We would do mainly Primal Singing, but also often followed by short songs of students’ own choosing. And it was clearly the intense Primal Singing sessions that provided the essential groundwork for students to then be able to meaningfully sing their own songs.Thus I remember how workshop attendees, once attuned to a state of mind that will lead to it, would choose a meaningful song for them and work their emotions over it. The woman who had been forbidden to sing from the age of 12, for example, who now came for a singing lesson in her 60s, and chose a children’s song she always loved, through which she got in touch with so many feelings almost forgotten consciously. Or the stiff dancer who chose a song of the loss of youthful innocence, whose muscles relaxed in resonance with her singing that connected her with those primary emotions.
It was then when I was offered the opportunity to do my first workshops in Primal Singing. As before, I started in Yoga centres, offering this technique as ‘mindful singing’, and getting a wonderful group of people willing to sing and express themselves. I taught at the Yavanna Centre and at the Allegro Spacio, both in Madrid.
Such were the incredibly powerful experiences that gave me the assurance and confidence to know that I wanted to develop the Primal Singing method further.
Later on, it was time to move out of my ‘comfort zone’, and I started to offer it as ’emotional improvisation as a tool in modern singing didactics’ for students of voice, particularly at Escuela de Musica Creativa, the largest private music school in Madrid. You can see, published below, a typical example of a workshop in Primal Singing that took place in Madrid in 2007.
For a vivid short summary of what Primal Singing can do for people, I would recommend you watch the following video:
‘Before and after Emotional Work session’
During these years, I persevered with my experimental work, observing body expression and body changes as Primal discourse takes place, observing how audiences and participants react to it and would find in it a channel for self expression they didn’t have before, or they didn’t realize they had.
I recognised that the health-related aspect of my Primal Singing practice had been growing more salient and more obvious in light both of my own lived experiences, reactions, and personal transformation and of those of participants in my workshops.
© Maria Soriano 2014