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 to be announced soon…

£45 (suggested fee, or any donation welcome)

My monthly voice workshops will resume in the Autumn

My Potent Voice workshops are beneficial for:

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

Anyone dealing with chronic stress issues, or breathing problems/conditions

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

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

Anyone who feels that emotional inhibition is limiting their capacity for self-expression and self-assertion.

Effortless Voice – Summer School

…freeing your natural, authentic voice

July 1st – 5th

Online + Recordings & Notes

2–3.30pm* BST  ~  9–10.30am EDT  ~  6–7.30am PDT

*Please note that the daily start time of this course will vary – potentially it will run one hour earlier on both Tuesday and Friday. I hope this flexible start time is not too frustrating!

£100 (suggested fee, or any donation welcome)

In this workshop we will be fine-tuning our sensory-motor and auditory awareness, and learning to steadily reduce all the the entrained and habitual constrictions and constraints inhibiting our expressive vocal self – our vocal structures, respiratory structures, diaphragms and sphincters, and the fascio-musculo-skeletal system that together form the physical foundations of our natural resonance and expressive power. We will focus specifically on lowering effort in every aspect of voice production in order to find our free-est most spontaneous voice, in every day life as well as in performance.

This Summer Daily will be beneficial for:

Singers, presenters, performers, and anyone interested in the performing voice

Anyone dealing with chronic stress issues, or breathing problems/conditions

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

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

Anyone who feels that emotional inhibition is limiting their capacity for self-expression and self-assertion.

Weekly Well-Being Zoom class…

Potent Inner Voice

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

Wednesday Evenings

7 – 8.30pm[-ish!]  BST / 2 – 3.30pm EDT

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. Please also note that we sometimes finish a little early!

Live Extended Class – Saturdays

Telegraph Hill Centre, SE14

Mindfulness In Motion

Feldenkrais & Potent Voice

Studio 2

Saturday April 20th

Saturday June 22nd

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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