A Feldenkrais syllabus is a loose and flexible thing; we
may stray into the surrounding territory; we may increase or decrease
the amount of time spent exploring a particular area according to
the requirements of the participants; we may even set out in an
entirely new direction if there is enough interest in doing so.
The teacher is the guide, but the landscape is always influenced
by the individual nervous systems of the attendees.
VocalDynamix is a Feldenkrais workshop, and thus it takes place
mostly on the floor. You will need to wear loose, comfortable clothing,
and may also need to bring something to lie on.
The intention of the course is to reveal the pleasure and possibility
of the human voice to all comers; professionals with skills they
don't fully understand and therefore don't fully own; beginners
who are becoming aware of the unique difficulties of learning to
control muscles which have developed to do work automatically, and
therefore without awareness; people who have no professional intentions,
but are aware of the potential for self discovery in vocal exploration.
There is no pressure to perform, sounds are made as a group. Participants
are not asked to demonstrate something if it is clear that they
would not be willing.
Mobility of the neck and spine.
Releasing the resonating qualities of the rib cage.
Breathing and emotion; self expression versus self control and emotional
denial; sensitivity and openness.
Breathing for power; releasing tension, and breathing with the whole
Breathing for performance; sustain and stamina from natural breath
coordination. The recoil breath.
Conscious Voice Themes
Freedom and mobility of the jaw.
Tongue and lips; exploring the articulators. Diction, clarity, vowel
shapes, tone versus noise part 1.
Structure, function and movements of the larynx; adjusting the shape
of the acoustic chamber, gender, range part 1, and mimicking part
Soft palate and aryepiglottic sphincter; eliminating nasality, developing
power, projection, overtones.
True and false vocal cords/folds; tone versus noise part 2, protecting
and healing the voice part 1, constriction, breathiness, the speaking
or modal voice, falsetto and yodelling, the jazz voice, the classical
voice, and mimicking part 2.
Postural development is a huge subject, and one which requires persistent
attention in order to achieve consistent improvement. Nevertheless,
undaunted, I will be presenting an overview of my four years of
Feldenkrais training, exploring two of its most important themes,
using movements both small and subtle, and big and playful. I will
be championing the relevance of good 'posture' to a fully functioning
voice, and touch on its relevance to protecting and healing the
voice (part 2). We will also briefly explore the relationship between
posture and the most powerful voices, i.e. classical and belting
Optional Performance Masterclass
The length of this section of the course will depend on the amount
of interest shown by the group as a whole. We will listen to each
other perform, and begin to recognise the applications of our newly
developing vocal skills.
Practise notes, with suggestions for exercises to continue your
vocal development, will be given out at the end of the course. Private
tuition is recommended for anyone wishing to develop these skills
to a professional level.