What is your *real* voice lesson?

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 lessons I learned include how I do my work in the world, what I am here to share, and how I love and value my voice—and myself—at all costs.

I had to let go of needing my voice to be something I thought it should be. I had to let go of a career trajectory that I thought was what you’re supposed to do. I had to let go of fear of the unknown. I had to let go of control. I had to let go of unworthiness. I had to let go of fear and trauma that were obscuring my future.

I thought that my voice was supposed to sound great, be likable, and get me somewhere. No errors, no weaknesses, no troubles. I thought that all I had to do was be as technically proficient as possible so that I would be safe

But you know what? None of that matters nearly as much as my true life lessons. My real “voice lesson” has been about cultivating love, trust, and wisdom, and creating a sacred and wholehearted life. And my actual voice?

It is more brilliant than I could ever have imagined possible.

Dear One, I want to invite you to see past the surface for a sec. What has been your experience? What have you known?

Your experiences and circumstances are utterly unique. But I also know (because you are human) that there are places in your relationship with your voice that keep you locked up.

They are sticky spots around your singing, or your musical or creative life, that fall under the category of either “things to fix” or “I am broken forever.”

But in my experience, these are the signposts that, if you are willing, lead to sacred illumination and the unfoldment of your genius, purpose, and true joy.

It does not matter how old you are, how small you seem, or how scared you feel.

It takes courage to look inward. It requires a willingness to grow and to stoke the inner fire of your heart. And it takes quiet to listen, observe, and respond.

If you can muster the chutzpah to look deeper, your voice will reflect your most important life lessons. And (God willing!) help you realize that those lessons will illuminate the core truths of your life, and the purpose of your voice in the world.

No joke.

So what does your voice have to teach you today?

Prompts for Voice Wisdom

Take a moment to breathe, center awareness within the heart space, and enter into a state of stillness.  Allow these questions to guide your higher mind into clarity.

What do you believe that is holding you back around your voice?

What experiences have shaped you?

What is your headspace about your voice?

What is your spirit longing to bring forward?

What is the higher truth that you are meant to know?


A Prayer for Your Voice

Dear God,
Thank you for my voice.
Thank you for all that I am, all that I have learned, and all that I have been.
Guide me now into true wisdom, and the purpose and place for my voice.
Illuminate the inner places where I have grown small.
Grant me courage to break through the false ceiling of limitation, so that I may rise into the fullest potential of my voice.
Give me strength to look inwardly, so that I may know and understand the lessons of my experience. 
Grant me wisdom to know that my experience is the key to my healing, my purpose, and my ultimate joy.
May I raise my voice without censor, without shame, and without hesitation.
May I join my voice with the heavenly chorus who praise You in sacred harmony.
May my voice be blessed, may it be loved, may it be shared in safety.
Thank you, dear God, for my voice. 
And so it is. Amen.




About Allison Mondel
Transformational Voice Coach, Singer, Teaching Artist, Director, Mentor, Speaker

I am a visionary artist, educator, and voice coach whose work stands at the intersection of vocal wellness, spiritual wisdom, and personal empowerment. With 25+ years of professional experience as a performer, teacher, and mentor, I empower others to access their innate vocal gifts through a holistic process, and ascend into their personal greatness. I have helped hundreds of students access their voice and step beyond their doubts into joyful, courageous, and purposeful self-expression. 

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The outlet for your voice.

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:

What is the current outlet for me, my creativity, and my voice that is uniquely aligned with my identity, skills, talents, desires, and soul’s calling?

The sense of lack and confusion you may feel stems from fear and (omg lemme tell you) breeds overthinking. But lemme be honest: sometimes the current outlets that exist may just not feel like a good fit.

Sometimes your particular set of circumstances are just outside the realm of what seems normal, acceptable, straight arrow-ish, or “good enough” to fit into the mold. You may or may not consider yourself a revolutionary, but you may have that uncomfortable sense that what you want to do does not yet have its place.

It hasn’t been born. Invented. Ideated. Manifested. Why?

Because, my dear one, you may be the person to create that.

Conventional outlets for your voice remain vital, but please do not allow the current powers that be dictate or limit how you express your creative desires in this world of infinite possibility. 

You are unique. You are not simply a cog in some earth-bound wheel. That is worth celebrating, not lamenting!

The key ingredient, however, is your willingness to allow for something new to even be possible. I’m talking about a miracle, a shift in your current perspective, a temporary pause in your lack and confusion, so that a New Thing can be envisioned and ultimately, be made manifest.

Of course there is an outlet for your voice. If your desire comes from deep within, then listen for the guidance that calls from deep within.

You will be granted the will, strength, and courage to rise into your calling and ultimately create something sacred and painfully lovely that only you are meant to share with the world.

Guided Prompts for your Voice’s Unique Outlet
Take a moment to breathe, center awareness within the heart space, and enter into a state of stillness.  Allow these questions to guide your higher mind into clarity.

Where do you feel frustrated with the way you show up with your voice?

What do you feel called to do with your voice?

What are the fears or limiting beliefs that come up for you?

Do you have a desire to create something new?

What is holding you back from your desire? 

Prayer for Finding the Place for Your Voice

Dear Father, Mother, Creator,
I am ready to use my voice.
I allow my voice to rise.
I pray for the clarity to see the vision for my voice clearly.
Please help me understand the place for my voice, and how I may use my voice in divine service. 
I trust and pray for the ideal outlet for me and my voice.
I pray for the removal of fear, frustration, confusion, vagueness, and lack as I honor my calling for my voice.
I pray for the guidance and wisdom to move my inner desire into its unique, perfected, worldly form.
I am grateful for my unique gifts, experience, and identity, and know that there is a place for me and my voice.
May I be an instrument of beauty, light, and healing for the betterment of this world. 
May I discover and manifest the beautiful pathway for my voice, as you have willed.
And so it is. Amen.



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.
What I really learned working with coaches from the Met

What I really learned working with coaches from the Met

What I really learned working with coaches from the Met

When I was a junior in college, I had a very audacious and ambitious voice teacher who was making a go as an opera singer. She managed to wiggle herself and two of her budding students (including me!) into a workshop series led by Nico and Carol Castel, legendary coaches at the Met.

It was a very good thing I had no idea who these people were, or who would be there, or what anyone was singing. All I knew was that I was going to have six consecutive Friday night adventures to the Upper West Side and I would get off campus and go to New York and sing and it would be fun!

It was fun. It was also the most intimidating thing I have ever done. I could not have been more green, but it didn’t matter. I did not take away any sour memories whatsoever, because I learned so much, and had no aspirations to become an opera singer in the first place!

But the most indelible moment came not from my own coaching, but from from observing another soprano, let’s call her Deb.

It was Deb’s first turn, she got up and introduced herself. Deb said (with some hesitation) that she had been working on her own, trying to discover her voice.

Deb then announced she was going to sing “(Something That Sounded Like It Was Printed In Fraktur)” from Die Blah Blah by Wagner and said she was looking for help with (Deb’s Musico Textual Issue).

And I thought, “hm, interesting, this is not going to be very good, she is singing Wagner and doesn’t even have a teacher!” 

You would not believe the sound that came forth into this teeny tiny living room. I thought this was the most insanely talented person I had ever heard. Her voice was loud, it could move mountains, it was way too much to handle in that tiny apartment. But she let it rip, no holding back.

Her presence hooked me, it was profound, and I gazed at Deb in wonder: how did she DO that?

I surmise that she did something very, very brave amidst a deeply entrenched musical culture: she allowed the time and space to cultivate her own sense of herself and her voice, what she needed, and discern what she wanted to say and do.

She then sought help when she was good and ready, and could ask clearly for what she needed.


And my biggest takeway from working with the best coaches at the Met? 

Be like Deb.

Honor yourself, and please honor your needs. This may be an unpopular opinion, inasmuch as your ego is concerned. There is a lot of gray area here, and no conclusive answers to your most burning questions in the immediate moment.

There is a lot of inner and outer noise about how and who and what to be. Please hear me: the only voice that truly matters is the one deep within your heart and soul.

What would happen if you let that inner voice guide you, rather than the crowd? What inner magic would be cultivated if you could stir your own artistic cauldron? Take a moment to at least ask the question: how do I envision using my voice right now? 



IMAGE: Photo by Meredith Owens on Unsplash 

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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