THE ANATOMY & MYSTERY OF THE PHARYNX, TONGUE, AND JAW
A three-part experiential course for singers and all humans with a voice!
Taught with movement specialist and pioneer in the field of manual laryngeal therapy, Christine Schneider
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Wow Marisa. I just had a HUGE breakthrough in conversation tonight in a group I am in. I was able to say things that I have never said before OUT LOUD with MY VOICE!!! My whole body feels light and free and so open. Wow wow wow.”
- Jessica Ki, “Voice & the Nervous System” participant
In this three-part course we will explore the architecture of your jaw, tongue, and pharynx (with a little bit of soft palate, neck and face thrown in for good measure) via anatomical drawings and embodied practices.
We activate, engage and release these parts of our body every single day. We chew, we swallow, we sing, we speak. We use our voices to communicate to our friends, families, co-workers, and children.
Our voices are a bridge between our internal and external worlds. We literally breathe out breath warmed by our insides whenever we communicate with our voices. We make manifest what we hear or imagine when we sing. We express our internal worlds to others though song and language.
This can be vulnerable! No wonder our jaws can feel so tight and stuck! No wonder our tongue doesn’t always know where to be inside of our mouths! No wonder we squeeze from our throats and push out sound in order to make sure we feel heard!
Let's unstick, and melt and activate and release
“This course has given me a new layer of depth and understanding about working with the jaw, neck, and tongue (all things I have worked with before, but not in the way that Marisa explored and taught). I have been experiencing new sensations of opening in my face/cheeks, jaw, throat and a trust and deepening/solidness in my voice. These practices/exploration have been assisting some massive reorganization somatically in my face and facilitating integration. I would recommend this class to Somatic Practitioners or coaches/practitioners working with humans and the body, singers, and anyone who does public speaking."
- Sara Vatore, Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, Multidimensional Guide and Healer
Class One: Jaw
Class Two: Tongue
Class Three: Pharynx
All classes are 75 - 90 minutes each time. Replays WILL BE AVAILABLE for 60 days, though the experience is always best live!
Each class will begin with thirty minutes of anatomy taught with humor and joy by Christine Schneider. She’s commissioned gorgeous anatomical drawings which you must see!
We then move into our bodies with a short experiential group practice related to the body part we’ve just been exploring.
Then we’ll get specific, learning and exploring a few hand-picked vocal exercises related to the jaw (or tongue, or pharynx).
And we’ll close each class with Q + A.
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"The jaw work is tantra, softening the tongue, softening the belly, these are all micro-practices from tantra - things that drop you into your body. So what you’re teaching is embodiment practices. I love that you wanted us to learn the practices before you taught the theory and the physiology. You gave us the experience first.”
- Janis Fish, Yoga, Yoga Therapy and Nervous System Reset Facilitator
This class will be more straightforward than my previous group virtual courses
What do I mean?
Often my work meanders intentionally, as I center the focus around embodiment and play and emergent inquiry. I love that and still teach that way!
But I’m designing this course specifically to share information with you and to give you a few simple and straightforward tools to play with and explore on your own.
You will start by learning anatomy. Then we'll inquire around a simple embodied practice together. Then we'll learn and practice a few exercises (or experiments, as I prefer to call them) which you can work with on your own. And there will be time for questions.
The anatomical drawings are beautiful! The practices are gentle and simple yet profound. We'll relax and learn and be in our bodies together. All humans of all genders and ages and races and sexual orientations are welcome.
“When I allowed my jaw to open, that allowed my lungs to open, and with my lungs open, that allowed my body to open, and with my body open, the tense amass of emotion and history in the center of my being filled in the new space and wailed and cheered within me, in the soft and harsh release. And with that I knew my voice was no longer a stranger, my voice could open up too.”
- Lily Green, “Voice & the Nervous System” participant
In This class,
Learn vocal anatomy as taught by Christine Schneider
Explore more deeply the relationship of the jaw, tongue, throat and neck to our sounds
Learn how to de-armor the most elemental anatomy of sound-making
Be in an emergent process of noticing the connection of our jaw, tongue and pharynx to our emotions and vocal image
Experience a process of disinhibition not just socially, but also biomechanically
Investigate the biomechanics and energetics of consciously softening and relaxing the jaw, tongue and throat as we make sound
Learn simple, subtle ways to release our jaws and tongues and throats
Practice approaching our bodies with curiosity rather than demands
“I am noticing the difference I feel in my body when I sing. It’s like I’m unlocking new portals and the breath is organically deepening from the jaw work. I also feel a difference in how I am experiencing pleasure and sex!”
- Meryl Yecies, “Voice & the Nervous System” participant
This course could be a good fit for you if:
Your jaw, face, neck and throat are tight when you sing or speak (or just when you live ya damn life!)
You sense the healing that is possible when we add voice to our somatic explorations
You are an anatomy nerd!
You are a voice teacher looking to learn new practices to offer your students
You are a therapist, bodyworker, or yoga teacher looking to deepen your understanding of the anatomy of voice for purposes of your healing and your clients' healing
You need a space to practice softening and letting go
You want to give your jaw some good massage!
You want to practice living the questions without jumping to the answers
You enjoy experiential learning
You want to begin the process of freeing up your voice
You want to communicate your emotions more clearly and with more ease
You want more freedom in your pelvic diaphragm (the connection between the jaw/throat and pelvis is palpable)
You want to feel more pleasure in your body
"This class was rich with explorations that I will definitely be implementing with my clients!!! There were numerous ones we played around with that I immediately thought of who might “benefit” from it. We work on a lot of loosening the jaw, softening the masseter, superficial neck muscles and getting the tongue moving. I do this work for a variety of client reasons including TMJ dysfunction, neck pain, and pelvic floor pain/incontinence. Most of these opening jaw hanging practices I had not done before and I think will create a beautiful integration for my clients.
I appreciated the way you moved through the experience with the tongue/jaw hanging, talking practice and inviting laughter and whatever arose to be part of the experience."
- Heather Thomas, Pelvic Floor specialist, “A Thousand Ways to Voo” participant
"Yesterday’s workshop was SO GOOD! I’ve built and facilitated dozens of skill workshops and I honestly had so much fun doing yours, I think it’s one of the best I’ve ever attended. Not only was it silly and playful, but adding these tools for the chest/neck/jaw to my SE kit is invaluable."
- David Staab, “A Thousand Ways to Voo” participant
I’m known for my grounded, deep-listening approach to helping people of any level sing, speak, and move through the world with more skill, more truth, and more joy.
My perspective is grounded in the Libero Canto© Approach. I have studied singing and singing pedagogy on this path for over fifteen 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.
Want to know more about us? Click 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 part of my work? 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.
What else? I was trained classically as a pianist. I got my B.F.A from NYU (Tisch) in Musical Theatre. I’m a former yoga instructor. I studied Hindustani singing in India. I’ve deep-dived into Anthroposophy, a formative part of my earlier life. I’m currently studying Tibetan Buddhism. I consistently practice Circling (which I recently found out has roots in Indigenous practices), and Tantra. My ancestors are Jewish, Irish, and Scottish. Being in intimate relationship with singing is my life’s passion, encompassing all. I believe process is product, that we are vessels for beauty and spirit, and that all black lives matter.
“Visionary aural architect”
- Maria Popova
Who would benefit from this class? Hear from past students:
“Any singer who struggles with tension.”
“People interested in exploring voice and awareness work; also releasing tension through voice.”
“Anyone who is exploring opening their channel to sound.”
“Any singer who struggles with tension.”
“I'm chuckling - well, I'd recommend this to everyone I love!”
“Clients or friends who feel "thin" of voice. I think it could be helpful as a resource for my pelvic bowl healing clients.”
“Other somatic-embodiment oriented people/practitioners!”
“My biggest take away is the subtle difference in the discharge that happened in this workshop. I do and teach a lot of embodiment work, but largely through movement practices. While very similar patterns of release were happening in the workshop that I am used to from my own practices, their origin felt closer to my midline and like they were accessing deeper layers. That very subtle difference is pretty profound and makes me know that I need to be working with my voice more in order to access those deeper layers - it also makes so much sense seeing how voice is so foundational in our development and expression."
- Carrie Drapac, “A Thousand Ways to Voo” participant
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