Toning is the type of singing that involves holding out long vowel sounds on the breath. As babies, we all toned. When we were hungry, tired, angry, or upset, we let out our feelings in sound: “Waaaaaaaah!” Since it was accepted that all babies cry, there were no barriers to our sound making. We knew we could balance ourselves and get what we needed by using our voices. As we grew older we were told to be quiet. We were told not to disturb the adults and that children were

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It was the summer of 1988 and I was sixteen years old. The grown-ups had gathered for a potluck dinner. Outside the house was a huge field where we kids loved to play Capture the Flag. The field was surrounded by forest on all sides, with dirt roads and paths leading to other homes and to the main road. Our game took place on the field, but also extended into the woods all around. We spent hours running around in the pitch black, laughing hilariously, trying to be quiet and

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