My colleague Alison Taylor and I will be presenting a Voice and Alexander Technique Workshop and Masterclass in both Toronto and Halifax this fall. This workshop will explore how a free and supported body can enhance vocal practice and performance. Through group movement classes and private sessions in BOTH voice AND the Alexander Technique, this one-day intensive workshop will provide singers with new tools to incorporate into their work for optimal practice and performance. The masterclass is a standard masterclass format where each participant performs and gets a mini lesson. Both the full-day workshop and the masterclass are open to all singers in all genres of music.
Here are the details for the Halifax events – a full-day workshop on November 30 and a masterclass on December 1:
1. FULL-DAY WORKSHOP HALIFAX
Date: Saturday, November 30th, 2019
Time: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Location: Dalhousie Arts Centre, Rm. 121 and 111
6101 University Ave.
$249 until November 12
$299 after November 12
A non-refundable $25 deposit is due via e-transfer at the time of registration.
Balance due Nov. 30 cash, cheque, or e-transfer before the start of the workshop.
2. MASTERCLASS HALIFAX
Date: Sunday, December 1st, 2019
Location: Neptune Theatre – Scotiabank stage entrance
1593 Argyle St.
Register via Neptune’s website HERE
3. FULL-DAY WORKSHOP TORONTO
Date: Saturday, December 7th, 2019
Time: 10:00am – 7:00pm
Location: Canadian Opera Company
227 Front Street East
$249 until November 15
$299 after November 15
A non-refundable $25 deposit is due via e-transfer at the time of registration.
Balance due December 7, cash, cheque, or e-transfer before the start of the workshop.
4. MASTERCLASS TORONTO
Limited spaces available.
*****More information on each session continues below (including what to expect and what to bring).
You should consider this workshop if:
You are a singer – This might mean that you are an emerging or established professional, a voice teacher, a choral conductor, a choral singer.
You are an actor who sings – You may not consider yourself a “singer,” but if you have ever had to sing in a show, you qualify for this workshop!
In this workshop, we will explore:
Free and easy singing – Techniques and exercises to help you rediscover ease in your body and in your singing
Free and easy body – Anatomy updates to help you reconnect to your natural coordination and innate ability to make free and easy sounds
Free and easy mind – Reframing thought patterns to address stress and anxiety associated with singing
You already have everything you need to sing with ease and passion – it’s time to reconnect!
We understand that human beings perform best when they feel safe and supported. In this one-day workshop, you can expect:
An open and encouraging learning environment
Positive, proactive pedagogy grounded in knowledge of human design and knowledge acquisition (how we learn) in an open and encouraging learning environment.
Group sessions in the morning on both Voice and Alexander Technique
A private AT lesson and a private voice lesson
A group masterclass
1-2 songs that you have learned and could perform
2 copies of the sheet music for your song choices
A yoga mat and comfortable clothing to move around in
A bag lunch, or plan to go grab lunch on your break
Maureen Batt, soprano
Alison Jane Taylor, Alexander Technique
This masterclass is for singers, singing actors, conductors, and teachers of all genres. Gear up for your next performance, audition, choir solo, or voice lesson!
beginning, emerging, established
Open to all music genres (musical theatre, pop, classical, opera, choral, folk, rock, etc.)
- 1-2 songs that you have learned and could perform
- 2 copies of the sheet music for your song choices (you may also accompany yourself on an instrument that you bring, but in this case, we still ask that you bring sheet music).
What you can expect:
- An open and encouraging learning environment
- Positive, proactive pedagogy grounded in knowledge of human design and knowledge acquisition (how we learn) in an open and encouraging learning environment.
- Practical tools that can be instantly integrated into your practice, performance, and teaching
More about Maureen and Alison
Maureen and Alison have been working together for almost a decade. They taught voice together at Bravo Academy in Toronto for a number of years. Early on, they learned that their pedagogy complemented each other. And they have been working on offering Voice and Alexander workshops and masterclasses for performers for a while. This fall they are offering masterclasses and workshops in both Halifax and Toronto. The longer workshops are designed to really build a performer’s awareness and toolkit. The workshops are a hefty sneak peek into the world of Maureen and Alison’s pedagogy. The masterclasses are designed to offer a snapshot of this integrated pedagogy.
As performers, entrepreneurs, and educators, Maureen and Alison understand the demands of a full schedule and lifestyle, and the implications that can have on the body and therefore the voice. In their teaching they give students practical, hands-on tools that can be embraced immediately.
Separately, Maureen and Alison’s students – both working and studying in their field and avocational – have successfully performed at auditions, exams, festival competitions, and concerts. For more information, please visit maureenbatt.com and alisonjanetaylor.com
Voice and Alexander Technique
Freeing the voice by freeing the body, breath, and spirit
For any performing artist – from pianists and singers to dancers and magicians – the body is inseparable from the instrument, and in some cases, the body is the instrument. In order to communicate and create art effectively, the creative spirit and body need to be in harmony. But sometimes we encounter obstacles – excessive muscular tension, chronic pain, fatigue, lack of focus – that hinder practice and performance. Here’s where the Alexander Technique can help.
The Alexander Technique is a practical, hands-on method that helps you to recognize and address unconscious habits that may be getting in your way. Here, we integrate it into voice pedagogy. Through guided explorations and gentle hands-on instruction from a certified teacher, you will learn how these habits create tension and compression in the body, and may be contributing to health issues and interfering with practice and performance.
The Alexander Technique teaches you to slow down and be more mindful of how you are going about your daily life. As a result, you learn to use your body more efficiently and with less effort in everyday activities like standing, sitting, walking, brushing your teeth, washing the dishes, etc. Benefits include:
- improved balance and coordination
- reducing anxiety, pain, and fatigue
- free and easy movement
- improved breathing coordination and vocal production
- understanding performance anxiety (could also include fears and phobias)
- overall sense of health and wellbeing
In this masterclass, you will be introduced to the fundamental Alexander Technique principles as they apply to singers and singing artists. We will explore these principles together, and through demonstrations with individual participants throughout the class. You will come away with a greater sense of self-awareness, as well as some practical exercises to help you continue to work on yourself at home.
As a performer, any habit that occurs in or out of performance can be detrimental to your health and wellbeing. The Alexander Technique illuminates these habits and empowers you to change for the better.
Maureen Batt is celebrated for her “rich, warm sound and masterful acting” (Opera Canada). She is an avid educator, adjudicator, and performer. Her debut album Lady of the Lake (Leaf Music/Naxos) earned Music Nova Scotia and ECMA ‘Classical Recording of the Year’ nominations. Maureen has been on faculty at the Halifax Summer Opera Festival for 2016, 2018, 2019 and returns in 2020. Maureen is co-artistic director of Essential Opera—founded in 2010—and part of the Indie Opera Toronto collective. Maureen has a Master of Music from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Music from Dalhousie University, and a Bachelor of Arts from St. Thomas University. She has received awards from the SOCAN Foundation, Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, SSHRC, FACTOR, Music Nova Scotia, and Arts Nova Scotia. This fall Maureen is touring Canada and Colombia with her classical contemporary recital series, Crossing Borders. Maureenbatt.com @maureenbattsoprano
Alison Jane Taylor is a performer, music educator, and Certified Alexander Technique Teacher. Her performing, teaching, and studies have taken her all over North America and the United Kingdom. Alison is a versatile performer as soprano soloist, in opera roles, musical theatre, choral singing, and ensemble work. She has a busy schedule presenting Voice and Alexander Technique workshops and intensives at various post-secondary institutions, including York University (Faculty of Music) and Mount Allison University (Faculty of Music). Alison has taught at Toronto’s George Brown College (Acting for Media) and Centennial College (Theatre Arts), and maintains a private studio in Toronto teaching voice and the Alexander Technique. Alison became a Certified Alexander Technique Teacher in 2009 and previously earned her Bachelor of Music and Education from Western University in London, Ontario. She is currently training to be a Gestalt Psychotherapist at the Gestalt Institute of Toronto. Alison is a novice runner, and enjoys hiking, board games, baking, and cross stitch. www.alisonjanetaylor.com @voicealexandertech