Last Tuesday, I went to assist Darren at his Yoga on the Labyrinth class at the Grace Cathedral, like I’ve done once before. Amber Field was the live musician. I attend her Free Your Voice workshop on Thursdays, or weird singing class as I explain it to friends.
About half a dozen of us yoga teachers in training showed up to assist. Janet and I arrived early (meaning, at the time the assistants are asked to arrive, as opposed to when most of us do), so we sat together and chatted a little bit. Mark has been making us chant in his section of the teacher training, all together, and in call and response to each other. I complimented Janet on her voice. It’s rich, clear, and it carries when she leads. “Thank you,” she said, “I’ve sang in many choirs. Your voice is quite nice too. It’s unusual for our group, because it’s soprano. You’d be very valuable in a choir.” Ha.
Recently, I’ve been cultivating a deeper voice, almost unconsciously, for a couple of reasons. One, I’ve heard that deeper, “diaphragmatic” (whatever that means), voices are easier to hear and understand. Soprano doesn’t seem like much body work to me, so I try to get deeper, where I would maybe feel like I speak or sing with my entire body. For what it’s worth.
Another reason is that most of my teachers who lead call and response chanting, men and women, have deeper voices. Amber does too. They have deeper voices and I lack confidence and skill to respond an octave or two higher, so I strive to respond in their range. On the other hand, Leila‘s vocal range is close to mine and I often respond to her call with ease; this is one of the reasons I love her classes. Not striving to find somebody else’s voice sounds joyful, come to think of it.
OK then. Good bye, deeper voice. I’ll sing soprano.