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:
Liberate Your Potent Voice
Daily Class At Noon – Online + Recording
November 30th – December 4th
12 pm – 1.30 pm £75 / £50 – low income rate*
*Suggested fee or donation still applies
We come into the world fully equipped with a pure, unfiltered, emotionally-authentic potent, expressive voice. As newborns we are loud, uninhibited, demanding, assertive, and beyond the influence of reason.
As we grow and develop, we discover more of the capabilities of our powerful vocal instrument…
…our ears begin to tune in to the soundscape of the world around us…
…we are learning to listen, and developing our capacity to distinguish useful information from all the background noise of our daily experience…
…discovering the full range of expressive sounds the human voice is capable of producing, and beginning to decipher meaning in the vocal sounds our parents are making…
…and as soon as we are old enough to go out into the world and begin to make a place for ourselves in it, our elders tells us to ‘keep our voice down’, ‘be nice’, ‘be a good girl’ or ‘boy’, and to ‘just be quiet and do as we are told’ – it is no wonder so many of us steadily lose our instinctive access to our spontaneous self-expression, and with it all that natural vocal power!
In this workshop we will be fine-tuning 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.
The daily format should enable us all to make enough progress to achieve the physical freedom necessary to access our louder, richer, more expressive vocal qualities with more ease. We will explore the elements of safe yelling, and at the end of the week you will have 7.5 plus hours of recorded material, plus the supporting notes.
Sunday December 13th – Online + Recording
2 pm – 4.30 pm
Workshop theme and details will follow shortly…
This workshop will be beneficial for:
Singers, presenters, performers, and anyone interested in the voice
Anyone dealing with chronic stress issues, or breathing problems/conditions
Anyone interested in meditation and chanting
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.
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:
“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.