How to Sing the Lilts

There is no single right way to approach the learning of Dr. Diamond’s lilts, any more than there is for any other kind of song. Nevertheless the following principles are recommended for learning them and optimizing the Life Energy of your singing.

  1. The Recording Should Be Your Guide. The recording of the song should be your main guide for learning it, along with the accompanying text. The more you can learn the song this way the easier it will be to make your singing have high Life Energy. Use the sheet music as little as you need to – and it is absolutely fine to use only the recording and ignore the sheet music entirely. When you are learning from the recording, try to pick up on the feeling in it, not just the pitches and words.
  1. Accentuation. These songs mirror the accentuation of regular speech. That means you should be placing stresses exactly where you would be if you were just reciting the poem. Unimportant words like “the” and “to” are not normally stressed.
  1. The key. Sing the song in a key that is comfortable for you, not necessarily the one on the recording, or in the sheet music. Most of these songs have a range of an octave of less, and are therefore easy to sing, even for untrained voices. You should be able to find a key where it feels comfortable, especially once you know it. Your singing should never feel strained.
  1. Intention, not accuracy. In general, don’t worry about getting everything accurate. These songs are specially written to raise your Life Energy. As long you sing basically what’s there, and relate to and bring out the meaning of the words, the songs should be highly therapeutic. It doesn’t matter if you’re out of tune, or are slightly off the melody or rhythm. It’s the intention that’s important, and the basic feeling, not technical accuracy.
  1. Giving the song out. There is one approach that really helps with singing these songs and maximizes their therapeutic value: direct them outwards (this is in fact the case with all music-making). Sing the song to someone you care about, altruistically, for them, to help them. You will raise your Life Energy by doing so, and so will automatically raise theirs, especially if you can get them to join in! Even if you are singing on your own, just imagining yourself giving the song as a gift to a friend or loved one will increase the Life Energy of your singing.