Your Voice Is Vital
by Karen Renée Robb © 2018
Sound. It lives, moves and breathes in us, through us and all around us.
Wherever we are, sound is emanating, vibrating and affecting us on a deep level.
Sound is sacred. Sound creates. Sound can soothe. Sound unites.
Human beings are 70% water. Water is scientifically proven to be a better conductor for sound waves than air. Sound is essentially moving through our bodies all day long. We are experiencing sounds we can hear and those we can not, good vibrations and those that irritate us. As highly conductive beings, it is important to pay attention to how sound FEELs in our body, not just how we hear it in our ears or process it in our brains.
In the digital age, we have lost our connection to the power of real, LIVE sound vibration. The binary language of 1s and 0s of computers can not provide the natural vibration that is needed for humans to feel sound in the way it is intended. In our technologically advanced societies, humans are being fed digital music and sounds that I believe hinder our natural ability to be healthy, whole, vibrant beings. Reclaiming and opening ourselves back up to natural sound experiences will be vital for a positive evolution of humanity in the future.
But before we talk about the future, lets take a moment to consider the distant past and the origins of sound.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
( John 1:1)
A well known quote from the Bible that speaks to the beginning of Creation.
But how often do people actually contemplate or question what the “Word” was?
It wasn't a word of spoken language, because language didn't exist, in the
beginning. I believe that the “Word” was actually a low resonant sound vibration, a frequency, that put creation into motion. Let us shift our perspective and realize that sound is the creating force.
So if sound creates, then what does that mean for the the potential of the human voice?
Our voice is the most portable, powerful sound resonator we have. We are given the gift of creation through sound vibration at birth. Each persons voice is uniquely tuned for their own healing and well- being, but we are not taught how to us it. In fact, most children grow up having their voices diminished and silenced in many ways. When they move into adolescence and adulthood, they don't even realize they lost an important tool for creation in their lives. Our vitality and well-being can be greatly increased by understanding and using our voice with an expanded awareness of its power.
As those who practice yoga are taught, the Throat Chakra, “Vishudda,” is the creative center where self-expression is activated and our purpose and truth are communicated out into the world. What we say to ourselves and to others moves through us and through them (remember water is a conductor of sound). Do we say words of kindness or contempt? Do we speak affirmative words about how we desire our lives to be? Do we allow ourselves to sing, hum or chant sounds that soothe our souls and enliven our bodies? Or do we silently allow the words, the sounds and songs of others to move through us, to be more important, or “better than” our own?
Using our voice to speak our truth and sound out what we desire, can have incredible benefits for our well-being and our creative potential. I believe using our own unique voice to sing, sound, tone and move energy is better than passively allowing another's sound vibration to move through us. But if a person has spent most of their life not using their voice, not liking the sound of their voice, being told that can't sing in tune, or are afraid of speaking up, what can they do?
Frame Drum Singing
As a Sound Healing Facilitator and Teacher, I use frame drums to help people
re-connect and reclaim their own unique voice and innate rhythm. Coining the term “frame drum singing,” I encourage people to feel the power of their own sound vibration through singing and sounding into the frame drum. The practice creates ethereal resonating tones and harmonics that are amplified by the drum. For many, it makes their voice sound more beautiful than they had previously experienced. Some indicate that the experience is like singing in the shower.
As people explore their voice, the sound vibrations sent into the drum head return back to them and serve to reduce mental chatter. It puts them in a calm, almost meditative state. I have often heard people say after sounding with the drum,
“I feel high,” to which I say, “it's a natural high that you created by connecting with your own voice and vibration.”
I encourage people to explore the many textures and tones that they can create with their own voice. Moving beyond how they normally speak, expanding the range of sounds they can make. Giving themselves the freedom to let sounds emanate up and out from the body brings a sense of liberation for many. There is also the added value of increased deep breathing as people find sounding into the drum a pleasurable experience.
This technique can also help to release emotional stress. From low, deep, guttural sounds to loud wailing sounds, people can loosen the hold of unfelt and trapped emotions in their body. The frame drum provides a safe place to let out what needs expressing without hurting ourselves or others in the process. As we work with the frame drum to find and reclaim our authentic voice, we then find it easier to speak our truth and communicate with confidence from a more rooted place of clarity, vitality and wholeness.
Sound Vibration Massage
Sound Vibration Massage is another technique that I share. By gently drumming and
vocalizing over and around a persons body with the frame drum, sound vibrations
move through the body creating a soothing, gentle massaging effect. A person becomes relaxed, reducing anxiety and helping ease pain or discomfort in a variety of ways. It truly needs to be experienced in order for person to comprehend how extraordinary it is.
Frame Drum Wisdom Sound Circle
Another powerful experiential practice that I share are Frame Drum Wisdom Sound Circles. A unique interactive experience where participants are encouraged to sound into a frame drum and drum in an easy way. No musical training or talent is needed to participate and experience the benefits. Everyone is welcome. Different than traditional drum circles where entrainment is often the focus, these Sound Circles teach the value of bringing each individual's voice and innate rhythm to the experience. We learn to trust and share our own unique sound. It works far better than you can imagine. It is primal. We all know how to do it. We just need a safe place to explore and remember.
The “sound rounds” or spontaneous sounding as I call it, do not have a leader setting the tone or beat. No longer focused on following someone else, each person is guided by their our own internal wisdom. Everyone comes into the moment with the sound or rhythm that is true for them and is encouraged to express it. The communal music created moves through moments of dissonance and harmony, slow tempos and ecstatic states, much like the flow of life. The group feels all of the vibrations being created individually and collectively. While we express independently, there is a definite feeling of a unified whole. The co-created music can sound ethereal and “other worldly” at times and can move into a primal, native, deeply resonant space depending on the energy of the people engaged in the experience.
As participants sound and drum together, their spirits are lifted and energy is renewed and enlivened. Through the creation of sound vibrations from singing and drumming, the cells of the body are activated and energized, creating a wonderful sensation that affects not only the body, but also helps ease the mind, emotions and spirit. Childlike play and fun unfold. There is liberation, deep connection and a desire for more. It is what humanity longs for. That each person be seen, heard, and felt as vital to the creation of life unfolding. When we each feel our individual contribution matters, we feel a sense of well-being and wholeness. It is my deep desire to see this way of being together in sound and support expand around the world.
Creative Exploration & Expression
Over the years of helping people tap into the power of their voice, I have found that their desire and ability to be creative in other aspects of their life expands. People remember what they wanted to be as children. They return to or start creating through a variety of artistic mediums. They find themselves having a deeper connection with nature. They have a sense that there is more to life than how they have been living. As they reclaim their voice and start speaking their truth, big changes happen. Relationships change. Jobs change. They want more. The once unexpressed, now expressed changes everything. The power of their reclaimed voice expressing out, creates a new path for them to explore. It gives me great hope to witness people awaken and expand their lives in this way.
The Integration of Meinl Sonic Energy
In 2017 Frame Drum Wisdom received the honor of becoming a dealer for the
Meinl Sonic Energy collection in the United States. It has created a wonderful addition to my facilitation and teaching practice. Where frame drums were my original focus, I now have a wide variety of sound healing products to share with clients and class participants. Once they learn the foundational techniques with the frame drum, I give them the opportunity to explore other ways of bringing good vibrations into their bodies, beings and lives. From gongs, singing bowls and tuning forks, to shakers, chimes and hand pans, there is something for everyone. It is exciting for me to be able provide these unique sound solutions to the people I serve. Everyone is different and deserves to explore, find and own what is right for them. In 2018 Frame Drum Wisdom was featured in the new Meinl Sonic Energy magazine & catalog along with Sound Healing professionals from around the world. It is exciting for me to receive this international exposure. For this I am truly grateful!
And speaking of gratitude, I must also express great thanks for the women who knowingly or unknowingly helped uncover and supported my unfolding path and purpose.
Linda Marie Nelson, my mentor and spiritual cheerleader for my sound healing path;
Eliana Gilad, “Voices of Eden” for introducing the frame drum and frame drum singing to me through her 2013 TEDx Talk;
Layne Redmond for her book “When The Drummers Were Women: A Spiritual History Of Rhythm” and dedication to returning the frame drum to women all around the world;
Christine Stevens for her book “Music Medicine” and her passionate work in creating HealthRhythms; and to
Miranda Rondeau for providing a space for me in the circle of women who are here to change the world with the frame drum, one voice, one heartbeat, one human being at a time. Join her Women Frame Drumming community on FaceBook.
I encourage connecting with each of these women as you feel moved to explore your own journey with the frame drum and sound.