My mother recently reminded me of something that speaks to my previous posts about self-song and lullabies.
When I was a kid I threw some serious temper tantrums. I was pretty unmanageable. But my mother discovered that if she could just get this ball of kicking and screaming and biting into the bathroom, plunk her into a warm bath, lock the door (and then stand outside to listen and make sure I was safe) as soon as I thought I was alone I'd start singing. Angry songs at first, but within five minutes I would miraculously sing myself happy. Every time. Without fail. This was pretty much a daily occurrence for longer than I'd care to admit.
Of course I cottoned on to her fiendish plot and would try really hard to get angry at her later for making me forget why I was angry at her. But even when I knew what she was doing, and fought her tooth and nail, it always worked. And I still do it to this day. I don't march myself to an enforced bath, but I do sing it out. It made me realize that this habit of singing the pain away has been with me my whole life.
This is especially interesting because my niece was born recently. (The first in our generation, it's very exciting and I am so happy for and proud of my brother and his wife. They are going to be amazing parents.) I've been looking up lullabies to sing to her. And books to read of course. This story-telling thing has so many amazing uses, but holding my little niece I realized that I had forgotten that even before we understand words, even before we understand tone, we feel vibrations. And the sound of a voice of a loved one reverberating through their chest and cocooning you in sound is a first, primal memory of love and comfort.
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Danielle Benzon coaches entrepreneurs and performing artists in voice, acting and audition technique. She is also certified to teach the Meisner Approach through the True Acting Institute. Danielle is based in Vancouver, Canada.