I have decided to go with The Potent Voice as a banner under which to gather together the various aspects of the whole-self voice-work that I have been honing and refining over the last 30 years – its essence is fully grounded in The Feldenkrais Method and thus the name feels right…
There are many overlaps with my Feldenkrais meditation work, as the benefits to the health of our nervous system generated by sustaining vocal sounds and focussing our attention on those sounds as we make them has been recognised by science, thanks to the pioneering work Dr Stephen Porges and his ground-breaking PolyVagal Theory of mammalian neurobiology.
Of course those of us who love to sing don’t need extra evidence to encourage us, but the science behind this valuable self-healing tool is fascinating, and the ramifications are huge, so I will be writing more about it, as and when time allows.
If you are not aware of Porges theories this film is a useful introduction – he details the relevance of extending our exhalation, the importance of attentive listening, and the healing potential of music, from around 23 minutes in, but watching the whole film will make all of his ideas much clearer still.
Embodying Your Voice
My Embodied Voice training combines Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement® with the state-of-the-art vocal training techniques that have emerged in recent years, thanks to the more refined observational equipment available to modern vocal science.
My intention is to enable anyone who wishes it to develop a flexible, strong, healthy and fully self-expressive voice. Whether your interest is singing, speaking well as an actor or presenter, or freeing your natural voice as part of a self-healing or spiritual development process – and of course any combination of these elements – then there is something in Embodied Voice for you.
I organise the group classes and workshops in such a way that there is no pressure on anyone to perform – the idea is to become more conscious of exactly how your voice works, and to develop your vocal confidence and awareness so that with practice your voice can become fully integrated both physically and emotionally – a totally spontaneous fully-embodied voice. For this reason it is very important that you feel relaxed and able to explore making (often rather silly!) sounds without any embarrassment or self-consciousness.
Functional Integration For Voice
Hands-on muscle-releasing training sessions, focussing on integrating the neck, throat, face, rib cage, and the respiratory (and other) organs.
Feldenkrais comes in two formats, group training, known as Awareness Through Movement®, and individual hands-on training, known as Functional Integration®. Using sensitive touch as a teaching process can be a valuable addition to more familiar methods of vocal training, and may be particularly helpful if you feel your issues with performance are connected to deep muscle tissue holding patterns.
During this period of lockdown, this aspect of my work is obviously on hold, hopefully we will be able to resume some version of normality at some point, in the meantime do not hesitate to contact me directly if you would like to know more, or discuss online alternatives.
Daily Immersive Online Courses:
Integrated Spine, Resonant Core, Vibrant Self
Daily Class At Noon – Online + Recording
March 1st – 5th
For details see lower down this page…
Monthly Sunday workshop…
Liberating the emotional expression in your voice…
Sunday February 21st – Online + Recording
2 pm – 4.30 pm
Vocal expression is the aspect of a singer’s performance that engages us with the words and the emotional story of the song being sung. Of course this is a very wide area to look at, but it is an important element to be aware of throughout your development as a singer, even for a complete beginner. For many listeners the expressive, emotive skills of a singer are more important than either their technical skill or their musicality. Bob Dylan and Billie Holiday move us so much that we forgive them their less-than-perfect voices; Marc Almond attracted a huge following with an anguished wail that was often out of tune. A singer who has all three –beauty, skill and emotion – will always be beloved; singers like Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Eva Cassidy, Elvis Presley, Scott Walker, and Thom Yorke. The emotional freedom revealed in the voice is not the result of technical skill alone, for most of us it develops over time as we gain in self-awareness, self-knowledge and acceptance, and learn to trust our audience, thus freeing ourselves to be truly present while singing. We can however refine the way we practice in order to explore different aspects of vocal expression, thus increasing our intuitive understanding of what makes one performance more involving, and more moving, than another.
In this workshop we will be using sustainable sounds to fine-tune our sensory-motor and auditory awareness, and learning to reduce the habitual [and quite unnecessary] constrictions and constraints inhibiting our expressive self – vocal structures, respiratory structures, diaphragms and sphincters, and the fascio-musculo-skeletal system that together form the physical foundations of our natural resonance and vocal power.
This workshop will be beneficial for:
Singers, presenters, performers, and anyone interested in the voice, and issues around self-expression
Anyone dealing with chronic stress issues, or breathing problems/conditions
Anyone interested in meditation and chanting
Use the contact form to ask me any questions or make a booking.
IF YOU USE MY CONTACT FORM, PLEASE NOTE THAT I AM REQUESTING AN ALTERNATIVE CONTACT IN ADDITION TO YOUR EMAIL AS I AM FINDING MY REPLIES ARE DISAPPEARING INTO PEOPLE’S SPAM FOLDERS. A MOBILE NUMBER IS IDEAL, I DO NOT SHARE ANY OF YOUR INFORMATION WITH ANYONE.
Weekly Well-Being class…
Sensory-Self-Awareness for Self-Healing
7 – 9 pm
Online + Recording £20*
(*suggested fee or donation)
These extended evening classes focus on my Feldenkrais-based self-healing strategies, and the recordings are intended to make it very easy for you to develop these skills for yourself. I am exploring the evening format with the intention of supporting better sleep as well as pain relief and self-calming.
One seldom-discussed aspect of the potency of the voice is the influential presence of an internal voice, constantly commentating on our lives. The voice inside our own heads can be an ally or an enemy; for a while now I have been discovering how to train my inner voice to be a better ally in my on-going project of self-healing. Here is an introduction to the process, from an article on my website:
“Self-Hypnosis – also known as Autogenic Training – has been around for a long time. I first came across it back in the Eighties, in a book called Superlearning. This was at right at the beginning of my interest in meditation, and practising the autogenic sequences from the book were the closest I came to achieving the deeper states of inner calm that are reportedly the most effective brain wave frequencies for healing chronic conditions.
Thus, when a bout of chronic fatigue left me with fibromyalgic pain that did not easily respond to the mindful movements that had helped me free myself of sciatica in the past, my investigations brought me full circle, and this time I made a connection I had somehow failed to make before. I remembered that Moshe Feldenkrais was also interested in self-hypnosis at a similar age, except that – being the over-achiever he was – he translated a significant book on the subject into Hebrew, and boldly added his own thoughts in a 26 page commentary.
The book was The Practice Of Autosuggestion by the Method of Émile Coué (1929), and Moshe’s original contribution has recently been published as Thinking and Doing, A monograph by Moshe Feldenkrais. He retained his enthusiasm for these concepts throughout his life, attempting to republish his translation in 1977, and using the techniques he still valued to speed his recovery after his stroke.
This workshop will be ideal for anyone seeking to improve their own health and wellbeing, and the health and wellbeing of others.
Monthly: 5-day Immersive Online Course…
Integrated Spine, Resonant Core, Vibrant Self
Daily Class At Noon – Online + Recording
March 1st – 5th
12 pm – 1.30 pm £75 / £50 – low income rate*
*Suggested fee or any donation welcomeThese especially selected Awareness Through Movement sequences are designed to improve our ability to integrate all the separate parts of our selves into a fully active, fully engaged, vibrant and ever-evolving living being.Embodiment and alignment are part of the process we are all engaged in when we are ready to take charge of developing and maturing ourselves. This path to self-maturation is what Feldenkrais is all about, and it can be experienced in many ways. It can be your path to greater self-awarenessyour path to self-healingyour path to more spontaneity and authenticity in your daily beingyour path to joy. Biomechanically this dynamic alignment can be experienced as a lively, responsive interaction between your skeleton, your deepest core muscle systems, and the sensory-fascial web that contains, interconnects, and enlivens your bodily sense of self. Emotionally we become more aware of–and more at ease with–the feelings that bubble up from inside, and thus much more able to allow ourselves to just be in the moment, even when experiencing intense sensations.
In this daily class I am expanding the Feldenkrais approach to core resilience to embrace a more energy-focussed theme. Dynamic core vitality means…
The muscles of your torso are working in natural synergy
Your breathing is full, responsive and effective
You balance with ease whatever is going on under your feet
You can sit comfortably for long periods
Walking is light and fluid, your legs and head weigh less, and you walk more like a dancer
Your movements are effortlessly graceful and strong
Your spinal/neuronal energy centres are better aligned, increasing your sense of inner integration and vitality
– all of which adds up to a self that is vibrant and energised, and a voice that is richly resonant…
This daily class is designed to begin the very deep releasing processes from our core musculature that allow us all to regain the ability to experience fully the joy of being alive.
This will be a very practical course and you will receive notes and supporting materials to help you maintain the improvements you experience from this immersive Awareness Through Movement experience.
You will need to book with me directly to get the Zoom link, and a recorded version of the lesson is included in the fee. Bookings are by email, or via my contact form.