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MARISA Michelson



My perspective is grounded in the Libero Canto© Approach. I have studied singing and singing pedagogy on this path for twenty years (under Deborah Carmichael) in Vienna and New York City. The Libero Canto Approach was first developed by Lajos Szamosi in Budapest before World War II. This holistic, process-oriented approach rooted in the Western Classical Tradition is my primary pedagogical lineage. 

The School of Vocal De-Armoring and Somatic Singing Pedagogy is an offshoot of the Libero Canto School.  


I founded and directed the NYC-based embodied vocal-performance ensemble, Constellation Chor for ten years. We sought wild embodiment through voice and body through professional performances and weekly practice. Want to know more about us?  Go here!


I am also an accomplished and award-winning composer working at the nexus of theatre, experimental music, opera, new music, and improvisation. Want to know more about this aspect of me? Go here! 


In addition to working privately with professional and avocational singers, I’ve worked as a vocal coach for a number of musicals (Octet at Signature Theater; Moby Dick at American Repertory Theatre).   I’ve taught workshops at the American Theater Wing, The Performing Arts Project (TPAP), Prospect Theater Company, Signature Theatre, Millikin University,  the University of Puget Sound, and at the Goetheanum in Switzerland. 

I work successfully with non-singers, many of whom come to me after experiencing extreme pain when speaking, or frequent voice loss,  and others of whom want to explore voice as life-force energy and for purposes of their own aliveness and self-expression. 


I work successfully with singers with certain vocal injuries, and those who need a teacher who is able to tune into and work with their nervous system states as well as their bodies, psyches and spirits, in the service of holistically healing an injury that has deep roots.  


I work with many, many singers who come to me after attending conservatories which garner the highest esteem for their vocal and theater training programs.  They come to me because they have lost their joy, they have panic attacks before auditions, they aren’t connected anymore to why they wanted to sing or to their artistry, and they feel stuck in their technique.  I am able to help these students sing with much more ease, freedom, authenticity, joy, and skill.  We work together and their love for singing returns.  It’s not just their love that returns, their high notes do as well.  Nothing enlivens my purpose more than watching this process unfold. 


What else? I was trained classically as a pianist. I originally received my B.F.A from NYU (Tisch) in Musical Theatre.  I have a certificate in Integrative Somatic Trauma Therapy from the Embody Lab. I'm currently finishing up a a year-long Akashic Records mentorship with Leah Garza and pursuing a Circling Facilitators Training with I’m a former yoga instructor. I studied  Hindustani singing in India - a pivotal experience for me. I’ve deep-dived into Anthroposophy for many years. I’m studied Tibetan Buddhism. I consistently practice Circling, Tantra, and Tibetan Buddhist meditation.  


My ancestors are Jewish, Irish, and Scottish. Being in intimate relationship with singing is my life’s passion, encompassing all.

For information about Marisa as a theatre composer and performer, go here:

sampling of INSPIRATION
(books, authors, pRACTICES & Mentors)

“The Mysticism of Sound and Music” by Hazrat Inayat Khan

“The Prophets” by Abraham Joshua Heschel
“Zen and the Art of Archery” by Eugen Herrigel

“Modern Techniques of Vocal Rehabilitation” by Dr. Morton Cooper

“To Have Or To Be” by Erich Fromm
“My Grandmother’s Hands” by Resmaa Menakem
“Deep Listeners” by Judith Butler

“Cosmos and Psyche” by Richard Tarnas

“Waiting for God” by Simone Weil
“Man’s Search for Meaning” by Victor Frankl

"Eastern Body/Western Mind" by Anodea Judith 

Judaism (Including Kabbalah)
Neo-Tantra (Student and Practitioner since 2012)
Anthroposophy (Studied and Practiced from 2006 - 2011)
Circling (an authentic relating conversational practice, ongoing)
Hindustani Singing (Trained with a private teacher in India for four months in 2005) 

Classical Piano (Studied for fifteen years with Eugenie Malek)
Yoga (Trained to be an Anusara Yoga Teacher in 2003, taught Vinyasa Yoga in NYC for five years)

Leah Garza (Akashic Records Mentor), Meredith Monk, Pauline Oliveros, Nadia Boulanger, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Rudolf Steiner, Erich Fromm, Elana Behar (myofascial, connecting with spirit), Jeanne Birdsall (Photographer and children’s book author), Hafiz, Krishnamurti, Leah Garza (Akashic Mentor),  Kimberly Anne Johnson (Nervous System), Christine Schneider (Vocal Anatomy), Adam Guettel (Studied Private Musical Theater Composition from 2003 - 2006), Richard Michelson (Father, Acclaimed Jewish Poet and Children’s Book Author), Jennifer Michelson (Mother, Massage Therapist and Ordained Minister)



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