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Our relationship with singing – GV's impact

Updated: Aug 16, 2022



GV singing is never

commonplace, never ordinary.” Christine



“Singing has always been important to me. Now I’ve realised just how important”

Kevin




"The pain dissolved – I sang it out! And I don’t even ‘do’ music! The peace and joy I can now access is unbelievable …” Briony



“'The singer must become the song' - I’ve known this a long time but only just come together in my head!”


"I’ve joined a choir which I don’t think I would have done without your course. I’m really enjoying it. There is a lot to learn. Thank you for helping me to find my voice."


“[The day] helped me to sing again. Not just a ‘Winnie the Pooh’ type of hum but a ‘full-bodied, full-gutted voice from the belly and bowls sing’ that feels like it’s the real me.”

Alan

SOME SELF-IDENTIFIED NON-SINGERS SPEAK

Many report no longer feeling fearful about connecting with song through their voices:


”I wasn’t able to 'sing' for most of my 50+ years, but I attended a couple of GV sessions, and the experience unblocked something. It was very powerful. Now I sing in a choir. Years later I revisited Jill’s tape [now CD] and felt its profound beauty once again.”

Tam


Some report not just 'finding my voice', but becoming aware of its beauty too –


"The day actually really helped me find my voice. Ever since I was abused as a child I always found it hard to say the unsayable and to stop myself from gagging or from being sick whenever I thought about myself, my fears and my abuse. I discovered that I have a beautiful voice and that people really could enjoy it. To literally find my voice gave me a new string to my healing that I didn’t know existed." Ally


Others report discovering that they can, after all, sing in tune –


”Something happened … clarity, purity around singing a note … it was effortless, spontaneous. An experience that will never leave, that I could find a note effortlessly and truly, not trying … I realised I'd never fully sung, because I feared being judged.* Now I can let go of that fear and sing with an open heart and throat, connected to song … all doubts, judgements and uncertainties leave me. I can relax and know I am in tune …"

Estelle

"A real high was matching the note on Saturday night without thinking." Denise


Some months later, after exploring GV on her own, Denise made an even more extraordinary discovery –


"I'd awoken feeling fragile. and gone back to bed with a cup of tea. Then I suddenly found myself singing; except it wasn’t me! The voice was clear, rich and strong. My vocal range was narrow - much less than an octave - but the melody soared up and down over at least 2 octaves, with variation on the words ‘let it be’, over and over again. It was so beautiful and apt, and so simple. It was totally effortless and went on for nearly an hour. Then it stopped as suddenly as it had begun. My throat was in no way dry, sore or tired! (Often it gets tired very quickly, even through speaking for a short time)."


On another occasion, she wrote –


“Singing with full attention enables me to listen with full attention – if I allow it – and that leads me back to myself and all the treasures I’m discovering, including being able to sing myself! The singing is so profound, it needs me to be fully there.”

Finally, Fiona, who at times may still say "I can't really sing", is clear that she definitely can ”when there is a need”. Many otherwise inhibited parents are intimately in touch with this need as they soothe a fractious baby or small child with a lullaby. As revealed in our book, we can learn to do this for ourselves too – and much else.


* In all likelihood, Estelle felt this because she had experienced being judged when

singing as a child – such a common experience for so many of us.


SOME SELF-IDENTIFIED SINGERS SPEAK

Others, who have had no particular difficulties with vocalising, remark on the profound difference GV makes to their singing generally – even after a short time. Some who attend church, for instance, have said they now get much more from singing in that context.


Ginny noticed how her growing relationship with singing through engagement in GV has enabled her to grow in other ways –

“I’m noticing/experiencing new ways of being in a singing capacity, and noticing very acutely how it’s affecting how I experience the outside world. I’m much more mindful with others. Finding something difficult, not knowing how to tackle it, instead of rushing ahead I’m sitting with the not knowing/chaos and waiting … There are many many examples of experiences I have of these kinds which hold up as a mirror the possibility of being like this in the outside world. I feel I’m working slowly and steadily and I like this slowness and steadiness.”


Rachel echoes Ginny’s comment –

“I love singing. I’ve sung all my life. It’s heaven to use that as a vehicle for personal growth. Fantastic.”


Meanwhile, Iris began to realise through GV how much more engaged she could be when she sang in other contexts –


“Looking back, I realise that before, on the whole, I wasn't engaged when singing. I remember someone pointing this out to me in a recording studio".

Meg, who’s sung in choirs for years, reports similar discoveries, and more –


“I’m beginning to get a sense of song within myself, of embracing it fully. It becomes like a remedy. And I’ve been singing out in a way I’ve never felt free enough to do before.”


Finally, Jay, who had sung regularly in a number of groups for years, remarked about their encounter with GV – “This is the most fun I’ve ever had singing!’

THE HOLISTIC IMPACT OF GV

Denise, above, hints at the holistic nature of what GV offers, and more of her experiences – and those of others – can be found in our book. People who've been told they couldn't sing, like Denise and Estelle above, often write movingly of their discoveries through GV.** Janet, a childhood abuse survivor, kept a journal after starting her explorations with Jill


“I wanted to find my true voice ... It was a challenge to join a group because I had no confidence … Learning to sing and discovering our true voice are not, I realised, the same thing. Getting in touch with our true voice has a spiritual dimension that simply learning to sing can lack. Jill’s role was that of facilitator of self-discovery rather than that of singing teacher … I connected to joys and sorrows within me that singing in the shower hadn’t helped me reach. I was able to share these within the group and found a deep sense of healing ... Every session gave me something to grow from. [It] was very gentle yet very powerful ... I’m no longer afraid of being heard. I have a much kinder, less critical and more respectful attitude to my voice (indeed to all of me). I can now use my voice as a way of loving myself and for the first time in my life I am aware of having a sound dimension. Having been given the time, space and facilitation to get in touch with my true voice has helped me discover a chest full of previously hidden treasures ...


I’d never have believed that getting in touch with my voice could have had so many good side effects ... I’ve taken what was available through our work and I’ve used it to alter my feelings. I’ve drunk from the water you took me to. And continue to drink!"

Janet (writing, she said, with tears of tears of gratitude and joy)

[Janet's sister told her that whenever, as children, they tried to sing, their mother would be scathing – "and in a nasty voice, with scowling face, she’d say things like: 'Who told you that you could sing?' 'What makes you think you’re good enough to sing?' 'Shut your mouth, you’re useless.' 'Don’t bother trying to sing, because you don’t know how' etc. etc."]


Al found that a mere ten minutes of GV had an impact on how he felt about his speaking voice –


"I must say that our rather brief interaction had a profound and deeply inspiring effect and I have become ever more determined to speak with my own voice.”

After hearing and engaging with Jill's 'Old Man' song – A Song about Finding Peace (on our CD and No. 1 in the book) – Mavis wrote:


"[I have] a very particular place in my heart for your wonderful Old Man ... walking, singing, living, dying in peace. I suspect he will help me along my way. But my deepest need of him is for the joy of the sound and awareness of Being itself."


Meanwhile, Evelyn wrote the following in beautiful calligraphy after attending a GV weekend –

“To sing with heart is to find the love that’s hiding in hatred, that strength that is disguised in the pain and shed the mantle that is shrouding my divine light. "


Often we find that these sorts of things happen when we start to deeply connect with our desire to sing. Section Three in the book offers a step-by-step guide if you want to explore this. As Grace shares in the book –


“After I found the desire, the voice came from deep within"

** Ironically, having got to know Denise's GV process, Jill realised that far from having a ‘poor ear’, she in fact had a particularly sensitive one – so sensitive that Denise could hear harmonics that most other people can’t. So when the music teacher at school played a note on the piano and told her to sing it, Denise’s response was, ‘which one?’ Her teacher's uncomprehending response left Denise unable to sing for decades. The damage of being even gently ridiculed or told while at school to pretend to sing can be profound too – although in Jill's experience, people often laugh this off when initially talking with her about it.


See also blogpost on professionals' comments





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