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Find your voice

20th September 2018 | Beverly Landais

Can you sing? Many of us will say ‘no’ perhaps with a smile followed by a self-depreciating comment about ‘like a fog horn’ or some such. Including me. Last night I discovered that barring illness or injury, it is possible for anyone to sing, and I loved it.

I was fortunate to bag a ticket to an evening Masterclass at RADA in collaboration with the City Women Network. The evening session lasted an hour and a half. In that time RADA Vocal coach, Tom Wakeley encouraged, cajoled and orchestrated around 50 women into performing as a one voice choir. It was an extraordinary experience.

Tom began the evening by helping us understand that essential, but too often underutilised, leadership tool: our voices. On our feet within minutes, Tom directed us with a series of practical breathing and vocal exercises. There was no time to be self-conscious as he cleverly led our attention to feeling what was going on within our bodies with each breath as we sustain sound.

Next Tom introduced us to the lyrics of the song ‘The Rhythm of Life’ from the hit musical ‘Sweet Charity’. A cold shiver went down my spine at the thought, and I suspect many others felt the same. I noticed that some of us took an involuntary step back. Some serious ‘fight or flight’ survival instinct started to kick in!

Within moments, Tom had organised us into groups, giving us roles, guiding our voices and encouraged us to ‘do something out of our comfort zone’. It was indeed a Masterclass in helping a growth mindset. We all had a part to play, we all had a contribution to make.

Energised and motivated we practised together. Stumbling over words, laughing out loud and savouring the moment when things came together. Within an hour we began to sing and move with conviction and enthusiasm for ‘The Rhythm of Life’.

The buzz at the networking drinks after the event was terrific. So many smiling faces. It was uplifting, and a reminder that pushing your boundaries can bring enormous reward. At the end of the night, I left for home with a sense of achievement and a smile on my face. 

The Masterclass demonstrated to me how, with effort and the guidance of an expert, you could improve: communication skills, confidence, break down status barriers, gain supportive behaviours, enjoy team bonding and learn how to express yourself.  What a privilege.

20th September 2018 | Beverly Landais

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