My Songwriting Journey

This past year I’ve been writing more songs  . . .

I’d written songs before that covered universal themes of love, love LOST and social justice. They felt honest . . . and safe enough because I knew the themes were understood and felt and expressed by many people.

During this newer phase of writing, however, my initial themes felt more vulnerable . . . or at least in contrast to the identity I had created as a vocalist.  I wrote about seeing and feeling imbalance in the world and within myself, about the loneliness and isolation of only letting the world see one side of myself, about the challenge of being a woman in this world. . . . essentially, this was the antithesis of my comfort zone.  

But it felt GOOD, almost cathartic to give these feelings a voice. 

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Been Gone A While and Transformation

I’ve been gone a while.

This could be metaphorical and the time much longer.

At the beginning of 2016, I entered into what for me felt like ‘the great humbling’ - a health crisis that swept over me and brought in any peripheral psychological and emotional challenges that had been stagnant in the corners of my being. . . . .

Initially, I spent a good amount of time researching ‘what was wrong with me’.  I can see that that’s a question I’ve been silently asking for years - not just about my physical body.  I spent a lot of time and energy learning about auto-immunity, the endocrine system, trauma, and nutrition on the intellectual level. 

My focus and energy has now changed to what is right with me - more specifically, what is my capacity for love and creativity in the world and how can I expand that, share that?  How can self acceptance and nurturing complete the healing cycle for me?  What else, beyond the science, will create balance and alignment for my body and mind? . . . .

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When the Journey Takes a Detour

In a talk given by Tara Brach I heard an old adage - ‘a truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery while on a detour.’

This struck me deeply - as the less mindful, less patient side of me would most easily default to thinking - ‘For the love of GOD, why do I keep getting SIDETRACKED?!’  (Hello there, drama queen :).

My body and my relationship with it has become a profound detour.  Upon reflection, it has been trying to communicate with me for 25 years.  I am learning now to listen. . . . .

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Find YOUR Path

There’s no ONE path.  There’s just YOUR path.  Find YOUR path.

I’ve been paying attention to how we find satisfaction, reach goals and fulfill our dreams in different areas of life - artistic expression, personal relationships, physical and mental health, exercise, spirituality. . . . .

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Singing Tips for Beginners Ep.11

There are a couple of things beginner singers can do to instantly improve their tone.  

#1 - Exaggerate things that you may not do with your speaking voice like: 

  • Deepen the inhalation 
  • Open the mouth more
  • Use stronger diction

#2 - Never think UP

  • Direct your attention and energy DOWN and FORWARD

I give some examples in this little video : ) . . . . 

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Vocal Warm ups - Quick and Easy Ep.10

We all know about those times when you are getting ready to perform and life simply hasn't given you the circumstances to do a long, relaxing, luxurious warm up.

So here are 3 quick and easy vocal warm ups for those times. Get that voice opened up with some exercises to trigger your breath work and create space for a strong, rich, resonant tone.

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Balancing Goals with Feelings of Satisfaciton

As the new year begins, I've been reflecting upon ways to maintain a sense of growth and progress while balancing a sense of satisfaction with where I am right now. It's a tough one. . . particularly in our culture.

One part of me yearns to feel a sense of ease, wholeness, balance, peace. It even fantasizes sometimes about dropping all projects to just BE. (shhh . . . don't tell the other half of me)

Another part of me is passionate about growth, learning, exploring, improving, and moving forward.

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Tips for Professional Singers Ep.9

This post is dedicated to the professional singer. In this video I share my tips on:  #1 How softer singing may contribute to vocal strain  #2 Strategizing the placement of your more difficult repertoire throughout a gig  #3 What it means to ‘Act Like a Professional’ #4 The importance of a go to warm-up and  #5 Working the technical ‘choreography’ of challenging songs. . . . .

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Breathing for Singing - Is it Really that Important?

So is breath really that important for singing?

Listen carefully . . .BREATH IS EVERYTHING. 

OK - fine. I have a flair for drama.  Not everything.  JUST 99% of everything.  Still too much?  Fine. Breath is 90% of everything that you should understand about singing.

If you appreciate full, warm, resonant tones and a sense of strength, fluidity, and openness you want to spend time working with breath. . . .

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Singing Tips - How to Make Progress Ep.8

Today’s singing tips are related to mindset.  For myself and my students, I’ve found that the attitude you choose to approach your singing progress is paramount.  First, think of your voice as an instrument. Then, let’s be mad scientists - curious, persistent, observant. We can use all of the feedback we get to make progress. Of course, we can’t forget to do things again and again and again . . .and again . . . that just increases our odds now doesn’t it?

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Maya Angelou’s ‘I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings’ is achingly beautiful.  I encourage you to read it ALOUD. . .

Before learning how to use my breath as well as other ‘flying’ techniques, I felt caged.  I knew exactly where the edges were. I knew the limitations of my reach and approached them either with trepidation or conversely using a lot of energy to try to break free.  

. . .The caged bird sings

with a fearful trill

of things unknown . . .


The free bird leaps

on the back of the wind

and floats downstream

till the current ends . . .

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Singing and Life Lessons - Vocal Nodes to Vocal Strength Ep.7

I was asked to share more of my own journey with singing, so here we go!  Travels, trials, tribulations, break down and recovery.  Navigating different genres and our capacity for limitless growth and increased confidence with singing. . . .

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Are You Lost in Thought?

I recently discovered Tara Brach’s podcast.  LOVE it. Mindfulness junkies, go get your fix. She’s a western woman with a wonderful knack for integrating story telling, humor, and ancient teachings of Buddhist philosophy into a great message that always leaves you wanting to be kinder to yourself and others in this beautiful world. 

Tara Brach recounts a Buddhist leader’s description of the world as - LOST IN THOUGHT.  She then observes that the majority of us are indeed living most of our lives in a virtual reality. She asks us to think about how often our minds and bodies are in the same place. . . .

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Singing Lessons - Focus and Aim for Comfort and Control Ep. 4

This singing technique is one that I love for giving the vocalist a sense of control and ease. When you can imagine notes connecting fluidly in a forward direction, it straightens out a lot of potential issues like voice cracking or strain.

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Singing Lessons - Hacking the Bridge Ep.6

In this episode I give a quick tip to deal with that less than comfortable place in the voice when you feel like something is changing and aren’t quite certain what to do. Some call it the bridge. Others the passagio. Some even call it a break because that’s what it feels like to some! 

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Why it Feels So Good to Sing

I was inspired this week by a post from Susan McCulley’s blog - Focus Pocus Now.

In her post, she lists the benefits of making sound:

  1. It supports the health and strength of the physical body
  2. It focuses attention, energy and power
  3. It moves emotional energy of all kind
  4. It connects us with each other and all that is

Besides a lot of silent “AMEN”s, “I second that emotion”s and several audible “Mm Hmm”s it sparked a lot of thought and connections related to why I, as well as SO many people, love to sing!

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Singing Lessons - Ep.5 How to Sing High Notes

In this episode I share some quick tips to demystify the high notes.  We’ll use plenty of non-singing sounds to remind us of how familiar our body already is with making these higher sounds.  Ready to shout out to your favorite artist, imitate an owl or go on a roller coaster?  

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