This is a photo of Heidi Moss, Voice Study Centre MA Voice Pedagogy Ambassador

Cart Before The Horse: Reframing The Order And Mechanics Of Breath In Singing

with Heidi Moss
Thursday 1st December 2022 5-7pm GMT

This course will be recorded and sent out to all pre-registered participants to watch in their own time.
Due to licensing laws, we are unable to sell this course retrospectively.

Singers tend to view their vocal process as beginning with their breath.

After all, it is the first thing observed before a sound is even uttered.

Considered a pillar of good technique, many singers consciously attend to the mechanics of breathing more than any other skill. It can also be one of the first things teachers address when they encounter a vocal imbalance.

For that reason, breath has often been a source of anxiety for singers: the fear of not taking enough air or running out of breath are all dreaded experiences.

However, recent research into how the brain processes respiration and phonation challenge these ideas about breath.

This short course will detail the neuroscience perspective on breathing: how air is recruited, balanced, and maintained by the brain during phonation and beyond.

When we vocalize, breath has two essential roles: first, it is a constant player in regulating our autonomic nervous system. Second, it is an integral component to the complex motor system of vocalization.

It is the interplay of these two elements which must be considered in singing and we will see that the spaces before, after, and in between vocalizations are equally important.

At the end of this course, you will gain a new perspective on how to optimize breathing for singing.

And as a happy side effect, this information also addresses issues like performance anxiety and focus, for breath is integral to the endless loop of homeostasis demanded by the central nervous system.

If you would like a certificate of attendance for this event, please send us an email.

Attend this course for as little as £22.00.

Heidi Moss, is a Bay Area performer, educator, and scientist. Noted for her “rich and radiant soprano” (Edward Oriz, Sacramento Bee) has performed on national and international stages as well as numerous local companies such as Opera Parallele, Festival Opera, West Edge Opera, Livermore Opera, Fremont Symphony, Peninsula Symphony, Oakland Symphony, and the Sacramento Choral Society.

A champion of new music, she helped spearhead the performance of eight song premieres by eight different renowned composers for an alte/neue lieder fest with LIEDER ALIVE! including Daron Hagen, David Conte, Kurt Erickson, and Henry Mollicone. In 2022 she will premiere a new song set by Tarik O’Regan as a part of the same series. Her collaborations with living composers included a recital of works by Jake Heggie, with the composer himself at the piano. She has also premiered works by philanthropist Gordon Getty with the Russian National Orchestra and San Francisco Opera, most recently in a reading of his opera Plumpjack with Lester Lynch.

Heidi has also garnered recognition in major vocal competitions, including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (NYC First Place Winner), the Liederkranz Awards, the MacAllister Awards, and the KDFC competition which resulted in a performance with pianist Lang Lang. In 2019 she was awarded a ‘Best in the Bay’ award for her Richard Strauss recital featuring John Parr of Deutsch Oper Berlin at the piano.

In addition to her musical life, Heidi graduated with a double biology and music degree from Oberlin and a masters in biochemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. She studied telomeres at Rockefeller University and has several publications, including a landmark paper in the journal Cell which was featured in the New York Times elucidating a revolutionary discovery that the ends of DNA are looped.

Her interest in voice science came from her work in the lab of the late Richard Miller at Oberlin whom she met at age 17. Throughout her career, she has collected historical vocal pedagogy texts and scientific papers both inside and outside the field to fuel her unique perspective on singing. In 2007, a rare cranial nerve injury sidelined her singing career, and both doctors and teachers warned her she may not ever perform again. Using her own scientific research and strategies, particularly in how speech and singing is processed in the brain, she rehabilitated to return to the art she loves. She has applied these concepts and designed a novel pedagogy to train singers of all levels, including those who struggle with auditory processing, PTSD, tongue cancer damage, and MPA.

In addition to a private studio, Heidi teaches vocal physiology at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She has been an invited speaker at the NATS National Conference,The Pacific Voice Conference, Cleveland Institute of Music, University of Oregon, Vocal ProcessUK, Vocology In Practice, and NerdNiteSF. Her courses on Singing in the Brain have been featured at the VoiceWorkshop UK, SingSpace, and through her private studio.This year she was also featured as a keynote speaker for the British Voice Association Conference alongside Johan Sundberg, Her writings have appeared in blogs, such as The Naked Vocalist and in her journal club entitled “Minding the Gap: connecting research from basic science and neuroscience to vocal pedagogy”. She is the wife of composer/pianist Kurt Erickson, winner of the NATS Art Song Prize, and they proudly parent 4 children together.

Thursday 1st December 2022 5-7pm GMT

This course is free for Voice Study Centre's MA/PGCert students and £30 (VAT inclusive) otherwise.

If you would like to book a place on this course, please use the payment form in the 'Book Your Place' tab or email

Online Payment

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