Potent Voice  brings together all the various elements of  whole-self voice-work that I have been gathering and refining over the last 33 years…

Voice & PolyVagal Theory

Potent Voice is also central to Inner Voice, my Feldenkrais meditation system.

The benefits to the health of our nervous system that can be generated by:

a) sustaining vocal sounds, and…

b) focussing our attention on the sounds we are sustaining as we are sustaining them…

…while obvious to those of us who love to sing, have now been recognised by many in the therapeutic community, thanks to the pioneering work of Dr Stephen Porges and his ground-breaking PolyVagal Theory of mammalian neurobiology.

If you are not aware of Dr Porges theories, this film is a useful introduction – the longer discussion I used to share here has very sadly been taken down, so I am sharing this lovely longer talk instead:

– Of course those of us who love to sing don’t need scientific evidence to encourage us, but that there is a sound scientific foundation to the health benefits of singing is very pleasing for any voice teacher, and the ramifications are huge, so I will be writing more about it in my blog, as and when time allows.

My Potent Voice workshops combine 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 to develop a flexible, strong, healthy, authentic self-expressive voice to be able to do so.

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 will be something in my classes for you.

There is no pressure on anyone to perform – the idea is to enable you to become more conscious of exactly how your voice works, and to develop your vocal awareness, confidence, and authenticity, so that – with practice –your voice can become fully integrated, both physically and emotionally. A naturally spontaneous, fully embodied voice is what I mean by a Potent Voice, and for this reason it is very important that you feel relaxed and able to experiment with making – often rather silly! – sounds, without any embarrassment or self-consciousness. I have found that working online facilitates this playful element, and that compensates us for the sometimes poor quality of the sound reproduction on Zoom.

Functional Integration For Voice

Hands-on muscle-releasing training sessions, focussing on integrating your 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.

Potent Voice Workshops

Monthly On Sundays

Online + Recordings & Notes

Times and dates below…

£40 (suggested fee, or any donation welcome)

These workshops are suitable for…

Singers, presenters, anyone interested in the performing voice, and anyone with issues around vocal freedom and self-expression

Anyone interested in meditation and chanting

Anyone dealing with chronic tension in the tongue, jaw, neck, and throat

Coming up…

February Potent Voice Workshop

Breath & Voice for Self-Healing

February 25th

Online + Recordings & Notes

2 pm – 5 pm GMT  [9 am – 12 pm EST]

£40 (suggested fee, or any donation welcome)

Thanks to the ground-breaking work of people like James Nestor and Andrew Huberman it is not controversial to talk about the importance of better breathing for both physical health and emotional well-being, and I believe it is also now much better understood than before that incorporating appropriate vocal sounds into our breathing practice can enable us to access and enhance the benefits of better breathing even more efficiently.
We will be exploring self-healing via natural breathing coordination, freeing our ribs and abdomen for improving breath capacity and freedom, and working with a selection of therapeutic vocal sounds to leave you with plenty of ideas for practicing on your own after the workshop is over. 

Potent Articulators

Intensity, Clarity & Rhythm = Consonant Power!

March 17th

Online + Recordings & Notes

2 pm – 5 pm GMT  [9 am – 12 pm EST]

£40 (suggested fee, or any donation welcome)

In this workshop we will be exploring all the various consonant sounds – voiced and vibrant, voiceless and airy, fricative and sustainable, abrupt and plosive, guttural and deep – as powerful approaches to freeing up tensions in our lips, tongue, face, jaw, and inner throat.

One simple way to understand how the human voice works is to recognise that vowel sounds are vibratory, melodic, and sustainable by their very nature – perfect for expressing the universal language of deep feeling and empathy – and that consonants turn that stream of pure emotion into actual language, transforming sound waves into coherent communication. Consonants provide the punctuation, the staccato, the syncopation that infuses voice with the pulsating rhythms that enable us to synchronise our actions, within and without; to breathe and move in harmony with each other, both emotionally, and physically. 

Join us and experience for yourself the way that lively and responsive articulators form part of the physical foundations of our natural rhythm, resonance and vocal intensity, in both speech, and song.

These workshops will be beneficial for:

Singers, presenters, performers, and anyone interested in the voice, and any aspect of self-expression

Anyone dealing with chronic tension in the face, jaw, and throat

Anyone interested in meditation, chanting, and neural self-regulation

Weekly WellBeing Zoom class…

Potent Inner Voice

Sensory-Self-Awareness & Self-Hypnosis for Self-Healing

Wednesday Evenings

7 – 8.30 pm  GMT / 2 – 3.30 pm EST

Online + Recording £15*

(*suggested fee, or any donation welcome)

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.

Article continues here…

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.

*I am aware that 90 minutes is a long class, so do please know that you can choose to join us for the first hour only, particularly if that would make joining the class regularly more manageable for you.

Live Extended Class – Saturdays

Telegraph Hill Centre, SE14

Mindfulness In Motion

Feldenkrais & Potent Voice

Studio 2

Saturday February 17th

April 20th

May 18th

1 – 3.30pm £20/£15 (Low Income)

This is a semi-regular Saturday class designed to give you the opportunity to experience Awareness Through Movement combined with experimental vocal sounds in a mindful, playful, joyful way.

Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement classes teach you to access your innate capacity for changing your brain – known as ‘neuroplasticity’ – and thus improve your ability to both learn new skills and to unlearn old habits you would like to leave behind.

My Potent Voice work is designed to enable you to access your breath and your full voice in a more spontaneous and organic manner.

Combining the two allows you to more effectively “embody” the way you express yourself, both physically and verbally, and over time you will begin to develop a more immediate and more authentic relationship with all sensory messages coming to you from your internal and external sensory systems, through your muscles, your fascia, your breathing, your skin, your balance, your ears and eyes, and, with practice, from your solar plexus, your heart, and your centre of gravity deep in the abdomen and also known as ‘the hara’. As your perceptual capacity increases you will also become better able to access your ability to self-soothe whenever you are experiencing anxiety or distress.

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