It's Cricket Song Season in New York!

It's Cricket Song Season in New York

Sunday, September 18, 2022 by Shannon Boyce | Uncategorized

Singing as a Practice for Building the New Michael Culture of the Future

It’s cricket song season here in New York state and even as I write this article, I can hear them playing their violins outside my window connecting to the archetypal cosmic universal sound or you could say “The Music of the Spheres”.  All sounds made in nature connect to this sounding naturally.   An attempt to perceive this is to take the cricket song and slow it down.  It sounds like humans singing or chanting; it’s almost angelic-like.  If you click below you can listen to a 50-second clip of slowed down cricket song to see for yourself.  


But we as humans often struggle to connect to this cosmic sound because we are living such busy overscheduled lives just trying to survive and keep up with what is pulling on us from the outside, often feeling stressed out and overwhelmed by everything on our task lists.  We may from time to time slow down, take a walk, meditate or do something to nurture our insides but the minute we go back into activity we often lose all the peacefulness we were trying to cultivate in nurturing our insides.  

So what is this archetypal cosmic sound?  

It’s not the study of sound based on scientific laws.  If we think like Goethe it is the primal original thought living behind the sound.   In other words, it is the sound we cannot hear in the physical world but that cosmically surrounds us all the time.   And we can connect to it if we just take the time to slow down and listen.  People who have come back from near-death experiences have often described how they were surrounded by worlds of sound and tone.  

And why should we connect to this archetypal cosmic sound?

Because as human beings we still live in a time of divided consciousness.  It is difficult to “perceive a process of the world and, at the same time, a process of ourselves”.  “We have, through our head organization, an incomplete nature conception, that which we call the external world; and we have through our inner organization an incomplete knowledge of ourselves”, Rudolf Steiner describes this in GA194 lecture 6 The Ancient Yoga Culture and the New Yoga Will. The Michael Culture of the Future.  

When we focus our attention on outer activities we are often disconnected from our bodies and ourselves.   Or we over concentrate focusing so much on ourselves we become self-absorbed and egotistical and can often lose perception and perspective of what is going on in the world around us.  Or we go through our day in a sleep-walking kind of way.   It’s an either-or situation.  But when we can learn to be in activity in the outer world and be aware of our inner higher thinking self, filled with inner activity of will at the same time, then we find balance and inner and outer life can work seamlessly as a whole.  It is imperative that each of us find something which allows us to hold something within ourselves and, at the same time, recognize it as a process of the outer world.   And, as Steiner mentions in his lecture, we cannot attain this by going back to ancient practices.  This takes practice in our times and a great amount of patience.  

One such practice is awakening our inner ear to connect to the cosmic archetypal sound through singing.  Now one could go to a studio and take a sound bath with singing bowls and gongs being played all around you, but imagine if you could create those sounds for yourself through your own human instrument, your voice.   You have probably heard the expression, “The eyes are the window of the soul”.  Well, you could also say, “The voice is the vibration of the soul”.  Rudolf Steiner said that “man has in his breathing a faculty capable of the highest possible development through the transmutation of his breathing process into song.  And if he works at it, there are infinite possibilities for his development.”

This type of singing practice is developing the practice of the New Yoga for the future that will create the Michael Culture that Steiner speaks of in the lecture referenced above.  The challenge is that most people do not know how to truly listen and they do not have the freedom in their own voices to achieve this or they are too frightened or shy to use their voice, especially in singing.   That is because we live in the age of materialism.  We think of our voices materialistically as if we are a machine that can just produce the tone, and when it doesn’t go as we would like, we or someone else judges us, and then intellectually we decide we just can’t sing.  Or we just don’t care and we sing with all our might causing damage to our instrument.   But with the exercises from “The School of Uncovering the Voice” developed by Swedish Opera Singer, Valborg Werbeck-Svärdström supported by her 11-year relationship with Rudolf Steiner, we can learn to embody our breath, enliven our tone, ensoul our word for the consciousness of our times, and find freedom, suppleness, and grace with our voice.  Allowing our voice to connect to the heart of those we communicate with. Then the tone actually sings us and we then take a step forward in our spiritual development.        

A new online cohort is forming this fall with Foundational Course #1, “Embodying the Breath with the Exercises to Forget the Breathing”.  There are several opportunities to try a free lesson.

Monday Night, September 19, 2022 at 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM New York EASTERN TIME

                                                           Saturday Morning, September 24, 2022 at 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM New York EASTERN TIME

                                                           Sunday Evening, September 25, 2022 at 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM New York EASTERN TIME

                                                           Monday Night, September 26, 2022 at 7:30 PM - 8:00 PM New York EASTERN TIME

                                                           Tuesday Morning, September 27, 2022 at 7:30 PM - 8:00 PM New York EASTERN TIME

                                                           Saturday Afternoon, October 1, 2022 at 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM New York EASTERN TIME

                                                           Sunday Afternoon, October 2, 2022 4:30-6:00 PM New York EASTERN TIME 


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  • Or if you are ready to learn how to connect to your voice and the archetypal sound click here for more information about the new cohort that will begin October 3rd.     

Shannon Boyce teaches how to Reveal Your Supple Voice through the study and practices of The School of Uncovering the Voice, the singing school endorsed by Rudolf Steiner as an Anthroposophical approach to singing.

Your Voice Matters

Tuesday, March 9, 2021 by Shannon Boyce | Uncategorized

Your Voice Matters by Shannon Boyce

Have you ever stopped to consider your voice and how important it is to everyday life?  Whether with strangers or loved ones, your voice is what builds relationship.  And there are very few professions you can do without using your voice.

Do you realize billions of dollars are spend every year on beauty and health products for body hygiene?   Most people have some sort of daily routine for personal hygiene, yet how many people do you know who have a daily routine for vocal hygiene?  Most people don’t think about their voices unless they are ill and lose their voice or become hoarse from yelling so much either at home from the stress of family life or out of excitement such as at a sporting event or concert.  Voices are becoming lower and lower in their pitch range and more and more people have raspy, edgy, harsh, loud, pressed or chronically hoarse voices.  And sadly, this is true not only for adults but children too.

This loss of vocal health is also spilling over into a lack of ability to voice ourselves as human beings.  Have you ever noticed how defensive people are towards each other nowadays?  When this happens the voice becomes very thin and seems to be right at the edge of one’s skin.  There is a superficial pleading to the defensive voice that makes it shallow, tight, and difficult for others to listen to as opposed to the voice that comes from a calm and well-grounded place, which has strength, intelligence, and resilience at its core.   

 Our voices should be taken seriously, especially for Waldorf teachers in the classroom and for parents, as our voices radiate either a sense of well-being or lack of well-being.  For the young child who imitates the world around him/her, it is especially important that the adults in his/her life seriously consider the quality of their voice.  It is only the most healthy and natural voice that can penetrate the heart of the child.  Therefore, you must ask yourself “Am I using my most healthy and natural voice or a fake unnatural voice?” This means that we as adults must wake up to the questions concerning our own vocal health and development.  We must understand that our voices are a most precious and sensitive instrument.

“But, I just can’t sing, no one wants to hear ME sing”.   For many people singing around other people feels really scary.  You might be comfortable singing in the shower but that is as far as it goes.  Or maybe you long to sing but were traumatized as a child and told to stop singing and just mouth the words.  This is one of the worst things that can happen to a child.  Everyone has a birthright to sing.  As a Waldorf educator, perhaps your training lacked sufficient instruction in singing and you still feel this is a skill you must improve upon for your own well-being and for the sake of the well being of the children in your classroom. For parents, singing with your children can be such a joyful way to connect and bond to your child and perhaps you long to feel more confidence in your singing voice.    

In today’s crazy, stressed out, fast-paced world, many people are looking for ways to find moments of peace through yoga, meditation or some other form of spiritual practice.  Learning to sing with a free and open voice can awaken inner harmony.  Therefore, I encourage you to consider attending one of the open singing retreats being offered this summer out of the impulse of “The School of Uncovering the Voice” founded by Valborg Werbeck Svärdström and endorsed by Rudolf Steiner as a singing training based in Anthroposophy. 

Looking back over my 10 years of singing study out of this impulse, I can say it has not only been an incredible path towards vocal freedom but also primarily an extraordinary cathartic journey toward uncovering my selfhood.  It has helped me in my roles as a voice teacher, a parent, a spouse, and a friend.  I am more relaxed in how I can express myself to others.   By attending one of the open singing retreats you will learn exercises that will connect and lead you to a right relationship with your physical voice as well as deepen your relationship to your own inner voice.  You will come to know the worlds of tone and sound in a way that changes your inner and outer life.  It will also change your personal relationships; people will want to come to listen to you as you begin to uncover the calm relaxed voice living inside of you.  You will come to know the meditative, spiritual and healing power of the voice.  Learning to be with your voice will connect you to the purest parts of yourself and guide you to develop your more realized self.