When I coach writers (or write myself), I am passionate about caring for but also stretching authors to explore their voice, whether they are novelists, memoirists, business writers or academics. This often requires practicing scales, research, standards of craft and never-to-be-underestimated emotional investment in their practice. I wrote extensively about voice (for memoir, in particular) in this essay about Mary Karr’s The Art of Memoir, but the sum total of what I’ve experienced is that the more you sit down and practice, the more your voice will respond with the natural delight of being truly cared for and regularly exercised.
It turns out our physical voices need the same care and joyful attention. This holds as true for singers as it does for conference speakers and regular presentation givers. That is, the voice you speak with, ask for coffee with at Starbucks, talk passionately with about business concepts or belt out an irresistible Broadway tune benefits and delights in being exercised, pushed, nurtured and protected.
This week, my muse of finding the sweet spots in your voice is Dr. Lyn Ransom, who holds four degrees in music, has led singing at summer camps, in Music Together family classes, in choruses, and with professional choruses and orchestras.
Lyn is leading a workshop at my favorite literary bed & breakfast at Barnegat Light, Minerva’s by the Sea, in a couple of weeks, where you are bound to make new friends and renew yourself with an entire weekend devoted to deeply enjoying your voice–and singing.
We already know that singing feels good, but at the workshop you will find out why it’s good for you, too! According to Lyn, singing will prolong your life, and there’s an easy way to protect your voice throughout that long life. Learn some easy vocal warm-ups and do them on a regular basis. In addition to having fun singing now, Ranson is going to teach a workshop on how to CONTINUE to enjoy singing for many many years. She enjoys working with people of many different backgrounds, and with many different levels of skill (or none) so whatever your skills, bring your enthusiasm and your voice, sense of adventure, and love of music to delight….
As we live our lives we continue to discover our strengths and potentials. Finding, using and developing your singing voice can be a thrilling opening to the world of song and a powerful aspect of being human. With a few singing friends we will take time to discover the range, resonance, “sweet spots,” and preferences of your singing voice. Through toning, body mapping, improvisation and singing, we’ll help each person discover his or her own voice. Stand and sing a few good songs, try out a song you’ve loved, but never sang for others, sing what your soul says!! You may feel your breath, bone vibration, mental quickness, confidence and pleasure that comes with singing with others.
The workshop will cover a sequence of voice development warm-ups, a summary of the physical processes involved, and tried and true ways to protect your voice throughout life. Resources for further development will be given.
For more information visit Minerva’s Literary Bed and Breakfast