Riva Capellari

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Located in Brookside in the heart of Kansas City

A Vocal Celebration

Anything special come to mind when you think of April? For me, it is my birthday month. Easter also lands in April much of the time. There are April showers that bring May flowers signaling the arrival of spring or perhaps a final frost, and then there is tax day. Very few people know that April 16th is World Voice Day.

Developed in Brazil in 1999 by voice care specialists, it is now an international event. Although established to educate the public on the importance of the voice and its care, it also sponsors a global choral concert, international talks and encourages not only voice care professionals, but singing teachers to develop events for this day.

Like many things in our lives, we take our voice for granted until it stops working. Laryngitis, hoarseness, serious pathologies such as Parkinson’s and paralysis suddenly bring to the fore how necessary our voices are to our everyday existence. We comfort a friend or call a family member with it, use it for crying, laughing, singing. We read stories to our children and grand-children with it, recite poetry out loud with it and need it for our job. But we don’t really ever learn how to take care of it and even though, as part of our body, the wellness of our body, mind and spirit is reflected in the wellness of our voice, there are some extra steps to be taken to ensure we maintain our voices not just for the day or week or year, but for a lifetime.

As a singer and especially as a voice teacher, I have an obligation to educate my students on how to take care of this most precious commodity. However that is for another issue!

More and more I have been introducing people to the healing benefits of the voice. You may have noticed there is a new logo at the top of this newsletter. After many years, I decided to “rebrand” to more closely align with my newly energized focus on these benefits. The reVoice name was derived from my desire to help people rediscover, reveal, renew etc. their voices physiologi-cally and metaphorically. Still the core of my teaching, it is now backed up with data from ongoing research. Once anecdotal, there is now evidence that singing, chanting, humming or just vocalizing sound can help heal through its vibrational power. But for me, this new scientific evidence is not the most convincing aspect of this phenomenon. I have seen it work with students and workshop attendees, and most powerfully, with myself during a serious illness.

Our voice is our right, our vote. It is part of our identity. It allows us to express our opinions and speak up for those you cannot. And it can heal us and who knows, maybe heal the world in some small way.

So this April 16th, celebrate your voice. Use it, care for it, love it and may it fill your life with joy and health!

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