Off-Cut Twenty Six
Frankie Armstrong singer, social worker and teacher of voice workshops was interviewed on Life Matters by Geraldine Doogue (26th March 2001). Frankie started singing at the point her eye sight began to deteriorate. She ultimately became completely blind. . This interview was provoked by the publication of her book "Well Tuned Women - growing strong through voice work."
The question posed was - if we could use our voice better, trust it and like it, would we be much happier people? Frankie explained there is actually scientific evidence now that singing does actually make you happy. It gets endorphins working and also effects part of the inner ear which effects mood and generates a sense of well-being.
But more importantly she was interested in the more anecdotally based perspective that if our voice was criticized the feeling that is generated makes our voice go smaller. Frankie believes that the reason we are so sensitive to criticisms of our voice is that it is the thing that comes from inside us and links the inner world to the outer world. Criticism of our voice feels like criticism of our inner selves and the damaging effect of this undermining can last for years.
So the book explores the question of how women speak in public life and if women's rights have increased have their voices also changed. Frankie felt there were a lot of women who reduced their power by having "little fury voices", "little head voices" or "little pleading voices". The theory was expanded that our voices and our connection to them start at the beginning of life with our families and that's were the root of our vocal development resides.
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