Feldenkrais work increases agility, grace, sensuality, breathing capacity, and speeds up your ability to learn new physical skills; it is therefore particularly suitable for tackling the physical demands of vocal performance. If you are a professional performer you will know the importance of freedom in neck and jaw, softness in the shoulders, mobility of the spine, and the ability to stand without rigidity for the development of charisma and presence on stage.

VocalDynamix is a multi-format voicework course, which combines the Awareness Through Movement approach of The Feldenkrais Method® with state-of-the-art voice training techniques, and which enables the student to:

Feel how the vocal equipment actually works
Learn how to keep the performing voice healthy and strong
Learn how to heal vocal injuries
Discover how the different natural sounds we are capable of lead us naturally into singing
Produce all the different vocal sounds that professional singers and speakers use
Free her or himself from the vocal habits that limit self-expression and inhibit vocal power
Understand the importance of breathing, and how to support the loudest voices with the minimum of physical work
Develop your own strategies for continuing vocal improvement
Begin the process of freeing the self from physical and mental limitations, and postural habits, in order to allow the true voice to soar unfettered.

VocalDynamix 1: Breathwork - Laying Strong Foundations

This segment introduces the uninitiated to the Awareness Through Movement process, with a series of lessons designed to increase available movement in the neck, shoulders and spine, to clarify the breathing process, and to show how natural breath coordination morphs easily into the more sophisticated process required for sustained powerful singing. It prepares the way for the in-depth exploration of the vocal instrument in segment 2, and the discovery of full vocal power in segment 3.

VocalDynamix 2: The Conscious Voice: Know Your Instrument

Some of our muscles are more “conscious” than others; it is easy to sense the movements and positioning of the fingers, but considerably less easy to sense what is happening when we swallow, shout, or cough. Many professional performers are unable to clearly describe what they are doing to make their voices louder, clearer and more exciting to listen to; they achieved their skills by imitation and accidental discovery. Some of the most powerful sounds a human being can make are nearly effort-free; some involve sophisticated muscle control and coordination, and the efficient use of muscular energy; but all can be traced back to natural human sounds like laughing, crying, yelling and squealing.
This segment combines state-of-the-art vocal training techniques with the Awareness Through Movement learning process, to discover and explore all the different qualities of the human voice from the sweetest to the most powerful, finding natural, functional ways to increase volume, vocal range, and vocal stamina.

VocalDynamix 3: Dynamic Posture and The Complex Voices

In this segment, participants discover Dynamic Posture, a flexible and resilient stability that allows the voice to soar, without compromising the range and subtlety of the vocal sounds available for use. It is the most physical of the series, drawing extensively on the fundamentals of The Feldenkrais Method®, and thereby laying the groundwork for freedom of action in performance. It also provides an introduction to the physical requirements necessary for the more difficult vocal qualities, such as BELTING and CLASSICAL singing, and plenty to practise to continue the development of performance skills after the series is over.

The Basic Course: Details

The VocalDynamix Course is intended to cover all the ground necessary for a full understanding of vocal performance, and allow each student to fully explore her or his unique voice, but in its basic form it is not a singing performance course, and we will not be using group time to learn songs or perform to each other. As with all Feldenkrais work, the idea is to discover new ways of doing familiar things and increase our range of choices, and it is often unhelpful to test these brand new possibilities out immediately in front of an audience – even such a supportive one. It takes time and patient attention to yourself to discover your own restricting and limiting habits of self, physical and mental, and the pressure to perform and impress can undo all that good work very quickly. VocalDynamix workshops are intended to appeal both to professionals and to those on a journey of self-discovery, and they are ideal for those who would like to increase vocal self-awareness and singing skills, but are shy of performing.
Performance work can be included in customised versions of the course – see below.

Customised Courses available:

The course can be adjusted as required, and I am happy to teach specifically designed courses for small or large groups of all kinds. Here are some examples of the kinds of courses on offer:

Weekly Classes of 1.5 – 3 hours, taught over 3 terms, combining VocalDynamix, and singing and performance tuition.
I or 2 day “Introduction to VocalDynamix” Workshops – A taster of the full course.
The full course in a series of 3 weekends, which could include singing tuition if required.
The 5 day course, which can be easily modified to include a performance masterclass on the final day.

“It was liberating - discovering the connection between my breathing and my belly began the process of releasing inhibitions I had held for as long as I could remember. I could feel that my whole body was involved in my emotional expression and the sound of my voice. It was particularly exciting for me as I am a head person - I came away with more confidence to be myself - more spontaneous somehow.”
Anne Kennedy, Voice and Feldenkrais student

“I find Maggy’s workshops highly informative, inspirational, fun, and a big treat for the voice, body and spirit. Maggy has the unique professional combination of being a Feldenkrais practitioner, singing teacher and jazz performer, and she offers her knowledge and experience in a warm, relaxed and sensitive manner. I cannot recommend these workshops highly enough to anyone interested in learning more about their voice and body.”
Abi Strevens MA, BSc (Hons), State Registered Music Therapist (SRAsT (M))

Private Lessons for Continuous Learning

The workshops function as an introduction to the possibilities of VocalDynamix, but only a commitment to continuous learning and constantly increasing self awareness will bring the full rewards of this work to the student. If you wish to develop professional speaking or singing skills then you are advised to follow a course of private study with Maggy Burrowes.