Singing Therapy

True energy, voice? Used well, it would help us manage our emotions, overcome our fears and regulate certain diseases! An ancient technique that the West rediscovers.

Erik Pigani

A-r-e-i-o-oum "," a-r-e-i-o-oum "Sitting in a circle, about thirty people chant in unison each of the letters of this strange word." More clearly, articulate well, but without straining, "advises the group leader by clapping her hands to mark the rhythm.

This is one of the many exercises that Catherine Gaytte has developed in the context of his personal development courses based on the work of the sung voice (see below) The goal: to feel the effect of the subtle vibrations of each letter in the throat, the palate, the sternum, the belly and the top of the skull Noticeable vibrations not only physically, but also emotionally and spiritually.

This is the main idea of ​​recently developed s singing techniques: the voice is a real physical, mental and spiritual energy. and well used, it is able to recharge us and, thus, to help us manage our emotions, to find our identity, to face our fears, even to regulate certain diseases! What all spiritual traditions explain and practice at the dawn of time, and that the West seems to be rediscovering for the past ten years ...

Working in the voice

In France, few therapists offer a work on the voice. And for good reason: you have to be a singer yourself, to have a musical background and to benefit from a solid psychological experience. The majority of the singers-therapists have therefore developed their own technique. That's why today, we have almost as many methods as practitioners! Some of the most important examples.


In the early 1960s, after much research on the effect of sounds on the human body, Marie-Louise Aucher creates psychophony. She is the first - and for a long time the only one - to use the voice as a technique of self-knowledge and well-being, as well as a therapeutic process. His great discovery: the vibrations of the voice propagate in the body through the skeleton, the bone being an excellent conductor of sound! It establishes a mapping of the correspondences between the sounds and the different parts of the body, with their physical and psychological effects. She works a lot with pregnant women. Today, her work and her work are being pursued by the accredited professionals of Marie-Louise Aucher College of Psychotherapy.

Harmonic song

In the early 1970s, David Hykes, a young American musician, developed a very particular technique inspired by the "diphonic" singing of Mongolian and Tibetan traditions: from a note sung, a certain position of the language relative to the palace allows to emit a second.

The result is astounding: the singer opens his mouth, produces a series of low notes - always the same - and, in "overprinting", a series of high notes, which rise, descend, bounce in the intervals. It sounds like a dreamy voice, maybe the mythical song of the sirens ... After having founded the American Harmonic Choir and the French Harmonic Choir, David Hykes develops his art as a method. "It is above all a work of art. listening to it, "he says," seeking to recognize and identify two notes that vibrate within us at the same time is a gateway to a vast world of inner experiences. "But the price of better listening to oneself, is accepting to hear what we are. " This work is taken up by some therapists, notably by Philippe Barraqué.

Method: Sing now

Iva Barthélémy. In 1975, this lyrical singer created her own school. Engaged in a beautiful opera career, she found herself completely voiceless, victim of an accident of the vocal cords. For years, she searched for the causes of her pain, worked, developed exercises to recover her abilities. She discovered that producing a sound requires the intervention of nearly 300 muscles, and has developed her method, now the basis for many practitioners, which can complement, from a technical point of view, that of Marie-Louise- Aucher. If her classes are more for professionals, "working with Iva Barthémlémy is also engaging in a process of discoveries on one's own body, on the image of oneself.It leads its students to explore their own potential, to to go beyond them ... ", wrote Joëlle de Gravelaine in" La Voix Libérée ", (Robert Laffont, 1995).

The "En-chanté"

In the mid-80s, Catherine Gaytte, a lyric singer, suffered from cancer. While she is condemned, she explains, the work of the voice for a therapeutic purpose saves her. Renowned in musical circles, she wants to share her experience and discoveries. She creates her method and her courses "Explore the En-chante", in collaboration with the pianist Jérôme Madesclaire. Although she also gives private lessons, she focuses her work mainly on the group. One learns to breathe, to improvise, to use one's vocal cords, to share intimate emotions, to play one's body as an instrument. And to sing in front of an audience.

The voice of energy

Organist, choirmaster and psychotherapist, Jacques Bonhomme created his method in 1993, based on eleven "keys" distributed throughout the body (thoracic key, cervical key, facial key, etc.). "To explore them and to know them is to be able to evaluate our resistances, and to put meaning to these resistances," he explains, "but the voice uses the entire body instrument. of emotions. "

What course?

Because of this variety of approaches, no internship is alike. The hundreds of exercises that singers have to learn to breathe, to clear the larynx, to vibrate the tongue, to project the sounds, to clarify the voice, etc. , are suitable for non-professionals. You do not have to be a singer or a musician to work on your voice and get the benefits, the therapists say. In general, the exercises are divided into two categories.

Individuals , they mainly consist in making aware of the sensations caused by the resonance of sounds in the whole of our bone system. For example, to emit a sharp "i", with clenched teeth, makes the top of the skull rather resonate. "A sensation not really pleasant, says Alain, but, open mouth, the effect is curious: I had the impression of to undergo a "massage" of the brain, barely perceptible, but which began to relax. " Round mouth, the "o" resonates the sternum and the solar plexus. "I preferred this position because I felt safe, as if I had come into contact with the earth, with something very deep

Collectives , The exercises consist, for example, of sitting cross-legged, two by two, face to face, looking into each other's eyes and listening carefully to music. Then you have to sing the melody, sentence by sentence, in turn, as if it were a dialogue. "By following the music, I let the sounds go out, without forcing," Alain continues. an unhealthy shyness, I suddenly realized that human relationships can be less complicated than we think, provided we let go of the assumptions.Never I would have imagined being able to sing for someone looking at him in the eyes. "


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