Workshop: Our voice has body
This is an introductory workshop based on my singing method Our Voice Has a Body, an approach to singing through yoga, with body postures and participatory vocal practice.
I teach a singing method whereby the physical dimension gradually leads us to reach our mind, and thus reflect our emotions through concentration and consciousness. Singing and vocalizing while performing a variety of yoga postures will allow you to hear in a new way and to think your voice in new directions. This is where the perception work begins, in which body, emotions and thoughts make up one unit.
It should be noted that practicing postures while singing is not only about fulfilling a physical, muscular need for the sake of the sound producing organs, but also a means to achieving concentration in such subtle processes as making music with our own body by singing. Each physical action targeted at making music – be it singing or playing and instrument, or the awareness of our posture, or of each support in our body – will lead us to a harmonious state in a function I call unity. We must be aware of the fact that we are a complex system, and that our whole body intervenes for phonation to take place.
One of the pillars of our human nature in evolution has been our erect posture, which is rarely the object of our attention. We walk or stand in a careless manner, which triggers fatigue and tiredness. When we think of the meaning of the word ‘harmony’, which goes beyond the sphere of music, we are led to think of the balanced proportions of the different parts of a whole, a result of which will always convey beauty. – Mariana Masetto
In her book Our Voice Has Body, Mariana Masetto, a musician, composer and teacher from Argentina, presents practical and thought-provoking ways to develop the voice through yoga. Masetto’s interest in the body-voice connection grew from personal experience. She often felt the desire to break into song while practising yoga and to move her body while singing. Her unique approach focuses on adding movement to sound, pairing certain yoga positions with vocal exercises. Her ideas are well-considered and she includes preparatory, high-intensity, restorative and so-called “unusual” poses to develop the connection between body and voice. Each section is rounded off with introspective questions to help you get the most out of the exercises.
Masetto’s teaching is holistic and deeply rooted in the ancient philosophy of yoga. This is by no means a book about just stretching or relaxation, nor is it a book to read sitting down. It’s a book to have open by the yoga mat or piano, since its value lies in experimenting with the ideas and concepts it offers. Masetto takes on the tough challenge of giving written instruction about two disciplines which are innately practical. Given its depth and complexity, I would recommend this book to those with some experience of yoga, an understanding of anatomy, or singers with strong body awareness. I hope Our Voice Has Body inspires more singers to study the body-voice connection and leads to more research into the value of yoga as an approach to singing.
“Jules Pitcher, iSing magazine”
I will be in UK to make workshops in June