When Singing Touches Your Heart…
By Fabio Ramesha Nani
On December 4, 2010 the Ananda LA Joy Choir was joined by singers from Ananda colonies and centers all over the country, plus India, to perform Christ Lives: an Oratorio, by J. Donald Walters (Swami Kriyananda).
This masterpiece evokes the story of Jesus’ life and teachings, alternating choral songs and solo recitatives. The performance took place at the Church of the Recessional in Forest Lawn (Glendale, CA), which is particularly meaningful to those of us who follow the teachings of the Indian mystic, Paramhansa Yogananda, because this is where his tomb is located.
What struck me the most about the evening was the incredible level of performance of both the choir and the soloists. I was amazed because some of the singers were singing the Oratorio for the first or second time, and yet they were able to rise to the occasion and completely merge into the flow of the performance.
But I’m not just talking about technique. Many people, including the composer, who was present and sang three solos, said that this Oratorio was the most inspiring they’ve ever been part of.
What happened that night?
Singing, like any other human skill, has two sides: the science and the art. We can learn the science fairly easily: we just need to find a good voice teacher and apply ourselves for a period of time in order to learn the mechanism of correct placement and so on.
If we aspire to be inspiring singers, however, we need to go a step further, beyond the mere technique and tap into something higher. If you want to be a channel for inspiration, you have to step aside and open yourself up to that Source of inspiration—consciously resolving to be “just” a channel—and let that inspiration guide you in how to sing. It’s not a passive state at all. It takes will power and concentration to stay open to that flow throughout the entire performance, and not let your mind dwell on self-centered thoughts, like “My voice sounds great”, or “That wasn’t very good, I wonder what the audience will think”, etc…
The people who sang in the choir on December 4th are all following a spiritual path. They’ve made it a priority in life to attune to a greater Power and let it flow through every aspect of their lives. That is why, even though most of them aren’t necessarily trained singers, their singing was so inspired and uplifting.
Technique alone can satisfy your ear, but only when it’s coupled with inspiration can it also touch and transform your heart. That’s what happened that night at the Church of the Recessional in Forest Lawn
Excerpts from: The Power of the Voice: Transform and Heal Your Life
by Swami Kriyananda
“We can also use the voice to heal ourselves and others—to heal the heart of its blindness, of its selfishness and self-enclosure. It’s very important to be an instrument for this type of healing. Using the voice to heal people is perhaps the most important of all ways to use the voice. The instrument is blessed by what flows through it, and if we can use the voice to become instruments for the light, for the power of God, then we too are transformed.”
Feel free to contact me about any singing-related issue or doubt that you might have. I will do my best to help you find a solution for it.