This week on A Voice and Beyond we welcome the two brilliant voice teachers behind “The Mindfulness of Singing” – Dr Denise Bernardini and Toni Crowder. Between them, they have over fifty years of experience, teaching private voice lessons at a university level, as well as within their own private studios.

Dr Denise Bernardini is a sought-after clinician, teacher, presenter at many national and international voice conferences, and author. She holds a certification from the American Board of Neuro Linguistic Programming and has created her own coaching business helping all kinds of artists change their mindset, reach their goals and breakthrough their limiting beliefs.

Toni Crowder is a voice teacher, clinician and very talented singer song writer who has combined her training and background as a Music Educator, Music Therapist, certified YogaVoice® practitioner, and Yoga Alliance Registered yoga teacher to create an active and safe studio for her students.

In this week’s episode, they come together to talk about the various modalities they have studied, how they have combined and adapted these to create an innovative teaching program for singers and why they were inspired to write their number one bestselling book on Amazon, The Mindfulness of Singing; Creating a Harmonious Mind, Body, and Spirit™.

Toni and Denise share with us, that this book fulfils a dynamic niche in the explosive mindfulness market, and they speak about how a mindfulness practice can be applied in the teaching voice studio, the benefits of this practice for the student and the outstanding results they have achieved using a mindfulness practice with singers. There are many philosophical discussions had in this episode regarding vocal pedagogy and it is an episode you must be sure to listen to with Dr Denise Bernardini and Toni Crowder.

Visit to learn more.

In this Episode

1:15 – Introduction

6:32 – A little background on Denise

8:45 – A little background on Toni

21:27 – Filling the missing gap

33:20 – Creating a safe space

46:57 – Denise & Toni’s book ‘The Mindfulness of Singing: Creating a Harmonious Mind, Body, and Spirit’

59:43 – Who the book is for


Putting yourself first is important because it allows you to prioritize your own needs and well-being, which in turn can help you be more productive, creative, and fulfilled in all areas of your life. By taking care of yourself first, you are better equipped to care for others and contribute positively to the world around you.



Visit the A Voice and Beyond Youtube channel to watch back the video replay of this guest interview or to see my welcome video.

Episode Transcription

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  00:00

Hi it’s Marissa Lee here, and I’m so excited to be sharing today’s interview round episode with you. In these episodes, our brilliant lineup of guests will include healthcare practitioners, voice educators, and other professionals who will share their stories, knowledge and experiences within their specialised fields to empower you to live your best life. Whether you’re a member of the voice, community, or beyond your voice is your unique gift. It’s time now to share your gift with others develop a positive mindset and become the best and most authentic version of yourself to create greater impact. Ultimately, you can take charge, it’s time for you to live your best life. It’s time now for a voice and beyond. So without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  01:15

This week, on voice and beyond, we welcome the two brilliant voice teachers behind the mindfulness of singing Dr. Denise Bernard Dini and Tony Crowder. Between them. They have over 50 years of experience teaching private voice lessons at a university level, as well as within their own private voice studios. Dr. Denise Bernardini is a sought after clinician, teacher, presenter at many national and international voice conferences and author. She holds a certification from the American Board of neuro linguistic programming, and has created her own coaching business, helping all kinds of artists change their mindset reach their goals and breakthrough limiting beliefs. Tony Crowder is a voice teacher, clinician and very talented singer songwriter who has combined her training and background as a music educator, music therapist, certified yoga voice practitioner, and yoga Alliance registered yoga teacher to create an Active and Safe studio for her students. In this week’s episode, they come together to talk about the various modalities they have studied, how they have combined and adapted these to create an innovative teaching programme for singers and why they were inspired to write their number one best selling book on Amazon, the mindfulness of singing, creating a harmonious mind, body and spirit. Tony and Denise share with us that this book fulfils a dynamic niche in the explosive mindfulness market. And they speak about how a mindfulness practice can be applied in the teaching voice studio. They explain the benefits of this practice for the student and the outstanding results they have achieved using a mindfulness practice with singers. There are many philosophical discussions had in this episode, and it is an episode you must be sure to go and listen to with Dr. Denise Bernard dini. And Tony Crowder. So without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  04:07

Welcome to a voice and beyond. And we have Dr. Denise Bernadini and Toni Crowder here on the show. Together, they are the mindfulness of singing. And we’ve never done this before. Yes, we’ve had three people on the show before, but not in three different locations. And this is gonna be fun. Where are you both? So Denise, where are you?

Dr. Denise Bernadini  04:34

I’m in Virginia. I’m in the southwest corner of Virginia and then United States. Okay.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  04:39

And what about you, Toni?

Toni Crowder  04:42

I’m in Arkansas at the moment. Okay.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  04:45

I’ve never had anyone on the show from Arkansas. I don’t know where that is. That’s one place I can go. I’ve never been there. And I’m not sure where it is on the map.

Toni Crowder  04:57

Well, it’s not on the east or the west kind of the middle day. On fifth can think of Texas or Oklahoma kind of around in that area.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  05:04

I have been to Texas, Dallas, Texas, and I’ve been to New Orleans.

Dr. Denise Bernadini  05:09

Okay. Arkansas right above in in in that area. Okay.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  05:13

All right. Well, now I know where Arkansas is I feel highly educated. So welcome to the show, ladies. And I’m going to introduce you both very briefly, there is so much to say about you both, but we’re going to reveal a little bit at a time. So we’re going to make it like a mystery box here. So

Dr. Denise Bernadini  05:35

thank you, Marissa. We’re happy to be here. Yes, we are

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  05:39

such a pleasure. So Dr. Denise, you are a sought after clinician, teacher, presenter and author, you have presented at many national and international voice conferences. So you’re kind of like the geek here.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  05:57

And Tony Crowder, you are a voice teacher and clinician. And recently, you’ve begun creating and performing original compositions as well as performing some light jazz. So between the pair of you, you have over 50 years of experience teaching private voice lessons at a university level and within your own private voice teachers. So perhaps, Denise, do you want to start off by telling us about your journey and how you’ve come to be a voice teacher and where you’re at right now?

Dr. Denise Bernadini  06:32

Well, currently, I am at a small university in Virginia called Bradford University. Before that, I was at a very large institution, I had tenure, and I just really kind of got bored and wanted a new challenge and left there to come here to bill to help them build a new kind of programme. You know, how I came to teaching is kind of an interesting thing. So I’m a preacher’s kid and grew up singing gospel music, Southern Style church gospel music, and ended up doing some back ground work in Nashville. And I went on the route, I auditioned and went on the road and was singing with a gospel pop group. And after about two years, I was just really weary of living in a van and never know in what city and it got really tiresome, very, pretty quickly, two years, and you’re when you’re young, you know, it’s easier gig to do that. But it kind of took a toll on me. And so I thought that I would try to go back to school, but it was in the middle of the school year. And I started substitute teaching. I had some college hours at that point. So I was like, Well, you know, I can get some substitute teaching. And I taught in I happened to teach in a choir class, and went, Oh, I like this. This is awesome. And so I decided to go back to school to learn to teach, voice and inquire. And of course, that took me down the classical road. And I really hadn’t known anything about the classical road, or the classical genre, it was never played in my home, I knew nothing about it. And in the States, at that time, you weren’t really given two choices. You just this is how we do it. It’s classical. It’s always classical. But I enjoyed it. And and I happened to have a really great teacher who was also a pedagogue and turned me on to the science of it. So that’s how I got my start.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  08:39

i Okay, let’s segue now to Tony, tell us about you.

Toni Crowder  08:45

Well, my story is not quite that exciting. But I started out in music therapy and music education, and then went back to school and got my master’s in vocal performance and pedagogy. And that’s how Denise and I met. I’ll steal the thunder of that question you might ask later. But we met in grad school. And then from there, I taught and performed and most of my career has been home studio I have taught on the college level, but I just never felt called to that I like doing my own thing. And so most of my teaching has been in home studio. Mm hmm. Okay, so

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  09:20

the two of you together, you’re like the dynamic duo. I won’t say Batman and Robin, because I think it’s more on an equal level here than Batman and Robin. Denise, you lean more towards science. And Tony your interest is more in the spirituality. So I’d like you both to elaborate more on that in terms of what you’ve studied, and your own areas of specialisation. So maybe this time we’ll start with you, Tony.

Toni Crowder  09:55

Okay. Well, I would say that’s a generalisation. And it’s a pretty good one but You become like the company you keep. And I’m sure some of my woowoo world has probably, I hope had a positive influence on Denise as she would call it. And likewise that too, because we do share, even though we may lean that way, we share in both So, but I’ve always had an interest in spirituality and self help books and lean towards. That’s what I read that I don’t read novels. I’m just all about that. So I just got back recently from a spiritual retreat on superconsciousness. In fact, on our book tour, I went to yoga Ville, I went to Seven Oaks, I’m always seeking out ways to further expand my understanding of spirituality and express my own divine being. So yeah,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  10:42

so one, yeah. What have you studied, though? Because I know you have qualifications in a number of things. And it’s really interesting that you have like formal training in these modalities. Do you want to share what they are?

Toni Crowder  10:57

Sure. I’m a certified yoga voice teacher, and that’s using yoga in the voice studio. I’m also a 200 hour certified yoga teacher. And I have taught both yoga voice in the studio and at a yoga studio teaching just playing, not playing but vinyasa power flow. And what else?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  11:19

What about the neuro linguistic programming that you do? That’s Denise? Oh, that’s Denise. Sorry. Sorry. Yeah. I’m getting confused, too. There’s just too many people here know. So Tony, okay. Yep. And Denise.

Dr. Denise Bernadini  11:40

Yeah. Also, Tony has spent lots and lots of time in kriya, yoga, and chanting and using the voice in a meditative place and stay out, I’ll speak for her in that, which is a deeply spiritual experience and breath work. We both are big into breathwork, which a lot of people would say puts you in a spiritual place and opens you up spiritually for sure.

Toni Crowder  12:09

I have done training in that as well. But I just forget all the things just just every day, every day is a day to dig deeper. Sorry, go ahead.

Dr. Denise Bernadini  12:20

Yeah, no, I was trying to expand on Tony, not me. And the things that she that she’s done outside of just just yoga. Yeah, I mean, I should start so

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  12:31

Oh, tell me about it. I don’t do yoga. I had a guest the other day. And we were talking about yoga. And I said, literally, I’ve done it twice. And I found it so hard. And both times I’ve I’ve just sobbed like a baby. I’ve cried uncontrollably. And I’ve just gone. I’m out of here. I’m not paying someone to make me cry.

Toni Crowder  12:58

Oh, that saddens me, we need to talk after this. Oh, I made therapy. No, no, no,

Dr. Denise Bernadini  13:05

no, no, no, no, no. I think we both be curious as to what about it made you cry? Okay. Because we can talk about that later. Okay. Yeah. So I have, I counted the other day, 50 hours in the mental health realm of towards a master’s degree, I’m almost done. Even though I already have a doctor and another master’s degree, why not one more, it’s really, really pretty ridiculous. But I found myself really curious about how the brain works and neuroscience and why people do the things they do. What creates performance anxiety, for some who might, for instance, my sister and I have the exact same background, my sister has no performance anxiety, whatsoever, that woman can stand up and sing in front of however many people and cool as a clown, you know, cucumber, me on the other hand, I get really anxious and have some performance anxiety and sweat and all the things and and I didn’t experience that as a, as someone in the pop realm and the gospel RAM I started experiencing that really in the, in the realm of classical music was where my anxiety popped up for me. And so I mean, there’s lots of reasons why and that’s probably another class. But anyway, I, you know, began to really wonder why my students had so much anxiety why we’ve seen that ramp up so much in our own studios. Why we’ve seen it I don’t know about Australia, but in the States, our youth are very anxiety ridden.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  14:36

Same here, especially especially since COVID. A lot of my students prior to COVID were okay, and came back to in person teaching and they were highly anxious, right, some being medicated. Yeah, there was some really sad stories post COVID After being isolated for so long and then coming back. I found a lot of my kids very different. So I thought, Yes, we have been impacted here also, even though we didn’t experience the lockdowns, especially here in Queensland, our lives went on pretty normally compared to everywhere else in the world. And we were still impacted.

Dr. Denise Bernadini  15:27

Yeah, absolutely. It’s, it’s been really quite a interesting event to watch unfold. For our youth, for sure. So, over COVID, I kind of dabbled in the neuro linguistic programming, I read some stuff about it and thought, you know, I think I’ll take a class and I do and it’s COVID. So I got certified in that and in HIPAA in an hypnotism and kind of went well this pretty this is pretty darn cool, I must say, is really, really awesome. So I, I had thought, you know, maybe I’d look at speech language pathology, I was kind of looking at other ways to branch out. And I teach for the speech language pathology people, I teach anatomy, the voice for them for a master’s programme. I have all my master’s students there in that. So I love the voice science stuff I love I love you know, to to analyse the voice, put it into vo TV stuff. Look at all the sciences. My thing I dig it. But long story short, so I thought maybe you know, I’ll just take what are you two laughing at me? No, I’m

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  16:39

going not me. I’m so bad. All the science stuff. And I admitted, if you’ve heard my podcast before I go. I don’t understand all the acoustics.

Dr. Denise Bernadini  16:51

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So I get all that. But I also am very interested in in this part of the scene, because I say this all the time, the mechanism is here. All of our our mechanisms generally are all basically alike. Here’s where the voice lies. He’s pointing to her head. Yeah, for those of you or is this I don’t know if this is gonna be, or it’s going to be okay. But it’s, it’s in the head. It’s in the brain it’s in it’s in that, but also you add to the fact that music is a language of the heart. And if the heart and the head are not in agreement, or are not are there’s something going on there, whether it’s anxiety, doesn’t mean you’re broken, doesn’t mean that it can’t be addressed, it just means that this is going to be affected. It just is. I don’t believe that anyone who sings beautifully, perfectly, cannot have their voice affected if either the heads not right, or the hearts not ready.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  17:56

I 100% agree you’re singing my song girl.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  18:02

Because that’s, that’s part of the issue that I have with some of our singing boys community at present, is I feel like the singer is starting to become dehumanised that there is so much emphasis on science, that we forget that a spectrogram is not going to show what’s going on up here. What’s going on here. And with my students, I know as soon as they walk in the door, by the way, they carry themselves the way they hold themselves, the sound of their voice, the tone of the voice, the language they’re using. I know when there’s something up. And I know that before I do any work on The Voice, I’ve got to calm that down. Find a way of calming it down generally for me, it’s I put them on the floor, get them to close their eyes and just go into some deep breath work. Generally, Yep, absolutely. So I know that it’s no point I can do 1000 exercises, I can pull out all the tools in my toolbox, but if they’re not in that right frame of mind, they’re not going to learn anything.

Toni Crowder  19:19

Amen, where we sing the same song, you’re singing our song now.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  19:23

Totally. That is my teaching philosophy. You have to work with the whole person. You can’t just work with the larynx.

Toni Crowder  19:31

Yeah, that’s the essence of our book as well. Really. Yeah,

Dr. Denise Bernadini  19:35

it’s our book is not a vocal technique. But yeah, yeah. Well doesn’t need another book about vocal technique. Yeah, but it doesn’t.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  19:42

Yeah, yeah. And you know, when it comes to vocal technique, I think sometimes our singing voice community forgets what does pedagogy actually mean? We call it pedagogy in Australia. We don’t call it pedagogy. Sorry. It’s like we say retinoids and you guys say carotenoids. Is that right? Yeah. No, you guys say a routine noids. And we say carotenoids, I’m getting confused. Now. You know, what is pedagogy? What is it? Isn’t the philosophy behind teaching? Have we forgotten that? It’s not about technique? It’s about how we approach our teaching the philosophy behind teaching.

Dr. Denise Bernadini  20:30

Yes, right. Right. Right. Right. I think I think some people will tell you, you have to know some things about technique in order to, to have a philosophy of teaching, and I ascribe to that science of it is not really pedagogy, that’s fo Khaleeji. That’s a different field, and different certification and an in a different degree. And that’s a degree that should be steeped in research, and maybe some teaching, but that’s highly. That’s all about research, really.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  21:04

So I just want to move on a little bit, because honestly, we could go on about this for hours, we clearly have very set opinions. And we ascribe to the same song, so we could go on about it. But with the both of you, with your own career paths, was there a time where you felt that you needed more yourselves personally as voice users, where you felt that the training you had was not enough that there was something missing, or there was something that you needed? Because perhaps there was something there was a little broken, either within the voice or within you that the science or the pedagogy or whatever your training was, wasn’t filling that gap?

Toni Crowder  22:00

I’ll start in first, it’s, it’s been a lifelong journey of learning to listen to my own voice. And I grew up in an environment with similar environments for Denise not that authoritarian, conservative. And so listening to my own intuition. If I had, I could have taken a few less detours and toxic teachers and negative experiences. But because I saw myself as the lesser person and not an equal, whatever the teacher said, was the gospel. So if you’re young, and you happen to be listening to this, I want to encourage you to listen to your own voice, ironically, since we’re talking about the voice, but your own intuition that spiritual side of you that knows this doesn’t seem quite right. Don’t keep doing it, then question it. And I wasn’t taught to question. I was taught to respect authority. And so yes, there were definitely times and it’s only now, the deeper I go into some really deep spiritual practices that I’m finding just how much we can listen internally, and get away from the rules of right wrong and explore what’s truly inside of us.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  23:12

Yes, that’s beautiful. And what you’re referring to, clearly is the master apprentice model, that that is found in academia, and that a lot of teachers still ascribe to, because that’s all they know. And there is fearing change in that, in letting go of that shirt. So what about you, Denise?

Dr. Denise Bernadini  23:39

Well, I do think that there’s fear in that, and I am in academia, and I can tell you that that model doesn’t work anymore. I love

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  23:46

the pair of view.

Dr. Denise Bernadini  23:51

Not only will the students not accept that model, but it is damaging and detrimental. And it and it is not it is not a paradigm that needs to be lived in, in. And if you’re still teaching and you still love and you’re still into that paradigm, I would invite you to ask yourself, why? And if the why is because you feel like you have more control, or, and more control of that person, then you need to seek some therapy.

Toni Crowder  24:22

That makes me think of a toxic moment when a pitcher teacher was doing something really abusive. And I said why and I was crying. Why are you doing that? And you know what their response was? Well, that’s what my teacher did to me. As if that not didn’t make one of the things I like to say frequently is how does that feel? What do you think how do you what involving them and that was never said to me what I felt or what I thought or what I needed or what the fact that’s how I start the lesson. What is your intention today? What would in fact, sometimes I’ve done some recently some one lesson working with seniors and I’ll say if I could wave my magic wand. What can I give you in this one hour? And they know exactly what they want. And sometimes I’m able to wave that magic wand and, and give it to them. But if I didn’t ask how can I satisfy what their needs are? So? Yes, absolutely. I think that’s broken. And I think involving the student is a beautiful thing. And I wish people had done that for me. But I’m now

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  25:23

thank goodness, because we have you here. And and you’re now waving the flag. And and basically, you are advocating for student centred learning.

Dr. Denise Bernadini  25:35


Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  25:37

through this work as well. So Did there come a point, then you started learning these modalities? For your own reasons? And for your own curiosity? And then did you think, Oh, I might try this on a student? Is that how you ended up doing this work within your own studios?

Dr. Denise Bernadini  26:02

Absolutely. But one of the things that I learned this year was a group in performance anxiety. And, you know, we love to at cognitive behaviour therapy, you know, and to put that in a nutshell, it’s basically dealing with magical or stinking thinking, right? Oh, my God, if I don’t, if if I don’t, if this lesson doesn’t go, Well, it’s the end of my career, my teachers gonna hate me. Or if I, if I don’t, if if I forget a word, everyone is going to remember it for the rest of their lives. No, honey, they’re thinking about what they’re going to buy at the grocery store. helping them see that these conflict, you know, inflated thoughts are not helpful helping them say them, because it’s in cognitive behaviour therapy, one of the things we know is that if you name it, you can tame it, if you recognise it, and it comes to your awareness that you can say, Ah, I’m having these thoughts before I I’m really inflating all the things that could go wrong could be wrong, you know, and I get caught up in that I my fear is this, is that likely to happen? No. But I still had this fear. So we addressed the Cognitive Behaviour part of that. We also did some mindfulness, some some tools, I gave them tools to breathwork is one of those things. grounding yourself is one of those things, doing some visualisation and some hypnosis kinds of activities. Were also part of that group that study. And then we did some psychotherapy. And I don’t know if you know anything about psychotherapy, I’m not certified in that, but I brought in somebody who’s certified in it, who, who can give voice to those voices that live in our we all have voices in our head, we are all split personalities, I have one voice that I use with my husband, when he’s annoying me, I have one one voice or and one voice I use when I own on Robin. And I have one voice that I use, you know, with, with with Tony and I have one voice that I have when I’m a teacher and when I’m in a classroom or when or when I speak to my mother or my we have all of these personality traits were not one thing. But some of those personalities serve us better than others. And so having that conversation with the students and letting them see how normal it is, normalising struggles in voice struggles in performance is super powerful. But when we act like they don’t exist, or that they exist, because there’s something wrong with you, you must not be meant to perform if you are scared of it, what’s wrong with you, if we approach it like that, they either leave the business altogether, or they they can’t function, they just cannot function. I’d like to ask you

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  29:01

when you’re doing this work, and and I’m gonna ask you the same questions, Tony in a second. When you do this work, obviously, this is some people may perceive this to be very woowoo. And for someone, someone who is, you know, has a highly academic career, you know, that is almost at times a contradiction to academia or not. But how do you then introduce this work in a way that the students feel that they are in a safe space, and they can feel they can allow themselves to be vulnerable? Because they really have to be able to put themselves out there otherwise it’s not going to work. So how do you create that space for them?

Dr. Denise Bernadini  29:56

Well, you know, what we did was we just hung out posters everywhere tell people about it when we and we gave them something to go and sign up on. And so as those began to roll in, then I met with them one on one. And I and I just said, look, what happens in this room stays in this room, we are all bound to that. I made them sign agreements, saying that they would not share outside of that room. The first session, I would say, they didn’t do a lot of talking a little bit. second session, they talked a little more by the third and fourth session, all I did was sit back and go, Uh huh. Oh, because they could not share enough. Once they once they got started. And once they felt like they were in a safe place, and knew that their peers would have held that space sacred Well, and what

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  30:47

was some of the results that you found? came about after doing this

Dr. Denise Bernadini  30:53

work? Yeah, they they all they all had to fill out a an anonymous survey. And all of them said, it made a great difference in their performance. And they had had performances throughout this, you know, that it made a great difference in their performances and their love for performing in their their feeling. But one in particular that I’ll share with you is a young lady who’s very talented can sing any any style, any just anything, she can sing classical, she can sing jazz, she can sing, pop, she can do it all. And she had was voted by the faculty to be an an honours recital kind of experience. And she was a very freaked out, really freaked out about it. And so we did, she came to me and said, I just I just want you to know that I’m, you know, I’m using the modalities and things that you’ve taught us, and it’s helping me but I’m still just really just so anxious. And do you think you could do the visualisation hypnosis thing with me that you did with class the other day or with our session the other day? And I’m like, Sure, so let her down it. She went and did the thing. And when she came back, she said, that’s the first time I have ever felt happy after a performance. She said, I was afraid the first time I ever walked out of a performance and went, Oh, my God, I had so much fun, I loved it. And I actually felt like I did well. And she said it wasn’t perfect. But I didn’t care that it wasn’t perfect. It didn’t matter that it wasn’t perfect. I was okay with the fact that it wasn’t perfect. And she said, for the first time I’m not crying backstage after performance. So it was it’s huge for them to have peers, people that they can share with talk to, and I’m really have some therapy. It’s amazing. Anybody who thinks therapy is woowoo needs to get some therapy. Because it is so far from that it’s not Lulu, you know, like, we’re not, you know, we’re not calling on the saints or whatever. I mean, it’s it’s a conversation for pizza. Yeah,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  33:03

yeah. Yeah. It’s not like you guys come together and get voodoo dolls and start sticking pins into or anything. But okay, so Tony, same questions, how did you introduce this into your studio? And that how do you create a safe space to allow this work to happen? I think what

Toni Crowder  33:27

you just said is the key creating a safe space, I don’t have a class or workshop, like Denise has in this, you know, kind of thing that she was talking about. But I think by the way, the very way that you teach when you say, Well, that was wrong, and you can’t do that doesn’t open the door for any kind of exploration and a safe space. So and my personality swings more to being nurturing anyway. And so that’s not something I’ve had to work on. If anything, I have to work on the other side of that of not being too much of a hand holder, type teacher. So my kids have always felt it’s a safe place. Just because that’s who I am.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  34:08

Yeah, so how do you do the work in terms of yoga voice and using some of your modalities within the voice studio? Is that basically on a per needs basis with the student? It really

Toni Crowder  34:22

kinda depends on whether or not they embrace yoga, and I found the people who love it, love it, and they want give me that pose again. Wow, I heard what happened in my voice. I heard what happened to my mind. It just a simple example. Maybe someone has a monkey brain and they I can see that just can’t get present with me. I’ll have them stand in tree pose. Because when you’re in a balancing posture, it’s hard to keep the chatter going. You’ve got to get focused. So that’s a real simple, but it’s much more involved in that it’s looking at the chakras and looking at, oh, they’re not grounded and so they’re, they’re having some rhythm problems on work left, what can we do and I really haven’t had any body resistant to it, because I’ve seen the benefits. Now, if they’re, if I can see from their physical form that doing too much is not going to be their balance is not good to just stay in there, then I’m not going to invite them to do something that they’re not going to succeed at.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  35:21

Yes. So what I’m hearing here is that based on what their needs are, is yoga for singers is like putting them maybe into a particular pose, and then having them sing. Yes, yeah. And it’s based on releasing whatever it is that they’re needing to release. So releasing breath releasing tension in a particular part of the body. Yes. I love that you talked about the chakras. Because to be honest, like I’m on this big balancing chakras thing at the moment. So every morning, I do meditation for my chakras, balancing and tuning my chakras because I feel like I need to become realigned in. And it really helps. And so I’m just as woowoo and as crazy as you

Dr. Denise Bernadini  36:13

are. I tell you, I have Tony come over, where I teach at least once a year, if not more, if I if you know if it allows, and when she works with my students, you know, they get so much science and stuff for me, but when she works with my students, and she has them do a pose, I mean, it, it really, for the most part, they love it, they’re like, Oh, my, oh my gosh, in fact, one girl goes, Okay, I don’t know what the two of you are up to, but the two of you are like, voted did you just do video on me, you know, and they’re like, you two are a couple of watches, you know, that’s fine. They, they, they love it. And they respond really, really well to that I think this, you know, students that are this generation, they’ve been exposed to more yoga and more modalities, like that’s they’re a little more open to that. Um, you know, back to one thing you said that I want to address and that was, you know, talking about the, the student verse versus

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  37:15

the master apprentice,

Dr. Denise Bernadini  37:17

yes. And, of course, I grew up in that. And, and when I was a young teacher, and even into my middle age, I would say that I was that type of teacher. Like, that is how I taught. It’s all I knew, right? It’s what I knew that was my own experience. But like, Tony, I read a lot of self help books, I’ve had a lot of therapy myself. And as our students grew in anxiety, and I began to see that maybe I needed to change the way that I taught, and that I needed to rethink things about my own self and why that is, I have changed my mind on that. And I think teachers, you can change your mind, you know, we get so caught up, oh, if I change my mind in this, what does that mean that I’ve been wrong all these years, now we’re evolving, you have to evolve. Yes, we must evolve, you cannot stay, you can. But I would invite you not to say stuff, evolve as a teacher evolve with our students, because they’re evolving this generation. They are to say what you want about them, like whatever, but they are more accepting more open. Take everybody you know, as they are, there’s no wrong or right thing. If somebody wants to be transgender, or if they want to be, you know, not to open the door of all that, but, but if somebody wants to sleep with boys and girls, what whatever, they don’t care, they are like, I It’s none of my business. And I just want people to be happy. Like there are such a great group of folks, right? There’s such a great group of students and their paradigm we are they’re so much better than we are when it comes to like social things. They are accepting all of those things that we’ve struggled with those of us in this generation we’ve struggled with, right? We weren’t taught to be accepting. And so we are I learned from them. And I also learned that it’s okay to change to meet the students to meet them where they are. If you can’t do that, why are you teaching?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  39:33

Yes, essentially, it’s not about us. It’s about them. And even, you know, like, I’ll be teaching a student and those things through a song and they look at me for approval. And I my eyes, and I say, don’t ask me what I think. I want to know what you think. Tell me what was The best thing you just did in that song, well, what did you think you did really well. And they tell me what you felt challenged by in that song. Let’s start with what you think, you know, and I went through the greatest transition in my teaching in the last 12 months, I must admit, having this podcast is really opened my mind to the fact that there are many ways to get to the same result. And anyone that says, This is how you do it. You shouldn’t be teaching.

Dr. Denise Bernadini  40:39

Well, not only that, but if that’s the case, if you’re if you’re in a room with a teacher who says, If I can do it, you can do it. It’s done like this and only like this. Why don’t you sound like, run?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  40:52

Exactly, exactly. But the more work I think that we do on ourselves as individuals, the better teachers we become when we become students of life, we can then become really good teachers. And I last year, I lost my mum, it’s almost a year. And I went back into teaching pretty much 10 days after she passed away, because I had so much time off while she was unwell. So I owed it to my students at the university there had assessments coming up. So I had to go back to work. And I had to really check in on myself. Every time I stepped into the studio, it was check in on myself mentally, emotionally, and leave all my biases, all my emotions, everything that I was feeling, it had to be left at the door, so that I can hold space for them. Yeah. And, you know, there were moments that I was vulnerable, and I cried. But you know what, I was never angry. I was so open, I had such an open heart for these kids that I learned the power of checking in. And how we have to look at ourselves first, be kind to ourselves, look, look at their own limitations, like where do we what are our limiting beliefs? And how do they come through in our teaching? Because if we have limiting beliefs, then we’re going to be putting limitations on our students. And we should never do that we should we should allow them to think that there are no limitations on their voices. Let’s try it. Let’s just give this a go. Let’s just explore let’s just be playful. Let’s just see what happens. And who cares if it doesn’t work? Right. And who cares if it’s not perfect? I don’t want to hear a perfect voice to be honest. Because then it’s inauthentic. No, no one’s perfect.

Dr. Denise Bernadini  43:08

Right? You know, I love that I love that I’m checking in with yourself and checking in before you step into the studio. And I would say that that’s a really great practice to even have for students to do as well. Like ask them to check in with themselves before they come to, to lesson and you know, imperfect sound, I could care less not a classical sound, I could care less what I do care about is whether or not you honour your talent with spending time practising things like that, like respecting yourself and and respecting your teacher by not coming in totally unprepared. Like that’s, that’s a problem. Yeah, me. But otherwise, how you get from point A to point B in in in your tone or your we’re just going to try all kinds of things like there’s no one way for any one person. It’s everybody is so different. I can tell. He really wants to say something

Toni Crowder  44:04

so many things I wanted to say. One. We did a workshop together just recently, and we read from our book, The singers prayer and meditation, affirmation, and then another point and then ask them which one did which mindset were they in before their lesson and to feel in their body? What it would be like, if they said this before the lesson, or then the negative one, and they got lots of laughter and they they said this viscerally they could feel the examples of the poem and how you put your mind before you walk in that door. And they seem to really get it, didn’t they, Denise?

Dr. Denise Bernadini  44:45

Yeah, and no one poem was like, Oh, my God, I’m not ready for my I’m not or one of the readings was, Oh, my God, I’m not ready for my lesson. I it’s going to be terrible. I didn’t practice right. I didn’t see and that note that I’m trying to say it’s terrible. What if what I know It’s gonna be awful. It you know, all of that all that we have all felt in a voice lesson of all felt that before our own voice lessons and dreaded voice lesson or dreaded going to the practice room like we’ve all had that experience. You asked him Do I ever have we ever had, you know, places when our voices didn’t work or whatever, I’ve never had that experience, but I have had experience where I have felt like my love for singing was dead. Yes. And if you really want to kill creativity, and your love for singing, go get a doctor. Because they will beat

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  45:39

it out of you.

Dr. Denise Bernadini  45:42

And I think it’s so true. And, and, and when you when you get out, and then you rediscover, you know, your, your love for it. But I, I just was always looking for a teacher to to validate me. I went to different teachers, you know, throughout my career, and if this one didn’t validate me, and I went to another one, to see if they would validate me. And I looked for teachers to tend to, yes, of course teach me better things. But I was really looking for validation. And sometimes we just don’t validate our students. And that’s really all they need. Really, all they want are three things they want to be seen, heard and understood.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  46:30

Don’t we all though in life?

Dr. Denise Bernadini  46:33

Yes, yes. We all do if we’re honest, that’s what we all want. Yes. And when we don’t see hear or understand them, then in our care, I don’t care if you are the best technician in the wide, stinking world will not learn from you.

Dr. Denise Bernadini  46:51

They won’t they won’t. They won’t even hear or understand tried understanding.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  46:57

So we haven’t even started talking about your book. So let’s start talking about the book. So you have written the book, mindfulness of singing. Congratulations, because I know it’s been number one on Amazon for many weeks. What an amazing feat. That is. That’s fantastic. So with the book, what inspired you to write the book and what is this book about?

Toni Crowder  47:33

I’ll answer that one. First one inspired way was my girlfriend twisted my arm and said, let’s write this book. That’s what inspired me. Well, that’s that is true. Now she wasn’t that forceful. And it didn’t take much arm twisting. And I’m really glad I did, but it was Denise’s brainchild, so I’ll let her take it away.

Dr. Denise Bernadini  47:55

Well, yeah, so the thing is, you know, Marissa, I think if you are a decent teacher, that’s you’re already doing mindfulness in your studio, you’re asking them to check in with their body, you’re hopefully you’re asking them what their goals are for their lesson. You’re asking them, you know, to try not to judge themselves too harshly. And you’re asking them not to be distracted. And those are the things that we talk about in the book, we talk about, all the ways that and we call that our sync method. So we ask them, we ask the reader to set an intention to do that I always get this one surprised. The isolate from distractions, to notice their body, and to give up judgement. And we call it the same method in in, we’re hoping that whether they are, you know, I’m singers, professional singers, old school singers, or maybe somebody who just loves to sing in their community organisation or their church organisation. Or they even just love to sing in the choir or their car or the shower or whatever. And they want a mindfulness practice something that will help them be more mindful in their life. To notice those thoughts that don’t serve you well, too. And we talk about the mind body and spirit so to notice what you eat is the E is your eating, serving you as as a seeker as a person, is it is it food as medicine or not? Are you hydrated? Are you all you know those kinds of things? And are you are you having a spiritual practice and we’re we don’t care what it is we’re not judging. But we are saying that there are ways to have spiritual practices and we talk about meditation, mostly as a way to have a spiritual practice that opens you up and opens the heart chakra and helps you have a sense of purpose and a sense of purpose with the voice and how to be mindful using your own voice.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  49:59

All that note, what does mindfulness mean? Because every flight is different interpretations of mindfulness. What is your interpretation of mindfulness?

Dr. Denise Bernadini  50:13

Well, I was gonna see if Tony was going to answer that. Yeah,

Toni Crowder  50:17

I wanted to tell a story there. This is not a book. This is just from an experience I had just last week, I was in a sixth day, subconscious, awareness, spirituality, meditation. All day long. That’s all I did. And one of the things that he said, and I really thought it was a great way to explain mindfulness is that you want to fire your roommate, you both mentioned how we have all these voices that are chattering, but it’s just mind talk. But when you can become the witness, and just watching and waiting, and being observer observer, you’re never alone. Because you’re there’s always two of you. And you’re getting rid of the one that doesn’t serve you, and just steer towards the witness. And it’s a beautiful for me that metaphor and analogy, is a good way to describe mindfulness, that checking in that you said, just sitting back as if you were kind of almost outside of your body. I know that sounds a little woowoo. But that observer, the witness of everything you’re doing, your intuition will definitely go up when you’re having that kind of practice.

Dr. Denise Bernadini  51:19

You know, and what Tony’s talking about, I think is a pretty advanced form of meditation.

Toni Crowder  51:24

It is we’re talking hours of things, you can’t you know,

Dr. Denise Bernadini  51:28

so for the novices, somebody who would just pick up this book, mindfulness is about being present in this moment. Mindfulness is not thinking about what’s going to happen in the future. What might happen in the future, what you’re dreading might happen, what you’re fearful of, or, or being inundated with, oh my god, if only I had, why didn’t I? Why shouldn’t I have why? Why did this happen? To me? What you know, taking yourself out of the past, the past is gone. You can never do anything about the future is not here. There’s so many different things that could or could not happen. There’s no if you can’t control it, why worry about it be present in this moment, and we are not present in why we’re not present in part,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  52:12

because we’re here. Oh, 100% the rectangle on the phone,

Toni Crowder  52:18

our EC K, you get it? Rectangle, it.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  52:24

Very clever. A rectangle with the word rec W ar e CK rec tangle. It is racking times it’s wrecking people. It’s wrecking, social interactions, connection.

Dr. Denise Bernadini  52:41

But you’re also talking about, you know, what about people who are, you know, our students by at least where I teach, I teach in a fairly low socio economic area. Students who have food insecurity, students who are working three jobs trying to go to school, parents don’t help or support them. I had, you know, conversation with students recently that their their stories, their home stories would absolutely curl your hair, you would weep for these kids, what they go through at home. So my point is this. How do you talk about mindfulness with a kid that’s in that state? That is struggling to just get through the stinking day? Right? No support? How no monetary support? Really? They’re on their own? They’re 18? They don’t know life? And then and then you’re supposed to say to them, oh, just be mindful? I don’t think so. I don’t think so. But introducing them to the concept of be present, put both feet on the floor, find five things in the room that you can count out when you feel anxious, do some breath, breathe. Don’t worry about what you can’t control. Think about what you’re grateful for. Those are all mindfulness practices. It’s really hard to be in Tony says this all the time. People react to things love or fear. And it’s really hard to be in fear. If you’re thinking about all of the gratitude that you have, if you’re grateful for and I’m, I’m preaching to me because just yesterday as my chin and moaning about something and Don goes well, you don’t sound grateful. Don’s my husband, you don’t sound grateful. And I’m like, first of all, I’m like, shut up. And then secondly, I’m like, You’re right. I’m not being grateful. So it’s ongoing. You never get perfect at mindfulness. You never get perfect at those kinds of things. But with more and more practice you can get where Tony has has gone and that is visually seeing the witness. Noticing the witness noticing who is watching right now because if per se there is no spirituality, we are nothing but a bunch of meat robots.

Toni Crowder  55:00

I believe that your dad knew the Do you

Dr. Denise Bernadini  55:05

know no person I don’t believe that. Because if you remember that way back when Sundberg and some other folks I can’t make maybe it was Renard that I’m talking now the vocal pedagogy invoke ology geeks will know what I’m talking about. They took an larynx and they hooked it up to a vacuum cleaner. Have you seen these videos? I’ve heard about it from you. I’ve seen them. So they they take that larynx and they hook it up to the vacuum cleaner. And they try to reenact pitch. And vocalisations foundation from this larynx. And all the larynx does is

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  55:46

bouncing. Yeah. Okay. So

Dr. Denise Bernadini  55:50

if, if that’s the case, then yes, you can make a case for the fact that the that the the vocal tract influences and it does. But if you take the spirit out of singing, thanks anyway, you can have it. You can you can have, I’m not interested in watching a bunch of meat robots. Yeah, seeing things, or having a I seen for us which I mean, let’s come, right. Without spirit, we would not say about a singer, they’ve got something special, I can’t put my finger on it. But there’s something special about that. Something special about that experience I just had musically, if we were just a bunch of real meat robots, we would never ever, ever have that sensation, or have that feeling or that thought,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  56:46

I love that. And that just made me think of something that I do within my studio with my students. You know, talking about the spirit and the thought, and, and the process for the singer, I will quite often ask a student, because I look at a student’s size when they’re singing. And I will ask them at the end of a song to you know, once we go through the, you know, challenges, blah, blah, blah. What were you thinking about when you were singing? Where was your head at? And the number of students that say, I was listening to, to hear if I was singing any wrong notes? Or? I was thinking that didn’t sound very good. And then so I say, so not at any point. Did you ever think about what you were singing about? Have you ever stop to think about the lyrics? And have you ever thought maybe, you know, who am I singing this song to? What is the intention behind? What is my story? When I sing this song? And I think part of that moment when you hear a performance that is you just go? Well, I think it’s because we get to see the honesty. In performance. We we see the heart and the soul and what you’re calling the spirit in the singer. And that’s what I believe it is. Tony, you were wanting to say something I could see.

Toni Crowder  58:25

You said something reminded me recently I had a performance and I was saying a lot of my music. And someone said to me that someone that I really respect who’s very deep spiritual. And she said, I loved it, because we didn’t hear your voice. We saw your soul.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  58:41

Yes, yes. And isn’t that what we want to see in performance. And I mean, I know that we have to work on technique, and we have to make the voice healthy and sustainable and all that and, and, and have the singer do the best they can vocally. But at the end of the day, if you don’t have the heart and the soul in the singing, where they’re sharing a part of them, you know, part that they feel safe enough to share, and they feel good about sharing it, then no one’s gonna want to really listen to that. But anyway, we were going on so many tangents here. So I want to know, we’re going back to the book because we’re here for the book. People you all have to go and buy the book. I know we’re talking about lots of other stuff and a lot of philosophical stuff. But the book is a philosophical book, I feel. Who did you write the book for? Was it the voice teachers? Was it for singers? Well, was it for all of the above?

Dr. Denise Bernadini  59:52

Yes, yes. Like I said, we just you know, I told her I said I’m not interested in writing a week both right? I could read a book on book technique tomorrow, I don’t want didn’t want to do that I’ve it’s already been done. And it’s been done quite well by other people did we don’t need another book on vocal technique. But I just feel like the whole singer is just really not addressed very often. And, and that we you have to, you have to talk about the whole person, you just you just do your body is your instrument, you cannot treat it as if it exists here, here and no other place and I’m holding those of you who are listening, I’m holding my finger right below my, my trachea, and right under my nose. This is not where the voice exists. This is where foundation exists, the voice is something different. And we wanted to talk about that in the book, we wanted to talk about how you balance mind body spirit, and trauma, we address trauma, trauma, with a little T trauma with a big T, how you address that and how that can really affect the voice and ways hopefully that you can practice the mindfulness to help your help deal with it.

Toni Crowder  1:01:15

It gives me great joy when people say I’m inspired, I want to explore yoga, who do you recommend, or I’m trying out this breath work or I’ve read the book. And I think everybody should read this, whether they’re a singer or not, because there’s so much self help that you can apply to your soul. And so my prayer I’m seeing it come to fruition is that people are finding joy and wonder and exploring their own voice. And taking all the heaviness of it.

Dr. Denise Bernadini  1:01:43

Nothing in that book, Tony and I have not done ourselves and they’re still

Toni Crowder  1:01:46

still doing a true confession. I’ll just put it out on the table, because that’s kind of person I am. I’m still reading, I’m still reading the book, I still think there’s so much in it. I tried, we practice what we preach. And I’m still a work in progress. In fact, today I ordered the journal for our book. So I can make sure that I’m doing everything that I have mentioned, or we have mentioned in the book. And I, I really believe that it’s not that we’re so great, wonderful, but the principles that we present are timeless, they are truths. That didn’t matter if Tony and Denise said they are real, we just put them together in a different package that people tell us is very readable, that it’s like sitting down and talking to us. And we had some discussion about that along the way, some critique of taking some of our personality out. But we Denise especially held her guns and we like it that people say it’s readable. And hopefully there’ll be inspired, and we would love for you to read it and share your story.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:02:53

Yes, of course, of course. I think it’s brilliant. And I think it’s time that we you know, every other industry, whether you’re a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, you’re an Olympic athlete, you’re you are a high profile celebrity, everyone is doing self help work. And singers, who are they’re putting themselves and sharing themselves in a way that’s highly vulnerable. Teachers who are working with these beings, why are we not we need more of this, we need more of this in our industry, if a fortune 500 CEO can do this work. A singing teacher can write I think we need to balance out the science with the we still need that human element of the voice to be addressed. Also, it can’t be all one way. I think there needs to be a balance here. In the way that we approach our pedagogy.

Dr. Denise Bernadini  1:04:07

I was just gonna say I do think the pendulum is swinging back to more of the mind body spirit, holistic approach and voice studio.

Toni Crowder  1:04:17

And I was just gonna say that I think that that balance comes from a lifestyle. I mentioned that but I had been on this week long spiritual retreat with some amazing people from around the globe. And I was at a meal time and they knew about the book because it was kind of providential that I got there because of the book tour. But anyway, someone said to me, are several questions that came out. So if you’re getting ready to have a performance, how many days before you cut back on milk and how do you you know how many days before? And I said, No, it’s a lifestyle. It’s not like that. I don’t because I’m very caffeine sensitive, and it drives me out. I choose not to have caffeine all the time because I’m a singer. It’s a lifestyle. And that’s why when Denise said, let’s write a book on the mindfulness of singing, you know, she’s right it is it has impacted my whole life because you can’t be vulnerable and get out there and sing and perform, if you don’t address the stuff you need to work on inside. So it’s a lifestyle. And that balance is a lifestyle, too, or, Oh, I’m going to work out this week, but for the next six months, he doesn’t really matter. No, it matters every day, because this instrument is needs to be taken care of. So I’ll stop preaching. And thank you for letting us share.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:05:35

Oh, no, I think we’re all sharing. I think the three of us are actually all sharing. And as I said earlier, we’re all singing the same song and I love it. I love being in a room with like minded people. Do you believe that the voice is healing that it? The voice itself has healing qualities?

Dr. Denise Bernadini  1:05:57

Yes, I think we’re taught especially in the classical world, that you can’t be sad, depressed, moody, whatever it you have to be, you have to be this to sing the key. singing, you need to be happy, you need to present happy. How many times have you heard smile, when you sing, smile? Why aren’t you smiling? You’re performing do this. And who wants to do that if they’re depressed, or they’ve just lost a loved one, or they’ve lost, they’ve lost someone, Tony and I both have lost people. And when I lost my sister, I quit singing for two years, it was hard. In hindsight, I should not have done it. I should have pushed myself to sing despite my sadness. Because we know so much about neuroscience. We know what singing does, we know what it does to the brain, we know all the good chemicals that it releases 100%. And we also know that singing in community that community singing is huge for depression, feeling connected, that we connect with people that we sing with. So those things are, are hugely healing. And Tony and I both experienced great loss, great tragedy in our lives, and some trauma with a capital T. and singing, I would say has been a saviour in many ways first, but

Toni Crowder  1:07:28

and I would add to that, too. If there’s anybody that’s listening right now, our heart goes out to you. If you’re experiencing deep grief or trauma that is held you back from singing, here’s a baby step that might just get you on the path to singing. Again, try just humming and not it’s not about a performance. It’s not for anybody but for your own soul, the vibration in your own body. And if you want to take it up a notch, and I’m not doing this just as a book plug, but there is detailed information about this in the book, but a sensory deprivation where it’s a mudra where you cover your your ears and your eyes and just go inside yourself. Give yourself a big Sonic love hug with your own vibrations. And that might get you on the path to actually vocalising and singing again. And sometimes we just need a baby step. But it’s a beautiful, beautiful thing for your soul.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:08:20

I love that. I love that we’re going to start wrapping this up, because otherwise I think we’re going to end up talking for the next six months. So I would like to know, Okay, where can people find the book? Where can they purchase the book from we are going to share links in the show notes, but you want to tell us where they can go and buy the book.

Dr. Denise Bernadini  1:08:45

Yeah, you can. You can find it on Amazon or really you can order it through any place like you can order it through Barnes and Noble. You can order it anywhere that books are sold. It may take some time for you to get it but you can get it pretty quickly through Amazon.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:09:01

That is a beautiful looking cover to love it. Yeah. So pretty. Isn’t it pretty? That is so pretty and it’s you feel like you want to go by it’s it’s warm and inviting gives you that fuzzy feeling already. Yeah.

Dr. Denise Bernadini  1:09:19

And it’s throat chakra.

Toni Crowder  1:09:22

People say that that they that feels good and we’re happy with that. If you don’t mind, I would love to close with a point from the book

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:09:32

100% I was going to ask you if there was something else you wanted to share about the book before we wrap it up.

Toni Crowder  1:09:38

So So Denise what should we go with sing anyway? Or the meditation affirmation because we talked about that, which would you think?

Dr. Denise Bernadini  1:09:48

Give him the meditation app? Okay,

Toni Crowder  1:09:49

I was kind of a sometimes I’ve done singing away but this time I was feeling and you know what, I’m not going to do it in Italian. I’m going to do in English.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:09:58

I can do it in Italian. When

Toni Crowder  1:10:04

I actually wrote it, I wrote it in both languages, because Italian is the language that speaks to my soul. But here we are. And you know what the truth is, I really don’t have to use the book. But it does bring home that is available in the book. So here it is. And I hope that you will use this the next time you have to practice or paint or fly fish or anything that you want to focus on. This can be applied across the board, but it’s called the singer’s meditation affirmation. Thank you for this moment, I set my intention to be completely present, right here. Now. I am incredibly grateful for this moment, to rest in the presence and play in the sound of my unique voice. I seek only to express myself in the most authentic way. Staying centred, awake, alert and attentive. I listen to my spirit, and my own inner wisdom. I choose only to express myself through love, care and compassion. I release all judgement of myself, and those who seek to guide me. And I let go of perfection, to embrace this sacred practice of being fully present with my voice.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:11:30

Whoa. Oh, sorry. That was beautiful. Thank you. That was so beautiful.

Toni Crowder  1:11:43

Thank you.

Dr. Denise Bernadini  1:11:43

Thank Wow. You can see why she’s a good songwriter. Oh, thank you

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:11:49

love that, that it that really struck a chord with me. Oh, and I hope it did with other people that was just stunning. And I think we all need to as voice users, especially because we can be so in our heads, about our voices, we spend more time in our heads than in our hearts. And I think that is a wonderful way to approach singing. And I have also found that as people start to use their voice more and more and free their voices up in the singing studio, the more they start to speak up in life.

Dr. Denise Bernadini  1:12:29

Yeah, yeah. Oh, yeah. I’ll just put one more plug in that on our YouTube channel, there is Tony playing music, she wrote music to that. And she’s playing it and singing. There’s one in Italian, there’s one in English. And she’s playing and singing and it has a beautiful meditative video music video with it. So if you want to hear that again, and you want to see it in action, and experience that in a meditative sort of setting, you can find it on YouTube.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:12:57

Well, we’ll be sure then to add that to the links. So please remember to send that to me. So we have that in the links also. Now, Tony, I know you’re moving to Italy. And

Dr. Denise Bernadini  1:13:11

now she

Toni Crowder  1:13:13

Oh, you’re not what time I’m going not moving. This first trip is just to go I don’t know what I don’t know. Spirit hasn’t told me yet what my next path is, so I’m just going this theory

Dr. Denise Bernadini  1:13:25

has told me and she’s gonna. She’s gonna get

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:13:30

this spirit is saying that we need when they need another, like a sequel to your book. That’s why my spirits telling me there’s a voice guy. These girls need to write another book. Anyway, people. So thank you both so much. It has been an absolute joy. Honestly, I’ve just loved spending time with you. It didn’t feel like an interview. It felt like the three of us good old mates hanging out having a good chat, and really getting to the meat of stuff, which is awesome. I wish you all the very best with everything that you do in the future. And I look forward to catching up with you again because I feel that we will. My spirits telling me that Me too. Me too. Thank you Take care.

Toni Crowder  1:14:29

Thank you. Bye bye, Ciao.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:14:31

Bye. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of a voice and beyond. I hope you enjoyed it as now is an important time for you to invest in your own self care, personal growth and education. Use every day as an opportunity to learn and to grow so you can show up feeling empowered and ready to live your best life If you know someone who will also be inspired by this episode, please be sure to copy and paste the link and share it with them. Or share it on social media and use the hashtag a voice and beyond. I promise you, I am committed to bringing you more inspiration and conversations just like this one every week. And if you would like to help me, please rate and review this podcast and cheer me on by clicking the subscribe button on Apple podcast right now. I would also love to know what it is that you most enjoyed about this episode and what was your biggest takeaway? Please take care and I look forward to your company next time on the next episode of a voice and beyond.