Your Voice is Perfect

The other day, I overheard a question that I feel obligated to answer.

"What voice should I sing to children in?"

A little background: I'm a bass.  Not like a fish, like a low, loud, boomy bass singing voice.  To top it off, my range isn't the greatest (hey, I'm a saxophonist).  So most of what I sing is low.  When I was studying for my bachelor's degree, a music therapists I studied under told me I needed to sing in a falsetto (What is falsetto?) voice when working with children.  Her concern was that children could not match my low pitch.

While this is a legitimate concern, I always had to respectfully disagree that singing in this manner was necessary.  For one, I was uncomfortable singing in this manner, both physically and cognitively.  I felt it strained my voice, and I also felt a bit silly singing like that.  Falsetto voice certainly has a time and place, but I felt that singing in this manner might be confusing and distracting to the clients I work with.  Perhaps if I was Justin Timberlake I could pull it off, but it just wasn't me.

So I continued on with my bass singing.  Over two years later, I've never had a problem with it!  While the quality of the music is important in music therapy, it's not the end-all, be-all.  The facilitation of therapy is far more important.

My advice to those wondering what voice to sing to children in would be this: Whatever voice is comfortable to you.  High, low, loud, soft, out-of-tune, or anything in between.

Just sing!

Andrew Littlefield MM, MT-BC

The George Center , 12060 Etris Road, Roswell, GA, 30075