A Transformative Experience
“My group and individual work with Teresa has been transformative. She gave me tools in a way that I could understand and connect them to my body in order to bring forth a fuller, more tuned, and energetic voice. I am deeply grateful for her skill, attention to detail, and generosity of spirit that wants to (and knows how to) call forth the best singer in every person!”
— Judy Piazza, www.resonanceandrhythms.com
Judy is an extraordinarily talented woman inspired, studied, and caught up in sound traditions near and far. She has been exploring music and sound for forty years, and is well-respected and loved as educator, music therapist, performer (solo as well as with Ubaka Hill’s Shapeshifters, Repercussions, Yatra, and Ann Arbor Kirtan), workshop presenter and recording artist. Although initially a singer/songwriter, rhythm and voice now guides her fascination and fires her passion creatively and musically. Judy plays drums from around the world (including tar, riqq, bodhran, kanjira, daf, tambourine, djembe, doumbek…), alternative dulcimer, didgeridoo, native flute, and guitar, lacing vocal and songstyles in unique soundscapes and rhythmsongs … Resonance & Rhythms that excite the spirit, calm the mind, expand the heart, and feed the body.
Judy has travelled to Peru, Brazil, Central America, India, and Japan to study and experience the rhythmic and vocal traditions of indigenous peoples there, or to teach/perform. She has studied with distinguished teachers in the States and abroad including Glen Velez, Russill Paul, Ganesh Kumar, Silvia Nakkach, Ubaka Hill, Nikolai, Luz Clara. She facilitates frame drum workshops, rhythm and song circles, Sound Energetics workshops, Earth Rhythm & Songs school assemblies, and interactive performances for all ages to nurture community as well as to communicate gentle yet powerful messages regarding relationships to our self, each other, and to our Earth.
Joyful Learning & Discovery
“Teresa Doyle (from PEI) gives weekend workshops in ‘Voice Yoga’ (also sometimes called ‘voice extraction’). She is now studying further with a ‘voice yoga’ teacher of India, so her workshop carries that influence. Teresa has 30 years of professional singing experience, has recorded some 10 albums (Celtic, Irish Gaelic, now 1940s women’s jazz). She empowers women through these weekend workshops, encouraging us to ‘find our voice’/expand our voice/via song/chanting… We tune in to the aliveness of body, let voice expand & resonate through the cheek bones and ‘mask’, sending voice out through 3rd eye… eyes… heart… and lower pelvic chakras… We have fun using our voice!
Typical ‘attendees’: people of all ages who were told as kids that they can’t sing/shouldn’t sing/sing too loud/off-key, should stand in the back row of choir and ‘mouth’ the words, etc…. When we were young, we let those words ‘in’ when spoken by persons to whom we had attributed authority… (and we were just children.) So we stopped singing. (…and laughing). We assumed that label: ‘Not good enough!!!’ (The youngest person in our group was only 15, the oldest was 71; another person was recovering from throat surgery one year ago… one music teacher…one concert guitarist… There were even several fine singers!) We all came out of it knowing a whole lot more about voice and feeling inspired to happily use our voice.
What did I learn/experience personally? First of all: Voice is very personal/intimate…window to the soul…i.e. one reason we are very touchy about opening it up.
i) I did not even know where my voice box is located! I found out!!! (Mapping out the body geography of voice!)
ii) I learned to expand my voice… & how we can have voice ‘sound’ from different areas for different ‘moods’.
iii) I sang soprano notes that I’ve never sung before … and discovered where visceral growling singing springs from.
iv)I learned how to use body/mind/spirit/voice to elicit the feeling of joy. (While singing, SMILE. This lifts the cheek bones, which connects to opening the rib cage…etc. to opening the flow of energy. Can invoke joy through singing/mindfulness/focus voice out through eyes or the 3rd eye)
v)I learned why the Hindus get ecstatic while chanting. They’re using the entire chakra system. (For me, I experienced more warmth in the lower chakras than ever, with heat radiating down inner legs to the knees… And this warmth elicits great bliss). Previously I only knew to sing from ‘my head’; surprised how it feels to sing from all one’s being.
vi)We did quite a bit of chanting (jazz chants, Christian and Eastern chants..singing vowels and sacred sounds). Some of the chants were done standing, with accompanying gentle hand/arm/leg movements). Like singing from the dantian while doing qigong postures! Makes a total enegry circuit!
vII) I had fun!I could go on and on. Along the way, Teresa played her guitar and the ‘shruti box’ & sang for us… We did a lot of call/listen/respond songs…. and rounds… and harmonies… and jazz singing (almost ‘scat’ style). We received lots of encouragement and correction. More or less what a voice coach might do in one year with one student. It gets so amplified in an intense weekend group setting. Also a super fun way of building women’s community!!!!… and joy!
Teresa as a workshop leader, is very skillful… and professional. She succeeded in creating an amazing spontaneous circle participation /shared leadership by calling on her own range of skills and also by calling upon the gifts of others in attendance: we did Laughing Qigong; the ‘chakra expert’ gaving description of chakras; a drumming leader fitted in a brief Shamanic jouney to ask Mary for the joys of her life (we know all too well her sorrows!!!); the classical guitar player (of international concert performance calibre) sometimes accompanying the chanting; the post surgical woman (a life-long house party singer) playing the tambourine whenever her small wounded voice tired. Teresa differentiated between the voice that ‘talks at’ people and the voice that invites dialogue (I need to practise that one lots more !!!).
Anyway, I would very highly recommend her workshop; it is one that I would like to do more than once. So much to learn! So joyful! Such fun! We have asked Teresa to return soon, and she said yes, possibly early November. And we asked her to pleae make a recording of some of the chants, including the way she makes the chants so accessible by teaching them piece by piece.
I want to share my joyful experience with you. Perhaps you would like to be at such a song fest experience also…either here in Antigonish with us… or maybe in your community . Really a Maritime treasure! Teresa only does about 4 such weekend workshops a year. Another wonderful resource for our women’s groups! Peeling the layers of the voice onion!”
— Zané Jessens deNoncourt.
Zané, who comes from Latvia, a country that cherishes singing, sings while working in her perennial garden near Antigonish. She also teaches Sheng Zhen Qigong.