About Authentic Voicework
Authentic Voicework is a playful & powerful modality of Expressive Arts in sound and motion. It tunes in to the essence of being, through the voice. Participants explore the connection to the authentic self through vocalizing. Also known as “Yoga of the Voice” for its stretching and removing obstructions around the voice, this modality takes healing to another level through vocalizing. By changing our conceptions of who we are and how we allow ourselves to express ourselves as unique, dynamic beings, we can change how we think about ourselves, and therefore, present ourselves to the world with more confidence, power, authenticity and dynamism. AV originates from a vast array of influences: Classical Voice Technique, Expressive Arts Therapy, Voice-Movement therapy, improvsational singing, World Folk songs, Yoga, Breathwork, Meditation, Massage/Bodywork, Feldenkreis & more!
Many people are terrified of singing, in front of others that is… Unless they are in the shower with nobody home, or in their car alone, singing in front of others is a primal fear for so many of us! In fact, the #1 Fear in America is Public Speaking. Singing in front of others could be classified similarly. They both boil down to the fear of humiliation. And the prevention strategy for that is inhibition. Hence, the inhibited voice.
The throat, voice and sense of being are all affected by fear. Fear of humiliation, fear of drawing too much attention to self, or a trauma that inflicted tension or restriction are all inhibitors. Authentic Voicework opens up this territory, and explores these issues on the levels of body, mind and spirit. It offers new tools for gaining comfort when external and internal pressures are so daunting. Singing from the place of authenticity uncovers and draws us closer to our place of origin within. And today, with external forces causing so much internal uncertainty, Authentic Voicework offers an opportunity to learn how to be open in the body-mind-spirit- through the voice, regardless of these external or internal pressures.
Founder of Voice-Movement Therapy Paul Newham said “in order for a genuine catharsis to be facilitated, there has to be an open channel through which psychic energy can be released, and the voice provides such a channel. Vocal catharsis involves allowing a person to vocalize a wide palette of sounds, depressurizing the body of contained emotions and energy, which otherwise weighs down the participant. Once we relax, dilate and open the vocal tract, there is a maximized flowing of emotion, new thought, innovation and energy that comes flooding out through the voice. There is a sense of empowerment, resilience and enormity of being that comes from this new-found freedom.” In other words, we must open into the body to open our voices.
There is so much healing to be gained from working with the Voice. As we vocalize from the most simple and quiet place of our being, we look into the mirror of the soul and listen. Authentic Voicework is a vessel that can be used to help reset our relationship with the world by boosting our confidence with our very own voice. The voice taps into “unknown territory” yet to be explored. Rather than fearing this portal, Authentic Voicework suggests a means of jumping into the discovery of the self with joy, surrender, safely and courageously. It is about the creative process, not the product!
Authentic Voicework classes address the body as the instrument of the voice to facilitate a cathartic experience. As we warm up the voice, and breath, we release tension in the body. Simple stretching helps to deepen the breath and activate the body. Participants then learn more about their voice through classical voice technique exercises, followed by playful singing games that untangle the complex set of emotions people can at times feel about the voice and singing. We work on improvising and harmonizing with others to share our newly found creativity. Intentional listening is taught and encouraged to connect to the authentic place within. Finally, we end the class with a group improvisation where participants explore their ideas and respond to the group’s collective sounds.
The result of this work, is in a word, exhilarating. Creativity research expert Mihaly Csikzsentmihalyi said that the “flow” experience of creative activity is one that yields a great sense of fulfillment, wellness, balance and joy. Authentic Voicework brings flow experiences that connect us to our bodies, quiet the mind, deepen our listening, clear our minds, and leads to an experience of lightness and exhilaration.