Find Your Voice

Find Your Voice

By Teresa Nocita

It’s gig day… your voice is not cooperating; you were able to sing freely and without hesitation just yesterday!  Today, it’s just not happening! WHY? What changed? Why do we have good and bad singing days… ok let’s be real here, sometimes atrocious singing days. Let me explain…

Your body is interconnected; every part of it works with and is affected by every other part. Therefore, if a certain part of your body is not working at its best, chances are another part of your body is either suffering or working harder. The body’s bones, muscles, organs, and systems are not in balance when this happens. This could show up as pain, aches, limping, or other symptoms such as fatigue and disease. The voice is a system within the body, so it can also fall apart and suffer if it is not in balance or if it breaks down.  This could be expressed as not being able to hit high notes, having a raspy voice, running out of air, singing off pitch, pain, and other vocal dysfunctions.

I came to understand this correlation when I embarked on a journey to help balance my life. I had an interest in yoga, wellness, energy healing, healthy food, self-help books, and all sorts of different classes and medical coaching. It was then that I realized how the body is so interconnected by all its systems. The physiology of how the body works has a great influence on how the voice works. I was intrigued.

The word yoga means unity with oneself, its direct translation being intimacy. Yoga is being one with the mind, breath and body—unity and intimacy with oneself. As I was practicing and learning about yoga, I found so many parallels between yoga, singing, and vocal coaching techniques. In yoga, we breathe through movement, while in singing we breathe through movement by means of the melody. In both cases, you must align the body first. Yoga uses words like “root to rise”, creating a distribution of physiological energy through the South and North axis of the body. The Vocal Compass® talks about the principle of “south-to-north” anchoring the voice by breathing and engaging the diaphragm so that the voice is lifted into head resonance, creating the act of pressure moving away from the vocal chords. So, "root to rise" is essentially the same principle in both yoga and singing.

If you are a singer and practicing yoga or simply exercising, you’ll want to focus on chest and back mobility, such as simple back bends, “warrior II” poses, including “exalted warrior” and “triangle” poses. They will stretch the chest and loosen the muscles in the neck, while the face will remain calm and relaxed. The ability of exercise—particularly yoga— to increase mobility and flexibility of the body is exactly what the Vocal Compass® does for the voice.

The voice needs to be in alignment for a singer to create free and even sound, strengthen their voice, and grow their skills. The will of mind to action rather than excessive muscle involvement will create the ultimate function of the vocal system.

Here are some examples that can create physical tension and imbalance:

Forcing your voice in a certain area forward in the face to control it.

Utilizing your abdominal muscles to contract your diaphragm, but instead of engaging it, you are just flexing your abdominal muscles.

Having tense shoulders and tightness in your jaw, face, and tongue while shouting that tune out as loud or as high as you can...or can’t.

In conclusion, you can achieve vocal balance by distributing the energy evenly in both North-South and East-West directions. You will have a completely free voice and will be able to sing to your optimal ability.

The Vocal Compass® balances and distributes physical energy while aligning the body in both the North-South and East-West axis of the body. In this, you will find ultimate mobility, flexibility, and harmony in the vocal system and finally find your voice.

Teresa Nocita has been coaching developing vocal artists and health and wellness professionals, including fitness instructors and public speakers as a Vocal Coach globally since the 1990s. She has over thirty years of vocal training including at Boston’s Berklee College of Music and is a vocal artist in her own right as well as an accomplished Reiki Master, Ho’oponopono practitioner and medium. Teresa is the Owner and Director of 15-year-old Studio E, an educational and event institute in the Hamilton area. Teresa is additionally an author, since developing a revolutionary “yoga for the voice technique“ and stamping it in a book called The Vocal Compass®️, endorsed by the Music Therapy Academy of Canada.  Teresa is a notable song writer and is demand internationally throughout the music, voice, and vocal health industry.

She can be reached at thevocalcompass@gmail.com