Small Print

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.

Overview

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.

Breathwork Themes

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 torso.
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 1.
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.

Dynamic Stability

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 (musical theatre).

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.