A Thousand ways to voo....
Freeing the voice for expression and healing
An online experiential workshop for therapists, bodyworkers, coaches, Somatic practitioners, and any human who wants to deepen their understanding of voice in order to better serve their clients and themselves.
Join the waitlist for the next workshop...
Our voices express our internal states
But often we feel constricted. Our throats feel stuck. Our jaws feel tight
We push and effort to get sound out
Or we hold back our breath because we’re afraid of being heard as we really are
But when we hold back our breathing, we hold back our voices
You must free your breath to free your voice
(There is no other way)
You must free your voice to free your “voo!”
In this workshop we will invite our bodies into a more nuanced relationship with making sound. We will learn how the architecture of the jaw, neck and tongue directly impact our breathing. More healing is possible when you include your voice in your process.
In this workshop we will:
Learn a number of simple (and playful!) ways to release holding patterns in our jaws, necks and tongue in order to allow our own sound to flow out more easily
Learn specific additions and alterations to the voo practice that can be used to help yourself and your clients access the voo sound with more awareness of the integration between voice and body
Observe in real time a 1:1 demonstration of Marisa guiding someone into a voo through a process of disinhibition
Pair up and practice inviting a partner into a freer voo sound
Have time for Q + A for you to ask about what you notice in your own body as well as questions you have about voice and breath more theoretically and what you notice in your own clients
In addition to offering simple, embodied, practices that will help you and your clients learn to let your voices out more easily, we will discuss ways other than prosody to notice when someone is holding back their breath.
This workshop is primarily a practical one, though there will be some theory and plenty of time for Q + A. There will be breaks including a ten minute dance/vocal improv break.
Who is this workshop for?
Are you a therapist who wants to help your clients when you notice their tight throats or tense voices?
Are you a Somatic Experiencing practitioner curious about other entry points into Peter Levine’s “voo” exercise?
Are you a bodyworker who wants to expand your knowledge into the area of the throat, tongue and jaw?
Are you a coach who seeking embodied practices for freeing the voice?
Are you someone who senses that voice is a missing piece in your healing practices?
Do you long for simple ways to access your parasympathetic nervous system through deep relaxation?
Are you interested in releasing tension through freeing your voice?
Note: You do not need to be familiar with this “Voo” practice in order to get something out of the workshop.
Ultimately, the “voo” is a jumping off point for practicing deeper embodiment and we begin here because it is a simple experience that many people in somatic communities are already working with.
Recent participants in the Voice & the Nervous System Course wrote:
"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
"These practices helped me relate my whole body to sound production."
- Kathy Van Der Horst
"I'm taking away learning to speak and use my voice from a softer, less tense place. I've been imagining those hard talks with my husband and seeing myself focus on a softer throat, a slower, deeper connection to my physical voice."
"I've been looking for a class on the voice like for this for years! Marisa taught from a deeply embodied place that I really appreciated. I would definitely be interested in learning more from her."
- Akansha Agrawal
As a voice practitioner, singer and somatic coach with twenty years of experience helping people free their voices, I know the impact of the voo exercise could be more immediate and potent. For some people, the voo sound is inaccessible. For others the experience of the voo is unremarkable. I hope this introductory workshop will offer you lots of helpful practices for working with your clients. This work is deep and profound but can also be fun and hilarious.
I’m a singer and singing teacher, a composer and the founding director of the embodied vocal-performance ensemble, Constellation Chor. We seek wild embodiment through voice and body. As a voice teacher, I’ve taught Broadway stars, I’ve taught opera singers, and I’ve worked with people who have never sung before but who know that singing is their birthright. 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 and is my primary pedagogical lineage.
I’ve always been clear that the vocal work I’ve been doing - with students, on my own - is indirectly therapeutic: when we focus on the holistic human Being and on truly freeing the diaphragm in order to sing more freely, healing of the nervous system and spirit is a natural byproduct of the work. Any approach that is slow, body-centered and process oriented impacts the system in profound ways. After recently completing a certificate in Integrative Somatic Trauma Therapy with the Embody Lab, I am ready to claim the approach as directly therapeutic: the program confirmed for me that the work I’ve been doing for years as a singing teacher overlaps significantly with trauma healing and somatic therapy modalities.
In fact - it seems to me that in these healing modalities, the use of voice is an important missing piece. Though movement lineages such as Authentic Movement, Feldenkrais, Grotowski, and yoga have begun to be integrated into somatic therapies, and respected for their healing power, the understanding of how the voice fits in is under-explored. And yet, sounding profoundly affects our breathing, our vagus nerve, our emotional life, our expressive life, our spiritual life. I want to share what I know about voice and body beyond my private session studio, and beyond the world of professional singing. I want to be in conversation with other folx doing the wild and freeing vocal embodiment work that is so essential right now in the world. That’s why I’ve decided to teach this new virtual class. I hope you’ll join me.
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.
Listen to Kimberly Anne Johnson’s podcast interview with Marisa:
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