The Sound of Music, and the Music of Sound
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Can you describe your life history through a soundtrack? Or at least reflect specific periods or events in your life through a series of individual songs, CDs, play lists, or musical pieces? Most of us growing up in Western cultures who have had any exposure to pop culture entertainment... certainly can.
Can music influence people to make choices, make changes, & build motivational states?
Of course it can. Just as music can hinder us if we let it, or (as some people unfortunately do) if we invite such.
I can remember getting ready to graduate from high school at about the time the movie (& song) "St. Elmo's Fire" came out, which was about finding purpose. I remember it to this day, and nowadays, anytime a radio station happens to play that song, memories come flooding back, and emotions flare.
I can remember my first relationship breaking-up and playing songs about wanting a second chance. (I can also remember lots of reasons that I'm glad I never got one!).
Every time I hear ANY of the songs made popular by the Rocky films, or for example the theme song to Chariots of Fire by Vangelis, I get a boost of motivational and inspirational energy. Don't you?
Sounds not only reflect feelings... sounds create feelings.
In NLP terms we would call these sounds or songs "anchors" for the feelings they elicit. But that's not the only mechanism at work -- there is another form of "synesthesia" where sounds directly create sensations, virtually instantly, inside our bodies. In other words, I'm not only speaking of the effect of an experiential trigger (song) leading on to an emotional response (feeling), but also the effect of how sensory vibration can directly affect our bodies in interesting ways.
I believe that the sounds we hear -- even new ones we don't yet recognize from memories -- influence us through rhythm, resonance, vibration & more. I think different areas of our bodies respond differently to each instrument, to each different frequency of sound we hear. Sometimes hearing almost anything a specific instrument might plays... can feel good. I know people who absolutely cannot listen to a harmonica -- just the sound of it (not the musical style, but the quality of any harmonica notes) drives them batty. By contrast, I personally experience great sensations just while listening to a note played by a Harpsichord. Any note. Any piece, doesn't matter -- for me, the sound of a harpsichord feels good. (almost as good as listening to Joe Satriani play... virtually anything on his guitar).
Maybe this level of synesthesia is unusual for you, or maybe you've had this experience all your life. I don't know, which is partly why I'm writing this. But I learned early on -- maybe by the age of 5, that I can play the notes in any octave "in my body" by creating brief tension in specific muscles/joints all across the line from one hand through my arms & chest over to the other hand. So I could listen to music and play the notes I'd heard, in my body, at the same time. At first I probably looked a little restless or spasmodic, LOL!, but eventually I got those little sensations down to unnoticeable fast twitches. And pretty soon I could play anything in my head/body, real-time.
I had more fun with this in a different way with the song "Oh Yeah" by the band "Yello." "Oh Yeah" was made popular in a number of movies, perhaps most notably in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." It's an addictively catchy tune. And one strange and creative day about 11 years ago when I was first learning NLP, I found a way to play each instrument in the tune, with a different movement or body part. And then I'd replay the song, learning to stay with the various different instruments and play the song accurately, somatically. (What can I tell you, I'm a little strange, and there's almost nothing I won't do to push the envelope a bit for your gain!) Took me literally a couple of hours before I could play the whole song, somatically, and accurately. But here's the fun part. Now, I can be sitting on an airplane, or on a train, or in an automobile(!), and absolutely silently play "Oh Yeah" at full volume in my head & body, and hear every single instrument & note, and even more strangely -- I'll also know precisely whether I've played it correctly or otherwise. And every time, I end up with the kind of smile that makes people think I've got something up my sleeve. And of course, I did have something up my sleeve -- both a synthesized C-sharp, & a high-hat.
Now, all of that is mostly just fun storytelling that shares with you some of the odd explorations I engage in. Now let's look at more pragmatic conclusions we might be able to draw about sound and synesthesia, and...
Auditory stimuli has such a profound impact on our normal everyday lives. Knowing this allows us to brighten and enhance any human experience.
Life Area #1: Business / Work / Career
A) How productive is your work environment? Is it filled with either the sounds of productivity? Or other music that is known to improve productivity? Endless studies have been done of how much certain kinds of music changes moods, improves sales or productivity, communication, & more. Get educated and make sure your environment is optimally "sounded" for best results.
B) How's YOUR Voice? If you communicate to others, and you still haven't taken a long hard listen to how your voice sounds, or gotten feedback from people who don't owe you anything or have to brown nose you for a living... you need to stop hindering yourself and get my Voice CD-sets. Seriously. How would it be to begin to get out of your own way? Wouldn't it be incredibly valuable? Realistically, at least 95% of the people I encounter, even in NLP circles, could take some simple measures -- to get better results with their own voices. They're spending huge amounts on determining what to say & when, and then delivering all those skills -- through a crappy vocal instrument. We truly cannot afford NOT to know how our voice may be reducing our value to other people.
Life Area #2: Personal Life
"Sexy People Sound Better" - or so says an article that was recently published in LiveScience! (Clicking on the article title will open a new window)
And there's another article there too you might want to read: "Deep-Voiced Men Have More Kids" (Sept 2007) (Clicking on the article title will open a new window)
I think these are both absolutely fascinating studies that, in my opinion, give exceedingly positive validation and credibility to all the work I do with helping you to develop your voice into an irresistible instrument!
Daily, through my products & seminars, I help people sound significantly better.
I use my ear, I use highly unique vocal exercises you can't find elsewhere. And I use voice synthesizers & a PA system and an oscilloscope and a histogram, and "voice impression" training (amongst other approaches).
I can make ANYONE'S voice deeper. And not just barely -- not just a little bit. But I know ways of getting you to reach significantly lower registers (with practice, you can make it permanent). And deeper voices are more desireable in BOTH men & women.
I wanted you to see these articles on the profound impact the quality of your voice has on your life (it's not just a mild effect!) -- my courses can help not only your professional sound/image -- but also your sex life! For convenience, here are some of my product & seminar links in this area of study.
Finally, if you think what you need is private vocal coaching in person or over the web/phone, contact me. Let's discuss your goals!
Tying Voice Improvement back in to causing certain body sensations in others:
I think that training ourselves to be far more attentive to others even as we speak to them, can enable us to find... specific sounds/tones/vibrations in our own voices... that can cause better or worse sensations in people as they listen to us.
Musicians well know that sometimes, just changing the key of a musical piece by just one single note -- can be enough to change the entire emotional tone of that piece. This is neither accidental, nor just a passing mild effect. This is HUGE!
It means that hope is NOT lost. If you have a bad voice -- if your pitch or tonality is turning people off -- sometimes just changing things a little bit can be enough to generate entirely different responses.
You might wish to begin thinking of the responses people have as not so much rational choices.. but as neurological ones. And you CAN change how you affect other people's neurology -- dramatically.
If you've been harboring any particular voice concerns... and are finally so fed up with your voice doing nothing to improve your charisma (or worse, hurting it!), email me with a specific list of your own vocal grievances. You CAN get your own vocal breakthrough & increase your charisma and influence. Do allow me some time to respond, though, because my email account fills up constantly. There is hope for _everyone_ -- because I can improve anyone's voice!