The Study of Vowels – The Study of Self

What if you could be really present in your relationships without fear?

What if being authentic was effortless and natural?

What if the studying the Tone of your voice was the answer to living this Authenticity?


Using the vowels offers us a structure or a vehicle through which we can take a closer look at the – tone, space, resonance, feeling tone and location of the sound.  It makes the process of singing a little less personal which then engages our curiosity and playfulness!

The study of the vowels is the study of the self in that it gives us a lens to look at the play of light and dark that appears through the feeling tone in the voice.  This feeling tone has a balance of light and dark, bright or richness that can be heard in the tone of the voice.  As most or all teachers of voice can attest to we can change or impact this feeling tone through singing the various vowel sounds.  

Light and dark coming together inside of art, music and voice is also called Chiaroscuro – an Italian Bel Canto singing technique .  Chiaro – light and Scuro – dark.

Some voices are brighter than others and this brightness brings a clarity of tone.  Other voices have more darkness which brings a quality of depth to the singer.  The study of the vowels give us insight or a mirror of how we communicate, present and express ourselves in our everyday life through the tone, colour and melody of the voice. 

The work boils down to the spectrums of dark and lightopenness and focus  and personal and impersonal energies.

Using the vowels as study tools for the above spectrums we can see inside of the feeling tone of the voice and break down the components into manageable pieces.  This offers us the ability to lighten or darken our singing Tone as well as our energetic Tone Being on a moment-to-moment basis.

We can use the vowels to study the Openness and focus within the tone of the voice to transmit this through the voice. 

Open vowels like Ah or Oh lean backwards and carry a depth or darkness of feeling Tone.

Vowels such as Ee or Aye lean forwards towards more focus or brightness of feeling Tone.

The goal is to balance the spectrums of forwards, backwards, bright, dark, personal and impersonal and the vowels can help us to do this.

When the vowel is too open then the result is a voice that is too dark and lacking focus and presence.  Alternatively when a vowel is leaning too far forward the sound can be too bright and focussed.   This energy is expressed in that person as well.

Another spectrum to observe the Self is to listen and feel into the presentation of Personal and Impersonal energy in the voice. 

The feeling tone of personal and impersonal energy that is coming through the voice is being carried out by the vowels as well as the consonants to produce a particular sound. 

We can hear this when anyone is singing.  We can be touched and moved to tears by a singer and want to connect to this powerful energy that only a beautiful singing voice can elicit in us. 

Whenever someone sings they are presenting a balance of this personal and impersonal energy.  If the feeling tone is too personal it will be hard to hear it and there will be too much emotion for the person singing it to contain their own emotions.   I hear this a lot from students who say ‘I can’t sing it just makes me cry all the time.’  I would suggest they have a lot of personal energy that needs some attending to to bring about a natural balance again of the personal and the impersonal.

If there is not enough emotion or if it is too impersonal then the listener will have a hard time connecting to the singer and they will become impersonal as well.  We will ‘check out’, so to speak, and begin to wander in our mind.

So it is the balance of these energies that opens and balances the heart and it is the vowel sounds that hold, reflect and sound this energy out into the world.  

The benefits of studying the vowels in this way are – 

Improving the singing voice

Experiencing beauty, light and joy

Improving the quality of the speaking voice 

Developing authentic communication – through the balancing of the tone of the voice which is a more clear reflection of who you are.  

Aligning with creative, flowing energy 

Stimulating the body with vibration which again moves stuck energy and keeps us Up To Date – in the Current moment

Creating safety, presence and alignment

And so much more….

Who is this study for?

For anyone who wishes to improve their singing voice, their speaking voice and their connection to their authenticity. 

For those who want to have better communication skills and deeper relationships.  The study of the vowels through the personal and impersonal energy is a profound way of learning to express who we are in a balanced and mindful manner for the person speaking as well as the person listening.


Exercises to study the vowel sounds:

Try sounding each vowel separately – AH – OH – OO – EE – AYE – EYE

Open your jaw enough to let the sound out and in on each vowel

Open your throat a little like the shutter on a camera by playing with a yawn and see how the sound changes.

Relax your body, neck, shoulder, eyes, belly

Are you observing the vowels or personal worried about the sound? Just notice

Try various pitches to see how the sound changes

Try various volumes or intensities to see how the sound changes

Now put a few together such as – AH OH OO all in one breath or line

then EE AYE EYE in one line

Is there a feeling tone in the sound of your voice?

What happens when you put what I call Words of Praise to the vowel sounds –

AH – LOVE or AMEN or FATHER 

 OH – HOME

OO – TRUTH

EE – PEACE

AYE – GRACE

EYE – LIGHT

Do using words help to hold more or less personal energy?

Do they help you to ground and feel the words more in your body?

 

 

The Connective Tissue of Singing…

Coming together in sound and singing helps us to feel and to connect with that which has been held out of our awareness before that coming together. The vibrations capture something that we had no idea of was there before. Another way of saying it is that it lights up what is actually there in front of us.
 
Singing can also take care of some immediate symptoms simply by its presence and ability to be ‘connective tissue’ of sorts. It can align, ground and connect us to the peace of the moment and that is a blessing to be sure.
But make no mistake that there is a deeper level that is being touched every time we move into the stillness, light and beauty of true vibration.
 
This conscious connecting is reshuffling the whole foundation of who you are. Being held in its gaze is very subtle, very minute, but very powerful. This sound, singing and light wants to remind you of who you really are and in this respect it’s not really interested in anything else that is in the way of this reminding, or rewinding of you. It gets right to the Heart of the Matter, so to speak.
 
Now we are all quite skilled at ‘checking out’ to this powerful connection otherwise anyone who sings would be enlightened! It takes a container of deep presence to hold the light of the sound while others go into it and sing.
Someone has to be awake inside of it, otherwise it’s just like going on an acid trip or getting high and this might feel good for a moment but losing our balance is not the point.
 
Over time there is a tolerance that is built to Withstand the Truth and the presence of this truth is actually quite Impersonal in nature. It wants to wipe the slate clean, however, the control that we all have will have none of that and so it takes tiny drops of sound, light and vibration to widdle and burn away the grip of control that we have built up in us over the years.
 
Sounds like fun?