When I was 13 years old, two friends and I joined a school choir. I loved singing with others. It was magical. One of the most magical things I experienced in that choir was a demonstration by two college students who were studying voice.
In addition to being older and pretty, thus glamorous, the college students showed us how they could sight-read music. It amazed me that they could look at notes on the page and translate them with their voices.
The teacher pointed out that they had not seen the music before the demonstration in class. I didn’t understand how they read the music and sing it flawlessly. It seemed like a miracle.
Many years later, I was in a different choir in college. I could sight-read enough that I could follow notes going up or down, or held longer or shorter, but the essence of sight-reading still eluded me.
Toward the end of my college days, a younger woman in the choir finally explained sight-reading in a way I could understand it.
She said, “You know scales, right? Like, do re mi …? That’s how you find the notes.”
“But I can’t tell where to start. I don’t know how to find the right octave.” I said.
“You find it by how your voice feels when you’re singing it. A high note feels different when you sing it compared to a note from a lower octave. You just have to learn how each octave feels.”
A ha! Eureka! I finally understood. I never put in the work to learn to properly sight-read, but now I knew I could. I would just have to practice to make the association between the physical feeling of singing a particular note and the knowledge of which note that was.
Recently, my attempts to use law of attraction to my benefit, have reminded me of that story. I keep learning that my most important work is to feel good. It doesn’t matter how I accomplish it. Feeling good is my goal.
Like singing musical notes, each emotion has a different feel in my body. It’s very much like sight-reading. I know how my body feels when singing a high note and I know how my body feels when I’m relaxed and happy. On the way to work one day, I practiced trying to change my emotions by changing how my body felt.
I was getting anxious about some situation at work and realized I didn’t have to be. I focused on how the anxiety felt in my body, then I deliberately remembered feeling better and how that felt in my body. I tried to create the better feeling in my body and it worked. I enjoyed the rest of the ride to work and arrived feeling rested and optimistic.
Since then, I’ve been trying to identify the physical feelings that go along with feeling better emotionally. I feel it in my solar plexus. There is a light, airy feeling in my solar plexus when I’m feeling better. I feel my mood raising and lowering there. When I try to change my mood, I try to change how I feel in my solar plexus.
I guess that’s why yoga and meditation help me. They relax my body and my mood rises. In fact, singing raises my mood in a similar way.
It’s a little freaky to see how changing my physical feelings changes my emotions which changes what I experience. I can’t always deliberately change my mood by focusing on my body, but when it works, it’s startling. If I produce the right feelings in my body, I can create beautiful vocal music. If I produce the right feelings in my body, I can create happiness. Amazing.