Vocal Expression As Youth Serum

Anne Brown is my number one mentor in the art of singing. On August 9 she’ll be 96 years old. Her face is practically wrinkle free, thanks to a life of vocal expression. Although she also credits her African-American gene pool, she told me early on that no skin product or plastic surgery beats the advantage of singing. “If you want to stay young forever, do your vocal exercises every day”, she said. Then she would add, “And they are also very effective as anti-depressants”. I can testify to all of the above. It’s almost impossible to stay sad or stagnate for any length of time when you open your heart in song on a daily basis.

I visited Anne two weeks ago in Oslo, after an incredible adventure of skiing and performing in the mountains of Norway. She was just as beautiful as I remembered and I was struck, once again, by the magnitude of the brilliance of her being. “Sing to me,” she said, and closed her eyes to listen. I sat down by the grand piano and sang Little Girl and Perfect, two of my favorite songs from Red Velvet Sensations. Her eyes remained closed after I finished. And then a great big smile made its way across her face as she nodded, the exact same way she used to nod when I was just starting out and had completed my homework to her satisfaction. My heart filled up in an instant.

Here’s a picture of Anne and I from two years ago, when she was ‘only’ 94. She had come to celebrate my 40th birthday at my childhood home, and insisted on playing the piano while I sang Summertime, the song she made famous as the original Bess in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.

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Yeah well, so I’m a little nuts about this lady. The gift of her teaching and steady loving support has meant the world to me. Anne Brown has taught me to channel life itself, unabashedly so, through my breath, voice and being. She has taught me to open my heart and soul and really, really listen to the sound that wants to come forth. She has taught me, by the power of vocal expression, to stay forever young.

Here’s Little Girl, for your listening pleasure. Feel free to sing along:)))

Little Girl (Written by Caroline Waters. All rights reserved)

Little girl, did you know that in your eyes is Paradise

When you see the way you see, I believe

Little girl, in your eyes is Paradise

When you open your heart in song

You belong to everyone who will hear

Far or near, loud and clear

When you are simply being the one you are

Just the little girl

Little girl, did you know that in your eyes is Paradise

When you smile the way you smile

Just like the little girl you are

Love and Blessings, Caroline

2 responses to “Vocal Expression As Youth Serum

  1. Hi Caroline,
    I was listening to the radio this morning to Tom Joyners syndicated Morning Show.
    He features a black history segment every day. Today he spoke on Anne Brown. I became intrigues with learning more about her so I searched the web, all the while wondering, what did this woman look like, only to find that she was absolutely beautiful. I wish I had been under her influences as well. When I read your words, the way you decribe your feelings for her, my eyes became tearful. How proud you must have felt to know her. She reminds me quite a bit of my Grandmother. Who was my mentor and a wonderful woman as well.
    I am sure that it saddened you greatly at her passing. But what a gift from God it was to actually know her. May God continue to bless you.
    Crystal Avent

  2. vocalfreedomcamp

    I read this again today and wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your sharing. Anne Brown remains an inspiration and a huge part of my heart and musical expression.

    Much love and blessings,
    Caroline

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