Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 00:10
Hey, it’s Dr. Marisa Lee Naismith here and I’m so honoured to be sharing today’s interview round episode with you listen and you will be inspired by amazing healthcare practitioners, voice teachers and music industry professionals who will share their stories, knowledge and experiences within their specialised fields to help you live your best life every day. As singers our whole body is our instruments and our instrument echoes how we feel physically, mentally and emotionally. So don’t wait any longer take charge and optimise your instrument now. Remember that to sing is more than just learning about how to use the voice. It’s about A Voice and Beyond. So without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode. Grace Ng Ee Wern is a clinical hypnotherapist, a Jin Shin Jyutsu physio philosophy energy healing practitioner, and a level three certified somatic voicework teacher who has a studio practice based in Singapore. It is there she has developed a unique and distinct approach to voice teaching and learning during upon multi disciplinary wellness practices to enhance the mental, emotional and physical well being of her students. In this episode, Grace explains that her methodology actively incorporates a mind body connection so that the voice is understood in the context of the holistic wellness of the person. Grace firmly believes that you cannot separate the mind body and emotions from the voice and vocal issues are a result of disharmony is occurring within the student. She tells us that as teachers we need to honour the student wherever they’re at in that moment in time. And in order to deal with these voice issues, we must resolve any underlying problems. Grace explains the major benefits to applying many non traditional modalities in the boy studio. She describes using hypnotherapy in assisting students with and alleviating their performance anxiety. Proudly grace is the only voice teacher and the only Jin Shin jitsu practitioner using this modality with singers. She has discovered that with Jin Shin Jitsu, which is an energy healing modality, it can harmonise physical conditions that not only allows freedom of expression and authenticity, but help students overcome other issues relating to pitch breathing, alignment registers, and range building. Grace demonstrates how these modalities can be applied simply and effectively with our students. This is a fascinating interview. So without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode. Hi, Grace in and welcome to the podcast voice and beyond. It is an absolute pleasure having you on the show. Thank you so much for being a guest. And for those that don’t know you, you are a singing teacher. You are a certified somatic voice level three teacher, a clinical hypnotherapist and Jin Shin Jyutsu physio philosophy energy healing practitioner now that’s a lot of things, and we’re going to unpack all of them. But first up, you are based in Singapore and how is life there for you right now?
Grace Ng Ee Wern 04:26
Oh, yeah. Well, they’re going to lift the restrictions virally. It’s been a very, very, very hard two years. The Performing arts industry is really in the doldrums. Yeah, I mean, mental health. You know, the thing is with mental emotional health, this is the first time ever, ever that we’ve actually had big talk of mental emotional health in the newspapers, mental emotional health is a taboo subject more or less in, in Asian society. It’s viewed as a sign of weakness. And so to actually have it out there in the papers, you know, publicly you know, With public figures, and even the president backing a mental emotional health campaign, right is something big, it shows you the effect that the pandemic has, in addition to, you know, just decimating the economy. It’s just been two years, I think things are reopening now. But it’s so much there’s been so much hardship, you know, and to so many people in all levels of society. And it seems at least, you know, things are starting to come back. But what we’re seeing is that I think the impact of the mental emotional health thing and on small businesses, especially as an Performing Arts is going to last, it’s going to outlast pandemic by a couple of years. Yeah. So that that’s kind of where we stand right now, pandemic situations, not clear all over the world. I mean, there’s flare ups, again, the UK, Russia is having its lockdown. And we really don’t know where that’s going. And all that creates a lot of anxiety. Yes, even just reading the newspapers, I mean, you can, your blood pressure can go really high. So we take it day by day, it’s one of the biggest things, you know, that I’ve taken away from, from the pandemic, if you look too far, if you think too much, you’re gonna get anxiety, and that’s going to drain your body that’s gonna make you sing, sing worse, you know?
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 06:10
Yes. And I understand that that is a really big deal in Asian countries, that shame of talking about mental health. Now, I just want to go back six years, because that’s when we actually met was six years ago. And that was when I was doing my PhD. And I was researching the training of contemporary commercial music styles. So CCM now I was really interested in learning more about how these music styles were being taught in Asia, because this music was no longer exclusive just to the UK and the US where the music originated from. But it had infiltrated big time, especially in Asia with Kpop J pop Cantopop manteau, pop, you name all the Pops. So I was very keen, and I thought it would bring something really different to my research, to speak to someone who was teaching those styles. And that’s how we met tonight. I was introduced to buy Jeanette Lovette tree. Well, yeah, way back. So what I loved and and a lot of what you talked about, when I asked you questions, and there were the questions that I asked everyone else, all the other participants was that you brought, definitely a very different flavour, to the research. And it was it was quite a holistic approach. It was a mental, physical, emotional approach to the teaching of voices and I never forgot that. So and just quietly, I really loved it. Because I’m very much a holistic person and, and even this podcast represents the the union of all those things. You have trained in so many things to do with performing arts and music qualifications and outside of Performing Arts, a lot of holistic practices. But you first
Grace Ng Ee Wern 08:26
Yeah, the holistic practices were to actually support my singing that came out from researching the singing, I just wanted to go deeper and deeper. So the whole point of pursuing the healing arts it just came out of that desire. Do, as you mentioned, right, holistic and my voice teacher Amanda Colliver from Akasha studio chooses what organic voice and since then, right, I’ve been trying to, you know, get the organic voice, what is an organic singing speaking voice? Yes, we do have to learn how to pitch Yes, that is one of those things is a coordination thing with the cerebellum, right? But when it comes to breathing, right, when it comes to embodying character comes to emotional authenticity, what is an authentic voice? And you know, the rest of it. I did not just do clinical hypnotherapy or jujitsu, because I wanted to do that. I did them because I felt that they would help my understanding of what an organic seed speaking fully emotional, fully present voice would be. So that that’s how you know that’s how it started. It’s not separate. You can’t separate the voice. You cannot separate emotional expression from vocal expression. It Yeah, mentally you can. But you know, you know, you know, in your heart, that there’s something wrong. It’s not true. It’s not authentic. That’s the rabbit hole that I’ve been going down. It’s been fascinating. It’s still his evolution of human being and you know, the voice keeps changing because we keep changing. Our thoughts keep changing, you know, and that’s a process of maturation that we bring consequently subsequently To characters and to our music into our, to our expression, actually, that’s where it started. That’s where it’s going.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 10:07
So when you started to dig into some of these practices, and some of them, we call modalities. Did you do that for your own voice? Or was it with the idea that you were going to teach singers at some stage? Or was this did this happen concurrently?
Grace Ng Ee Wern 10:28
I did these modalities as a way to solve existing things that I thought that could be improved as vocal teaching practice. One of them was, you know, the very artificial, you know, I have to teach breathing, I have to teach deep breathing, what is what the body naturally does, when it’s relaxed. The starting point for all of this was somatic voice works, the textbooks and they have like a, you know, at the back of the appendix, like a whole list of, you know, alternative modalities that other modalities that you could try. I tried Tai Chi, yeah, it was nice. I could not really integrate it with the voice part. So I did belly dance for a year, just to understand right, that posture and alignment that could not be brought in to voice very easily. So what I’ve done in my teaching practice is to distil the things that can be put into voice easily. So yeah, so I’m down to clinical hypnotherapy. And I mean, basically, I don’t hypnotise people, sometimes some issues that are on YouTube, and there are lots of free resources that you can find they call it self hypnosis that you can listen to, you know, you can sort of just reprogram your subconscious, all hypnosis is self hypnosis, just the fact that you want to change is enough to change. But that’s it, the rest of it is just, you know, like, bells and whistles are one of the protocols of performance anxiety. One, right is to address it’s mental rehearsal, it basically is mental rehearsal, but in a trance delivered to you in a trance. So I do this, I got to the stage and then you know, I sing my first song and I sing my first song, I remember that the high notes need to be like this, and they need to be like this. And then after I perform it so well, I’m really happy with myself, then I go on to my second song, and then you can write you can actually pre record these things before you actually start and the thing is right that all you need to do to get into a trance, you don’t even have to go to like typical hypnosis school. All you have to do to get into trance is really just focus on one thing. And basically, in hypnosis, we say the sound of my voice. So what do you do is you just call it all these things that all the instructions, and then you just played back yourself, go to sleep. And that’s it. And that’s self hypnosis, and then you wake up, it’s really smooth. So for our hypnosis, exams, right? Our teacher said, Hey, this is a script, right? Read it out, record it. And then you know, the day before the exam, just play it, listen to it, right and then go for the exams. And there was no anxiety. There was no anxiety.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 13:00
Like self talk, basically, talking to yourself.
Grace Ng Ee Wern 13:05
It is but right with the state of trance, eliminating any you know, other negative beliefs that might come in the thing is transcribed, we are all in a state of translate all the time. People think hypnosis is your reveal your social security number? No, no, no, no. And remember, all hypnosis is self hypnosis. And you can’t go that way unless you want to. This is different from clinical hypnotherapy, that combines psychotherapy with hypnosis. So basically, it is psychotherapy. But the thing is that with the trance state, the brain’s a filter called the reticular activating system that’s in the brainstem goes to sleep. So when the brain’s filter goes to sleep, there is like no negative self talk, there’s no self criticism, no self doubt. It’s just like, you know, you’re just in a just in a blank slate. And then when you’re in that state, then you know, we input the suggestion, so you’re not fighting against yourself.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 13:59
Firstly, what then to me, some of that sounds like meditative practices is, yeah, and secondly, I had an experience on Sunday where I went for a long walk, and I was walking beside my husband. And when we got back, I realised that I hadn’t talked for the last, say, 15 minutes. And I didn’t remember the last 15 minutes of that walk. So is that but I know was like really deep in thought? Is that almost that kind of trance state that you’re talking about?
Grace Ng Ee Wern 14:38
Yes. So you were mentioning that you’re walking and you’d like you know, you’re deep in thought and you can’t remember anything. Now that’s a trance. And one of the more dangerous transit is a road trance. It’s like when you’re driving, and you’re just looking at the road and you and then you just forget and then somebody just runs you know, something just runs across the road. Trans is defined as undivided focus to one stimuli you know, like the road, like when you know with even thought, or when you’re watching TV or when you’re watching Netflix or the news or watching something, reading something, you know, that’s a trance. This links us back to so is theatre, all the restaurants. So remember that in a trance state, you’re very suggestible, highly suggestible to the extent that you wish to be suggested to that we can talk about the media and how you know how thoughts and ideas get across translate repetition, that’s how you get across. So similarly, performance anxiety, you have yourself recording, and then after that, you just repeat, I repeat, and that’s it. So of course, that is the top layer of stuff, right? And then there is a second layer is at the top of the iceberg. Next layer, like for example, okay? Some kids are really soft. Some people are really soft. Some people don’t want to see class, right? But they’re there. You know, you’re like in singing class, you’re expected to sing, you know that you have to sing, but you just cannot or don’t want to. Now, one of the signs of anxiety, or disordered or otherwise is selective mutism. Well, yeah, that was one. Oh, who said, um, you know, my daughter does is really, really soft. When it comes to strangers. She’s really loud when she sings, but to herself at home, but very softly, she talks generally to people I sent I recommended that that mom bring her daughter to a therapist, I felt that the therapist would be a better forum than singing class, because you no stranger. I mean, if you’re telling me that she shuts up before strangers, right, then I’m a stranger, and I won’t get anything. And there won’t be any class to speak off. And it’s good because you know, as a mom and a daughter, you understand the why sometimes it’s important understand why I think a lot of voice right really belongs in the psychotherapy, mental emotional world more than in the voice studio. And the reasons are, one a chronic stress. That’s what deep breathing is. It’s the effect of chronic stress, amplified by maybe insufficient sleep. That’s what we call it jujitsu hip line issue. I mean, I’m so tired, right? I can’t even I can’t even breathe the brains like on overdrive. So that’s chronic stress. So the correct forum, the more appropriate fora for managing that, right would be stress management, you know, the voice studio is really at the tip of the iceberg. And another thing it could be all right here, here’s where when you have like, really soft kids, this is more kids mental and emotional, right? I I’m afraid this is a very Asian thing. I’m afraid that if I speak up, I might say something wrong and offend somebody. Oh, wow, a mental thing. Sometimes it’s an emotional thing. I know that that’s quite a, you know, on self reflection, I realised that’s what I also have, you know, we talked about the the throat chakra being you know, and its message I speak my truth. That could be one of the reasons why you don’t want to speak your truth because I don’t want to offend anybody.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 17:58
So that is an Asian cultural thing might
Grace Ng Ee Wern 18:02
be. I mean, I don’t say that anything is, you know, it’s, it’s within one culture, that’s sure. You know, I might, if I raise my voice, this is another one. This is so this belongs in the realm of CBT, cognitive behavioural therapy, rather than the voice studio for you know, like, for example, okay, so this is the one with kids again, that basically as a kid, the inner child and the young child, right, when you’re young child, when you taught something, the greatest, really simple, it just generalises everything. So for example, like when you’re told by an you’re sheltered, yelled at by big scary adults, right? When you’re like making noise and running around and having fun, right, and yelling to like, keep quiet, sit down, and the brain goes, okay. But because you’re such a young child, there might be some generalisation happening. Yeah. So you raise your voice, the subconscious goes, Oh, remember that big scary adult going at me and making me really scared. It’s like a dog, right? It does bad things like No, no, you know, the young child like that. So remember that big scary person yelling at you when you were having when you’re yelling and tell you to keep quiet? Yeah, do that. That’s in the subconscious. Yeah,
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 19:21
no, that makes sense. Because especially like, for me, I come from a European background. And as a child, I was silenced. Yeah, as a child, I was brought up to be seen and not heard in Yeah, yeah. And that you had to behave and that you had to keep quiet and you had to do what you were told. So a lot of that. I felt that I didn’t have a voice in life. And thankfully, singing was the thing that saved me as a child, because I found the joy of singing that helped me use my voice in another way. But in doing these interviews, so many of my guests have had those experiences that as a child, they had their voice taken away from them. So it’s incredible what you’re saying that, okay, in the voice studio, a lot of the work that we do should be done by a therapist
Grace Ng Ee Wern 20:20
with the prevalence of mental emotional stuff coming up right now, right pandemic, I get to actually move to where I feel the work is going to be most useful. Of course, we have to deal with the fact that, you know, firstly, it comes a much lower now because the pandemic and to, again, that stigma of mental emotional health thing that is connected with Asian culture, I really don’t know how this panned out in Singapore, as well as many of the Asian countries. I mean, I don’t know if in Hong Kong, it’s swept under the rug. But it really is a thing. I mean, there’s so much death and loss, grief and anxiety and depression, and we have to address it at some way. And this is how singing can help. If they are still in the boot to saying, you know, like, yeah, we’re set on and people aren’t in the mood to sing. If people are in the mood to sing, you know, you’re already one step ahead in like mental emotional stuff, you only want one more step on the stage of recovery. Because, you know, kind of want to express exactly, all these anxiety depressions in inside in words. If there’s one takeaway, I mean, like that, I would like a performing artist know that that basically that expression that joy, right, even if you have to dissociate into another character, right? associated to a character, right? In order to get there they do it. It’s healthy. Yeah. All acting is dissociation. Yeah, it’s a dissociative state. You know, it’s not me, like, not me anymore. So sometimes, right? That’s the very craft or a state of acting is a dissociative thing, that we want to dissociate from ourselves and our troubles and our problems and our mental emotional things and our lives for that two hours, right? And become someone else, you know, for that two hours, and then very sadly, very luckily, come back. So that was one of the questions to understand to resolve. Why is there so much there’s so many mental emotional people with mental emotional projects and in the arts, let’s not generalise enacting, because that’s what I know. Because one of the reasons could be because acting is a dissociative state. It’s a way of escaping, and then when you come back, like, Oh, you were depressed anyways. You know, and for that two hours, you’re not depressed anymore. But that in therapy and go, Oh, look, you were not depressed for two hours. That’s can you see, like, a bit like, you know, you take one step out of the out of zero, can you like, Be not depressed by one step of theatre? And then yeah, to step out of the theatre is a nice way to flip it on its head. Because it’s like, Look, you have the ability not to be depressed, you have the ability not to be stressed, look when you are in the character you want. And so you have the ability, yes, some people?
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 22:59
Yes, that there’s two ways of looking at this. It’s interesting hearing you talk about this. First up, when you talk about dissociation, there’s another way of turning this around as well. And I’ll just use examples that that I can relate to the perhaps listeners can also. Now for example, when I go and do Pilates, and I’m in there for an hour, I can have so much going on in my life. But when I’m in that moment, and I’m having to focus on every movement, and the breathing, and everything I have to focus on to keep it together. And to get through the class, I dissociate from life.
Grace Ng Ee Wern 23:48
And, and, yeah, just from the problem from the problems of
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 23:53
life, I actually forget about everything in that moment. Because my mind is somewhere else. And I call it my mindfulness time, in one sense where I’m so in the present, which I think the problem is in our society, people aren’t in the present, they always worrying about the future, or ruminating about the past. And we’re not in that present moment. And I think it’s so important, whether it’s acting or whether it is to go and do something that you totally disassociate from those problems. I’ve just been that mind is so important. COVID has changed basically the way that I approach teaching. Not intentionally, it’s evolved into this practice now, that since we’ve come back to face to face teaching, a lot of these students aren’t the same. They are far more stressed. They’re far more anxious. So I started to do check some checking in. So I would I would always check in with my students. When they walk in, but that first five minutes is high, how you going, how’s all your classes going? How’s your week been? And just watching, just observing how they come in how they carry themselves, listening to the tone of their voice, looking at their facial expressions, and them and creating a safe space for them to share what they’ve been going through in the last week without being a psychologist, but just a sharing platform, creating that safe space. Sometimes if they come in, and they say, Oh, I’m really angry today. I get them to sing a song where they can put that anger. Yeah, handle that anger. If they’re a hypo, functional singer, where there’s little energy, little breath, there’s like this tiny voice get AK, let’s get really angry here. So there’s kind of two ways isn’t there? Like, there’s dissociation. But there’s also to maybe Association, do you think perhaps,
Grace Ng Ee Wern 26:07
with the Silent Ones, it’s like, only if they’re ready.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 26:11
Obviously, you have to create rapport. And, and, and trust me, and you have to, and that comes with time, and creating that safe space where that student comes in. And they know, whatever happens in that studio, they’re not going to be judged. And it’s okay, you know, like building that around your studio. And the weird thing is, since I’ve been doing this work, I’ve had the best results in my all my singers, the vulnerability, they allow themselves to be vulnerable. And it comes through in their singing and the emotional engagement to their singing. And it’s kind of taken care of some of the technical aspects of their voice. But sorry, I took over there for a minute, but I thought that was that just what you were saying inspired me to reflect upon what I was doing. And I think what you’re saying is really valid. And then there’s also the other side where you go, Okay, well, maybe we can channel some of these emotions and keep them in that moment, as well.
Grace Ng Ee Wern 27:22
And add them to their portfolio of songs. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Basically, it’s like, Oh, if I’m stressed, angry with God. It’s just, you know, it’s that expression rather than submission, give them the songs, right. And, you know, whenever you feel that emotion, boom, yes. noted, there is a thing called music therapy, we are all in some ways, we need to be therapists in the voice, because we’re dealing with the tank, human instrument, you know, and it’s like, not press the button. I wish it could be so simple. You brought up the point of criticism and judgement. And the way that I was taught one of the things that I tried to avoid in the studio, in response to the way that was taught was that there’s a lot at least in here in Singapore, where I got most of my training, and it was, it’s a lot of criticism. It’s a lot of judgement. It’s a lot of this is wrong. No, you’re not breathing, you know, that sort of gelling, and some people think that’s actually a good idea. Some people like the strictness and then we’re quick to label the student as that. If they don’t, you know, they don’t do this, you know, they don’t practice for example.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 28:30
Now, I want to move along and talk about Jin Shin shitzu. Okay, I’d like you to to tell our listeners what that is, but also to, I wanted to share that you are the only voice teacher that’s using that modality in your teaching studio, and the only JinJin jitsu practitioner that’s using it on voice.
Grace Ng Ee Wern 28:56
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 28:58
right now globally, right now,
Grace Ng Ee Wern 29:00
yes, this is all to my knowledge, it has been used with dancers, and we have a lot of movement. The instructors who actually former dancers, they’re like three or four of them, who actually teach jiu jitsu who used to be dances. So they use it they have used it in their practice as dances.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 29:17
So what is it exactly?
Grace Ng Ee Wern 29:20
Okay, so basically it is a healing modality is a Japanese healing modality that basically has aspects of the chakras it has aspects of is its links to Chinese traditional Chinese medicine, and it was rediscovered at the turn of the century by by sensei Giro MRI. And in Japan, it was brought to the US by his disciple Mary Baumeister, who subsequently formed ninjutsu Incorporated, so it is a TM method and marry it was a Japanese American, pass it on to the rest, you know, basically just developed it globally. And there are in the way that’s taught that are in certified instructors in affiliated with the judiciary. jiu jitsu Inc. and they fly all over the world. And they have they have classes and it not only is deals with humans, you can also use it for pet healing, killing animals. Yeah, so it’s energy healing. Basically there are nine depths of a bit of introduction to the system there are nine depths of energy and a depth of energy is like a vibration of the nine depth six form the human body and the six depth is is the soul is the aura and the rest of it is it forms respectively. So, again, the more like solid the tissue is the more dense the vibrations are right. So, six dabs is the soul that is born fourth that is muscles that depth is blood essence. Second depth is fascia deep skin, and the first step is surface skin. So basically in jujitsu and this is how I got in because firstly, one of the everything in jujitsu is characterised as music. We don’t talk about healing in jujitsu, we talk about harmonising. There are no there are no problems. The only projects because projects are fun and have an end date according to jujitsu. So let me talk about the music point that was so interesting. So in addition to so one of the relationships is called bassline waistline and hip nine, bus line, waistline is where the ribs are. And hip line, hip line is where the hips are basically, whether it’s the pelvis, okay, and the bus line, the emotion, our emotions, the word for that is harmony. And the waist line is called the melody. And, and the hip line is rhythm. I understand how the headline is rhythm because that’s how we perceive it. With with the ground, so if the person is not dancing is not happy in life, we call it when they’re out of harmony. All projects be breast cancer, be it a tumours, depression, all of that is out of harmony out of cosmic harmony. Wow. You know, though, and we don’t label again, that comes back. We don’t label it’s basically the whole of the energy How many disharmony is it’s it’s felt in the pulse pulse reading. And that’s that’s from Chinese medicine. So when we combine this, you know, we can since you mentioned I, you said that you looked at students when they came in, right? You can look and see right, what’s happening in their lives. Good. This is how we do it. Now. The inhale is the back of the body. And the exhale is the front. They call it the great oval. This is the second reason why magician Jitsu, right? It talks about breath and they say if you can breathe, you don’t need jujitsu, you know? So that’s how I got into like, you know, as a form of breath management. I noticed that when I started harmonising things, right, the best silence and the reason all of the safety energy logs and all of the energy stuff right is on the hands. And so basically you kind of just hold a finger and the breath starts to release and the voice starts to improve because the underlying condition is dying to harmonise itself. And so right you can release the throat for example, okay in the throat, right, going through the throat is this thing called the kidney meridian which is the same as Chinese medicine. In acupuncture kidney meridian is harmonised by needles or by massage right or by hubs in jujitsu, same meridian, how we harmonise it by is by holding the index finger, we hold the index finger and the throat releases, and then you’re free to do whatever you want to do his voice teacher. Because you have
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 33:23
so how would you do that?
Grace Ng Ee Wern 33:25
You know, you can just hold you can make an agreeing or you can just hold or you know and and then you just keep it out of sight. So it’s like people have been doing this right? You’ve seen the classical singers doing that all the time, right? It’s one of the postures of classical see. Now you know why? jitsu is an innate art. So basically, when you when you know you see this, right? Yes, that’s yeah, so that’s jujitsu,
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 33:49
really. So what does that do then?
Grace Ng Ee Wern 33:53
This is harmonising the centre of the palm which is the six steps of energy, which is like what everything is so if you do that, right, just remember I said that mental emotional and physical stuff, they’re all harmonised. They’re all basically in this modality. They’re all a result of this harmony of energy. It’s not the energy is not flowing, basically not inhaling exhaling. And so you know, when you’re doing that, everything’s on the six steps of energy six step has everything. So that deals with blockages of emotional you know, if I can’t emote If I can’t, physical, mental and emotional blockages to expression.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 34:25
You know what’s weird about this? When I’m doing this? I’m actually feeling energy through going through my arms. Yeah, check your breath. That feels really calming.
Grace Ng Ee Wern 34:39
The beauty of it, it’s all hidden. You nobody needs to know. You’re just like doing this like offstage onstage in character, you know, and it’s very, very portable. And it’s very, very easy, but it’s also very powerful. Okay, coming back to the the part that I said about the bus line, waist line and hip line, right? Yeah, so just all about breaths. I kid you not. It is about breath. Energy disharmonies show up in breaths. Okay, so in so many boys work on voice teaching, right? We say, oh limited movement in the chest, reading from the chest, right or limited movement in the ribs, or the abdomen is not moving in deep breath. So that’s the meaning and, and those things actually tell you what’s happening with that person at that moment. Okay, so for example, if the person is ready to be upper chest, really shallow, right, this is the sort of reading that you get when you have like a panic anxiety attack. Right? And the cause is emotional, the causes and emotional and we call it the 13 block, energy passes through 26 Safety energy locks in the body. They are like the acupuncture when we have less, we only have 26. The safety energy lock is like a ball of energy. And when it locks up, the flow of energy is not smooth. And that’s when the disharmony is happening. Yeah, so if it wasn’t breathing like that, that happens with the highly traumatised guys, that’s just a word of caution there that basically when you’re breathing and very shallowly right um, that’s they have an emotional thing going on with their lives. to harmonise that, you can either go to do safety energy lock 13, which is on the middle finger, so the whole class can be middle finger, you will get a deep breath. And you know, that solves the breathing part of it all. Definitely sort of resolves the breathing part of it all and you just you know, do do your thing as usual, you can also do this Ah, let me bring into this one, this is safety energy lock. 10 is the heart. This is the mudra Mudra is a hand position, right? It is for safety. And if you locked in that sits between the shoulder blades, that’s kind of where that is. That is the hub of voice, all voice. And this safety energy lock is called the warehouse of abundance. And since we don’t make wallets being affected about the right, it’s called the warehouse of abundance, and also the hub of all voice. Not only that, not only that, it’s the hub of all mental emotional issues. When we say that, they have the energy lock, right? harmonised right will not only deal with all vocal issues sometimes if you got to deal with it in the long term. And it will also deal with your issues of the wallet as well as all mental emotional issues. Safety energy log 10 is on the index finger, which also deals with all muscular and endocrine things. The next one is the waistline if the person comes in this is very Singaporean. That if the waistline doesn’t move, limited movement in the ribs is the the term that I learned from the programmatic voice what that basically means it’s a disharmony of the mind over use of mind overthinking that’s the reason why that goes up and it will show up in breath management it will it will show up in pitch. Yes, how many disharmony is of the mind will affect the pitch. So you want to understand pitch deafness or tone deafness. That’s possibly one of the underlying tone deafness. Yeah, a meant, you know, just do something a project of the mind. Maybe you know, you know, bipolar, for example, too much things basically the mind, right goes like that. I’m on I’m doing a webinar on this, I’m attending one not doing one that basically the mind is associated with digestion. Right. So if there’s any like, project, right, you’re looking at digestion and not and yes, yes. Digital digestion from the enteric nervous system. Yes. But also digestion of new thoughts, new ideas, new environmental stimuli. That’s so prevalent now. So that’s, that’s shown up in the headline, additional in the waistline, right? We chose up was invoice class as an inability to sing and pitch.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 38:40
That’s incredible. So have you done? Have you have you tried these things on your students?
Grace Ng Ee Wern 38:48
Yes, yes, there was this girl teen three years who was persistently off pitch and very, very highly strong. You could hear it from a voice. Okay. The educational system here is really really, it’s a boiling, it’s really a pressure cooker. But this one beyond that, because this is the girl after like, years of classes, right? A body started to relax to a point that she said, Oh, I wanted I have all these issues revealed I always have a desire to be a man. Yeah, I always wanted a guy you know, since I was young, and she would do zoom classes and it would be completely black you know, I couldn’t see your face all I hear all I heard was her voice. Their voice I’m sorry. Their voice. Yeah. After she decided that she said my pronouns are there. I was left kind of diagnosing and the dog because it’s on Zoom, I told you about the safe space and I told you about how we need to honour where the students where they are. And so she didn’t turn on her zoom screen at all. All I heard was was sound Yes. And yeah, so now they are identifying as non binary and their pictures no has been so good. Now it’s coming from a good place a place Yeah. Want to be? Now we are working with them on belting on raising their voice in a way that is, you know, that is not aggressive. So many voice work uses changes of vowels, right in order to increase the volume, fantastic, you know, rather than then kind of just kind of trick them the nervous system into going there. And then like, hey, that’s about Jelle then once they realise, oh, that’s how it is, when I get angry, it’s always about the underlying, you know, it’s the old, that’s how I express my anger. So it’s like, that’s how I raised my voice and express my anger expressed intense emotions and ah, all right, then the brain goes because the science behind this, but I think there is an indelible association with the, the way that we make sound and the way that we think he can’t break it up, right, you know, because a yell is emotionally intense thing. You cannot process an emotionally intense thing from an intellectual space. You know, it’s easy. This is yours is getting back to what you said. That if the process, you know, basically, if we access an emotionally intense situation with a sort of voice, right reaction and emotionally intense reaction from an emotionally intense space, right? It makes sense. It gels faster than all right. This is a high level Angel thing. It’s a low flow, highly rigid process. Yes, you know, but I’m just like, it’s nice. It’s good to understand as a voice teacher, it’s good to understand. But when it comes to the actual practice, right, I feel that you cannot take out the emotional part of it all. You have, you have to join the understanding with that. This is Janice Chapman’s primal voice, she talks about pride of Ah, right, great, great, good luck, good luck on getting a picture of that, ah, that you need that technique with that, that compassion with that empathy, right to get there like as a whole. And when you get that emotional, it comes from that place. And when it comes from that place, it’s not going anywhere else, once you experience, experience expression from that plays, it’s not everything else feels so fake, right? And it’s like, you just want to be there that day, all the time. All it needs one expression, if the hip line is stuck, right. Consequently, the area above the waistline won’t move. And that would be the abdominal region, the abdominal region not being able to move right is an indication of the physical object to one physical project would be fatigue. How do we see a lot of youngsters here have the abdominals pulled in, you know, as soon as they go to school. And that’s the reason for that is it shows fatigue, it’s diet, he comes in, you can see it with the abdominal movement or lack of it with singing, all right? sensory input, medicines input equals breathlessness we output, right. So, you know, when I move when I’m taught to breathe, you know, put my hands in my belly, push it out, right? I give my body, the brain, the brain goes, Oh, ha, ha, you know, as I keep repeating that, that’s going to form the basis of new nervous system impulses. And that’s going to, you know, reverse whatever that’s happening in their lives. So, you know,
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 43:11
it sounds like to me, all the practices and your teaching methods and approaches have come at a fantastic time. What is there from Jin Shin Jyutsu, let’s talk about that. Specifically, what could we all learn from having more of an understanding of that practice?
Grace Ng Ee Wern 43:37
That we are all constantly evolving. The other one is that I am therefore I think, therefore I be, you know, we can work with things with the grain with the students right with the way that they think and be and, and express right, but it goes together singing is healing. Yeah, it is. It’s so so many ways. And that’s the message that I take out especially now. As a saying, again, this is one of the reasons why I gravitated towards it. Before we were the music was yes. I’m still trying to understand you know that that correlates the music part of the jujitsu. There are it’s related to sound healing in a way that that certain tones that harmonise certain safety energy locks, I’m not there yet. I don’t use that right now. But for example, okay, I do use the fingers, for example, you place your middle middle fingers, right that the nail sides of the middle. That’s what it is about. Really, what is the boy house of abundance, the warehouse of abundance is love, self love, love for everybody else. You know, the planet that refills your wallet, and that clears all mental emotional projects to make it a meditation, which you can do before before singing and then you don’t have to hold any anything anymore. Everything’s more or less that you could try that right. You just breathe in and out. 36 times is a specific number. Okay? Yeah, it’s full breaths. There’s a significance in numbers, which I won’t go into here for each of the nine depths of energy like that, that’s one and you know, just bring it bring that through. For people who are not seeing it, it helps to clear the mind.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 45:18
Okay, I’m going to try that afterwards.
Grace Ng Ee Wern 45:21
But there are other things that do that do the voice. Like if you want more head voice if you want more more expansion in my extension in the in the vocal folds, right? More head voice, right? You would go to the fourth finger, the ring finger, because jujitsu also incorporates the five element theory of victory, right? So holding the fourth finger, ring finger, right is about the element air. So if you want to, you know, go higher, right? We’ll say doing a staccato, right getting softer go up. Holding the fourth finger will bring in more air into the system, harmonised air, allowing you to go even higher. If you’re flat, right, there’s too much Earth in the system. And so I found you want to hold the sum. It’s too much Earth. Wow. Yeah, that’s really good. The flat that then if somebody sharp right? Finger, the fifth finger is going to help. Also the fifth finger has to do with the mind.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 46:19
Incredible. I could listen to this old guy.
Grace Ng Ee Wern 46:22
Yeah, it keeps getting deep. It’s quite cool. Yeah.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 46:26
And I can see that this is going to be a lifelong journey of learning for you that you’re going to continue to evolve. As we all are evolving. I’ve learned that. But if anyone wants to learn more about you grace, we’re going to share links to your website, you have a studio in Singapore, you are doing online teaching if they want to learn more about JinJin Jitsu, we will share anything that you share with us in the show notes for this episode. And I just want to say thank you so much for being on the podcast. I really appreciate all this information. It is very eye opening and great to look at all these things with an open mind and an open heart and all learn from everybody if we approach education and knowledge like that.
Grace Ng Ee Wern 47:26
Yeah, absolutely. Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 47:42
Hey, I hope you enjoyed this episode have a voice and beyond. Now is an important time for all of us to spread positivity and empowerment in our singing voice community. It’s 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 for your students feeling energised, empowered, and ready to deliver your best. Be the best role model and mentor you can possibly be and watch your students thrive as you do. Thank you so much for listening to this episode. If you enjoyed it, please make sure to share it with a friend or a colleague who you think will be inspired by this. Copy and paste the link and share it with the people you think will enjoys listening to this show. Please share it on social media and use the hashtag a voice and beyond. 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 love to know what it is you enjoyed the most about this episode. And what was the biggest takeaway for you? I promise you there are many episodes to follow as I’m committed to bringing you more inspiration and conversations just like this one. I’d like to finish up with my final thoughts. Remember that to sing is more than just learning how to use the voice as singers. Our whole body is the instrument and our bodies echo what we feel physically mentally and emotionally. So singing is not just about the voice. It’s about a voice and beyond. Please take care of yourself and I look forward to your company next time.