Somatic Vocal Pedagogy & Vocal De-Armoring Teacher Training
A holistic experiential and theoretical program to become certified in Vocal De-Armoring (an offshoot of the Libero Canto School)
This year-long (or more!) program is currently invite-only and takes place both online and in-person
WHY THIS PROGRAM
I created this training program at the request of students with whom I’d already worked for over a decade.
My vision for this Pedagogy Program is that - through the varied interests, passions and skillsets of these tremendous humans, the powerful work of Vocal De-Armoring can be used for all kinds of liberation: vocal freedom for performers, sexual liberation, expressive awakening, physical health and well-being, mental health, social-liberation spheres, acting, living!
This first cohort of trainees includes Broadway stars, psychotherapists, energy-healers and activists. Part of our work together has been exploring how each person uniquely relates to this work: what are their gifts? Where are they uniquely powerful and skilled? Who are they most excited about working with?
May this Vocal De-Armoring work spread out like starlight, shining its special sparkly light into those fields listed above, and many more. Like starlight, this work has the power to impact all humans who bask in its light in becoming more free and feeling more alive.
At the same time, this work can support people who are already deep into other liberatory processes.
For example, I know the power of this work to enhance sexual and sensual pleasure, to invite more range of emotions (and the ability to hold the heightened charge of those emotions) into their lives.
I have witnessed the power of this work in supporting people to heal from painful chronic vocal problems to the point where they go from being unable to speak without pain, to being able to move through the world using their voices expressively.
I have experienced people who have been practicing “Breathwork” for years and yet who still experience breathing difficulties so extreme they are considering nasal surgeries discover just how much breath they hold in their lungs, unable to allow it out on the exhale. They incorporate this work into their lives and their breathing transforms.
I have experienced people in all sorts of jobs access more playfulness as a way of Life...
This work helps people breathe better and access a more ventral vagal state...
This work helps people sing better - meaning - to sing at the edges of our range more easily, to more easily sing in a way where the voice just flows out, and to sing in a way where we need to do less to "make something happen" because the automatic processes in the body are operating in a more integrated way.
I delight in knowing there is a cohort of humans, each with their own wealth of experiences to draw from, each with their own unique strengths and interests and desires - ready to bring this work into the world in their unique ways.
Deborah Carmichael, Artistic Director of the Libero Canto School.
Susan Gregory, Voice teacher, Singer, Gestalt Therapist and Life Coach, Susan has taught aspects of Gestalt therapy theory and practice throughout the world as both guest faculty and workshop presenter at conferences. In addition, she teaches singing and the Gindler approach to breath and bodywork.
Ishita Sharma, explorer and transmitter of the mechanics of being, belonging and becoming, Ishita Sharma serves as a mentor, mirror and activator to those who wish to better the world they touch, starting within.
Fabian Cabrera, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Nutrition Coach and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athlete. As Director of Programming at Catalyst S.P.O.R.T.
MORE ABOUT THE TRAINING PROGRAM
The first year included over 200 hours of training, on top of years of previous study.
There were five in-person weekend intensives....
Multiple virtual classes each month...
Access to an online learning portal...
Workshops with guest teachers listed above...
And a final intensive in-person at my home in Upstate New York.
This is, first of all, a practical, body-based program. And second of all, a theoretical and analytical program. What does this mean?
It means our brilliant minds serve the wisdom of our bodies rather than the other way around.
It means we begin sensually, learning through our hands and hearts and eyes and ears, and then deeper our learning through discussion, theory, and analysis.
Beginning experientially gives us context so that questions arise from experiences. Just like with the session work itself, we want the student to come to their own bodily understanding of something before we implant our own understanding of a certain practice into them. This helps to create an ethos of autonomy.
When teaching teachers, one of the trickiest aspects of this work is that it is not a method. Not a method! Not another set of frameworks listed as steps such as - you achieve this, this and that, and then boom, you know a thing. This can initially be a frustrating aspect of learning to steward this work. And yet it has been important to me maintain a certain elusiveness and mystery in the training program itself - as this very thing is part of what makes this work so profound.
As my apprentice, Meryl Yecies wrote to me:
“Ultimately, what's so unique about this vocal path is that there is no method. It's not like my old vocal lessons where they would give me specific exercises and I would do them in the same way each time. These practices are attuned to the moment - to what will create the most freedom. This takes the ability to tune into one's self. It's never going to be the same twice. If I do the same thing I did yesterday in the same way, that will actually defeat the purpose of my body evolving.
"But it's also not remotely arbitrary. It's very fine-tuned. It's methodical. And I've honestly never experienced anything like it and I have to break my brain every day from normal conditioning.“
Yes! There are principles but not very many frameworks.
We are training a way of learning to honor and commune with the spirits of openness, creativity, flexibility, humility, power, spontaneity and discipline.
We are training a kind of sight; a particular way to listen; a particular way to pay attention.
We need more teachers doing this kind of powerful, transformative healing holistic vocal work. Each teacher brings their own desires, interests, sets of experiences and gifts.