I remember one morning when I was about 15 or 16 years old. I was getting ready for school when my mom called me downstairs. James Galway was playing on Good Morning America. She had the VCR set to record and after a brief interview "The Man with the Golden Flute" played.
I was entranced by his sound, his effortless playing... and at HOW FAST he could play!
I became close to obsessed with playing fast. I practiced fast. I played things three notches faster than I could play. I tried to mimic him! Admittedly, I sounded pretty bad for awhile.
Thank heavens for good teachers. My first private lessons with my flute and piano teachers were all in slow motion. My fingers were slow to match my tongue. My hands moved in time over the keyboard to train them to move together. My finger exercises were a practice in slow-motion torture!
My teachers told me about aural illusions.
Just like optical illusions, we can trick our ears into hearing things. For instance, slightly slower, EVEN playing will result in the technical passage sounding faster.
You don't believe me? Try it! Find a technically challenging passage and play it fast. Now, set your metronome a little slower and play it evenly. The time that you played it evenly and a little slower will sound faster than the messy passage. Play it for a friend. Play it for your mom or teacher. They will agree!
So the moral to this blog is "slow and steady wins the race"... or "even Steven gets the cake"... or something like that...
I have a big voice. It's distinctive - you can't miss it. I've always been able to talk over most any noise... most anybody, too... I have a big voice.
But laryngitis has always been a big issue with me. Both physically and creatively.
I have things to say. Lots. At one point in my life, at a time when I didn't feel heard, I tried to hone it, or direct it in a way that didn't offend anyone - in a way I believed everyone would understand... I wanted for the whole world to find something valuable in my output. You can imagine my angst, my audacity, and my lack of creative voice during that period!
I struggle with artistic laryngitis. Often. I have something to say - something that needs... OUT! But, for the life of me I can't gather my voice to say it. It's like a big trumpet mute got shoved down my throat. It suddenly becomes close to impossible to express the right stuff in the way I hear it being expressed!
I suspect this is true of everyone sometimes. We all occasionally need an artistic lozenge to help us get back on track. And whether the laryngitis was caused from an external source - criticism, rejection, etc... or internal - fear of said criticism and rejection - is really unimportant at the core. The creative voice needs to return... as does the courage, sense of self, and the joy that connecting to Other with the artistic voice brings!
I truly hope that upon reading this, you will take a breath, gain courage and remember that you are the only one to say what needs to be said from you! That is crucial - to gather our universal artistic courage, suck on a lozenge, and express what is in our collective through our singularity.