July 4, 2013



1. A trace of something that is disappearing or no longer exists. 2. The smallest amount (used to emphasize the absence of something): "without a vestige of sympathy. 

It never surprises me when the student, upon singing really resonant vowels on ascending scales, starts talking about having an odd sensation in the head.

"I'm dizzy!" "I feel like I am going to faint!" "I'm spinning!" 

The sensation doesn't last more than a moment or two, then is gone, which is when they look at me astonished, cross-eyed and befuddled.

No, I tell them. You are not losing your hearing nor do you have a brain tumor! None of that. Your cochlea is being stimulated with rich dense vibration. I tell them how I had like sensation while at the Listening Centre in Toronto as a result of being stimulated by high frequencies, and found in my research that the old singers called it vestige,  a word you don't hear anymore. Having it means you are on the right track. It's a sign of progress, a marker on the road: once it is passed it usually doesn't reappear again, that is, if you keep singing.

Remember when you were a kid? I tell them. When you were out on the playground screaming your head off in glee with the other kids, and felt like you could take off and fly? Vestige is a vestige of that.

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