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Variance: Do You Know Silence?

Variance: Do You Know Silence?

“To understand sound we must know silence. To hear sound fully we must hear silence.” – Dudley Knight, Speaking with Skill

It is odd to think of silence as hard to achieve while many are quarantined at home alone. Still, silence remains hard to achieve in our modern world. Even in the absence of speaking there is the hum of heating or air conditioning. The ambient noise of the devices we possess. And overtly, the sound of our connection with the virtual world — keys pressed, files played, fans running to cool devices, etc.

True silence isn’t really possible so instead, I would invite you to create a container in which to catalog sound. Borrowing from Speaking with Skill, the book I quote above, I suggest a list.

Note everything you can hear. Listen deeply, how far can your aural attention reach.

Here is mine: Keys on keyboard, air purifier fan, traffic outside, low bass somewhere to my left, steps in the upstairs apartment, A high pitched hum unspecified, the ding of a text message arriving, my daughter shifting in her chair (other room), bird song – various, cat snoring.

Listen deeply and then say something. Notice your voice and the space it makes.


On Fridays at 12 pm EDT, for the foreseeable future, Gina will host an office hour over Zoom that will also be live on FB. These will be short voice alignment sessions aimed at voice skills building. Come to the Zoom for the session and/or to ask any questions you have about voice function or practice or just join me over FB Live. Register here or watch it live on the GROW Voice FB page. I hope to see you there.


Gina Razón is the principal voice specialist at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service voice and speech studio in Boston’s Back Bay.  She has over 16 years of experience both as a teacher of voice and speech, and 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 www.growvoice.com.

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