Barbara McAfee: Unleashing Your Power Through Your Voice


Manage episode 343220890 series 2990502
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Barbara started her work with the voice and vocal training because of her experience as a young girl at a time where women were expected to be nice and polite. She saw that a person’s experience, trauma, and even keeping family secrets while growing up can affect and manifest through a person’s voice. While also coming from a family of singers, her reclaiming of her voice, power, and healing as a person has been tangled up from her roots ever since.

Trauma can affect the voice and can depend on gender, class, race, country of origin, when the trauma occurred, how you survived, and so on. For example, people who infantilize their voice or talk like they’re still a child reflects a person’s desire to not grow up or a call for help. Another example is how sometimes a deadness or a flatness in a voice can indicate a person’s need to hide their emotions especially with therapists, chaplains, social workers, and people in the medical field.

The five elements of voice include earth, which is good for being grounded, projecting authority, and accessing your gut instinct; fire is for passion, personal power, and physical vitality; water is the heart and throat, the voice of the heart or anything your heart wants to say; metal is the mask or the face and can be loud without any vocal strength which is bright, sharp, and can cut through anything; and lastly is air, sourced from the crown and is good for storytelling, telling the future, and linking to the spirit.

Barbara is a voice coach, trainer, and author of “Full Voice: The Art and Practice of Vocal Presence” which helps train individuals who want to use their voice to its full potential whether through leadership, education, or singing. She is the founder of Morning Star Singers, a volunteer choir that sings for people facing hardship such as illness, end of life, depression, or grief.

What we discuss:

06:19 – Barbara work with the voice

12:00 – Being congruent and freeing your voice

22:29 – Trauma in the voice

31:13 – How the voice expresses trauma

40:06 – Gifts and qualities of voice

47:59 – How to breathe properly

1:01:15 – Where to find Barbara

Learn more from Barbara:


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