Saille Mawson

Voice Development and
Indian Raga Singing

A Note About My Approach to Teaching Voice

For those of your studying with me for some time now you will be aware that my voice teaching is holistic in approach! It involves mind, body and spirit, not just the technical aspects of learning the naming of the notes: sa re ga, pitch, rhythm, breath control, the physical aspect of grounding yourself in your body, connecting to the drone as home, and then finding your way with different scales and ragas: flamenco, blues, major, minor, kafi, bhopali etc, but also the psychological and spiritual dimension of what each of these elements evoke in you as an individual. Your previous life experiences (positive or negative) in how you were seen, heard and received with your voice will also play a part in what you will encounter in the learning process and will influence how I work with each person in the group. We are all unique in this and need different things.

Basically my intention is to uncover the beauty of your voice in the hope that you can hear it and feel it for yourself. It is also about empowerment and finding the confidence to give your voice to the world. On a subtle level, through raga, we learn to play with different life energies within ourselves when to use our will and when to surrender. It is also about learning about your relationship with your own sound and how you relate to others through sound.

The benefit of being in a group is that you get to learn through your interaction with others as well as from your self. You get to explore how you make sound as part of a collective without abandoning yourself or dominating. It provides an opportunity to learn about how you are in relationship without words through sound. Because this is soul work it is not for the fainthearted and, in my experience, can bring up emotional issues for healing. I see this as a positive thing. How can we open to a deep soul connection with ourselves and really offer our full-bodied voice presence in the world without some of the defenses we may have developed (often unconsciously) for good reason in the past arising. Sound has an extraordinary capacity to open the heart. I am sure you will know what I mean. As we meet our resistance, therein lies the healing even though this at times may leave us feeling exposed and vulnerable. This is why in the groups I run I ask that you are willing to be a supportive witness to the others' development as well as your own. I have learned so much and have felt priviledged to be part of others growth in the ongoing singing group I have belonged to over the years.