Neil McLennan of Time Out: session/interview with Blue
Psychotherapist and Vocal Coach Blue Marsden is crucially
aware of the strong association between the body and the
mind. In fact, he’s combined the two in a unique
treatment that boosts both the ability of anyone who
believes they can’t sing and the confidence of anyone
who can but is just a bit shy.
As he tells me, vocal inadequacy is as much to do with
mental blockage as physical deficiency. It’s all
about belief. While bad posture can be easily sorted,
hypnotherapy is an effective way of freeing the
subconscious from its shackles.
But before that, a quick assessment has me on my feet
running through a few scales. I make a few squeaking stabs
at the high notes and there’s rather too much air
down low but, remarkably, he doesn’t wince. Infact,
he declares that within my mid-register lurks an
‘attractive quality’, which is odd as
they’re words I’ve never heard used to describe
my voice before.
After a tongue-loosening exercise, Marsden checks my
breathing, urging me to fill up from the stomach (easy),
then my sides (more tricky) and my back (much work needed).
Next comes the hypnotherapy part. I’m to cast my mind
back to a time when I was super-relaxed. Next thing I know,
I’m feeling a beach in Mexico. When Marsden’s
voice shifts a tonal gear, I know there’s no going
back. I’m under and he’s free to chat to my
subconscious. I hear the words, but am powerless to resist
till he counts me back to reality, five minutes later.
A quick stretch, a deep breath and it’s time to check
for results. Instantly, there’s a vocal agility I
didn’t have before. Rather than strain for anything,
I’m making vocal leaps and bounds, even showing off
with a few improvised flourishes. It’s not exactly
miraculous (though Marsden has plenty of these stories that
are), but I have newfound confidence. Move over Pavarotti,
there’s a new kid in town.