Finding Your Voice

Singing Lessons, Workshops and Therapy.

The Long Break

October 1st, 2016

I am aware my blogging intentions for this website have been sporadically met at best, but was genuinely shocked to see the last post was February of last year. In fact, I am shocked not only at the length of time, but also because I was sure I had posted a blog about two months ago, when I returned from a glorious month in Bali, following a less glorious period of time in Melbourne watching my mother suffer through the last stages of cancer. The gloriousness was needed!


When I boarded the plane to Melbourne on the day I learned Mum’s hip had broken – no fall involved just cancer – I had my guitars with me. I had no idea how long this would take – whatever “this” would turn out to be – and I would need my music.

In fact I was in Melbourne for about 3 months – there was the surgery – the nearly dying, but not, the doing really well, then suddenly nearly dying, then the getting better, the learning to walk despite the less optimistic predictions of the professionals involved, continuing to get more and more mobile, getting home, and dying three days later. It seems that while recovering from the hip, the cancer had been doing its work on other parts of the body. I am glad my mother died at home – all she cared about while in hospital was getting back to her beloved home in the Melbourne Hills. But I am sad about so many of the other details, not least what she suffered along the way.

In fact I was so busy I played my guitar very little while in Melbourne, but in my month in Bali, I played my guitar and sang most evenings while watching the sun set over rice paddies. The days were spent walking, reading, swimming, crying, doing yoga, crying, getting massages, crying, and occasionally sight seeing.  I was there to recover, not sight see, and anyway the sights right where I was in Penestanen (a village of Ubud) were beautiful enough.


While in Bali I bought a new handmade guitar which will be featured on my upcoming recording project. It’s having a few repairs done – made necessary by adaptation to a new climate (wood can be so fussy!) – but sounds beautiful; I am really excited. I will meet with the recording technician on Tuesday, and hopefully begin recording a week or two later.


I am loving my students. Since returning from Bali, I’ve gained a few new students, as well as having some more long term students return for lessons, and am constantly excited by seeing students grow in their use and understanding of their voices, sometimes in a really short time. There is nothing more wonderful than seeing someone at first not able to match a single pitch, or perhaps sing a line of a sing because of a constricted throat – sing a song from beginning to end in a few weeks. It amazes me how a small amount of additional control over one or two structures in the voice can lead to a whole sequence of seemingly unrelated things fall into place. I am also inspired by the way students stick with something when not initially seeing results and finally seeing it fall into place. The process is so different for all of us. I know there are so many things I have been working on for years myself which continually improve, but still leave room for more.



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Raelene lives in Perth, Australia. She tours & is available for festivals, workshops, & country & interstate events.
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