"Working with Marisa has been an ecstatic awakening to my own self. In my time with her I have touched places of grief and longing; I have felt into my own desire and engaged in playfulness in a way I had only ever imagined. All of these experiences have been embodied expressions of the moment that connect me more fully to the past, the present, and the future. The courage to step into myself in this way has felt possible only in the resonance of relationship and witness. I trust Marisa.
Her willingness to feel into her student with total awareness and her acute perception, of what is most alive in the moment, is a kind of magic that has brought me to other worlds and lifetimes.
These are the things I had not expected. I had hoped for a letting go of long held tension in my throat and my voice, a felt sense of constriction I could not seem to release., This is beginning to unfold and soften in its own time, in its own beautiful way. I am in no rush to arrive anywhere, just utterly grateful to be in process with this work and this remarkable teacher.."
Pilar Gizzi, psychotherapist
"It's no exaggeration to say that working with Marisa turned my life around. I came to her in a time of despair after nearly a year of trying various teachers, practices, and approaches to tending a vocal injury that was deeply impacting my life and work. She stayed with me through some initial weariness and hopelessness, gently and lovingly inviting me into deeper accountability to the practice at a moment when I really needed someone else's commitment to me and my ability to heal. The results were transformative and life-altering. I'm in awe of and grateful for her patience, gentleness, silliness, brilliance, and care without which I would not have found my voice again."
JOSHUA BLAINE, Songleader/Songcatcher/Men’s Work Coach
"Most of my life I have had tightness and constriction in my throat and felt I needed some form of vocal or speech therapy.
Speaking felt cumbersome, painful and I would strain or lose my voice regularly. I was physically unable to project to call out to my kids in the distance, or to speak up in a loud group or give a lecture. I wanted to be able to sing in the car with my kids, to call out to them riding their bikes, and to give a 6 hour lecture and still be able to have a conversation with my husband later that night.
Working with Marisa I have discovered new layers of softness, expansiveness and ease. All these changes are so subtle and yet so profound.
Prior to this work, it was so hard to project my voice that when I did, it sounded forced and aggressive, no matter my emotional intent. Now I am more commanding with a softness that my kids are responsive to. All this was my aim; it is a bonus that singing lullabies and pop songs with my kids is more pleasant.
I am so grateful for the present, intuitive, creative, skillful guidance that Marisa has provided. She is gracious, compassionate and honest.
My experience has been nothing short of enlightening."
Dr. Heather Thomas DPT, OCS, RYT
"Marisa Michelson is a genius. I come from an opera background later pulled into musical theater and jazz, and this is my first time working with someone who is more interested in authenticity than anything else. She is somehow able to capture the purest form of music that erupts from an experience within our bodies and is never interested in imposing any sort of ideal sound on to the people with whom she collaborates. Her philosophy of music is unique and it is a privilege to be in the same room with her."
"To see the human body and the energy that surrounds it through Marisa's eyes would be an extraordinary experience, and yet, that is her gift to you. Somehow, without pretense, she has access to a person's being that has either been suppressed or often just beyond their own reach. Even though I sought a "Vocal Teacher" when I found her, that title doesn't do justice for the awareness and awakeness she levies upon her students. When it comes right down to it, Marisa is a healer. Using her unique skill set and deep intuition she listens for what is blocked and what yearns for release. Her approach is wonderfully sensitive, tactile and gentle, yet the work is not for the faint of heart. But if you are truly ready for a dive inside your body, spirit and voice taking you in your past, present and future selves, Marisa is a highly worth guide to lead you into that realm."
Reb Ezra Weinberg
"Working with Marisa has been a life-transforming experience for me. She embraced my voice wholly from our first lesson, which allowed me to rediscover the full beauty of singing. I use Marisa's teachings daily to connect to the joy of singing. Her gift as a teacher is a rare combination of compassion and rigor; humor and steadiness. These lessons have been such an important gift in my life and have propelled my work as an artist forward; opening me to greater creativity and freedom vocally and beyond. I recommend working with Marisa to any and everyone who wants to truly connect to the joy and power of their own voice."
"The three sessions we did Dec/Jan 2021-22 were life changing. I took them because I wanted to better access a channeled flow state in music and singing. They solved the problem. There was an actual click - especially about the body, and shaking the body as a method of working with the nervous system and getting out of my head. I eventually started recording 5 minutes of improvised intuitive singing, playing with stretching motives and deep listening, and then I'd layer two more takes responding to what I'd done. SO liberating. I wrote 52 songs last year! I am so grateful for the work I got to do with you, helping me access that part of myself undid what five years of college clammed up. Thank you so much for holding space for me to learn."
Grace, singer-songwriter and voice teacher
"With Marisa by my side, I have watched and listened to my voice unfold over the years. Together we have revealed it's subtleties, challenging what I had previously assumed about placement, and voice type. I feel my voice has been liberated! And I have never felt more confident."
"When I arrived in NYC three decades ago from humid Japan, I lost my voice completely from stress and old bad habits. I studied with many vocal teachers and my voice somehow recovered, but not the way I wanted to. I met Marisa during the world premiere 'Tamar of the River' in 2013, and since then she has completely reconstructed my voice, leading me to a kind of discovery of my "real voice" as opposed to always looking for a fabricated sound."
"Your declaration of this work as your spiritual path in your podcast interview with KAJ struck a chord of awe in me and elicited a full body YES. I wondered for many months if it could be that for me too. Now I have felt it and I claim it. I am journeying. It is hard because the stuff inside that was deeply and expertly hidden is bubbling up, but it is easy because singing through it and about it creates a salve that spreads through me. This work has brought me the closest I can remember ever being to my heart. I feel more inherently settled in my own being and body. My voice is more flowing and alive. My awe for this work grows. I'm enlivened learning from you and I will always be a student of your work."
Kendra Miers, Student and Singer, Wanderer in the Realm of Awe, Mother
"Marisa showed me a level of depth and self-expression with singing that I didn't even know was possible. To say my voice has improved is a huge understatement. I don't just sing better. I sing from a place of joy and freedom. I'm so grateful for everything she continues to teach me."
"Studying with Marisa has taught me not just a vocal technique but a holistic practice of releasing tension, cultivating vulnerability, and seeking a truth that has shifted and intensely deepened my approach to art-making all together."
Sarah Beth Pfeifer
"Marisa is made of magic. She has helped me release my attachment to how my voice "should" sound and helped me build a nuanced relationship with my body in order to create sound from an authentic and liberated place... She has given me the tools to be a true singer. Prepare to go on a wild vocal journey with Marisa - it is a healing, holistic, sometimes frustrating, ultimately triumphant ride."
"My whole life I have never felt more connected to myself and my purpose than when I share stories through my voice. Since starting this work with Marisa not even a year ago, I see that I have just barely scratched the surface of what lives within me and my vocal power.
Before our first lesson, I thought of my voice as an instrument in the way that a violinist has their violin or a flautist has their flute: a separate object that can be unpacked and warmed up right before a lesson or rehearsal. Marisa has thrown that notion into the flames, revealing something much more spiritual, personal and vulnerable. My mind, body, spirit and voice are all one vessel carrying me to absolute freedom, including vocal freedom.
Marisa's work often feels like magic to me, a practice that is focused on far greater matters than just how my voice sounds but opening up my whole being to allow authentic sound to flow out and radiate. With you, I am free to release, to laugh, to play and to explore a whole new layer of myself and my relationship with my voice. And my voice has never felt so free."
Sarah Yeakel, performer
"I'm not a professional singer, I don't sing for my supper but I do sing for my soul. I wanted to recover my voice from the ravages of punk rock belting and middle age. Studying with Marisa has re-defined my voice. I'm singing from a more natural place with more range and without falling into old habits, affectations or gratuitous embellishments."
"Voice work with Marisa is transformational. I recommend Marisa Michelson for anyone interested in reclaiming their voice and their body as a vessel of beauty, breath, and spirit. Muscles locked in fear for decades open to Marisa's ridiculously effective exercises. My singing has improved in leaps and bounds and the process is liberating. Marisa is a gifted midwife of the human spirit."
"Giggling, crying, lying in peaceful reverie, flapping my arms like wings, prancing around the room: these are just a few things I've found myself doing in lessons with Marisa. She is a multifaceted, deeply intuitive, holistic, and playful voice teacher. Working with Marisa has helped me discover and embody rather than control and demand things too quickly from my voice, contributing to a much healthier relationship with my singing. Her encouragement of patience, curiosity, and authentic expression has even helped me cultivate a more organic songwriting approach. Thank you, Marisa, for the sometimes challenging, often joyful, always gratifying journey of unifying the voice, body, mind, and spirit."
Oropendola (Joanna Schubert), singer-songwriter
"The depth of Marisa's teaching is unparalleled. She is a masterful guide toward vocal authenticity and artistic freedom. Her philosophies regarding singing have been tremendously liberating and inspiring for me and have profoundly impacted my voice and my life. As a teacher, she is radically present, creative, playful, intuitive and grounded. I always feel completely safe and deeply supported by her presence. She has the uncanny ability to identify and facilitate the release of physical and emotional tensions, freeing the voice and creating more room for artistic expression and joy. If you're interested in pursuing a journey toward your true voice and self, I wholeheartedly recommend working with Marisa."
"I am so thankful for Marisa. Her teaching approach is unlike any other I've experienced - open, honest, intuitive, brave. In ten lessons, I was able to make huge strides in releasing the tension in my neck, jaw, and shoulders. I didn't even realize how much tension I held and how much it was affecting my singing until I started working with Marisa! After only 10 lessons, I feel much more free, open, and confident in my singing. She gave me a space to feel both uninhibited and supported, and she also gave me the tools to continue working on my own at home, where I can feel myself continuing to make progress."
"Marisa focuses the artist on the process rather than achievement; self-awareness and relaxation instead of external validation and the clutches of self-control. I came to her hoping to learn how to sing, and in addition to that I ended up gaining insight about my own self-worth, power, and the importance of breath."
"In a single lesson with Marisa, it was special to focus on body connection without judgement about the sound coming out. To allow sound and breath to work in the most ergonomic and relaxed way for my body first, and THEN marry it to pitch control helped me understand the value of tension in the body and how it can prohibit healthy singing."
I work with people who want to liberate themselves for the sake of all and know singing is a Way.
Even without participating in any sort of official training program with me, many of my 1:1 students and clients who are psychologists, psychiatrists, physical therapists, chiropractors, and leaders in their own fields have begun using some of the practices, principles and techniques of Vocal De-Armoring in their own 1:1 work with their clients and have reported great success and deepening.
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