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Singing as Therapy

by Izzy Kalman (July 2003)

Those of you who have been to my seminars have heard me only once. I bet it was the first professional seminar you’ve attended in which the presenter astonishingly broke out in song. Had you had attended twice – once before my recent California tour and once afterwards – you would probably have noticed an improvement in my voice. I’m still a far cry from Luciano Pavarotti, but I’ve gotten a step closer.

I’ve known for a long time that singing is an important primal human experience. Singing – or making music with our voices – is probably more deeply rooted in our genetic programming than speaking. Many animals sing, though they do not have speech. Have you noticed that recalling the melody of a song is easier than recalling its lyrics, and that babies start humming long before they are able to speak?

Primitive peoples sing a great deal. The Pygmies – the people who have never left the forest – sing every day and have fantastic vocal abilities. The Pharaohs brought Pygmies to Egypt because of their wonderful voices.

Throughout the history of the world, if people wanted to hear music or singing, they needed to produce it themselves. In modern times, we rarely encounter ordinary people singing except as part of religious services, or when the national anthem is sung at public gatherings. Why don’t we sing much any more? Because we rely on recorded music. We listen to professionals rather than do it ourselves. I believe many young people today are embarrassed to sing because they can’t compete with the entertainers they hear all the time.

We tend to think that our modern inventions improve life, but they don’t always. Replacing singing with radios and CDs is about as gratifying as watching pornography instead of having real-live sex. Have you noticed that immigrants from the less-developed countries – where life does not revolve around modern technology – sing a great deal? It’s because they haven’t become spoiled by reliance on recorded music.

In May, during my Southern California seminar tour, I met up with a long-time friend, Sampatti (Claire) Plowman. She is a massage therapist, but more importantly for me, a former opera singer and talented singing teacher. She gave me a quick voice lesson that dramatically improved my control and quality. I sing louder, with less effort, and stay more on key. Singing has become even more fun. And no less important, my speech has become clearer and my throat no longer hurts after a full day of speaking.

Want to become happier? Discover the joy of singing and give it the importance in your life that it was meant to have. Sampatti can help you do this amazingly quickly and easily. She will immediately identify your voice’s stumbling block and show you how to get it out of the way. Sampatti is so good at this that I believe it was the reason she was put on this earth. So take advantage of her. She can be hired for individual or group lessons. If you don’t live in southern California, have your organization bring her to give a full-day seminar for a group of people, making it cost- effective. The benefits for professions that rely on speaking, such as teaching, are immeasurable.

Do you think you are tone deaf? Don’t worry. Sampatti says that just about anyone can be taught how to carry a tune. Including you. Most people’s difficulty singing is really an emotional block that originates in childhood, when authority figures try to get us to be quiet. When Sampatti teaches people to sing, she simultaneously frees us from these blocks and we become more open.

Want to find out if Sampatti can help you or your organization? You can email her at Or you can call her at 760-202-0040 or 760-408-5770. Say Izzy sent you.

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