I was pregnant with my third baby in 2009 when I walked into my favourite "new age" shop ... and there it was! The bowl that would change the course of my musical career.
Oh that perfectly rounded shape, the pure white colour and that crystal clear resonant sound!
It was most definitely LOVE at first sight ... followed by LOVE at first sound!
I had just experienced my very first encounter with a crystal singing bowl at a "new age" shop in my area. I was in love and KNEW that I NEEDED at least one of these beauties to add to my collection of instruments.
MY INSTRUMENT COLLECTION OBSESSION
Yes I had been collecting instruments since I was about 18 because I knew that one day I would work with people in a therapeutic way using music as a tool ... I just didn't know how yet! I read books on music and sound therapy, did 100s of brainstorming sessions on all the ways I could work with people and starting collecting musical instruments ... mostly hand percussion at that stage from music shops and Bali.
TAKING THE PLUNGE
It took me a few months to quit doubting myself (I mean what the hell was I going to do with these bowls?), find the money and decide on which bowls I wanted, but I finally did it. I ordered a set of 7 through a friend of a friend and waited with great anticipation for them to arrive.
Not long after they arrived at my doorstep. Boxes and boxes of bowls! I unpacked them. Had a play. And loved loved loved them! But then had NO IDEA WHAT TO DO WITH THEM ALL!
I had fallen in love, made the big leap to purchase them, waited for them, played them ... NOW WHAT?
WHAT TO DO WITH ALL THESE BOWLS?
I placed some of them on our TV cabinet and a put a few in my bedroom and one in the "healing room". When I went passed them during the day I would sometimes ding and dong them and appreciate their beauty. BUT I did wonder if I had gone just a little bit too far this time with this music/sound therapy passion I had. All that money ... plus they were taking up all that space ... and for what? I wasn't trained in how to play these things. I was definitely not confident enough to start playing them in front of people. And is this what I wanted to do with my music/sound therapy career? Come on! I'm classically trained! Not a bowl playing hippy! So I just dinged and donged them and hoped that I hadn't just wasted my money!
THE BIRTH OF SOUNDBIRTH
Then 3 weeks after her due date my daughter decided it was time to emerge into the world. During a contraction my Mum decided it might be helpful to play one of my white bowls ... and then I finally KNEW (one of the reasons at least) why I bought those bowls! SoundBirth was born ... as well as my baby!
WHAT I HAVE LEARNT
Since that moment I have learnt much much more about the ART and SCIENCE of these bowls. From basic information such as how to play and look after your bowl to the more detailed stuff such as how to play these bowls musically and therapeutically for groups, couples or individuals. I've also learnt how to combine these bowls with other therapeutic sound tools such as gongs, Koshi chimes and flutes. I've learnt about how to choose the different sizes and pitches of bowls. I've learnt how to integrate the use of voice with these bowls in a number of different settings for a number of different purposes. And of course I've learnt about what NOT to do with these bowls.
WHY I DO THIS
Looking back I wished I had known all of this when I had bought (or better still BEFORE I had bought) my set of bowls ... but then if I had I wouldn't have dived into all of this learning so deeply and created a heap of information for others. I love crystal singing bowls ... but I especially love teaching others how they can play and use them in their day to day lives. The last thing I want is for people to invest in a bowl and not know how to play, look after or use one.
So ... if YOU are like me and have also fallen in love with the look or sound of these bowls, I recommend that you learn all about them in one of my online courses or attend one of my workshops so you can feel confident about using it or them straight away!
If you want advice on choosing your bowl/s I offer private sessions to help you choose!
If you already know which pitch/es and size/es you want and ready to jump like I did CLICK HERE!
Nicole Lloyd B(Mus) is a mother of four girls and creator of SoundBirth. Here she shares her experiences using sound before, during and after the birth and anything else about sound or birth that she feels like writing about!