As beings constructed by different densities of energy consumed by habitual conformity, we can forget exactly how interconnected we are with absolutely everything else around us until something hits us just right for a flicker of a minute. Some people never explore it. Some people train their minds for years, teaching the brain to figure out the brain to feel that sensation again. Some people are born simply attuned.
One person might label sensitive, what another would call being in touch like Aggie Gioftsidis who ‘used to sing before she could talk’ now tours Australia’s scenic venues, mentors lucent students and uses her deep rooted purpose coupled with a personality that’s as warm as…. You know a -4 windy winters day, you get home wet from the snow, grab new clothes freshly toasted from the dryer and have a steamy brew? Throw that comfort feeling you get onto a person and you’re part way to Aggie.
As quoted on her website,
“I’m here to help you jump out of your head and into your heart, I want you to sing from your soul.”
She really means exactly that.
Whether you’re wanting to hit the big stage or give your shampoo and conditioner the performance of a lifetime, she knows that there is a voice in there if you want to let it out. Only by tapping into yourself, your experiences, your style, your emotions, your meaning, can she orchestrate those from your lungs to your pineal gland to an explosion of melatonin that manifests as a melody you’d only imagined yourself belting before, noting that “singing is about connection, not
perfection” Her school is called Embodied Voice and is all…
“About letting go.
It’s about not holding back and just going for it, even when you feel scared or doubtful.
It’s about the freedom and magic we experience when we just feel the music and go with the flow.
It’s all about empowerment, connection and inspiration.
That’s why I take a holistic approach to singing and performing.”
From an early age, her doting parents would sit down to home concerts. “When I learned how to speak I sang, like the alphabet I sang it, so that was always a natural part of my expression.” Her knowing that singing was a form of expression and not just something she enjoyed, was suppressed under years of internalised frustration, which turned into anger with nowhere to go and dangerous repercussions.
Despite her family’s love, there was a lingering air absent of connection after an international move from Canada to Australia to reconnect with a long missed half of the family. A disconnection that lingered and manifested in various forms throughout the years to loss of sleep, frustration, anger, anxiety, reclusiveness until the point an eating disorder became the preferred coping mechanism in her teens.
“When we don’t express trauma, when we don’t express our anxieties and our struggles, especially as little kids, but even strike that, that has to come out in other ways and does come out in other ways.”
“When I would express that anger and that frustration, my parents would say it was like the “bad me” that was coming out that day. So there was a good me and a bad me. So not only could I not express what it was that I was going through, but I was also then getting that message that it’s actually not okay to express anger. It’s not okay to express frustration.So then that led to further suppression.
Mom and dad were so young. You know, they were kids in their 20s. Everyone’s just winging it, aren’t they? No one has a clue what they’re doing” she laughed in fond remembrance.
Aggie told The Jolly Times that it wasn’t until she decided to take her singing passion seriously, that she actually realised it was also a tool of expression that liberated her immured personality for the world to enjoy. Each gig that went by, the greater her confidence grew and gradually as she re-discovered her voice, her health and vitality grew alongside.
(This isn’t to say that pursuing your purpose can automatically clear out all the grey in your life, but if you find your way of expression, it can be a really useful tool when figuring out how to interpret the situation you’re in and when trying to communicate to others. If you find something that you enjoy and can develop to the point of a skill, then even better because you will spend most of your days doing something you enjoy, which is a lot more fulfilling than doing something you hate and not knowing how to talk about it).
Aggie has done the work. She reflected and grit her teeth and got herself over mountains that goats can’t even climb. Her way of giving back is through her music school Embodied Voice which offers the kind of space that listens and would have been beneficial to Aggie herself when she was a younger girl looking for an outlet. At Embodied Voice, Aggie says it best herself;
“Safety is key. For me it’s the most important thing, that we are creating a non judgmental safe space for people to feel that they can just be who they are. I like to spend time getting to know my students. To talk as much as they’re willing to or want to because singing is so personal, so vulnerable and your instrument is in your body. It’s a part of you in a different way. You’re more exposed.”
You know, you’re using your voice to express the melody, but it’s not that different to us speaking.
So I like to ease them into it.
You don’t need to sound a certain way like your voice is unique to you.”
Whether you have the goal of performing and getting on stage, have kids and just enjoy a belt mid week or don’t really have a goal in mind, Aggie is right by your side to make you feel the best that you can from the inside, make you feel like your levitating out with your soul all through the love of sound. Having someone in your corner or even just hearing the mushy thoughts that go around in your head is so important and can scratch a vast distance that not everybody is lucky enough to experience. More and more it’s becoming vital that we see each other not as different people, but as another version of yourself, that is going through a world size worth of experiences just like you. Put yourself in another’s shoes or remember a time when you needed help with something and there was none. How did that make you feel or have to respond from there on out? When we have support we can make more rational decisions and those things weighing us down can often be lifted. If you’re in Melbourne and looking for somewhere to connect your voice to your essence, then Embodied Voice is a wonderful way to explore that.
Recommended TED talk containing featured themes: Berne Brown – unlocking us.
Glennon Doyle – We can do hard things.