Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rise up Singing

Last night, a year after I began to find my singing voice, I stepped up to the microphone and sang a tiny solo at the Henry Miller Library's "open mike." I am so very grateful to the angelic teacher I found right here in Big Sur: Lisa Goettel, of The Bird Sings.

Lisa's dream is to travel the world teaching people to sing, in the way of the Sufi poet Rumi, who says:
"I want to sing like birds sing. Not worrying about who hears or what they think."

Confident and charming, Lisa teaches at Esalen and at the Spirit Garden, and can travel to your town to guide you and your friends in song. A coltish beauty, she leads students in vocal exercises that expand breath, the key to vocal power. She encourages us to make funny sounds, and instructs us in the fine art of harmonizing. Her repertoire is vast, having sung before she could speak (Mom was an opera diva).

With all the chaos and distraction of life, it helps to sing. To hear and feel your sound resonating in your own body is a fundamental tonic. In addition to diluting the self-consciousness so many of us experience being fully ourselves in front of others, it simply feels good.

If, as another teacher has told me, your body is your designated toy, then the voice is the part that takes play to the next level. Everyone's voice is exquisitely their own, the primary expression of soul. More than just listening to music, making music with our voices can generate and release emotion, cleanse us and set us free.

Singing fills me with love, and the possibilities in song are endless. As long as we breathe, we can sing out who we are to the world. So, dear readers: here's a bit of music that comes to mind just now. I hope it will make you smile!

Photo of Lisa at Easter celebration by Linda Sonrisa


Steven Harper said...

How courageous of you... and yes, Lisa is an amazing presence and gift to our community.

Camille Bright-Smith said...

Thank you for the lovely words and for a little Cat Stevens in the morning!