Here’s my New Year’s resolution for 2018: I’m going to start singing.
I pretty much stopped singing in sixth grade, when my elementary school music teacher eviscerated me in front of my entire class because my off-key warbles were ruining our rendition of “The Happy Wanderer.” (That’s a horror story I’ll tell you another time, if I’m brave enough. Let’s just say that I still shudder at a merry chorus of “val-deri, val-dera ha ha ha ha ha.”)
I’ve endeavored over the decades to regain some confidence in my voice, to the point where I can now at least lead an om after teaching a yoga class, chime in on the Happy Birthday song, or wrap up an evening meditation with a Pali drone of “all things are impermanent, they arise and they pass away…” But I don’t even sing in the shower without first making sure no one is home but the cat.
But that’s about to change. I just started a six-week online class called “The Fear of Singing Breakthrough Workshop.” I took my first private voice lesson with a local teacher. And I’m looking around for a chorus to join that doesn’t require an audition.
With the world in crisis, learning to sing may seem frivolous. But I have a feeling that by freeing my voice in this one tangible, physical way, I’ll free up my power and energy in all kinds of other ways I can’t even imagine yet.
Plus, I’m hoping it will be fun and make me smile a lot.
Learning to sing is part of my larger intention to devote more of my time to creative expression, and particularly to the intersection of creativity and meditation. If you’re interested, you can catch my occasional updates here on my new blog page devoted to “The Spirit of Creativity.” Just click here to subscribe or click the “Subscribe to Posts” button above. I’ll post what I’m up to and offer you tips I’m learning that might help you on the path of creativity and awakening.
I’ll also post periodic conversations with awakening artists of all sorts who I’ve found inspiring.
To kick that off, below is a five minute video clip from musician Jennifer Berezan, talking about why, in these times of global crisis, singing is more important than ever.
I hope this inspires your own creative journeys. I look forward to singing with you!
In times of global crisis, why is singing more important than ever?
Below, singer/songwriter, activist, and teacher Jennifer Berezan talks with writer and meditation teacher Anne Cushman.
Thank you so much for this Anne! As someone fairly new to meditation, I learned a lot from listening to your interview. I found it quite exciting as I’ve always loved music, have taught music to many children and always encouraged every child to sing! I have not tried using chant or song as part of my meditation practice, but will definitely give it a try now!
It IS inspiring to hear that you are finding your voice and expressing your creativity!
Thank you Catherine! You are giving those kids a gift that will last them their whole lives.
Singing gave Gabby Giffords her life back, by reintroducing words that were stored in a different location in the brain, giving her access through singing to where language is stored.
Thanks for sharing that, that’s fascinating.