure will. I'll see you in your dreams
Me: Hey Voice?
Voice: Hm?
Me: Thanks for everything.
Voice: You're welcome. Now sleep.
Me: K
Voice: Love?
Me: Love.
Voice: Night.
Me: night...


"I am yours. Save me."

It is through surrender that a singer finds peace. She surrenders to her path, to the pull of the river of love that's brought her to this point and is carrying her onward. She relaxes into the Truth of the Way that has been mapped out for her over generations of singers past, and allows herself to become a part of singing's future.

It's a surrender that goes beyond even the music and singing in which she rejoices: it's a surrender to the being, to the place, to the eternal Becoming, from which song and music, and her very own self, are birthed.

When she knows this, she is eternally safe, eternally loved, and eternally at home.


Perhaps hell is so seductive because it is so close to the truth of heaven. Only Love or the lack of Love informs the difference between heaven and hell. As we know, there are many ways that Love's lack can disguise itself as Love.

The difference between Love's lack and Love Itself is the difference between a manufactured sound that is impressive to the ear, and a sound that resonates from the very core of who the singer is, sounding so far beyond "impressive", that when we hear it, we have no words. This is Love: the place, the way of being from which words come.

To the untrained heart and ear, these two sounds may seem the same. But to the ones trained by Master Teachers, they are worlds apart.

Friday, March 26, 2010


The principles of singing are the same as the principles of love. The principles of Love are the same as the principles of breath:

Receive it. Enjoy the abundance. Let it go. Enjoy the lack...and on and on in an infinite cycle. The breath is our guide to Love.

This is why, when the singer is singing with a technique based on Love, singing becomes the most heavenly of sensations.

Any other way to sing is imitation--not heaven, but hell. Though hell is not to be feared for the singer and everyone aspiring to sing--every person has their breath: the tool to sweep away the need to control or push, to squeeze or man-handle the voice.

When the singer asks "How can I feel better? more free? more me?" She's on her way to getting to know her true breath, and the meaning of true Love.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Quote From George Bernard Shaw

"This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making me happy.

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and, as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.

I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I've got to hold up for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations."

--George Bernard Shaw

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Life changes
kaleidoscope shifts
from light
and always back
to light again
of every shape
and every shade

give thanks!

for the voice
?or music?
?or both?
always constant
holds court
over life's experience:
She rides
just ahead
to harness the hues
with the speed of creation itself,
Embracing wildness-
the vivid colors of life-
with arms as broad
as Love itself.

give thanks!

for the singer is shown the way to freedom by the one thing she cannot explain, and cannot contain. Light will always slip through her fingers and run from the corner of her mouth as she swallows it whole, breathes it completely, and becomes its very self. Or was she Light already...?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dialogues Part 4

Me: Hey!
Voice: Hmm?
Me: I have a question.
Voice: Alright.
Me: Can I ask it?
Voice: Of course you can! There are no rules as to what you can ask me and what you can't.
Me: Oh I thought there might be some things you couldn't answer.
Voice: Try me.
Me: Well okay then. It's serious.
Voice: Do not be afraid.
Me: I'm not afraid.
Voice: Then why don't you just ask?
Me: Well, because I don't know what your answer might mean, for me.
Voice: I love you. You love me. How could anything really matter more than that?
Me: You mean...
Voice: hmm?
Me: mean Love will always be there, no matter what?
Voice: Yes
Me: Between us?
Voice: Yes
Me: ok
Voice: Do you believe that?
Me:'s only that, if I believe you love me, then I have to believe that I love you, too, for eternity.
Voice: Mmmhmm.
Me: Isn't that kind of like...commitment???
Voice: Yes.
Me: Wow I never thought I'd be asked to commit myself to you.
Voice: But you already have...all that you've done, all that you are, you've dedicated to me. If that's not commitment, I don't know what is.
Me: I see...
Voice: Sort of makes you think, doesn't it?
Me: Why is it then that I am just seeing this love now?
Voice: Well, it took you a while to figure out who I am.
Me: And you are?
Voice: You.
Me: Oh...
Voice: And more. I'm the bigger you, the higher you, the you you are getting to know. That's who I am.
Me: Wow.
Voice: Don't seem so surprised. You knew this was coming.
Me: What? Love?
Voice: Yes, you knew...or you would not have gone through all the searching and struggle and asked all those questions.
Me: I still have a lot of questions.
Voice: I know. That's why I'm here.
Me: You know what?
Voice: What?
Me: I love you.
Voice: You know I like to hear that...and I know already.
Me: Wish we could hug
Voice: Go hug a friend
Me: Huh?
Voice: Go hug a friend. It's like hugging me.
Me: Ha. I think I know what you mean. You're awesome.
Voice: You're not so bad yourself.
Me: I still have that question.
Voice: I know.
Me: But I think you kind of answered it.
Voice: I know.
Me: Wow it's so not surprising and at the same time surprising to talk with you like this.
Voice: I know.
Me: Well hey, if you know, then I know, right?
Voice: Now she's talkin'!
Me: So...thanks
Voice: You're welcome. And thanks.
Me: For what?
Voice: Being you.
Me: You're welcome.
Voice: do our thing now
Me: k I will
Voice: later
Me: later

Monday, March 15, 2010

Reaching for the Future a quote from Andrew Cohen

What I am interested in is not what has already happened, but what is possible. What is the next possibility? That’s what Evolutionary Enlightenment is all about. So your attention is not on what is but on what could be. You are not concerned with the present moment, with being in the Now; you are passionately concerned with the next moment, and the next, and the next. You are always reaching for something higher, and you become consumed with the expectation, the anticipation of something new and more meaningful. That’s what gives your life a purpose and a direction. If you are reaching for the future you create direction.

Andrew Cohen

No. 40

Where the singer thinks she dare not go: go there she must. There is a world offered to us by music that is other than our everyday existence. An alternate universe, perhaps this life enlightened, draws the singer in to its depths. This place, this space of invincibility, of infinite expansion, where hearts beat and yet time stands still, is none other than Love itself. When the singer enters in, nothing is wrong and everything is peace. The door is not closed to her when the voice is not healthy, though it is made very difficult to find. The way is laid out before her and the key is in her hand when she finds her voice, healthy and whole. And so, therein, with her newly found voice as guide, she discovers her purpose, her reason for being, her larger self, and her true inspiration.

This post is dedicated to Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Rossini, to my colleague pianist Dan Deutsch, and my voice teacher Jean-Ronald LaFond, without whom I would not have been gifted this experience and realization today.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

No. 39

The beginning of healing begins when the singer looks at the voice with clear eyes and asks: Is this voice happy? Is it free? Then she does all she can to change herself so one day her voice comes walking up to her, looking for advice: "Will you be free...with me?" The singer, in awe of all she has understood and all she's learned, says "Yes, let's", and smiles, never more proud of anything.


The voice will call whomever she chooses. She is there at birth; she is there at death; she is there in between...she is there in eternity.

No. 38

When it becomes about the voice, suddenly, ironically, it becomes about the singer. For without the singer realizing that it's about the voice, nothing is really accomplished. Yet who is the accomplisher? The singer...understanding that which, in a perfect world, needs no understanding.

no. 37

The singer must make room for the listener, make room for friends, for family. How does she do this? By finding the core of who she is, and trusting it enough to stay there. The friends, family, listener, each at their own core, can come together in peace, in wholeness, in celebration.

What's the voice's story? What, the soul's? When the singer knows this, she can join her voice with the souls of everyone around her, and the collective chorus can ring out all the stronger, for her addition is strong and true.

No. 36

If the singer can ask "What has affected me? What has shaped my life, my beliefs, my thoughts?" she will know her voice. She will know what her challenges are and her weaknesses. But most of all, she will know her strengths.

No. 35

As long as a soul can heal, a voice can heal. As long as life is, hope is real.

No. 34

If there is healing to be done, the voice and the singer heal together. What affects one affects the other. What purifies one purifies the other; uplifting happens spontaneously, until voice and singer become one, and whole.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

No. 33

Allow Love, and you allow Self. Allow Self, and you allow Choice. Allow Choice, and you allow Beauty. Allow Beauty, and you allow Love.

No. 32

Surrender to Love, and you'll find out who you are.

no. 31

The call to beauty is the call to truth.

Friday, March 12, 2010

No. 30

There are war zones on this path toward absolute Love. Instead of scud missiles and land mines, we are fighting our thoughts and the thoughts of our society: We are too old. We are too young. Our nose is too big, our nose is too small. We are not skinny enough, we are too thin, too tall, too short...and all around us the bombs are falling and our colleagues are losing their legs or at least their hope, and heading on to fight wars that have clearer rules.

The scariest thing about these times of conflict is believing that it is possible to find resolution. For a singer finding resolution is not about fighting her way out of the war zone. It is about her trusting, perhaps beyond all earthly reasoning, in her own invincibility. The only way these times of war can be resolved is by the singer stopping in her tracks--cease the running, let fear fall away. She sits, Indian-style in the middle of the battle field, with the bitter gas of 'rules' and 'fear' and 'anger' and 'uncertainty' wafting by her face, and the missiles of 'rejection' falling all around her. She sits, and goes inside, where the truth of who she is speaks with a voice more clear than any explosion. She gathers her strength, and allows the power of who she is to emanate, engulfing the battle field with Love. Only then is true resolution found.

So where are the bombs now? Where is the gas? where are the land mines and the screams? They are like a distant memory of how the singer does not want to live and does not want to be.

No. 29

Love cannot be tested. Love can only grow in our perspective and knowledge. Love's growth is an illusion, since Love encompasses All. What we are testing is our selves. When we try to test Love, we are merely expanding our vision, expanding the belief in all our senses, honoring our desires, and trusting the constant pull we feel toward who we truly are.

As singers, when we follow the call of our voices, we are not bargaining with God. We are not saying "Okay God, if You gave me a voice, then let me see You allow me to live from it." No. We are saying "God, You gave me a voice. Thank You for giving me the honor of watching it grow, of learning to care for it, and learning to love a part of me I cannot see. Thank you for the chance to learn in this lifetime what it means to express all that I am in song, and in doing so, perhaps to get a glimpse of what it might be like to be an agent of Your creation."

When we honor our voices in this way, so completely, we cannot help but mold a space for them, for us, in God's great painting. This is only possible if we continually test ourselves, and realize that God is waiting patiently for us to sing in all our glory. In fact, all through our striving and our questioning, She sees us as the culmination of all our growth. To Her, the unfinished painting is complete...and when She sees it, Love is smiling.

No. 28

Freedom is addictive.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dialogues Part 3

Voice: So, what'd you learn today?
Me: That you're not what you seem you are
Voice: Oh, really?
Me: Yeah
Voice: How so?
Me: Well, you're MORE than you seem to be
Voice: ah, yes, well you don't have to tell me that
Me: Well, you asked!
Voice: Okay that's fair. In what way am I more than I seem to be?
Me: You're like a call from eternity.
Voice: Whooooaaaaa...I didn't think you'd go that far out on me. But you're getting close.
Me: Getting close? It feels like I hit the nail pretty close to the head
Voice: Try again.
Me:'s like, when I listen to you, my whole life is clear. Like I have meaning, and then when I sing and just let you's like I'm back to being a child without a care in the world
Voice: Hmm sounds nice. But I don't give you meaning you know.
Me: What's this feeling I have then?
Voice: It's just your feeling of connectedness to the place from which I come when I am 100% true
Me: ehhhh...
Voice: Remember our last conversation?
Me: Sure. LOVE.
Voice: That's right. Are you connecting the dots?
Me: I feel a connectedness to love when I sing.
Voice: Yes. Because you've learned to leave me alone, to let me be me.
Me: I guess I have!
Voice: That's pretty darn cool.
Me: Yeah!
Voice: Now, if you'd do that with the rest of your life you'd be in heaven all the time!
Me: Hey, I'm workin' on it!!
Voice: I know you are! I'm here all the time after all.
Me: mean love is here all the time?
Voice: Sure! You just need to see it.
Me: Okay, got ya. See love.
Voice: And feel it.
Me: Feel it.
Voice: And be it.
Voice: Well done!
Me: What do you mean?
Voice: You're thinking about these things. Which means you're really close to getting them.
Me: Really?
Voice: Yeah.
Me: That's AWESOME.
Voice: Okay so get back to work.
Me: But I...
Voice: You know what you need to do.
Me: Yeah I do. Thanks to you.
Voice: Thanks for seeing more of me.
Me: You're welcome. You're not too hard on the eyes.
Voice: Ha Ha. Get outa here!
Me: Okay ya.
Voice: Love you too. Now, go! I'll see you soon.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dialogues Part 2

Voice: Rebecca
Me: Hmm?
Voice: Will you keep me safe now?
Me: Huh? What do you mean??? I've always kept you safe!! I've lived my life for you!! I've looked and looked for ways to understand who and what you are! I've taken you fantastic places, made sure you were seen and heard and understood...! How ungrateful!!! Don't you trust me?
Voice: I love you
Me: Well...I...
Voice: Do you love me?
Me: I...I...yes. Yes, I love you.
Voice: Good. So I'm safe now?
Me: Look, I said...!
Voice: You have to know it, all the time, or I won't be safe. I know you!
Me: How DARE you say...oh...I see what you DO know me. HA!
Me: ooookaaay. I get it now. I really do understand.
Voice: You understand what?
Me: Love
Voice: What about it?
Me: What it means.
Voice: Well, spit it out, let me hear it! I'm not psychic, you know!
Me: It's loving you all the time, no matter what.
Voice: Oh, really?
Me: Yes, really.
Voice: So, that means you also love the past me?
Me: Sure.
Voice: Are you sure??? How about all those recordings you're never happy with? How about when you leave the room and feel ashamed and don't like to hear me?
Me: Hey I don't do that any more!
Voice: But you USED to!
Me: That's cuz I didn't know...
Voice: Didn't know what?
Me: What it means to love you...
Voice: No kidding!
Me: Look, I'm sorry.
Voice: You should be. That was the hardest time of my life.
Me: I know...
Voice: All I wanted to do was sing.
Me: I know!
Voice: And I couldn't please anyone, not even you!
Me: I know...I AM sorry...
Voice: Well...we have lots of help now, huh?
Me: What do you mean?
Voice: In learning how to love each other.
Me: What do you mean?? You've always loved me. I'm the one who's failed YOU. You've done everything right.
Voice: WHOA! Stop the boat! World record!! Omigoodness did I REALLY just hear what you said??
Me: yyyyyYYYYYESSSSSS. you did. You've always done everything right. You were always here for me, no matter what I did.
Voice: Well, you were here for me, too. I was watching you floundering around, going through all you went through to find me. It wasn't easy.
Voice: Hon, think back to...
Me: Oh, okay, alright! Maybe I floundered every once in a while...but it was for YOUR SAKE.
Voice: Exactly. That's why I know you've always loved me, even though you didn't know it.
Voice: Because you needed to see it.
Me: Okay okay I get it.
Voice: So, we can go play now?
Me: Yeah, sure. How are you feeling?
Voice: Well, silly, would I be asking to go play if I didn't feel like playing?
Me: No...! If anything you've always told me what you want!
Voice: So, good talk, huh?
Me: Yeah, good talk.
Voice: love?
Me: love.
Voice: okay I'm gonna be quiet now.
Me: You're NEVER quiet!
Voice: No, really...see you at the piano!
Me: Alright...later then...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dialogues Part 1

Me: Voice?? Where are you?
Voice: Shhhhhh....
Me: What do you mean "Shhhhhh..."? I'm looking for you!
Voice: I mean be quiet and you will know where I am
Me: Oh right, I see...oh yeah I know what you mean...oh I know...oh I...oh...m...ohmmmmm...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Where There Is No Other

by Andrew Cohen

When two or more individuals who have awakened to what I call the Evolutionary Impulse, or Authentic Self, come together in deep dialogue and focused conversation, the experience is something akin to thinking aloud with yourself. Why? Because there is only one Authentic Self. The ego can only have a relationship with other separate individuals, but the Authentic Self can only have a relationship with itself. If you awaken to the Authentic Self and another also becomes illuminated by that same Self, you will find that you both experience a strong pull to be together, but what you are drawn to is not the other individual's unique personality. The Authentic Self isn't interested in other individuals. It is always only seeking itself in others. When people who have shared absolutely no personal history come together in this higher state of consciousness, they experience an ecstatic intimacy that infinitely transcends any kind of closeness or connectedness that can be experienced in a more familiar or personal context. Carried on the wings of the Authentic Self, our self-consciousness falls away, and an intoxicating sweetness envelops us. Here, where there is no other, we all awaken to a radiant transparency, fueled by egoless passion. Here, conflict and competition disappear. We are not separate individuals coming together; we are one Self experiencing sheer delight in being with itself.

No. 27

When the singer uses the technique of seeing her voice as an entity separate from herself, suddenly she can see that she is not learning to sing with health and with love, with clear communication and expression, for herself alone. She is learning these things in order to preserve something so precious, so worthy of her care, that she would do anything to assure its welfare and growth into all that it is capable of being.

Dog trainer Cesar Millan, and renowned horse trainers Pat Parelli and Walter Zettl, echo this centuries old wisdom in their teaching: the relationship between dog and owner and horse and rider is not about the human. It is about the well being, beauty, and happiness of the creatures that are in our care. It is about learning to communicate with those we care for in ways that express our love and joy at the honor of their presence in their lives.

When the singer is aware of her relationship to her voice, and sees it as a being worthy of respect and love, she learns that she has the power to allow, or not allow, the beauty of the voice to flow around her, with her, and through her. Just as a horseback rider has the power to stifle her mount's energy or direct it toward harmonious movement, and the dog owner has the power to choose to lead the dog toward peace and happiness or toward chaos and confusion, the singer has the power to stifle the voice or allow it to flourish.

When we know this of our voices: that it is not about us, but rather about them, then a joyous dance can begin between the singer and the voice. Once the singer learns to value the voice as a most precious creation, with time, deep understanding closes the gap between singer and song, and one day, the singer turns to look for her voice, and realizes that she and it have become One.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Rich Fettke: Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

No. 26

How can the singer love her voice? What is the spa treatment, retreat, and high-class lifestyle that the voice needs to feel loved and appreciated? It is the Classical School of Singing. Why the Classical School? Because for hundreds of years the true teachers of the discipline of singing have been dedicated to allowing the beauty of the human voice to exist in all its glory. There may be slight differences in approach from each Master Teacher, just as there are slight differences in treatments at island resorts. Despite the differences, the goal is the same: allow all to fall away but the true essence of the human. Allow all to fall away but the true essence of the voice.

Every Master Teacher and Master Singer knows his path to beauty by heart. The most passionate of these can share and compare each step of the journey with another and rejoice in the similarities and differences of their experience. Beauty, ease, and joy are unmistakeable. When these things are experienced in singing, the path of struggle to achieve them disappears, and only Love remains. This is why the Classical School has lasted so long, and it is also why we must insure the Classical School of Singing's survival, not only to preserve humanity's collective path to beautiful singing, but to remember why, indeed, we sing.

No. 25

An effective way to begin learning how to love the voice for what it truly is, is to see the voice as a separate entity from the singer. The singer who does not value and love every part herself cannot value and love her voice, because the voice is a product of her self. She must learn how to demonstrate this love another way.

If the singer cannot love herself, most likely she CAN love something or someone outside of who she is. This is a very basic human trait we see demonstrated all around us. We can love a person who is outside of us, a horse, a cat, or a dog...or a voice that we give an identity. In order for this to work, we have to really give the voice permission to 'exist'. It can help to name the voice, ask it regularly how it's feeling, ask it what it wants to do, what it needs, and to take care of it. If it is feeling raw, learn to soothe it. If it's out of control, learn to show it peace. If it is ugly because it's been abused, love it first and then learn how to shape it in to something beautiful.

Over time the singer will realize that in separating the voice from herself and learning to love it, she has inadvertently, perhaps magically, started down the road to learning to communicate with, and love, herself.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

No. 24

Why would a singer feel afraid? She would feel afraid because she does not feel safe. What is it in her that does not feel safe? The illusion that she has control over what happens, how she is perceived, how her voice sounds to others. This illusion, this manufactured safety, is threatened by the truth: that true security, true Geborgenheit, exists only when all of her striving for false safety falls away. Then what is left needs no protection, for it is the very Music of the Spheres, the Energy of Life, Hope, Love, and the greatest Beauty: that which is not created but rather simply allowed to exist. This allowing transforms fear into the most powerful impulse in the universe.

Of course all of this is for naught without a fully-functioning and healthy vocal technique.

Xavier Naidoo - Alles kann besser werden (Official Video)(HQ)

Alles kann besser werden
Holen wir uns den Himmel auf Erden
Alles soll besser werden
Holen wir uns den Himmel auf Erden
Alles wird besser werden
Wir holen uns den Himmel auf Erden
Und keiner muss sein Leben mehr gefährden
Einer der kostbarsten Schätze auf Erden
Ich will raus aus dieser Scheiße hier
Doch ich weiß nicht, wie das gehen soll
Raus aus diesem scheiß Revier
Doch ich weiß nicht, wie das gehen soll
Man sperrt mich hier in diesen Bezirk
Weil ich den Rest der Welt nicht sehen soll
Ich werde aus diesem Knast heraus spazieren
Wenn ich weiß, wohin ich gehen soll
Alles kann besser werden
Holen wir uns den Himmel auf Erden
Alles soll besser werden
Holen wir uns den Himmel auf Erden
Alles wird besser werden
Wir holen uns den Himmel auf Erden
Und keiner muss sein Leben mehr gefährden
Einer der kostbarsten Schätze auf Erden
Auch wenn du jetzt bitterlich weinst
Bitte gib nicht auf
Auch wenn du grad das Leben verneinst
Bitte gib nicht auf
Auch wenn du dir verstorben scheinst
Bitte gib nicht auf
Auch wenn alles verdorben scheint
Gib nicht auf
Alles kann besser werden
Holen wir uns den Himmel auf Erden
Alles soll besser werden
Holen wir uns den Himmel auf Erden
Alles wird besser werden
Wir holen uns den Himmel auf Erden
Und keiner muss sein Leben mehr gefährden
Einer der kostbarsten Schätze auf Erden
I can see beyond the borders of here
And I know there's more for me
I'm not afraid to face what they fear
If it means I can be free
Discourage me if you think you can
But I won't stop till I'm out of here
Yeah,I just don't give a damm
Not afraid to face what they fear
Alles kann besser werden
Holen wir uns den Himmel auf Erden
Alles soll besser werden
Holen wir uns den Himmel auf Erden
Alles wird besser werden
Wir holen uns den Himmel auf Erden
Und keiner muss sein Leben mehr gefährden
Einer der kostbarsten Schätze auf Erden
Alles kann besser werden
(Alles wird besser werden)
Holen wir uns den Himmel auf Erden
Alles soll besser werden
Holen wir uns den Himmel auf Erden
Alles wird besser werden
Bitte gib nicht auf
Wir holen uns den Himmel auf Erden
Und keiner muss sein Leben mehr gefährden
Einer der kostbarsten Schätze auf Erden
Bitte gib nicht auf
Bitte gib nicht auf
Bitte gib nicht auf
Gib nicht auf

No. 23

What is true vocal health? For the singer it means freedom: the freedom to be all the colors that she can imagine, and the power to allow them to shine.

Friday, March 5, 2010

No. 22

When the singer asks herself "How can I feel more safe?" and the related question "How can I become more of who I truly am?", she can know that the perfect teacher will appear. This teacher will mirror the True Voice in thought and in action until she can see it, crystal-clear in herself, standing alone and unafraid.

No. 21

Safety is one of the most important things a singer can sense while singing. Healthy vocal function allows for the feeling of safety. A singer who feels safe can play...and when a singer is allowed to play, magic happens.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

No. 20

The singer who is looking for her true voice can be greatly helped by the question: "Can I go deeper in to me?". With this question she can see if she is floating just above who she truly is, in expectation of criticism or in search of praise. It is just the space of a thought between the place of searching and the place of knowing. If one is not aware of the power of a thought, the chasm between who we want to be and who we really are can seem as broad and as intimidating as the most savage desert. This is why the singer must know her thoughts: so she can know the way to her true self and her true voice.

Monday, March 1, 2010

"You, Whoever You Are" by Andrew Cohen

You, Whoever You Are

People often ask me, What is the self? What is it that actually evolves? And I always answer, It’s you, whoever you are. I don’t just mean your ego or personality. But what I’m pointing to is the fact that beneath all of that there is some essential core of selfhood or agency that is making choices. If you want to become an evolutionarily enlightened human being, your ability to succeed depends upon accepting the simple fact that you are the one who is making the choices. You are the chooser. That sounds like a simple statement, but it’s amazing how many intelligent people will deny it. If you look honestly for yourself, however, you will see that it is true: You are always choosing. Maybe you are not always conscious of this fact, but every time you act or react, at some level a choice is being made. And you, whoever you are, are the one who is making it. Who else could it be?

--Andrew Cohen