We meant to take more pictures. We really did. The thing is, as the morning progressed and as one participant looked at their watch - “Blimey, it’s 1pm already! We’ve only got half an hour left! Where did the time go?!” - it became clear that we had become engrossed in the type of event that needs to be witnessed to be understood. An experiential happening, if you like - facilitated by the dynamic, positive energy of the group.
The advantage of having four participants plus facilitator was that we could take our time, try and answer lots of questions, explore the fundamental aspects of the workshop in greater depth. Music therapy is a unique personalised service, after all, and a smaller group meant an experience tailored to each individual group member and their voice.
At the beginning, the group talked together about the pressures on their voices. The combination of running sessions, performing and gigging, speaking on the phone, interacting with family and simply reacting to life pushes and pulls our vocal apparatus in ways that the group felt they didn’t have time to prepare for on a day-to-day basis. Especially for the music therapists within the group, the idea of improvising and not knowing where our voices might be taken within a session as we try to respond to our patients’ needs felt difficult - group members reported feeling tired and like their voices were under strain.
Having the time to try out the practical aspects of the session multiple times meant each group member had time to feel out each new technique, place the sensation in their body and then check that they were happy and comfortable. Singing is so much to do with our own bodies; trying out each technique experientially and checking in with the facilitator and the rest of the group meant everyone felt confident encountering new sensations with their voices.
Reflecting on the morning, the group asked if we could organise a follow-on session to see how each member is getting on vocally in a few months’ time. There was even talk of setting up a regular ongoing vocal support group! We will be looking into options to see if we can make this happen.
All participants strongly agreed that the content and practical elements were interesting, engaging and useful, the workshop leader was knowledgeable and informative and presented in an accessible, fun way. Favourite quote from the day? “Fab workshop - thank you!”
Want Using Your Voice for your organisation? Have a look at the full and half day Vocal Workshop options here.