Our Upcoming Book

toni and denise together

In April 2021, we will begin the journey of searching for a publishing company that would be a good match for our book. We will keep you posted when it is available for purchase.

 

Summary

Dive into a step-by-step process for embracing a mindfulness practice by allowing your raw natural singing voice to be the ultimate bio-feedback tool. Mindfulness and Singing have a natural affinity as they both require a sense of presence. The Mindfulness of Singing: A Transformative Journey Through The Healing Power of The Voice™ fulfills a dynamic niche in the explosive mindfulness market.

Change your habits, change your life and let singing be the tool that provides you immediate feedback. Readers will be guided through the authors’ four-step “SING! Method” which brings awareness to one’s mind, body, and spirit. Applying the actionable hands-on tips creates a vibrant and more fully present lifestyle, which enriches one’s authentic voice.

girl with headphones on

Denise Bernardini and Toni Crowder are the perfect team to write this book as they have decades of experience in the world of singing, and they have observed the difference mindfulness makes in their own voices and in the lives of their students. They believe that their powerhouse personalities make for an impactful-yet-fun book.

Excerpts

Chapter 1 – Battle of the Mind 

In addition to many actionable tools, the book also provides lots of personal stories. In this story, Denise shares about her childhood experience performing in the annual Christmas pageant and how this traumatic event impacted her singing for decades… until she discovered the root cause!

 TRAUMA

People often say, “trauma is trauma.”  That is true to a point. We have suffered loss on several levels.  We can tell you that the loss of a sister or father, and watching them die at home is not the same kind of trauma as being bullied. They are inherently different. For example, the shock of holding a family member’s hand while they take their last breath will make you have more empathy for those that have lost loved ones. Now we get lost in a way we couldn’t understand before our experiences.  The relentless pain and trauma we felt will always be a  part of us.

The loss of both a sister and a dad made it difficult for us to sing.  For two years Denise couldn’t sing a note. In hindsight, we should have sung anyway. It would have been therapeutic. We may have been able to deal with our pain a little better.  No one talked about how singing was therapeutic and healing at that time.  We thought in order to sing we needed to feel happy. We were wrong. More to the point, once we decided to sing again, our trauma did not impede us in any way. Neither of us thinks about our suffering when we sing. However, an early memory of shame and embarrassment did cause Denise problems with singing, because it was associated with the act of singing itself.

When I was five years old, I was supposed to sing for the church Christmas pageant. I was to be Mary and walk down the aisle, holding a doll representing the baby Jesus. Once I got to the stage, I was to sit by the creche and sing “Away in a Manger.” To set the scene, I will also tell you that my older sister was playing the piano. She was and still is one of the bright lights of my life. When I was a child, she was everything!   I wanted to be her; I wanted her approval, her love, and her attention.

My obsession with her, of course, drove her crazy. I got on her last nerve. When I began to sing, I got distracted. I have no idea now what it was that made me forget the words, but something caused me to stray mentally. As I forgot those words, I panicked. I looked at my big sis to help me as she sat at the piano, and I was horrified at what I saw. She was red-faced and embarrassed and looking at me like I was ruining her life. To this day this memory is as vivid as it is real. I feel anxious just relaying it to you.

Tears began to fall down my cheeks, and I threw down the poor baby Jesus as everyone in the congregation gasped!  (Stay tuned and find out what happened to Denise, the poor little doll and what she uncovered decades after this event).

Chapter 3 – Spirit Sets the Tone

It’s 4:30 a.m. and as the alarm clock sounds you stumble around to silence the noise and immediately pull the covers over your head. Really? Already? No way, just a few more minutes. Ten minutes pass and you drag yourself out of bed. No need to get dressed as you were already sleeping in your favorite comfortable workout clothes.  You smooth down your hair a bit just to get rid of the bed head, quickly brush your teeth as you don’t want to injure anyone with your morning dragon breath, slide into your favorite pair of old worn-out flip flops, and out the door you go.

Outside you take in the crisp autumn air and shuffle through the fallen leaves, breathing in the stillness and peace all around you. You quietly open the door, grab a thick wool blanket, and a bolster as you make your way to the back of the room hoping you are not taking anyone’s spot they have been sitting in for over 20 years. At the front of the room, a swami (devotee) briefly plays a singing bowl and the sequence begins. For the next hour and fifteen minutes, you are transported by chanting in Sanskrit, breathing sequences, and a thirty-minute silent meditation followed by prayers and a closing affirmation

Thank you for mentally joining Toni on one of her fall retreats to Yogaville. Notice she didn’t say that the swamis (members of a monastic order, Sanskrit for “master of one’s self”) just walked in the room and immediately began a deep silent meditation transporting themselves to a place of bliss. Even for these seasoned yogis, there was a sequence of steps to set them up for a long silent meditation. Certainly, we can all experience brief moments of meditation and reflection without a dramatic sequence of prep work. However, if you want to create a meditation practice or take your practice to a deeper level, some personal reflection will help. Stay tuned for more information on meditation, mantras, mudras, music, and more!

Come Explore

Whether you sing on the stage or in the shower, the hidden treasure of singing is uncovering the mindfulness practice hidden below the surface.

Learn more about us right now on our podcast.