Hitting the Right Notes
May 15, 2010
When asked his favorite instrument, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart responded, "the human voice." Perhaps Mozart considered the voice as God’s authentic expression, while manmade instruments, although artfully played, provided simply a conduit through which true music traveled. When we think about the complexity of singing – either on the level of a Mozart opera or in the shower – we notice the elements involved. The proper pitch, the correct word, held for the exact amount of time in a certain tempo, the articulation of the vowels and consonants and of course, breathing and proper positioning of the tongue all contribute to what we call singing. When we enjoy our melody almost involuntarily, we enjoy a life which demonstrates the synchronization of our efforts and produces the most pleasing outcomes.
When someone sings off-key, immediately we take note of the distortion. Our minds strive for the correction of the pitch, but the sound comes from another person, so our minds can only repeat what it hears and take note of the dissonance.
In life, when what we say or how we act no longer resonates with our inner truth, we exhibit discordance. Others experience us as a bit off-key, yet cannot distinguish the vibrational patterns in conflict with our true selves. Knowing “something is not right” with our presentation on the stage of life, both the performer and the audience experience disharmony. When we honor our integrity and search within for authenticity, we find perfect alignment in physical and spiritual expression.
Singing involves words and as one of my voice instructors once pointed out, "We sing vowels and transition through the consonants. Have you ever tried to sing a 't'?" One of the difficult things in performing from memory, is to sing the right word. Quite often, seasoned artists forget the words to songs they’ve written and performed thousands of times, almost as though in a trance at the time. Suddenly, when the right word escapes him, he fumbles and makes up something on the spot. Each member of the audience understands and may notice the error, yet secretly sends his or her empathy for the memory lapse.
In life, our word is all we have. We choose the words we speak either carefully or carelessly and those words convey our intentions and our expression. When we attempt to use words that deny us opportunities to glide on the scale through life, we find ourselves stuck on the consonants of dead ends. People know us by our actions and the integrity of our word. Keep mindful of the mellifluous flow of consciousness in your words to give the song of who you are meaning and depth.
When American Bandstand asked participants to review a performance, one of the most popular responses addressed the rhythm of the music. "It's got a good beat. I can dance to it." Appealing to the studio audience and consequently the viewing audience, the band’s success strummed forward in large part due to its timing – both in meter and cadence, and the appearance on the show.
When we allow life's timekeeper to keep the beat for our life experiences, we remain in synch with the Infinite. Opportunities surface for us and we choose to either ignore them or recognize the synchronistic happenstance as divine timing. Most likely we don't integrate the overall gift in the timing or the circumstance, but when we let go of our scrutiny and simply dance to the music, we find our lives enriched in the most enchanting ways.
My voice teachers taught me to breathe. Silly as that sounds, the voice cannot project and make music without the very basic fuel – our breath. One teacher had me lie down on the floor in a fetal position and sing. I protested, insisting that I couldn’t possibly get the sound out - I needed to stand tall. After he demonstrated the proper breathing technique, I learned to release the sound no matter how contorted my body.
We hold misconceptions of our abilities to express ourselves every day. Thinking we should wait until life's components give us perfection in love, health, money, job, etc., we delay our greatest fulfillment – that of self-expression. When we learn that no matter how distorted our external world may be, or our perceived role in that world, the true fuel of our being lies deep within us. Dare to learn a different method of taking in and releasing your life force, and free yourself from limitation. Project your essence to the world and live your harmony!
If all of life is a stage, our performance depends on our ability to read the music of our hearts. To keep in tune with ourselves and with others, it's important we hear and hit the right notes at the proper time so we are interpreted and understood by others. In addition, when we speak our truth accurately, we glide through life honestly and authentically. Coinciding with life's major and minor experiences, we note harmony achieved through the rhythmic cadence of purpose. In taking in and letting go of life with our essence, we realize the basic sounds of our soul resides within us, and the composition of our Spirit is indeed life’s most beautiful instrument.
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