“I hate my voice,” she said. “I just can’t listen to myself sing anymore. When I was in high school, I took voice lessons. I used to sing all the time. Now, since I am no longer in that environment… I just don’t sing anymore… It is hard to sing.”

I often receive this sort of confession, when my ethnomusicology students at the University of Chicago find out that I am an opera singer. Students express their loss of the joy in singing as a disconnect with their creative spirit. In essence, they can’t find their voice. Yet, I view this disconnect as also a symptom of the ways in which the commercialization of music has robbed us of our cultural tools that develop self-love and acceptance.

When was the last time you broke forth in song for no apparent reason? As Ella Fitzgerald once sang, when was the last time you “let a song go from out of your heart,” without the need for pomp and circumstance? Read more at TheGenerationalEffect.com

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