Reprint from Feature article in the
Long Beach Press Telegram
October 30, 1990

Sing Away The Blues

by staff writer Walt Murray


photo-5The 15-year old was working up a song presentation for an audition for a local arts high school.   She sought professional help from Carole Moskovitz, Long Beach singer who has a Masters Degree in Psychology.

Moskovitz, a mother of two sons who leads personal growth workshops, says that your singing voice reflects more of you than you might believe.   "There's a direct relation between a limited vocal range and emotional blocks that may be limiting your life.   When people express themselves through song, it's a reflection of where they are with themselves," Moskovitz said.

She says that proved true with the 15-year old, who had chosen as her song, "Through The Eyes of Love" from the movie, Ice Castles. The girl had a natural singing talent and was right on key throughout the song - except for one phrase where she went flat every time. Since the phrase was well within the girl's range, Moskovitz knew it wasn't a technical problem.   She suggested that they take a close look at the lyrics 'It's everything I am, Everything I want to be.'   When the girl read the lyrics thoughtfully, she burst into tears.

"The lyrics reminded her of her Mom," Moskovitz said. She said, 'My Mom really wants me to do well. I want to do well, too, but I'm afraid I'm not going to do well enough for my Mom.'"   Moskovitz says the girl was going flat inside herself, not just with her voice.   "It was her sense of self-esteem," she said.   "We explored that a little.   It wasn't that the mother was pressuring the girl, but that the girl was overly concerned about pleasing her mother," Moskovitz says.   "When she got to the sense of what was going on and cleared that for herself, she was able to give herself permission to do her best and let the chips fall where they might. She got into a peaceful place with herself and sang like a dream.

"It's never an accident what piece of sheet music a singer chooses," Moskovitz says. "But sometimes singers don't really think about what the lyrics mean to them.   A person will start to sing and tears will start to flow. She'll say: I don't understand - why am I crying? - this is just a song. Yeah, except take a look at the lyrics. What does the song say and where are you in relation to that?"

Moskovitz, who works with clients at her home, calls the work she does, Singing From The Heartâ„¢. She sees song as a way to connect with others in a deep and profound way.   "Looked at that way, there's a lot more to learning to sing than just natural ability and polishing your technique.

"There are a lot of technically very good singers out there, but I personally wouldn't spend a penny to hear them, because they're not in their bodies," she said.   "They're out somewhere doing their ego trip, and they're very stiff and distant from their audience.   A lot of heart can more than make up for a voice that's not technically perfect," Moskovitz says.

"I don't care a whole lot for the style of singing that Willie Nelson does, but there's heart to his singing.   It's the same with Bob Dylan.   He doesn't have a really pleasant tonal sound, but he's got something to say and there's heart and there's passion.

"Song can put you in touch with aspects of yourself that you're not fully aware of," Moskovitz says.

"One woman wanted to sing a song for her husband for their anniversary.   She started to sing and broke into tears.   She got in touch with her incredible love for her husband at a level she hadn't before.

"Or it can put you in touch with something darker, such as trauma from the past - which is often reflected in your voice. For instance, you may have learned at some point that it wasn't safe to step out of a certain range - both vocally and emotionally."

A woman in her late 30s came to Moskovitz with a whiny, little girl voice. "She wanted to perform - to be out there presenting herself well.   If you hear a grown woman speaking like a little girl, you hear the huge disparity in where she is in her own developmental growth," Moskovitz said.   "She had gone through a lot of things in her childhood.   Some of the feelings she had were locked in as a teenager.   At some point, she had let go of her dreams of what she wanted in her life."

Moskovitz worked with her, including having her breathe deeply and do guided visualization, bringing colors and light into blocked places in her body.   "As she felt more comfortable, I asked her to let a sound out. It was many breaths before she was willing to make a sound.   What came out was a deep earthy sound that was pretty frightening to her.   She hadn't heard that sound out of herself before.   What was it? There were things that were frightening to her, such as her mother screaming at her as a child.   The other thing she got a glimpse of was the power that resided inside her.   She had no idea there was at that level of power.   She had never used that level of breathing and had held herself very tightly."

Moskovitz says each of us have a wide range of voices and tones within us. "But many of us stifle them, finding only a limited range of self-expression.   It's good to begin to develop all of the voices," she said.   "There are appropriate places to use them all.   If you're a teacher, you use a soft voice in a library, but it takes another voice to command a room of 33 children.

"The key is to get in touch with your own authentic sound", Moskovitz says.   "There's always sound going on.   Whether or not we breathe and tap into it and ride with it is another thing.   It comes from the inside out, rather than from learning outside technique.   An authentic sound is from a very deep place.   It doesn't have to be a deep sound.   It just comes from that well of who you are.   It comes from your soul.   With an audience, that's when people are moved."