Singing For Your Life with Judy Fjell

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Judy Fjell feels that music should be more than a commodity left only to the professional. She is a strong advocate of musical literacy being an integral part of our education. She says, "Singing together, is one of the ways in which we build trust. It is a way in which I we feel consonance and harmony. We can feel these things with someone that we might not necessarily agree with or like. Singing together doesn't dissolve the differences, but it dissolves the importance of the differences, and changes the air." Fjell encourages us to create and join community choruses. Beyond the benefits of singing together, she says that when we sing, the body becomes a tonal resonator, and you receive a sonic massage which is actually changing your body in good ways. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Judy Fjell is a singer-songwriter and "musical activist." Since the mid-1980s she has been empowering singers in a variety of situations--choral workshops, private lessons, group lessons, schools, camps and retreats. Judy has written well over a hundred songs and recorded 15 albums on her own label, Honey Pie Music. She is the founding director of Music Empowerment Camps, Women Making Music Retreats, the Canta Bella Women's Chorus, and the Montana Women's Chorus. She is constantly on the lookout for resources to empower and educate singers. She is the founding director of Voice-Centered Education workshops and artist-in-residence programs.

To learn more about the work of Judy Fjell go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • How everyone can learn to sing harmonies
  • What are community choruses and why they are important in our lives.
  • Why music is more than a commodity and should not be left solely to professionals
  • How Zoltan Kod·ly collected folksongs and helped the Hungarian people come together
  • Why songs that have been sung by millions of people have power
  • What is the difference between going to a performance and being part of the singing itself
  • How singing can transform your body
Host: Justine Willis Toms      Interview Date: 3/21/2008      Program Number: 3250