The Sound of Healing

A Reflection by MommaK

When Vicki asked me to guest post for her, I accepted without hesitation. It was much later that I panicked. I had no idea what to write about here in her lovely and engaging space. In fact, I have been sulking around my own blog feeling much the same way. Leave it to Miss Vicki to get my juices flowing again.

Today I spent much of the afternoon covering my flower beds with mulch, enjoying the sunshine, my dogs and the birds. The birds were fluttering about and singing a beautiful song that made me think of Vicki and the healing power of sound.

When I was 18, I moved to New York City to attended an acting school. Through my two years of “Voice & Speech” and “Creative Movement” classes, I learned both the beauty and power of the unstructured sound. Our instructors would often interrupt a scene or monologue and ask us to give them such a sound. Like a cult of zombies, we would all turn and reply,

Mmmmmmmmm-ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”.

At first, this seemed very silly to me and at times (if I was standing next to a cute boy) intimidating and embarrassing. However, I soon grew to appreciate the value of the pure, raw, unrestricted sound coming from the depths of my diaphragm. It was a complete release which melted away the stress of standing in the spotlight. It was quite a humbling practice too. As you can imagine, it is very hard to take yourself too seriously when you’re doing this exercise.

As a student, I was witness to a series of these exercises that brought both male and female students to tears and sobs. This was not at all because of frustration but because the sound – making the sound – allowed them to feel something that their brain wasn’t letting through on stage. That was 14 years ago. Since my time there, I’ve held on to my appreciation for this form of undefined vocal language and have relied on it during times of grief and anxiety. To me, the release can be unparalleled.

In life, I am often reminded of this soulful expression. During a funeral procession, the wails of mourners echo with this noise. Musicians creatively explore this type of sound to find new material and inspiration. Birds are also masters of the unstructured sound – which brings me full circle and back to Vicki.

As I take my cue to exit, I leave the spotlight on for Vicki because this is her stage. This is her theater to laugh and to sing – her round table to debate and to discuss – her arena to reflect and to amuse – her venue to release and to heal. This is Vicki’s place to make her own very brave and unstructured sound and I look forward to hearing each and every one of them.

Stage_3

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17 responses to “The Sound of Healing

  1. Oh Momma, that was beautifully done. 🙂

  2. Absolutely lovely, and now I shall panic. Mr. Rhett has agreed to post tomorrow and you never know what will come out of that cat’s mouth. I only hope he can come up with something that is a fraction of what this is. Right now all that is on his walnut sized brain is one word…. SOPHIE! Well, maybe two words if you count …. FOOD!

  3. MommaK, what a lovely post!! Thank you.

  4. What a wonderful guest post- thank you, Momma K! This is, well, a PERFECT post. I’m the queen of unstructured feeling, thought and noise so this is especially compelling to me.

    I am between planes in Minn. Hoss made it safe and sound and the two of them seem well suited to one another. Look forward to an update on Monday- with pictures.

    (While you’re there could you please check the litter box? McCloud is so meticulous. And give the guinea pig a carrot. Thanks!)

  5. A lovely post from the lovely MommaK.

  6. I need to give that a whirl. Sounds like it could help me!

  7. Beautifully done. I’m feeling warm and fuzzy for Vicki right now.

  8. A wonderful post that says much about the spirits of two very special blogfriends

    MommaK, I’m thinking, after reading this post, that you WOULD like yoga.

  9. I studied a similar technique in voice when I was in college. It is highly emotional! But, when there’s nothing but you and the stage, and just your “sound”, you can give voice to things you never thought you could, and it delivers an unparalleled validation to your soul. Thanks for reminding me. I think I may take some time to do this exercise soon.

  10. MommaK,
    That was very nice.

  11. I still think we should call her Juliet.

  12. I concur with Raehan. Positively yogic, MommaK!

    Looking forward to photos of Gene’s visit up north!

  13. Where I Am Today

    Yesterday morning I received an email from my daughters principal saying that she would call me after lunch. Good. I went to jazzercise and then Home Depot to get mulch and more mulch.
    As I worked in the garden, out in the beautiful afternoon, …

  14. That was beautiful K!

  15. that was so wonderfully written, the pic just adds to it as well.

  16. That is so true – we have such a need to make such a full sound, but seldom can we find a place where we feel comfortable enough to be able to let go like that. It is so hard to do if we feel those around us will not accept us for it, or will pester us somehow about it instead of just hearing/witnessing and then making their own full sound. Oh, we need that so much. Thank you for bringing this to mind…..And, yes, this is the stage where Vicki makes her sound (in words) . We note how far it travels!

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