A tight throat when singing and Lugano

by Kate on January 7, 2012

“Mummy, sometimes when I want to get the same note that everyone else is singing, I feel I can’t breathe and it hurts my throat”
My six year old daughter has a naturally low voice, as do I. I have increasingly noticed that the lack of flexibility in my voice that through the technique, I have begun to work on/play with, seems to be there in her. I watch her trying to get high notes and pulling her head back and getting frustrated and cross that the “sound” isn’t right. I try gently to talk to her about not pushing and keeping her throat soft and then we breathe a bit together….every step of the way I make it an experiment and try not to sound like a teacher. As a parent, I fret furiously about whether I have made the right decision to send her to a huge red brick state school where, despite having some wonderful teachers, a fantastic nurturing and non-pushy atmosphere (by default because the intake is so diverse, they simply don’t expect the same from everyone), they still spend large amounts of time squished together on the carpet in increasing states of boredom, looking up at the teacher and being told to “sit nicely” and listen! Argghhhh…
Once again, my mind turns wistfully to the Steiner system and I wonder if she would be better off. But my instinct when I went to visit a couple was that systems are systems and I do not want to indoctrinate her with any..I visited a few Steiner schools and felt it would be quite possible to have a far from “free” experience there. Depending on the teacher you get, of course. And then there’s the parents….
This was backed up at the Lugano conference when Tommy Thompson told an anecdote about deciding to send his daughter to a Steiner school and her coming back three days in saying “Don’t send me back there, it’s like a prison without bars…they won’t let me read”
My daughter shows little interest in reading and draws endlessly so perhaps for her it would be a good choice. But to make it, we would have to move house, jobs, and make life far more complicated and I wonder whether there is merit in being able to walk to school and be in your community.
And so it goes on. There is no nirvana. We can only do our best. Perhaps with this work that is the hardest lesson to learn.
To borrow from Tommy Thompson’s analogy – so busy trying to be the person we want to be, we do not allow ourselves to meet the person we are becoming.

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