Embodied Singer - The Class / by Shauna Fallihee

It’s here!

Embodied Singer - The Class launches on October 16th 7-9p at Danspace in Oakland. This ongoing weekly class blends traditional vocal exercises and improvisatory singing with movement, meditation, and posture practice. It is an immersive exploration intended to reveal and support your authentic voice.

So, is it like a yoga class with singing….?

Yes! Kinda! The postures and movements we will sing in often show up in yoga. Embodied Singer draws on many disciplines and methods so that the options for each singer are limitless. Creating different shapes with our bodies allows us to balance our energy and space, liberating our breath and ultimately our vocal expression. Freeing the body through movement that is supported by safe alignment frees our voice.

Do I have to be flexible and strong to participate?

As a moving, breathing human being, you already are flexible and strong! Do you need to be able to wrap your legs around your head or do a handstand? Nope! Every shape and movement in our class is expressed by you. You will have opportunities to stretch your body, explore your strength, and develop your balance. You will be encouraged to listen closely to how your body is responding and use the movement of your breath and singing to deepen the experience. Every pose and movement can be modified for you and props will be made available to support you.

Meditation….tell me more about that…

Meditation is the act of defining a point of concentration (the breath, your incoming thoughts, a candle, your footsteps, etc.) and returning again and again and again and again to that focus point. Meditation has the capacity to change the way we see the world and respond to stimulus. It can bring deep awareness to the movements of our mind and our patterns of response.

Singing is meditation. As singers, our focal point is our desired musical expression. While singing, our mind is drawn away from our musical intent by many things: our fellow musicians, the audience, our physical body, our technique, our own thoughts and sometimes judgments. Embodied Singer recognizes the power of meditation to nurture a mind that is aware, responsive, and focused.

And it’s not religious, in this context. Just in case you wondered. :-)

What kind of singing do we do? Will I have to sing by myself?

The sounds in Embodied Singer - The Class are intentionally simple to serve as a blank canvas for exploration. You will typically sustain tones or slide through your range, observing the quality of sound that emerges from your shape or movement. Often a drone or chant plays in the background, giving you several pitches to choose from in the range that suits you. We may occasionally do structured vocal exercises but generally the singing is improvisatory. We will all sing together with interest and awareness in our own unique sound.

I’m a new singer! I’m a professional opera singer! I’m a karaoke enthusiast! I’m a public speaker! I like to sing but I’m not sure I’m an anything! Is Embodied Singer - The Class for me?

Yes! We are going to gather together, make shapes, move our bodies and make sounds. The class is designed to help you reveal a wide spectrum of sounds that you can choose from. Embodied Singer welcomes singers of all experience levels and all genres.

Will Embodied Singer - The Class teach me the right way to breathe/support/resonate/gesture/perform/solveworldhunger?

There are as many ways to do those things as there are singers. The “right” way to breathe, support, resonate, etc. is the way that results in the sound you find exciting, beautiful, and satisfying. We will explore these topics in the class and use different physical positions, movements, stretches, and awareness exercises to help you find your right way.

I study with a voice teacher. Is it appropriate for me to participate?

That decision is between you and your teacher but I say YES! And bring them!

The goal of the class is to explore and discover. You may discover a new way of doing something that feels great or yields a sound that you love. Wonderful! Reconciling new and old information is the learning process. Taking an empowered role in your own learning will help you develop unique vocal technique that you own.

I am always more than happy to communicate with my colleagues about Embodied Singer. If you or your voice teacher has questions, they can contact me at EmbodiedSinger@gmail.com

What should I wear and bring?

Wear comfortable clothes that move. Stretchy pants are ideal. You might want to bring warm layers for meditations or resting poses. Bring a yoga mat and if you don’t have one, you can get them inexpensively at places like Target. (*smell it before you buy. Some of the very inexpensive ones are super toxic!) If you have props like blocks, bolsters, straps, you’re welcome to bring those too. Anything necessary will be supplied.

How do I get to Danspace?

Danspace is located at 573 Hudson St. in Oakland. It is right in the heart of Rockridge, surrounded by great restaurants and shops. It is a safe neighborhood with street parking and it is two blocks from Rockridge BART.

I have other questions. Can I contact you?

Please! EmbodiedSinger@gmail.com

Or leave your question in the comments so others can see!

Hope to see you very soon for exploration, friendship, and beautiful singing!

For dates and topics, visit Event Details

Ready to register? Online Registration is here!