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  • Writer's pictureAlex Solomon

Letting the songs flow

I have been thinking about singing a lot recently. It's the time of year that allergies have a noticeable effect on my voice, particularly in the morning (which is when I tend to sing the most). My voice sounds scratchy, and I can feel the effort that it takes to do what is usually almost effortless. It causes me to sing less, and as a result, I feel the effects on my body and soul that come from my not singing.

Yesterday morning, I found out that my chorus teacher from high school passed away. She had a profound impact on my life--more than any other teacher, in or out of school. I learned a tremendous amount from her, more than I can say in a newsletter. There were 86 people in the choir (the year that I counted), and she found a way to pull us out of the anxiety of the school day and get us to go deep into ourselves to find the music we didn't know was there.

When I teach, I often hear people say that their song doesn't come easily, or doesn't come at all. It can feel like a tremendous amount of pressure to allow ourselves to sing. Mrs. Wich told us that there shouldn't be any pressure, because we aren't singing the song, the song is singing through us. Our only job is to allow the song to come out.

This is such a big part of the work we do--the realization that we are not alone in the work, that if we trust, if we show up, the spirits will be there to do the work with us and through us. It requires humility, to realize that we cannot do this work without support; it removes both the egoism and the pressure of what I am now calling "toxic individuality." We are not alone, we are never alone; we have only to let the spirits work through us.

I will leave you with what Joann Wich told her choir so many times: "The beauty of the sound comes from the generosity of the heart."

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