Fixing my old-lady voice: hear it on How To Be Old podcast

Older woman singing I Am Woman

Granny has the X-Factor, no doubt about that

Today I’ve uploaded Fixing My Old-Lady Voice. 

Season 2 is all about the 2015 boot camp that changed my readiness for old age in numerous ways, all good.  This is Episode 10, and there’s no episode more perfect for delivery by ear. It’s about the aging human voice.

This episode is about repairing an aging voice: my own. If you worry about your own voice (and yes, they do change as we get older), do listen to the podcast. Don’t assume that a weak, unpredictable or ugly voice is an inevitable result of getting old. That’s not true, as I have discovered. You can take control by doing voice exercises, and recover much of that lost energy, volume and expression.

This does wonders for one’s self-esteem and confidence, or so I’ve found.

How podcasting sensitizes you to the sound of your own voice

Podcasting makes demands on your voice. And editing a podcast forces you to listen to your own voice attentively. The result has surprised me. My recorded voice used to be a stranger, but now I know it well and we have become friends. I’m more than reconciled to the sound of my voice: I am fond of it.

And so we should be, all of us, for our voice in a real sense is ourselves. It says things only we would say, using expressions only we would use, and the very sound of  our voice is as individual as our fingerprints.

That’s why oral histories, in other words recordings of life stories, are so precious. Why not contact an older person, family or friend, and arrange to sit down and record a conversation about their life? It’s a gift to the subject as well as to posterity.

Each episode of How To Be Old (the podcast) starts with a poem. Here’s the first one.

How older people talk

We take anecdotes and turn them to the light.
We polish them in private.
They are touchstones. So it goes.

The rhythm of our talk is one of ocean waves.
Someone starts with a great-niece who is pregnant
or a barking dog and one by one
we queue up with our fables
to help our troubled friend.
Nothing is solved, but various
scenarios are tendered.
We have a bottomless pool of parables.
We follow the way of Miss Marple.
We use the stuff that life dumps at our door.
We don’t stand back. We go straight from A to Z.

Children have anecdotes too
but you could fit them in a lunch box.
They are missing the end of the story
the very bit they need.

~ Rachel McAlpine

Listen to the poem and the story, and think about your own voice…


5 thoughts on “Fixing my old-lady voice: hear it on How To Be Old podcast

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I liked the voice the first time I heard it on your podcast. Of course I never heard you before, so I had no chance to compare it to your earlier one. I really enjoy aging voices. Maybe that is unusual.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      I’m not sure if that’s unusual! Young people typically have different intonation and expressions, which I find interesting.

      1. Elizabeth says:

        I really enjoy the way we can identify voices of friends on the telephone. A useful skill.

      2. Rachel McAlpine says:

        But recognition all falls down in a house full of teenage sisters, as many an unwitting boyfriend has discovered!

      3. Elizabeth says:

        Of course my sisters did the same thing!

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