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Mary Benefiel
Category: Voicework

Rewild your voice

Holistic, Embodied Voice Practice with Mary Benefiel

Set aside conventional images about what singing is. Forget sheet music and remember the rhythm of your heartbeat. Leave churches and concert-halls. Lay down commercialized music. Now, stand in the centre of the music that sings your life into existence. This is the beginning of a whole new way of singing. Start with your voice, your music, your life – you are allowed to sing it!

But how?

We need to dive below the mental messages you are carrying around about your voice and about what singing is or isn’t. Your brain helps with speech, great for buying bread, but useless for full expression. Personality level voice is all about getting it right or being polite, or fitting in. These are killers – we lose touch with our spontaneity the minute we start judging. Instead, you can begin with a chanting practice, which calms the mind. But it does more. Chanting calms the central nervous system so you can relax into a more expanded place. There you can contact your deeper self. You can get realigned with your authenticity. The chants make this journey possible and safe. Breathing becomes easier, the whole body settles into being sound. The simplicity and the repetition of the chants makes this practice accessible to anyone, and reinforces, over time, the ability to connect with the wise inner voice.

Next, replace old ideas about your voice with the truth. You are a living instrument – this means your voice is ever changing. Allow that and you will find no end of tones and expressive sounds that emerge from what you are living right now. Give up the limited idea that “real” music is what is on a page. This is too small to hold the whole range of sound your human instrument makes. Look to what your music of the moment is and get back in tune with yourself. When you start with the voice as it is now, then you will find singing ‘songs’ easier and potentially much more exciting.

Opening up to your vocal truth with chanting and positive brain-food, prepares you to bring all of you into play when you voice. In my classes we invite the whole of you into the mix – spiritual, mental, physical. There are many ways in to the authentic, free voice, and we look for the ones that work for you. I use a tuning meditation to begin each session – with plenty of time to sound, breathe and rest in one’s being. Simple chants and mantras create a period of deepening into the calm centre. Finally, there is time for songs that are more up-tempo and energising. Throughout any session the object is to sing from where you are as you are.

This work is offered to groups as well as individual 1-1 format.


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