Postcard from Yolonda Young-Adisa

This week’s postcard comes from SFGC’s Chorus Counselor Yolonda Young-Adisa. Yolonda is an Associate Clinical Social Worker (ASW) and joined the SFGC staff in August. In her role as Chorus Counselor, Yolonda merges her interest in educational leadership with her passion for performing arts psychology, and her commitment to working with young musicians is fueled by her curiosity about the relationship between intersectionality, social-emotional well-being, environment, and performance outcomes.

Exploring Mindfulness: A Path to Vocal Empowerment; Unveiling our Voices

Photo: Yolonda Young-Adisa, San Francisco Girls Chorus Counselor

Photo: Yolonda Young-Adisa, San Francisco Girls Chorus Counselor

Dear SFGC Community:
It has been nice to greet the choristers and their families over the last few weeks. I look forward to the ongoing process of developing partnerships and building community with each of you. I wholeheartedly value community and I believe that establishing a strong and connected community is an indispensable practice, building upon the mission of the San Francisco Girls Chorus to “create outstanding performances featuring the unique and compelling sound of young women’s voices through an exemplary music education program.”
As the new Chorus Counselor for SFGC, I am entering with profound respect and cultural humility, and look forward to increasing my understanding of both the needs and values of the Chorus School and Premier Ensemble. Over the past several weeks, I have enjoyed much reflection about best practices for promoting social and emotional learning and enhancing interdisciplinary collaboration between myself, the Level Directors, and the developing choristers.
I am grateful to be onboard with SFGC, and I hope that our shared connection will continue to empower and uplift the voices of girls while supporting them with navigating their path and achieving their goals along the way.

Mindfulness in Action

When we sing, we must find the right balance between effort and ease.
Singers often experience vulnerability in their process of producing agile command of vocal tone, perfect pitch, precise rhythm, and stellar coordination of air stream and diaphragmatic engagement.
An intentional mindfulness practice will support us with increasing our awareness of our breath, and this will support us with grounding, concentrating, and simply being with ourselves, each other, and presenting as a unified voice.
As you all know, in order to be effective as one voice of beautiful sound, we need a lot of concentration in order to keep track of pitch, rhythm, diction, and translation in a way that exudes alignment, attunement, and ease. I believe that mindfulness as a practice will support us with connecting these dots.
Every mindful breath you take offers you clear choices:

  • You can simply let go of what no longer serves you.

  • You can trust the process and yourself.

  • Or, you can put your energy into resisting, restricting and holding on to energy that may be dis-serving to your long-term goals and needs.

Yolonda leads a mindfulness session with members of SFGC’s Premier Ensemble during rehearsal

Yolonda leads a mindfulness session with members of SFGC’s Premier Ensemble during rehearsal

In the words of Viktor Frankl, “between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
You can learn more about mindful singing here:

I encourage you to invite your breath and allow it to reveal its transformative power to you!
Best wishes,
Yolonda Young-Adisa