Do you use your voice?  What do you use your voice for?  You don’t have to be a singer or a poet to use your voice.  Each of our voices is unique and powerful as the voice is the channel used to express what each of our minds is feeling, thinking, wondering, believing, needing…and these expressions can have an impact.

It used to be that when I heard the word “voice”, I automatically thought of singing because that is my occupation/my career and I hear the word on a daily basis in the studio, in rehearsal, in articles I read, etc. But, as time has gone by, I have learned that the voice can and should be used for so much more than entertainment.

About four years ago, I was introduced to the CEO of an organization called the International Rett Syndrome Foundation (IRSF).  At the time, I had never heard of Rett Syndrome.  At first, I thought it was just another word for Tourette’s but I was wrong. Rett Syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects mostly girls.  In fact, it is the leading cause of severe impairment in girls yet the general public still doesn’t know about it.  Rett is often misdiagnosed as autism or cerebral palsy and currently has no cure. The most startling fact is that a girl is born every two hours with Rett syndrome.

Often, a girl diagnosed with Rett loses the ability to talk or verbally communicate. Rett syndrome symptoms appear after an early period of apparently normal or near normal development until six to eighteen months of life, when there is a slowing down or stagnation of skills. A period of regression then follows when she loses communication skills and purposeful use of her hands.

As I was learning about Rett for the very first time, I was asked if I would be interested in writing a “theme” or “tribute” song for the cause to be used in a documentary film to help promote awareness and raise funds toward research for a cure.  I immediately wanted to help and writing music is my passion so I was immediately committed to completing the task. When I heard that girls with Rett Syndrome are lovingly referred to as silent angels, I knew I had a title for my song.

However, having a song title doesn’t always mean the rest of the song just comes pouring out of you immediately.  When I got home, I sat stumped for hours trying to decide how to write the appropriate lyrics for such a sensitive subject.  I didn’t want a song that was too sad; I wanted the song to somehow explain the challenges families face when having a child with Rett but also write with a sense of hope and determination. And, I needed to write all of this in a consise & poetic way!

What made the song come to life and take form was connecting with Rett families online. When I reached out and heard their personal stories and got to know the beautiful young girls and women who are affected with Rett, it was no longer a challenge to write the song.

October is Rett Syndrome Awareness Month and I wanted to dedicate my first blog entry to the cause. Though I didn’t have a chance to get this blog entry out in October, I strive to educate people about Rett all year round. “Silent Angels” can be purchased online now on I-Tunes, my website, and the International Rett Syndrome website and Facebook store page.  All sale proceeds are donated to the Rett cause.

I’m  happy to say that the song has touched many Rett families and has been used in various documentaries, family videos, public service announcements, and fundraising events all around the world.  I’m now working on a children’s book series based on the inspiring stories of girls with Rett.

What can you use your voice for?

 

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