In this four-part course we will cover how to loosen and free the architecture of your jaw, face, tongue, neck, and pharynx so your voice comes out more easily. We will practice letting go of extraneous bodily habits that block the flow of your breath. You will free your breath through a process that invites your diaphragm to simultaneously tone and become more flexible.
We intentionally keep these classes small in order to offer each person the individual attention that is so important for deepening into the profound subtleties of the vocal apparatus and our magical bodies/spirits.
Many different fields- yoga, Tantra, Breathwork, Feldenkrais- have distinct styles and directives for breathing. Breathing for expression and to make sound with spontaneity goes way beyond how "focused" or "well-placed" your sound is. In this class, we will explore dis-inhibitation of the diaphragm in subtle and elemental ways that may be missed if we are entraining to certain patterns.
As your breathing frees, all sorts of held back energies and emotions may surface - raw material to be integrated. These kinds of sensory practices are a way to discharge unresolved experiences and traumas. Over time, this kind of process expands your capacity to sing and to speak and to express yourself.
Voice is breath and breath is life-force itself.
Voice & the Nervous System
Weekly live classes
Access to course materials
Weekly vocal embodiment practices for home-play
Access to the replays for one year
Personalized email support during the course
Voice & the Nervous System
Sessions + 1:1 with Marisa
If you are interested in working with MARISA 1:1, this is currently the only way to begin that process!
*This is a special 75 - 90 minute private recorded session which includes time for your questions and a specific practice plan for you in addition to the deep embodied practices.
Are you afraid of expressing yourself in public or intimate situations?
Do you often run out of breath or become hoarse?
Does your throat feel tight when you speak or sing?
Do you want more playfulness and joy in your life?
There’s so much that is unexplored when it comes to the fertile territory of working with the voice.
More healing is possible when you include your voice in the process.
In This class,
Be in an emergent process of how discovering our natural voices in real time actually works
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
Witness one-on-one work and watch the process of undoing happen in real time so that we can feel when it is happening, as it is happening, and therefore potentially understand ourselves more as a result
Experience a process of disinhibition not just socially, but also biomechanically
Investigate the biomechanics and energetics of the breath
Practice slowing down and trusting our bodies
“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
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.
Voice & the Nervous System is for you if:
You’ve been told to “use your voice” or “free your voice” but you don’t know how to or what that means
You’ve been on a healing journey that has included your body but not your voice
You are tired of treating your voice as a machine disconnected from your Being
You’re a professional or avocational singer who longs for more expressive freedom and joy when you sing
You’re a therapist, bodyworker or coach who wants to support your clients to use their voices in more than metaphorical ways
You are a yoga teacher, bodyworker or therapist who uses your voice as part of your healing practice and yet your own voice isn’t as free as it could be
You are a somatic experiencing practitioner who wants to expand your toolkit beyond “vu” to understand more more pathways to freeing the voice
If you are reading this, it's because...
You sense the healing that is possible when we include our voice and breath in our practices
You long to connect to your authentic voice
You want to show up with expressive aliveness for your family and your community and the world
You are a seeker looking for a direct connection to spirit (hint - learn to sing!)
You seek deep emergent process rather than quick fixes
You lead rituals and sound circles but you become hoarse yourself
You are a breathwork facilitator but you don’t understand how voice and breath actually work together
This class will honor all of you. Your voice is not separate from your nervous system, your body, or your spirit.
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