PURPOSE
Honor Yourself

About six months ago, our family's life took kind of an unexpected turn. Earlier in the fall, Richard and I were hoping to find Adrian an extracurricular activity that would inspire and engage him, help him build some confidence, and make some new friends outside of...

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On being in-between.

I recently met a new friend who was having a difficult break in her professional life. She was brave and strong, but also struggling. She was highly-educated and professionally accomplished, yet didn't know who she was anymore, and unsure of where she was heading. She...

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On making art and personal truth.

This past weekend I made a pilgrimage to New York City to catch the closing exhibition "Herstory," featuring American artist Judy Chicago at The New Museum. The show was a retrospective of Judy's uncompromising feminist art, as well as a special kind of...

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Welcome to The Traveler

I want to introduce to The Traveler, a re-invigorated version of my email newsletter. I've come to realize that over the past several years, I have been inadvertently experimenting with ideas, and subsequently philosophies, which encompass the nature of music and the...

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The Hardest Thing.

It may not always seem that way, but you are on a Hero's Quest. We all are. Today is my birthday (46!!), and I am committing today to romance my life like a hero. A creative hero. (Even if I don't always feel like one.) It's part of the human story, our archetypal...

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What is the outlet for your creativity?

When I was working as a voice coach and mentor, I observed something that almost every single student of mine was struggling with. It had nothing to do with their singing voice. But it troubled me. To distraction.  (Because I had the same bloody problem. 😩 )Despite...

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The theft of wildness.

Last summer while visiting my family's favorite spot in Maine, my little one Adrian and I were joyfully clambering over some of those ancient glacier-scraped rocks on the shoreline by our cottage. Alas, we were quite shocked when came upon a dead harbor seal pup who...

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A revolutionary creative process.

Imagine my delight when I opened the latest issue of The New Yorker to discover a full-length feature article devoted to my muse, Saint Hildegard von Bingen. Alex Ross wrote a comprehensive piece, and it was wonderful to witness the legacy of the great creatrix seen...

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The process of Wintering.

I've been taking some time over the past few weeks and months for some deep internal processing, allowing a great deal of space for a process of "wintering.” Although I would not have called it that, had it not been for Katherine May’s beautiful book, Wintering: The...

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The music chooses you.

I want to share one of the most defining moments of my life. A sophomore, I was in my college dorm room and had just cued up a new CD that just arrived in the mail. (Remember that?)I heard the first strains of the first track, and immediately felt my whole body and...

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How to define your voice.

Think back to the last time you were about to start singing something. What was the first thought that came to your mind?I hope this comes out ok.Don't do it wrong.What will they think of my voice?Is there enough ________?Am I doing all the things right?At the same...

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What is your *real* voice lesson?

Sometimes I joke that everything I have learned about life I learned from singing. But it's so true! It has been quite the journey, though. Sometimes it was pretty tricky, sticky, and ugly. But then also wildly illuminating, crack-you-open joyful, and triumphant.  The...

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How to believe in your ideas

I know you may not talk about it, but I know you have A Thing that's been on your mind for a while. That quiet vision, that unspoken desire, that shimmering dream, that kernel of an idea, that sticky feeling that you really, truly, wholly want something. Maybe it's a...

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Personal genius

One time recently I was watching the Beatles documentary, Get Back. It's a long, arduous haul through a rocky period for the band. But there was one moment caught on camera that created a new awakening for me about the creative process. It's a scene featuring a mumbly...

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The outlet for your voice.

Have you ever thought... If only I knew exactly how I am supposed to use my voice! This is one of the most common questions I hear, borne from a deep, soulful longing mixed with some heady, existential frustration. Let's reframe the question so it seems less fretful:...

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The pursuit of greatness

What does the term greatness bring up for you? I believe we all strive to realize our best, and seek our own, personal version of greatness in our lives.  But somehow, when it comes to music, art, the voice, and personal expression, we tend to relegate "greatness" to...

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Being courageous

One of my favorite movies of all time is The Wizard of Oz. I even had a mural of Oz painted in my girlhood bedroom!  My parents were crazy about classic films, and we had a non-stop stream of movies playing on our television during my entire childhood. But this film...

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Your voice purpose

Have you ever experienced that inner longing that hungers to know... How am I supposed to use my voice? It creeps within our consciousness, and bubbles up every so often (or sometimes very often), because it's a really important question. But damn, the answer can seem...

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Where does your voice belong?

I recently hit a major parenting milestone: it was (finally!) time to crack open Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone with my little one, Adrian. 🪄 Some of my very favorite stories are centered on characters with one specific archetypal quality... Harry Potter. Luke...

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Perfectionism.

It was over dinner the other night that Adrian, my darling six-year old, eagerly reminded my husband and I that we hadn't yet asked him what happened at school that day. Well, it wasn't pretty. In a nutshell, he became so frustrated with himself that he couldn't spell...

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Are you a Singer or a Non-Singer?

Many of my clients will identify with one of these two designations, usually so they can tell me what I can expect when I hear them sing!  However, the answer to whether you are a Singer or Non-Singer has everything to do with... you. But it is a perennial question...

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to err is human

I have mastered the art of "Don't let 'em see you sweat." That's easy. That's what you learn in professional training: the art of illusion. What I have not mastered is the art of Not Sweating. Have you? What do you sweat about? I sweat about, oh God, the same thing I...

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clarify your vision for your voice

As we have safely landed on the shores of 2021, I have found myself wanting and hungry for the Next Steps. What in the heck should I do now?  However, I know now that I am getting ahead of myself. Because one of the most valuable lessons I have gained this past year...

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“with heart and mouth”

How can we stay centered on the deeper purpose of our singing?

We learn how to focus our awareness in order to focus on our purpose. Awareness heightens the senses and calms the thinking mind. It connects us with our instrument, and keeps us focused.

As Hildegard states, and as I teach in the Studio, we focus our awareness on our heart. The heart is the seat of the Sacred Voice. It is here that we are both connected to our divine source, and here that we experience that longing to praise the very same divinity.

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Allison Mondel
Allison Mondel is a musician, philosopher, advocate, and mentor. Her greatest delight is to understand how things work, and share her hard-won wisdom with others. She writes about the higher nature of music and the voice, alchemizing personal roadblocks, and the pursuit of one's creative vocation.

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