ceri: Oncoming plane and stylized VROOM (Vroom)
...but I hung around the corner drugstore. (This is from an old Cheech & Chong routine.)

More seriously, I've been thinking about what I could do to help myself while losing weight and getting in general shape, and I settled on voice work as something that doesn't require any additional gear and that's feasible in my current circumstances. So this week I've been doing the basics.

I am fascinated to find that my singing voice really wants to come back. I lost the ability to sing well in my early 20s, as part of the health catastrophe I suffered in college—the necessary muscle strength and control went away, and they never really came back. My ability to sing has ranged ever since from "just about nil" all the way up to "pathetic". This week, though...of course it's weak and utterly undisciplined, but the potential is there. Nobody else would want to hear me do it, but I managed pretty well in starting-up terms singing along with some of my old favorite tenor parts in works by Rutter and Vivaldi. I had some moments of genuinely good head tone today.

This is very encouraging, and thoroughly surprising. A lot of the other impairments of the same vintage are still very, very much with me. I know this with painful clarity, since I'm suffering some of them as I type this. I don't know quite why my breathing should reveal itself as significantly improved at this point.

But I'm not going to complain about it. :)

I see from reading around that people's experience with developing a voice to match their new presentation varies wildly. My rule of thumb is that things take longer and go harder for me, because of the mesh of physical complications around everything. So I'm not working with any timetable in mind, just with attention to good process and figuring that the outcome will be what it is. It's just very encouraging to have the first step be unexpectedly firm.

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Ceri B.

April 2010

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