A dynamic performance requires a fine balance between excited energy and calm control. Performance anxiety generally manifests itself as tension because we feel over-matched, under-prepared or somehow threatened by the situation. We instinctively try harder and only succeed in increasing the tension in areas that are already too tight. Such a vicious cycle causes the performer to focus on his or her short-comings and only on what is “wrong” rather than the bigger picture of what is “right”.
For the performer, being “in the flow” is a heady sensation, one of such freedom and ease that it is almost as if someone else was singing. All too often, however, this elevation to the “flow state” is elusive, inaccessible, blocked and impeded by barriers which range from the psychological to the physical. One of the biggest culprits is “negative” physical tension.
Tension is necessary to life; without tonus (muscle tension), we cannot stand, sit, or even breathe. Problems arise when tension is excessive, misplaced, or insufficient, causing extra effort and blockage.
Named after its discoverer, Moshe Feldenkrais, the Feldenkrais Method is a self-discovery process using movement. Its aim is to produce an individual organized to perform with minimum effort and maximum efficiency. The movements are simple, gentle, exploratory, and fun; they are usually repeated a number of times to clarify and enhance performance.
The Feldenkrais Method is one approach which can help a performer to focus appropriate attention to physical cues via kinesthetic awareness, thereby offsetting negative attention on feelings of inadequacy. It can alleviate or even eradicate such negative tension, thereby enhancing “ease of flow”. This workshop is designed to lead participants through “modular” Feldenkrais work, thus helping calm the nervous system without loss of performance energy.
Complete Workshop Description:
- A brief review/introduction to the Feldenkrais Method
- “Pre-test”: short group vocal warmup and individual tension identification: Dr. Blades leads the participants through a series of brief, simple vocal exercises designed to a) warm up the voice and, b) give the participants kinesthetic feel and sense of the vocal instrument before a Feldenkrais lesson. Individuals are asked to identify awareness of any areas in which undue negative tension seems to impede vocal freedom. Participants are then guided through selected, short Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement lessons.
- “Post-test” with Dr. Blades: group vocalization and individual reports of any changes, especially in the “pre-test” areas.
- Individual assessments: Volunteers from the group receive Feldenkrais work specific to “blocked” or impeded areas. The number of individuals included is flexible according to time restrictions.
Attend this course for as little as £22 as part of the Voice Professional Training CPD Award Scheme.Learn More
Thursday 5th October 2023
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
A Voice for the Voiceless
William Leigh Knight
This course is about helping the voiceless to find their voices. It offers strategies and tools for working with those who consider themselves ‘tone-deaf’ or ‘non-singers’.
Thursday 12th October 2023
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Considering Vibrato Through the Lens of the Evolving Singing Voice: changes across the lifespan
This session will look at one feature of singing: Vibrato! What is it? What causes it? What variables can be considered in a vibrato? Rate? Extent? Range? Tensions? Does it change across the life span? If so, how? When? Why?
Thursday 19th October 2023
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Introduction to Voice Coaching for Trans and Gender Diverse People
Within this course, Gillie Stoneham will introduce us to a range of factors surrounding gender affirming voice. We will look at cultural humility; cultural change, cisheteronormativity, allyship and terminology.