Everything you need to know about Vocal Meditation to get ready for your first class. Leave a comment if you need any more VM-related info.
1. What is Vocal Meditation (VM)?
Vocal Meditation is a voice-oriented meditation class, usually lasting 60 minutes.
2. How does a VM class usually go?
A VM class is comprised of two distinct and complementary meditation exercises. The first is a guided sequence of relaxing yogic breath control techniques (pranayama), and the second enables students to participate in collective improvisational singing/chanting. The class concludes with the sharing of impressions and insights from the session.
3. What do I get out of a VM class?
VM classes have been described as fun, relaxing, and freeing. Through the intuitive practice of song, Vocal Meditation offers students a unique and highly accessible way to deepen mindfulness, explore their relationship with their creative voice, and ultimately heal themselves and others.
4. What’s the set-up of a VM class?
Classes are conducted while seated on the floor (or a chair). There are mats, blocks, and cushions provided for students to comfortably assume a relaxed yet upright sitting position for the duration of the session.
VM is accompanied by at least one acoustic musical instrument (e.g. singing bowls, harps, percussion, horns). Improvisational live music provides both a point of focus and a dynamic flow, forming an integral part of the session.
5. I’m not musical / I can’t sing. Can I join VM?
Yes. Listening—to one’s breath, one’s own voice, and the external environment—is the most important activity in Vocal Meditation. Thus a willingness to listen is the only real requirement: singing is strongly encouraged, but not absolutely necessary.
That said, some self-professed “non-singing” students who tried VM reported leaving the class with a fresh and different experience of their voice. Experienced singers and musicians will likewise benefit from VM’s safe yet liberating space of meditative self-expression.