Everyone Has Inner Song
Everyone has inner song, yet almost no one is aware of it. I do not mean song in song form, like ABA, or verse-chorus-verse-chorus-Bridge-verse-chorus, though these songs are the fruit that fall from the tree of your inner song and strike you on the head as inspiration. The inner song I have named is a constant, ongoing music within each being.
Young children voice their inner song through their whole bodies just as they hear it, until they are trained or constrained not to. I am sure most of you have observed that children, especially under the age of 8, tend to hum their way through their days. Small children say Ahhh while they are running somewhere, and their footsteps vibrate through the tone so that it sounds like Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah! They are voicing their inner song, and allowing their physical bodies to affect that vocalization. Inner song, when voiced, is the audible manifestation of the vibrations in the dream mind — the right side of the brain and your emotions.
Monotony – The Inner Song LOST
Have you ever noticed someone who spoke in a monotone? In a teacher, this sort of voice may have put you to sleep in high school or college. This voice has been trained out of its own inner song. If there is no trace of melody in a voice, it is harder to feel touched by any meaning. You will not find a teacher with a monotone voice in a children’s classroom, where the aural/vocal sense is still strong– has not been completely unplugged. For that is what happens, gradually, systematically, as over and over again, children are told, “Stop yelling. Use your words. Stop crying. Tell me in words. Stop shouting. What are the words? Stop whining.” All these commands unplug the emotional/vocal/aural sense, with the perfectly understandable intention of getting the children to stop screaming so the parents can think straight. And isn’t that term illuminating! So that we can think in the straight lines of the left brain, we have stopped thinking in the kaleidoscopic dreams of the right brain. We have been trained only to verbalize, which comes from the left side of the brain, the logical, linear side. Words mitigate emotion in a positive way, but relying on words alone to communicate reveals a weakness in the functioning of other modes. We may wonder why we can’t access our creativity, why we feel misunderstood, and why we can’t sing.
Of the two sides to vocal communication, words are thought of as more important. Voice is hardly even noticed— after all, words can be written and survive centuries. Words from hundreds of years ago can be read and influence us today. There is great power in writing. Every day news is published in words, bringing disparate communities into the knowledge of each other’s struggles, so they can help each other. Books make knowledge available to everyone, and you are reading these words now. Of course words are vital to human existence. But words are not the only aspect of communication. There is still the human cry, from our animal bodies that so many of us have lost touch with, that can only live here and now, or not at all.
Retrieval of one’s “right” mind through vocalization is a very effective way to tune in to one’s inner song. The right side of the brain can see and imitate shapes without having to verbalize what they are. Pictures and dances are the visual and kinesthetic manifestations of the right side of the brain. Similarly, the right side of the brain, in the area dealing with music, also automatically and subconsciously “images” our inner wisdom and our emotional and physical experiences into vocal tone, for the sake of aural sensation. The vibration thus vocalized gives rich information about emotional content to the listening ear, either one’s own or those of anyone with whom one is conversing.
Sound Moves Us
Sound is extremely powerful. We can shut our eyes and block out all light much more easily than we can plug our ears. Just think, we touch each other on the inside with sound. The voice begins deep inside a person’s abdomen, as we take in breath with the diaphragm. The vibration we begin there is subtly affected by everything we are feeling. It travels through throat, is filtered and shaped by vocal folds and mouth, resounds in chest and sinuses, then ripples through the air as a physical vibration and makes waves right inside of other people’s bodies, through their ears. It’s like sharing the same water: a big lake in which we feel every one of each other’s ripples.
Therefore, in order to study inner song safely, it is best to work in private or in supportive company while healing, so that whatever needs to come out, can. In our care to be polite and kind, we often suppress our inner song. Then we need time alone to retune in—some call it decompressing. Vibrationally, that’s precisely what we are doing: allowing our vibrations to relax and expand. The music inside us is a pattern of vibrations. In fact, audible or not, all of life is vibration, as quantum string theory can witness. We create and attract experiences that resonate with the vibrations we ourselves are creating. Yet how often are our own vibrations unconscious. Jesus said that if we bring forth what is within us, it will save us… and if we don’t, it will destroy us. Sounding and moving your inner vibrations is one of the wonderful ways to bring them to consciousness, preventing those vibrations from working unconsciously to create havoc in your life.
Discover Your Inner Song
If you are interested, try this exercise. Go to a private space with some room for movement. Start talking about your day, out loud to yourself, discussing anything that happened in your life today. Then just leave out all the consonants. Emotions are carried on vowels, specificity of meaning on consonants. Voicing emotions through vowels only will enable you to better hear the emotion behind the words. As you continue vocalizing, gradually allow your body to move along with it, little by little or all at once. Let your attention to vowels fall away as you discover more music, passion, movement, and meaning in your vocal tone. Now you are in your inner song, a place without any words at all. Yet if you write or talk about it afterwards you will find stronger and deeper words than you had before. Voicing inner song enriches the process of finding words.
Yet that is not its only goal, for words are not the only way to think. Thinking can happen purely in the language of tone. This is the language babies speak in before they learn the verbal language of their cultures. The dream mind has auditory symbology—e.g., tonal center, dissonance and consonance. Only musicians understand these terms, but just like the visual symbology of painters, in which we can dream without knowing anything about art, we naturally understand the emotional language of audible symbology, consciously or not, whenever we listen to music.
There are many musicians who intellectually understand music, and may also emotionally resonate with the music they play and study, but are still unaware of their own inner song– until it strikes them on the head in song form, like fruit from a tree! Composing music is a powerful way to grasp one’s own inner song. Discussion of one’s heart-life in audible vibration can, just like writing essays, help one unfold and develop one’s soul.
In music classes, where one would hope that singing lives freely, beginning singers can be forever silenced if they are told they’re not “on key”. When we hear stories about this it is easy to blame the trauma on an insensitive music teacher. However, consider that the music teacher may simply be pounding the final nail in the coffin already built by societal conditioning—by conditioning of what we in “civilized nations” believe it means to be human!
“The only species with language” has been one of our badges of honor on the planet. But as I have pointed out, verbal language is not the only language. Have we completely forgotten the sighs of grief, the whoops of delight, the wind in the trees, the roar of the ocean, the howling of dogs, the patter of raindrops, the trilling of crickets? Can we not smile at the neighbors from Mexico though they chatter in an unknown tongue, if their tones are joyful? If we cannot hear the music, it is no wonder we do not sing.
Vanessa Nowitzky graduated from the California Institute of the Arts and the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts. She teaches singdancing classes and private voice and music composition lessons for adults who wish to discover the dream world of their inner song and their embodied voices.