I have been studying and teaching vocal technique for twenty-five years. Early in my career I moved to Montreal to study voice with Jane Kee. In addition to my studies at Kee Music, I studied at the McGill Conservatory of Music, took private lessons with several teachers, and studied with Jennifer Allan of the Roy Hart School of Theatre in France.
In recent years I’ve taken a number of workshops, including voice facilitation with Chloe Goodchild in Dublin. I began my work with Chloe at Hollyhock on Cortes Island in British Columbia. Goodchild is an acclaimed performer, author, teacher and founder of the Naked Voice.
I gratefully acknowledge all of the teachers I’ve had throughout my career. My teaching is informed as well as by yoga, dance, Shintido, the Alexander Technique, and my long time practice of Tai Chi. I like to think of my teaching style as a gentle, vocal, martial art. Focusing on balance, breath, and posture, we engage the whole body in creating sound. Working with the entire body there is a limitless palate of vocal colors and textures to explore.
As a teacher and performer I am endlessly fascinated with the power of sound, particularly with the human voice. As westerners we too easily limit the vocal sounds we make. In the tradition of Bobby McFerron, Jay Clayton, Meridith Monk, Oliver Schroer, and others, I’ve set out to push the boundaries of sound, and to test my own limits along the way.
For a decade now I’ve been practicing improvised healing sound. This is not sound as performance, but rather sound as a tool for healing and self-discovery. The field of sound therapy is exploding right now as those of us who’ve spent years exploring the power of sound begin to share our knowledge.
The workshops I facilitate take different forms. Often students are looking for good solid vocal technique to protect their voices and improve their pitch or range. Other workshops focus on sacred sound, or singing Celtic music. I have had some wonderful feedback from participants about their experiences. Some workshops are presented with teaching partners like Lise Morin, who integrates movement from qigong to ground the voice in the body, or Kate Poole who is my healing sound partner. Private instruction offers students the flexibility to tailor classes to their own needs. Get in touch to see what best works for you or your group.
Finally, each year I offer two eight-week, Saturday-afternoon singing sessions for children. I teach songs from the oral tradition in English, French, and Gaelic. The children’s chorus is called The Boys and Girls of Bedlamb. Over the years the children have performed around the Maritimes, appeared on television and radio. They wrote and recorded an anti-littering jingle, have sung on two of my recordings, and made their own CD entitled Songs for Sharing to raise money for African children who are AIDS orphans. The Bedlamb children, ages five to twelve, have a repertoire of over fifty Maritime folk songs. Here are a crop of Island children that can sing for hours at a house party or around a campfire. Now that’s something of a rarity in today’s hectic computer-oriented world!