In this episode, Devi chats with Erin Guinup about building community and increasing productivity through music. Erin Guinup is a singer, voice teacher, speaker, and conductor and the founder and conductor of the Tacoma Refugee Choir. She is passionate about uniting communities with music and helping us to find common ground as a human race.

Devi and Erin discuss:

  • The Tacoma Refugee Project
  • Empowering and building community through music
  • How music can heal communities and find common ground and collective mission
  • Music, the international language
  • The need to express ourselves and be heard
  • Finding and feeling safe with your voice
  • Finding harmony in a group setting and bringing people together
  • The myth that you can not sing
  • There is no “wrong” in singing unless you are not doing it
  • Watching for our strengths and sharing who we are authentically with our voice
  • Finding the courage to follow your calling
  • Not making our message about ourselves
  • The spiritual process that Erin went through to create the Tacoma Refugee Project
  • Pursuing the thing that will make the biggest difference, even if it seems hardest
  • How to step into a project that is outside of your current tools and resources
  • Building out a non-profit
  • When it is time the pieces come together and the opportunities present themselves
  • The impact of music on the mind and our neural health
  • The chemicals that are released in our brain when we sing
  • How these chemicals assist in motivation and trust
  • How singing can assist us in enhanced productivity
  • Studies that link singing to innovation
  • The benefits of taking regular singing breaks throughout the day
  • How you can lower your stress hormones
  • How getting past judging our voice correlates with quieting our inner voice that keeps us from sharing who we are in the world
  • How to get over self-judgement around your voice
  • When to focus on the technical development of your voice and when to throw it out the window
  • How singing is about expressing an idea in your body
  • Feeling the energy in your body as you sing
  • What happens to our energy when we are nervous and self-conscious
  • Radiating your energy out when you are singing and sharing your voice
  • Being our true selves and how what we think may be ugly can become our strength both physically and in our voice
  • Where the voice lives in the body
  • Voice as a whole body experience or it is not a complete sound
  • Where the power of the voice resides in the body
  • Getting present with music
  • Erin’s Why We Sing Podcast
  • Expressing the voice of your heart and connecting with other people through your voice
  • How singing brings us back to our core humanity and counteract the negative impacts of technology and vitreal in the world
  • How to bring more music into your life
  • Paying attention to how music moves you
  • Connections to how music helps with Altzeimers
  • The benefits of Heavy Metal music, if you love it
  • Finding a way to connect with your whole self

and more…

Connect with Erin on her website @
Refugee Choir Site:

Resources Mentioned:
Everyone Has a Song: Get it here!
“Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” by Simon Sinek

More about Erin:

Erin Guinup is a singer, voice teacher, speaker, and conductor. As a classically-trained soprano, Erin Guinup has performed a wide range of operatic and musical theatre repertoire with ensembles including Tacoma Opera, Northwest Repertory Singers, Ensign Symphony and Tacoma Concert Band. Her one-woman show “The Ladies of Lyric and Song: Female Composers and Lyricists of the American Musical Theatre” has been performed internationally and praised as “an amazing tour-de-force.” Her voice students have appeared on Broadway, regional musical theatre and operatic stages and TV’s The Voice, American Idol and America’s Got Talent. She teaches masterclasses internationally, hosts the “Why We Sing” podcast, and speaks on musical topics, including the neuroscience of singing and how music can change history. Erin is the founder and conductor of the Tacoma Refugee Choir, produces Community Sing-alongs and is a vocal proponent of bringing people together through singing. She directed the world premiere of Mark Mitchell and Orson Scott Card’s He is There and conducts annual performances of Rob Gardner’s Lamb of God. Her Musically Spoken workshops share the practical benefits of improving our voice with doctors, teachers, and leaders at companies such as Amazon and Honeywell. Erin is
Passionate about uniting communities with music and helping us to find common ground as a human race.

Check out this episode!