Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Lisbeth Hultmann - The Power of the Voice: Know Your Voice - Know Yourself



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S y n o p s i s 

The Power of the Voice describes the relationship between voice and behavior.

As a rule, one would expect a direct relationship between body type and voice type—that is, a larger voice in a large body, and a smaller voice in a small body. When we see an elephant, we will automatically imagine a larger and rougher sound compared with a hummingbird. When we speak of the human voice, however, it is more complex. First and foremost, it is the size and thickness of the vocal cords that determine what kind of voice we have; but the shape of the head, the resonance spaces, and the way we use them also contribute to the voice’s volume and unique qualities. Someone with a small body, strong vocal cords and excellent resonance spaces can have a voice that projects much farther than someone with a large body and weak vocal cords. We can train our voices and our vocal cords, and we can learn to exploit our resonance spaces, so that we can supplely change and adjust them according to our needs.

It’s all hidden in the voice

“The telephone conversation left me completely confused. I could hear in his voice that something was terribly wrong. He sounded sad, not himself at all. At the same time he was telling me how good he felt, and how happy he was with his new job. I felt I could trust his voice more than what he was saying in words.”

Your voice always paints a portrait of your immediate condition, here and now. It reflects your mood and your state of mind, how you react to internal and external influences. If you are depressed and unhappy, as in the above example, it is audible in your voice; likewise if you are angry and irritated.

In other situations you may notice that your voice changes; it could for instance become smaller or disappear entirely, as in this example of a woman encountering a domineering colleague: “I could suddenly hear my own voice. Confronted by my colleague I nearly disappeared, and so did my voice. I became small and pleading, and had a hard time getting any words out.” The situation reminds the woman of her relationship to her overbearing mother. The woman regresses, feeling small and oppressed, exactly as she felt early in her life.

Or, imagine that it was forbidden to express anger in your childhood home. In this case, since anger is a basic emotion, which must be given voice in order to be expressed fully, you cannot cope with anger in yourself or your surroundings—and it can be heard in your voice. Unexpressed anger is always audible.

This is true of all the basic emotions. In order to feel we are whole and intact human beings, we must be able to express ourselves with sound. What is grief without weeping? Anger without shouting and screaming? Joy without cheers and laughter?

When we begin to let our sound out—perhaps after years of disuse—we can be very surprised at the results.

One woman reports, “When I work with my voice, I can sometimes be astounded at how much sound and strength I have in me. I feel six feet tall and on top of the world.”

Your voice can free you of so many obstacles that you actually get a physical boost, feeling taller and more expansive.

Even chronic conditions, mannerisms, habits and patterns in your voice acquired over time can be manifestations of unresolved episodes in your life; since you have not dealt with them or achieved some kind of closure, you carry them around with you—audibly. These may be expressed as tensions that can, for example, manifest as a chronic “cry” in the voice, or even a sensation of needing to clear your throat. What you really need to clear always has a story behind it, and pops up in situations that resemble what you once experienced.

You can work with the voice on many levels, depending on how deeply you would like to explore, and where you are in your life. The voice conceals its own “melodies,” just as though it were an old-fashioned record player. Each record is engraved with a melody: an expression of some problem, theme or feeling in your life. The melodies on the records can be played one after the other, depending on where you are in your life and what you are ready to work with.

In this way, your voice is both a portrait of you here and now, playing the melody of the moment, and a sounding board, lending certain elements of your history, roots and background extra resonance.

The Power of the Voice describes the relationship between voice and behavior.

We discuss and identify common voice types (the energy pattern of the voice) and the personality types that correlate with them, and provide specific exercises for each voice type that can help bring health and wholeness to both the voice and the person.

B i o 

Lisbeth Hultmann is a Danish professional opera singer and a certified gestalt therapist, has described in her book “The Power of the Voice” the correlation between your Voice Type and your personality. She lives in Gilleleje, Denmark.

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