The World Voice Day theme ‘Voice Matters’ opens up so many opportunities to explore what having a voice really means to each of us.
For a singer it matters that they have an exquisitely tuned instrument to perform and entertain… for an occupational voice user it matters that their voice is robust, well trained and healthy, fit for a marathon so to speak…while for regular ‘Joe & Jane Citizen’ it matters that they are able to communicate their practical needs, their opinions, their love, their fears and desires. There is no doubt that achieving all of this, relies on having functional healthy vocal folds and being skilled in using and caring for them.
However, please indulge my for a minute while I share another personal opinion on why ‘voice matters’.
On Friday afternoon I paid a surprise visit to my M.I.L, who at 92, lives in an aged care home on the mid North Coast. When we walked through the front door we were greeted by the somewhat creaky but joyful sound of a group singing in the distance; as we got closer I could hear her (shaky, but very best effort) soprano voice above the rest of the group as they belted out “It’s a Long Way To Tipperary”…
I peeked my head around the doorway to see 10 residents with an average age of somewhere around 86 (accompanied by their Hawaiian shirt wearing guitarist), being transported back to their youth. There they were, in all different states of physical ability, sharing the joy of singing, and the sense of sharing and community that comes with it.
Were they good ? … technically not. Were they happy?…absolutely.
So remember that no matter who you are or what you do, voice really does matter.