Voice Lessons

I teach how the voice works and how to use it more effectively and healthfully.  I teach so that you will learn why, how, and when it “sounds like that”, and then what to do to get to where you want to be. If you give yourself and the process enough time and attention, you will know how to continue getting better, on your own. That is my goal with everyone I see.

I work with all ages, styles, reasons, and levels of ability. I work with singers and non-singers. I work with people who “need more or improved voice to create the lives that they want”.

I teach people who are professionals, students, teachers, choir members, songwriters, business executives, people who sing all the time, as well as people who only sing in their car on their daily commute. I work with people who’s voice is small and quiet, or who often lose their voices, or who sound broken or breathy. I work with people who have beautiful voices, but they tire easily, or their range feels limited, or they’re having trouble connecting with their emotions. I work with people who have difficulty carrying a tune, breathing, laughing out loud, crying, yawning, making up a noise, slowing down, quieting, listening.

I encourage people to bring in music or speaking tasks that they want or need to have as part of their lives. What is relevant in the teaching studio is what is relevant to you, personally and professionally.

A TYPICAL LESSON begins with a vocal exercise developed to help you with a specific task or challenge. I lead you through this, and then we bring what is practiced there into the fuller realization of a song or a speaking task. We integrate Alexander Technique and/or Voice-Music Therapy when/if needed or requested. Individual lessons are in 30, 45, or 60 minute segments. Lessons include discussion, meaning, depth, and honest sharing. Most people enjoy and value their lessons greatly.

AS WELL AS TEACHING VOICE INDIVIDUALLY, I ALSO TEACH IN SMALL GROUPS. Usually these alternate with individual lessons, the combination providing broader learning. Sometimes, these lessons are made up of family or friend or various peer groups. Other times, I organize the groups of 3 to 7 people who are of like interests, needs, age, or learning levels. Typical group lessons reflect who is in the group, and what learning objectives or expectations have been established. They are 60 to 100 minutes long, depending on size and purpose.

Always, voice lessons are more than just lessons.  A persons voice is a very personal reflection of Self.  I am always sensitive to this fact and so I always work to meet the whole person, and to allow and encourage the authentic voice to be realized. Wherever you are in your life process, for whatever reasons you choose to come and see me, I want to meet you there and walk awhile with you, along your path.

Sometimes, people come to see me with needs that are deeper or more emotionally troubled. Sometimes, music and voice can help heal the inner child.  My Voice and Music Teaching then expand and become Voice and Music Therapy.

I often work with people who’ve experienced abuse or neglect in childhood, a terrible and devastating loss.  At a time when the person most needs safety and encouragement in order to learn and develop healthfully, instead he/she receives repeated episodes of physical and emotional harm.  The chance to grow becomes an instinctual assumption of desperate measures to survive.  We lose in too many ways.

When I see childhood abuse and trauma survivors, they come to me because they’ve lost their voice.  Sometimes, this is very literal:  it’s too soft, too stiff or harsh, mumbled, swallowed, strained, damaged.  Or, if the physical voice is functional, the psycho-emotional voice, the ability to know oneself and to express true Self is troubled.  Because your truth was not heard or listened to, you may have learned to shut off, shut down, and/or shut up.

Too much time’s been spent hiding away, even disassociating in some cases.  Memory’s door may be locked closed, and the inner voice of loving compassion and kindness for oneself is absent.  Hearing, seeing, and other sensory awareness has evolved unreliably.  Then your perceptions and responses move in and out of being distorted by the anger, fear, hurt, and deep disappointment from ones’ past.

Through music and voice, teaching and therapy, I help people to uncover and recover from childhood trauma.   By teaching how the habits we choose to take on in order to defend ourselves during childhood can become self-sabotaging in our adult years, I then instruct and counsel on how to become consciously aware and mindful in your use or undoing of these habits.  I do this using voice and music and aspects of Alexander teaching techniques. The process welcomes singers and non-singers, musicians and those with no music training.   What everybody does need is the desire to change and an interest in exploring their path using voice and/or music.

My job is to listen and to find music and voice experiences that heal.  I will accompany you, seeking to help you find your true voice. I will teach you how the voice works, physically, acoustically, expressively.  As deeper breathing, or more extensive range, or increasing confidence, or singing/speaking a meaningful passage begin to loosen frozen feeling and memory, I’ll help you to find greater understanding of, trust in, and compassion for yourself.

Working together with me, in music and/or voice, it is possible to undo the ties that bind you.  Discover ways to live with less and less contraction of your full Self, with more and more strength and supple self-support.  Begin to have greater freedom of choice, keeping and growing what serves you, and letting go of what does not.