Megan facilitates workshops for educators, conductors and medical professionals on incorporating yoga practices for the studio, ensemble or voice clinic. Below is a sampling of workshop topics. Register for an upcoming event, or fill out a contact form to learn more about planning a new event!
Meeting the Mood: Transforming the Vocal Warm-Up
The Voice Foundation Annual Symposium, May 2018
When entering the voice studio or clinic, singers often demonstrate particular moods. A variety of emotions ranging from frenzied to fatigued can influence the lesson environment, increasing physical tension and mental stress for both student and teacher/clinician.
LifeForce Yoga offers a system of evidence-based practices for anxiety, depression, and trauma. When incorporated into the warm-up, these techniques can help balance the student’s disposition, while at the same time providing an effective tool for establishing focus, breath, and vocalization. This workshop will provide simple breathing, sound, and physical techniques for calming anxiety and energizing lethargy. Participants will learn how to “meet the mood” of their students and incorporate mind-body balancing strategies into their existing warm-up sequences.
Exhaling with Sound: Yoga for the Choral Ensemble
ACDA Eastern Region Conference, March 2018
For many voice users, an overactive stress response in performance situations, or even general anxiety and/or depression, leads to unwanted muscle tension, which can significantly contribute to vocal difficulty. The body’s stress response is managed by the autonomic nervous system, which also controls the function of the digestive, respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Research suggests that mindfulness practices like meditative breathing, yoga and chanting help to regulate the autonomic nervous system, effectively calming the body’s response to intense emotional situations.
In order to maximize vocal potential, choral directors and singers must become more aware of how the whole body, including the autonomic nervous system, impacts vocal production. This session will identify common areas where singers hold counterproductive muscle tension, illustrate how that tension affects the voice, and introduce elements of yoga as techniques to coordinate optimal phonation. Participants will engage in basic yoga postures and link them to specific ways they can be used to improve vocal production, mental focus, and even the brain’s response to anxiety and depression.
Exhaling with Sound: An Introduction to YOGAVOICE®
Montreat Worship and Summer Music Conference, June 2019
When used freely, the human voice is a source of great physical, spiritual and interpersonal connection. For some singers, performance anxiety, unnecessary physical tension and general disconnection to body and breath may prevent optimal phonation and interrupt performance goals. YOGAVOICE® combines systematic voice pedagogy with yoga philosophy to cultivate personal awareness, authenticity of communication, and the vocal artistry that contributes to healing in our culture. Participants will learn basic yoga practices that improve vocal production, mental focus, and even the brain’s response to anxiety and depression. Your body is your instrument—singing is simply exhaling with sound!
Whole Body Resonance: An Expansion of Resonant Voice Therapy
with Carly Bergey, CCC-SLP
The Voice Foundation Annual Symposium, May 2017
Lessac, Madsen and Verdolini have pioneered our understanding of Resonant Voice Therapy and created the foundation for many voice professionals working to improve vocal production. Traditionally, oropharyngeal resonance is the primary sensory effect that patients are instructed to experience. For many professional voice users, the experience of whole body vibration, or, experiencing sound somewhere other than the traditional “mask resonance” is an empowering way to connect body, breath and sound. By combining traditional therapeutic modalities and voice pedagogy with chants associated with the physical and energetic centers in the body (known as the chakra system), this workshop will provide an introduction to whole body vibration exercises and practical methods for applying these techniques in the voice studio or clinic.