'Singing Hot And Cool: The Polyvagal Theory And Vocal Pedagogy' with Joanna Cazden - Thursday 17th June 5pm (UK time for 2 hours)

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.

Course Details

The vagus nerve is closely involved with both the larynx and the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The polyvagal theory details the remarkable role of this nerve bundle in the evolution of voice and speech communication, and affirms the power of the voice as an instantaneous transmitter of ANS status, both in daily life communication and between artist and audience. Finally, parallels emerge between the vagus nerve’s contributions to psycho-physiological resilience (the ability to be aroused and calm at the same time) and artists’ descriptions of stage presence. Crosslinks between neurological evidence and the experience of performing arts will support suggestions for vocal pedagogy.



Structures of interest: cranial nerve X (vagus) and its brainstem nucleii

Functions of interest: autonomic versus sensory-motor

Autonomic (ANS) components: sympathetic (“hot”) and parasympathetic (“cool”)



Characteristics of the vagus nerve in animals and humans

How “hot and cool” ANS regulation makes speech and singing possible



Muscle controls in the vagus nerve: larynx and more

Voice as a carrier of ANS signals, in daily life and performance



How performers describe the inner state onstage

Is “very hot and very cool” the ANS recipe for stage presence?



ANS regulation as a pedagogical goal

The importance of training ensembles

Suggestions for warm-ups, cool-downs, and performance anxiety

The well-regulated teacher

About Joanna Cazden

Joanna Cazden, MFA, MS-CCC is a speech pathologist specializing in vocal arts rehabilitation, now in private practice after 18 years as senior voice clinician at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles. A lifelong singer and musician with six solo albums to her credit and ongoing music projects, she has also trained deeply in theater arts, counseling, and energy healing, and she is Certified in HealthCare by the Performing Arts Medicine Association. Her book Everyday Voice Care: The Lifestyle Guide for Singers and Talkers (Hal Leonard, 2012) is widely used in vocal performance and pedagogy programs; other publication credits include the Journal of Voice, Voice and Speech Review, and numerous music magazines and guest blogs. Her lectures bridge clinical and artistic perspectives on voice work, with an increasing focus on cognitive science and the “soft skills” of both teaching and rehabilitation.


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