THE NATURAL VOICE
“We are born with voices that instinctively express our emotions. We laugh, we cry, we croon, and sigh. We sing our song. All of these sounds carry a frequency and a vibration that resonates with the universe. Research has shown that, in pre-historic times, music and language was one and the same.
Many cultures use song in their everyday lives to express emotion in work and devotion, rites of passage, birth and death, marriage, love and healing. In this way song is part of life and bonds communities together. I aim to embrace that vocalising and singing is natural and can be accessible to everyone.
The voice we are born with is capable of freely expressing a full range of emotions, thoughts and experiences; this is what is known as the Natural Voice. However, our journey through life manifests physical and emotional blocks that begin to close us down. Singing is a release and a joy but can be associated with repression. I strive to bring joy into the art of singing and use mindfulness, breath and bodywork as the foundations for healthy voice use. The main focus is on the process of coming together whilst at the same time developing vocal skills. Within the context of performance, we aim for the highest standards and maintain plenty of enjoyment and accessibility.
Vocal and physical warm-ups are essential. They ensure healthy vocal use by anchoring the voice in the body and breath, which prepare the voice for action. Listening skills are also developed in this way, alongside a sense of community.
Worldwide, the majority of music has its roots in the oral tradition and I aim to teach songs as far as possible by ear. This is a very accessible and effective way for the majority of people to learn and retain songs long term. An essential element of my approach is acceptance; I work at a pace that recognises the needs of less experienced learners. Musical jargon is avoided. People can sometimes be excluded from choirs if they do not read music. I offer an alternative experience, designed to instil confidence in ourselves and our melodic voices.”
- Carol O'Neill