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Perform: Birthday Gifts

My daughter turns 10 today so in her honor, this post is dedicated to just a few of the voicing lessons she has taught me. I hope you find them useful as well.

  1. Tank up when you need to make big sounds. The beauty of a child’s body as they prepare to cry out is visceral and immediate. In those first few days of their life, I learned more about breathing than in the decade before.
  2. Your words have an impact. Speaking with a child especially my child has always seemed to me like speaking before a living mirror. You can see what you have created in real-time. This is wonderful and horrifying.
  3. Ask for what you need and expect it. This is a kid thing but surely all of us could stand to internalize it again maybe with a little adult polish.
  4. If your body is tight, dance it out. Children have little tolerance for the small physical discomforts we ignore. Mine has always used dance to make her body sound right.
  5. Have a Question. Be curious. Want to know more. Ask.
  6. There is security in silent breathing. Anyone with children can probably attest to the beauty inherent in hearing your child’s breathing — especially as they sleep. This is still my favorite meditation.
  7. Choose humor. Whenever possible find the joy in the room and share it.
  8. Everyone is welcome. The art of accepting everyone, at first glance, as worthy of invitation, conversation, and play. If not for my extrovert child, I would know far fewer of the exceptional people in my life.
  9. If you don’t know what to say yet, write it down or draw it out. Brilliant.
  10. Sing often and with others. The daily duets in my house are not just fun with the child but also a way to connect and commune with sound. It is a gift and I highly recommend it.

Happy Birthday, Dragon Child. Keep on roaring, mommy says you can.

Gina Razón is the Founder and CEO at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service verbal communication studio in Boston’s Back Bay.  She has over two decades of experience as a teacher of voice and speech, is a communication and change facilitator, and is a voraciously curious voice user.  Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker.  For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit

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