What in the world is a singing voice curve and why is it important to you?
In order to answer those two questions, I have to tell you a true story about the painting you see to your right and a recent voice lesson I gave over Skype.
You may or may not know that I am an abstract painter, writer, performer and composer, as well as a voice teacher, so from time to time, I will sit down and look at a photo (or landscape or some other tangible object) and allow the shapes and colors in it to connect with my brain in ways that allow me to turn it into something on a canvas that looks nothing like the “reality” in the photo, landscape, etc.
In other words, my painting takes on an entirely different reality of its own.
It was in this frame of mind that I painted the above picture last week after trying to draw a curved mirror effect that I had captured in a photo taken in my bathroom.
Now, take a look at this picture of the curved mirror effect and you will see what I mean.
You might think it strange for a voice teacher to talk about bathroom photos and mirror curves, but that very “strangeness” is the key to my success in helping people like you unlock and free their potential to have fearless singing voices, so bear with me here.
Back to the curved mirror effect and what that has to do with your voice.
The reason I wanted to paint this picture is because of the way the pot of flowers and the straight lines of the walls and mirror frame all get smaller and smaller and then form this amazing curve.
I am not a physicist but I enjoy the puzzle that forms in my mind when I see something like this and since I am an artistic person, the need is there to express it in some way, either through a singing, painting or writing words.
In this case, I decided to paint and what came out of the curved mirror bathroom photo is the painting you saw at the beginning of this post.
Now, I don’t want to make this an entire book, so let’s cut to the chase about how this relates to the voice lesson I mentioned earlier and the curve in your voice.
It has to do with the ratios in the harmonic overtone series of partials and, apparently, physics in general.
Stay with me here. I won’t get into a lot of academic-speak but I will give you a secret to unlock your potential to sing with a powerful and fearless on-pitch voice.
During the voice lesson, my student was singing one of her pitches quite sharp. She is an intelligent and talented young woman and I knew she would lead me to the answers she needed to correct her pitch if I stayed tuned into what she wanted to say in response to the fact that her pitch was sharp.
Why is that?
You see, from years of successful experience in helping people unlock their powerful singing potential I have learned that if I stay extremely sensitive to the fact that the answers are already inside of the student and that if I pay close attention to the underlying meaning in the student’s questions or comments about anything and everything – even if it doesn’t seem to be related to singing – then I will discover how to approach them with the timeless voice principles that will enable them to release their voices and conquer their pitch problems, or hoarse throats or fear of singing in front of people or whatever their particular problem happens to be.
This is part of the secret I mentioned above: the answers are always already there inside of you, waiting for you to discover how easy it is to sing fearlessly and free.
You do not have to settle for believing that you have a terrible voice or that you are tone deaf or that you could never sing anywhere else except in your shower or alone or that you cannot sing better than you already do.
Having said that, let’s get back to my student and the curve in your voice.
Before we had started the lesson, she told me that she had seen my painting on my Facebook wall and had really liked it. I thanked her and then she asked me if I would like to see a picture that she had painted and sent me a link to it in the Skype chat window. It was a wonderful painting and so I gave her a link to a site of an artist friend of mine who is world famous and does amazing work. Then we utilized one of my friend’s paintings to focus on a specific point in it while my voice student again sang the same notes in the exercise I had given her.
This led to a discussion of the overtone series, which is visualized in this picture.
It was while looking at this picture that I suddenly realized why the curved mirror effect had occurred in the photo you saw above, for if you connect the dots between ½, 1/3, 1/4, etc. you will see a curve forming!
You might be saying, “Okay, Joy, I see the curve, but what does this have to do with my voice? Aren’t you stretching things a bit far?”
The answer has to do with the physics of how sound waves work and ratios, but, again, I am not going to get into academia-speak.
The most important thing for you to think about is this: when you sing a note it means that you have started a vibration and that vibration sets into motion other vibrations “above” the note you are singing.
The long and short of it is that your ability to sing consistently on pitch with a powerful ringing quality (resonance) in your voice that will not hurt your throat is based on tuning into or becoming internally aware of these other overtone vibrations.
Back to my student.
After I had explained the overtone series to her we needed to make a practical application that would help her with her pitch.
Here is what we did: she and I now explored a point on a painting she had done in high school and I led her imagination through a “portal” point in her painting. With a few other instructions from me, she then sang a series of simple exercises I gave her.
The effect on her pitch was astounding! She never went off pitch again during the lesson!
It was so astounding to me that we had used paintings and curved mirrors to effect this change in her voice so quickly that I simply had to write this post this morning.
The secret for your voice is that you do not have to settle for anything less than fearless voice power in yourself.
The secret is that you already have the answers inside of you.
The secret is that there is a curve in Nature that allows you to set your singing voice free.
The secret is that your singing voice is already a part of that curve.
Isn’t it time you discovered it for yourself?
If you have not already done so, pick up my Free Your Voice series of 10 Singing Lesson Quick Tips. They are totally FREE, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain to set your voice free…at last!