World Voice Weekend – One Month to Go!

(Well, actually, it’s one month till the second day of it, but you know what I mean.)

Last week, I wrote about our acting sessions with Izzie Baumann and Matt Bender. Today I want to talk about the rest of my clinicians and the variety of things we’ll be offering.

Singing is a whole-body experience, not just something you do from the diaphragm up. Both our mind/body presenters approach singing that way, using different mind/body modalities to reach the same goal of involving all of the singer.

On Saturday, April 17, at 1:30pm, Amy Mushall of Mushall Music Studio will present a session on the Alexander Technique: Balance and Alignment to talk about how our relationship of head to spine can inform our singing in the best and most efficient way. Amy Mushall has devoted her career to nurturing and empowering singers.  Her unique style of functional vocal training using Body Mapping and the principles of Alexander Technique make her in-demand as a private teacher, choral clinician and vocal coach.  In addition to her busy teaching schedule, Amy also performs professionally in opera, jazz and musical theater.  Amy holds BM in Vocal Performance from Western Michigan University, is a member of NATS, and is currently completing her Alexander Technique Certification.  She lives in Colorado Springs, CO with her husband and two wonderful kiddos. You can find out more about Amy’s services at http://mushallmusic.com/.

Kassy Coleman, of Cottage Grove, Wisconsin, will be presenting a session on Yoga and Vocal Exploration: The Elevated Voice Method on Sunday, April 18, at 11:00am. Kassy is a graduate of UW LaCrosse with a bachelor’s degree and UW Madison with a master’s degree, both in vocal performance. Kassy is also a 500-hour E-RYT (experienced registered yoga teacher) with over 2500 hours of teaching under her belt. Kassy is co-owner of JK Creative Practices, where she teaches singers, yogis and voice-users of all ages. In her session, get ready to connect to your voice through your whole being, not just your larynx. We will explore simple and approachable breath, body and mind practices that can be very useful tools as a singer and performer. Wear clothes that are comfortable to move in (don’t worry – we won’t attempt any yoga poses that are too crazy). If you have a yoga mat that’s great but you are fine without one. https://www.jkcreativepractices.com/elevated-voice-method.html

The other component of World Voice Weekend will be Vocal Health and Function. (Or as I like to put it, putting the FUN in vocal function.)

Both days will begin at 10:30am with a 25 minute warm-up session led by Mezzoid Voice Studio owner and teacher Christine Thomas-O’Meally (why, that’s ME). Saturday’s session will focus on breath, with a session entitled “The Three Rs of Respiration: Release, Receive, and Resist” (and Rinse and Repeat). We’ll be exploring the intake of breath in life and for singing and the controlled exhalation involved when you sing. On Sunday, I’m planning a session called “Where DO those sounds live in my mouth?” which will identify where vowels and consonants are produced by the articulators, and exercises to awaken the articulators and create the most efficient and effective way of producing sound, being understood, and sounding good while doing it. [If you want to see pictures of me, there are a bunch on this website.]

At 4:45 pm on Saturday, April 17, Dr. Heather Nelson, Vocologist, presents a session called Be A Star in Vocal Health, in which she will present a 5-point framework on the components of vocal health, since vocal health is whole body health. “Everything that happens to your body happens to your voice, so we must look at vocal health holistically. It’s more than a list of dos and don’ts.” Dr. Nelson is completely enamored with singing and singers. She loves all the things about vocal science and pedagogy, and her favorite thing is taking all that nerdy goodness and breaking into digestible chunks that are not only fun and fascinating but actually make a difference in how voice teachers teach. She lives in Springfield MO with her favorite dynamic duo, Dooey the dog and Sis the cat. She loves cooking (and eating) good food, British TV and Marvel movies, and puns are her love language. Follow along on her website drheathernelson.com, and on Facebook and Instagram @drheathernelson.

And our final session, on Sunday, April 18, at 4:45 pm, will be led by Maryland teacher and performer, Jennifer Cooper. In keeping with the Three Rs theme that I set up for the first session, Jennifer’s workshop will be called  Release, Repose, Restore: Cooling Down the Voice with Breath & Kinetic Release. (This was not planned – which is so cool and so weird.)  Jennifer will lead participants through discussion and application of various simple, gentle, grounding, movement and sound, assessing and addressing both kinetic and vocal status, experience, and release. Participants will be guided through various breathing and vocal exercises, bringing awareness of resonation and vibration through the body as it aids in releasing potential residual tension from a preceding strenuous or lengthy performance/rehearsal. Jennifer is the Creator/Owner of Go-DIVA! Productions, Inc. and a professional vocalist, performing in jazz, blues and rock with her current band GrooveSpan. Before that, she lit up the musical theater stage and sustained a successful, professional opera career and concert career with appearances throughout Europe, Canada and the U.S.  Jennifer has a BA in Music at University of Maryland and MM in Vocal Performance at Arizona State University School of Music. More information can be found about Jennifer at her performing artist, voice studio and band websites: www.jennifercoopervoice.com, www.coopervoicestudio.mymusicstaff.com and www.groovespan.com

So that’s what you have to look forward to! And you have two more weeks (almost) to take advantage of the Early Bird registration price of $225 (less if you’re a NATS, Speakeasy, or Somatic Voicework™ teacher or the student of one) – contact me for the discount code. Plus you get to enjoy concerts by internationally known artists Brenda Earle Stokes and Emma Langford as part of World Voice Brunch and audit masterclasses with Broadway stars Christian Borle and Adrianna Hicks.

Register now at the Acuity booking page for World Voice Weekend.
Several performer slots still available for Adrianna Hicks.



Published by Mezzoid Voice Studio

Christine Thomas-O'Meally, a mezzo soprano and voice teacher currently based in the Baltimore-DC area, has performed everything from the motets of J.S. Bach to the melodies of Irving Berlin to the minimalism of Philip Glass. As an opera singer and actress, she has appeared with companies such as Charm City Players, Spotlighters Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theater of Northern Virginia, Opera North, the Washington Savoyards, In Tandem Theatre, Windfall Theater, The Young Victorian Theater of Baltimore, and Skylight Opera Theatre. She created the role of The Woman in Red in Dominick Argento’s Dream of Valentino in its world premiere with the Washington Opera and Mary Pickersgill in O'er the Ramparts at its world premiere during the Bicentennial of Battle of Baltimore at the Community College of Baltimore County. Other roles include Mrs. Paroo in Music Man, Mother Abbess in Sound of Music, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, both Hansel and the Witch in Hansel & Gretel, and many roles in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Her performance as the Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha was honored with a WATCH award nomination. Ms. Thomas-O'Meally received an M.M. in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. She regularly attends master classes and workshops in both performance and vocal pedagogy, and is certified in all three Levels of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. Her students have performed on national and international tours of Broadway productions, at prestigious conservatories, and in regional theater throughout the country.

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