An Online Deep Dive Into Alexander Technique & Singing
For Voice Teachers, Vocal Coaches & Alexander Teachers/Trainees
(Level I of the TVF Foundations Teacher Certification Program)
Course Dates: April 23 – June 18, 2020
20 0 Spots Available – Registration Closed.
“TVF has totally transformed my teaching in so many ways.”
“I have gone from a very vague teacher to a very specific and informed teacher. I am learning a new more patient and kind way to teach. I am being given the tools to teach in a student-motivated way; encouraging them to ask questions and explore so that they are better equipped to learn on their own. I am learning how to teach my students to be more kind to themselves and grow in confidence in their singing. There is not an area of my teaching that hasn’t been made better because of my work in TVF.”
Professional Singer & Voice Teacher in Chicago, IL
Dear Fellow Teacher,
We are all facing a new reality – having to teach our lessons and courses online for the foreseeable future (how long this will last is anybody’s guess).
I am sad, disappointed and grieving the loss of in-person teaching and singing. I’m guessing you are too.
One of our longtime students, a college voice professor, is retiring this year. This was NOT how she wanted to end her teaching career. My heart goes out to her. But she’s doing a great job making the best of it.
The good news is that we teachers are in the business of change and growth. And so we are well-equipped to pivot to new ways of doing things.
Eventually this will pass and it will be safe again to teach and sing in-person. But for now, the truth is:
Our student’s progress and our own livelihood depend on adapting to these new circumstances.
The teachers I know are asking themselves questions like these:
- How do I keep my students engaged and motivated so they continue to learn (and show up for lessons!)?
- How do I take care of myself and avoid burnout and overwhelm?
- How do I help myself and my students avoid screen fatigue?
- How do I best observe and listen to my students online?
- How can I make maximum use of online teaching to provide the highest quality instruction possible?
Since 2016 (when we first started offering online lessons and courses) we’ve been exploring these questions.
During that time we have developed a singing-focused, science-based, holistic teaching paradigm, based on the Alexander Technique, that works both online AND in-person.
We call it TVF Alexander Work.
This course will offer you rigorous training in TVF Alexander work to help make you the most effective educator you can be.
And if you complete all the course requirements, you’ll be certified in Level I of the TVF Foundations Teacher Certification Program.
If that sounds exciting to you, I encourage you to continue reading.
- Voice Teacher
- Professional Soprano
- Founder & Director, The Bytown School of Singing
- Artist in Residence, St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church
- Performance Specialist, Ottawa Regional Youth Choir
- President, NATS (National Capital Region Chapter)
- Founding Co-Director, Opera Inside Out
- Specializing in Vocal Performance, Education, & Adjudication
I want to share Cara’s story, in her own words, so you could get a sense of the kinds of results people get by studying this work (emphasis added for dramatic effect! 😉):
“Over the past two decades I have spent a good deal of time singing professionally as a soloist and chorister, and teaching voice both in my own private school and at post-secondary institutions. During this time I have always felt that my teaching informs my singing and vice versa…my singing informs my teaching. Community building has also always been very important to me and I am an active member of my local NATS Chapter, where I currently serve as President.
I have always noticed that my physical health is often compromised or challenged due to my busy schedule, but over the past couple of years it has also become glaringly clear that my mental health is also suffering. I continuously feel exhausted and overwhelmed by the responsibility of overseeing all of my student’s studies/progress. I love teaching, but I often finish my days completely inspired and yet completely depleted of reserve energy. My pattern has become to give 150% all the time until I get sick, then hibernate until I am well again…then repeat!
I was not looking for TVF. Instead, my good friend and colleague Margot wanted to attend the Summer Retreat and suggested I go with her. My first thought was…”I cannot handle another activity being added to my plate!” After chatting with my husband, I decided to sign up…not because I knew what TVF was, but because it was a chance to get away and spend some quality time with my dear friend.
During the weeks leading up to the TVF Summer Retreat, I began having panic attacks and had to take a complete break from teaching and many of my other obligations. My mom passed away in the summer of 2018 and the grief and extra responsibilities of taking on her estate management were just too much for me. Although, my mom’s death intensified my anxiety and feeling of overwhelming responsibility, I very much believe I was on the trajectory to have a complete breakdown at some point. I thought I had been handling everything, and that so long as I “willed” it, I could make anything happen. But really, I was continuously compromising myself and my own physical and mental health.
TVF came as a huge wake up call to me and it was both scary and exhilarating. To be surrounded by accomplished singers, singing teachers, and choral directors from all over the world was humbling. I was immediately surprised that nobody was there to compete with one another…we were all there to explore our singing and our own physical being…and especially to learn from one another…amazing! Throughout the week I came to understand that it was not my job to manage my students’ experiences or to manage my audience. My only job was to look after myself, to honour myself and to be at “play.”
Of course, TVF challenges me to understand the human body and the voice on a deeply scientific level, which helps me to body map and isolate areas of exploration for each student, including myself. More importantly, TVF helped me realize that most of the things and people I feel responsible for are of my own construct. That by letting go of that responsibility, I actually empower them to take ownership over their own journeys. This has been extremely exciting and groundbreaking in my teaching. My students now understand that they are in charge of their own learning. I am there as a guide, but we are exploring together the skills we need to be aware and to teach ourselves. The greatest gift TVF has given me thus far is to understand the simplicity that in honouring ourselves, we open up a world of possibility. Thank you to the entire faculty at TVF for being incredible mentors and challenging me to be a better teacher, singer, and person.”
What You’ll Learn in This Course
Here is what you’ll learn in this course:
I. The Core TVF Tools
- The TVF Formula for Success – Learn our simple 3-part formula (desire + coordination + skill) to help you get better results in your teaching and singing.
- Recognizing Wholeness – We are whole beings. Every part of us is connected to everything else. Recognizing this fact will have tremendous positive implications for your life.
- Quality of Movement – Singing is movement and the quality of our movement determines the quality of our sound. Learn how to teach your students to move and sing more gracefully by increasing awareness and enlivening their kinesthetic sense.
- Posture & Alignment – Two necessary ingredients for healthy beautiful singing are a comfortable, natural singing posture and a well-aligned body. Learn the posture/alignment ideas that help and the ones that hurt.
- Body Balance – Because of our upright bipedal nature, balance is a primary concern for human beings. Learn the 6 main points of balance to help your students create a sense of security and confidence in their body making it much easier to move and sing with freedom.
- Constructive Thinking – What you think is what you get. Learn how YES plans improve the quality of our thinking.
- Freedom of Choice – When we believe we aren’t free we get tight in ourselves. Learn how to give yourself freedom of choice in any moment to create more freedom and ease.
- Celebration – Knowing how to acknowledge and celebrate your successes, both big and small, is an essential aspect of learning.
II. Body-Mapping & Anatomy Topics
- The Head-Spine Relationship: Alexander’s Great Discovery
- Ribs & Respiration: It’s Simpler Than We Think
- The Pelvis: Demystifying This Complex Area
- Lower Limbs: Happy Feet, Happy Legs, Happy Voice
- Arms & Hands: Singing with Wings
- Putting the Pieces Together: Returning to the Whole Self
III. 10 Guiding Principles of Teaching TVF Alexander Work
- Quality of Being – The teacher’s own quality of being is their primary concern, which allows for optimal communication through presence, vocal tone, and language.
- Non-Hierarchical – Teacher and student are engaged in two-way learning.
- The Student’s Desire Drives to the Learning – The teacher always considers the student’s desires and gives them freedom of choice that is appropriate to their level of development.
- Whole-Body Sensing & Awareness – The teacher uses all their senses to non-judgmentally gather information about themselves and their student. Using conscious awareness, new possibilities become available.
- Constructive & Kind – The teacher demonstrates constructive, conscious kindness in themselves and encourages their students to do the same.
- Slowing Down, Space & Pause – The teacher uses slowing down, spaciousness and pausing to allow fresh new ideas to arise in themselves and their students.
- Wholeness & Integrative – The teacher works in a way that considers the whole person and is integrative, which is defined as “serving or intending to unify separate things.”
- Experimentation & Play – The teacher uses questions, curiosity, wonder, play, lightness, fun, stories and experimentation as an essential part of the learning and discovery process.
- Cooperating with Design – The teacher uses body-mapping and anatomy knowledge to teach students how to cooperate with their design.
- Community – The teachers tap into the power of a kind, constructive and supportive community to encourage deep and long-lasting learning.
“I am seeing faster and more significant progress in my students.”
“…after 30 plus years of teaching, things became a bit stale. So much of my own AT training was with a teacher using a “ hands on” approach. I knew when I felt I was in coordination, but didn’t have enough tools to communicate Alexander’s work well to my students. After only 2 months in this course, I look forward to teaching again! I feel that now that I have clarity about the design of the body, I can cooperate with it better. For students who might be a little skeptical of AT, I am able to give them concrete information. Already I am seeing faster and more significant progress in my students.”
Lisa Rogers Lee
Program Graduate (TVF Pro)
Professional Singer & Voice Teacher in Chicago, IL
The course begins on April 23rd and ends on June 18th. There are no classes the week of May 25th.
There are 6 course components divided into 3 sections:
I. Live Online Learning
1. TVF Teachers Classes
Thursdays from 11:00am – 12:00pm US Central Time (Chicago) starting April 23rd and ending on June 18th (no class on May 28th) for a total of 8 classes.
These classes will be focused on the practical application of TVF Alexander principles to teaching, whether it’s a voice lesson, an Alexander lesson or a choral rehearsal. You will learn the pedagogical and scientific underpinnings of this work, not only how it works and how to teach it, but why it works. You will be inspired and motivated by a dedicated group of teachers committed to high standards and excellence.
2. TVF Academy Classes
Class schedule varies (the first two weeks have daily classes at 10:00am – 10:30am US Central Time).
Attending TVF Academy classes will be an excellent opportunity to observe how the TVF faculty teaches this work to a diverse group of singers of various genres, styles and skill levels. There is a minimum requirement of attending 4 hours of TVF Academy classes. This is very easily attainable as there are over 20 hours of classes on offer during this next term. You course tuition fees include 3 months membership in the TVF Academy.
3. Private Lesson with TVF Faculty Member
During the course you will have one 50-minute individual online session with a TVF faculty member scheduled at a mutual convenient time. This lesson can be used in whatever you choose – to sing, to discuss teaching, to have a faculty member supervise your teaching, or anything else you’d like to explore. The sky is the limit!
II. Self-Directed Learning
4. TVF Online Foundations Course
In this 15-hour course you will learn the foundational principles of the TVF Alexander approach and their practical application to singing, performing, teaching as well as standing, walking, balancing and sitting. This course was recorded in January 2020 and all course materials are available to watch on replay at anytime. We will assign specific classes to watch each week and reference them in our teachers classes.
5. Course Readings
The following two books are required reading for this course:
- Your Body, Your Voice: The Key to Natural Singing & Speaking by Ted Dimon
- Body Learning: An Introduction to the Alexander Technique by Michael Gelb
III. Final Written Project
6. Written Reflection Paper
As your final project, you will write a short reflection paper (2-3 pages) about Level I classes and materials.
How Certification Works
Due to current world circumstances, we are now offering a 100% online version of Level I TVF Foundations Teacher Certification.
Participants who successfully complete the six course components listed above will earn a Level I certification in the TVF Foundations Teacher Certification Program.
This will allow you to use any and all TVF Alexander techniques, methods, and exercises. Your Level I certification will mean that you have a basic yet solid intellectual and practical understanding of F.M. Alexander’s discoveries and their application to teaching.
This program does not qualify you as a teacher of the Alexander Technique.
However, the TVF Pro Teacher Training Program, which is by application and invitation only, does provide additional levels of training beyond this program that lead to becoming a fully-certified TVF Pro Alexander teacher. In order to be eligible for this program, you must have completed at least Level I of the TVF Foundations Teacher Certification Program.
Your Time Commitment
The average weekly time commitment you’ll need to invest in this course is 5-6 hours.
This is a rigorous training for teachers that are serious about elevating the level of their teaching craft while also learning how to take great care of themselves.
If your life is completely full at this time, you must be willing to carve out the necessary time in order to receive maximum benefit from this course.
In doing so, what you will learn is something refreshing and inspiring in the midst of all this change – something to free your body, clear your mind and lift your spirit (and something to really help your students!)
The TVF Teachers Course will be led by the TVF Faculty, pictured above in Yelapa, Mexico in February 2020:
(L to R) Peter Jacobson, Eleni Vosniadou, Darci Balkcom, Michael Hanko & Molly Kittle
TVF Teacher Success Stories
“The positive outcome from all ages has been startling!”
I’ve been particularly inspired by the notion of encouraging and trusting my students to really listen to themselves, taking more moments of pause for their reflection and processing and trusting in their own bodies’ innate wisdom to correct things (instead of me immediately swooping in and trying to correct things for them). The positive outcome from all ages has been startling! (The Big Greek Family has also been a hit!) I’m feeling curious and positive about my own voice in a way that has been dormant for a while too. Thank you! ❤️❤️”
–Natalie Ford Sadjak, Professional Singer & Voice Teacher in Milwaukee, WI
“There is so much I’ve learned..it’s hard to find a place to start.”
When I first decided to join this class, my preconceptions for this class was that it was going to be very technical and specific to the fundamental physiology of the Alexander technique that I had experienced in my undergrad/graduate studies. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this class did just that and so much more. It also gave valuable insight on the “why” and not just the “how”, if that makes any sense. (the “how” being the physical mechanism–ie. body mapping; The “why” being the internal, emotional, and psychological drives that motivate the “how” whether we will it to or not!)
I have not had the pleasure yet to incorporate this knowledge into my lessons, however I know one thing is for certain; I have discovered more about myself and how it has helped me correct some of the difficulties I’ve experienced as a singer. Some of the most significant finds include “inclusive awareness” and finding the “ease” within my self. Another critical aspect was the body mapping, discovering my “duck tail” tendencies and allowing myself to let my “dino” tail take form—thus allowing me a more solid grounding when I sing. Thank you Peter, Eleni, Michael, and Molly! I appreciate all the work you put in to this course and hope to find my way back when I am ready to attend the Academy or Pro programs!”
–Maria Shull, Voice Teacher in Birmingham, Alabama
“Using the tool of constructive thinking and constructive language has been a helpful addition to my studio atmosphere.”
“Thank you for a wonderful few weeks! I appreciated the explorations of inclusive awareness and constructive thinking. These two elements are vital to my teaching environment. I try to incorporate an expansive and present awareness into my interactions with each and every student. Just as in meditation, when I catch my attention wandering off, I pull my focus back to the present reality and see where I can engage more fully with the person in front of me. Using the tool of constructive thinking and constructive language has been a helpful addition to my studio atmosphere. I’ve always been mindful to speak of positive aspects in addition to those items that may be more challenging for students; using the more subtle language of constructive thinking has helped bring nuance to this interchange.
I’ve noticed myself using language along the lines of “experimenting” and “exploring,” rather than “doing” and expecting a certain result. I’ve enjoyed how this frees up the room for any result, even surprising ones, and it invites students to offer their insights and experiences in a deeper way. I’m also using the term “coordination” more than I ever have in my life! 🙂 Thank you, and looking forward to continued learning with the TVF community.”
–Marisa Gray Atha, Voice Teacher in Sacramento, California
“This has been an amazing, enlightening, and educational experience.”
“Every time I attended a class or watched a replay I would finish the class needing to take a moment to process everything, and in several cases, watch sections again simply to try exercises again. They were incredible because I would find myself going into another world of peace, joy, and ease. I never would have thought to think of the minor details, minuscule movements, or my “Yes plan” as part of vocal freedom, but when I applied it all, it impacted my singing in a different way, an efficient and easier way.
My favorite part of this course was watching all of the interaction and seeing how the teachers of each workshop would tailor how they would teach to each person in the class. It reminded me that every single student that I teach is different. I recently applied the “tails” exercise from the Body Mapping class in one of my lessons with with one my students, and saw instant progress in posture and vocal production.
Much and appreciation and thanks to Peter, Eleni, Michael, and Molly! You are awesome!”
–May Leporacci, Voice Teacher in Jacksonville, Florida
“I want to express my gratitude for you and TVF!”
“Even after such a short amount of time with these concepts I have renewed confidence and increased energy and excitement about teaching voice. I was really stuck in a rut and even went as far as going back to school and becoming a massage therapist and Reiki Master because I was convinced I needed a career change! The Alexander Technique is the missing link for me, clearly, and I appreciate that you have given me access to learning it and applying it to my teaching and also to my daily life.”
–Jeanette Smith, Voice Teacher in San Francisco, CA
“…TVF classes have helped my teaching, which is why I enrolled.”
“I was able to teach with greater clarity and attention to detail, while taking more time with each subject. I really believe that the TVF classes have helped my teaching, which is why I enrolled.”
–Mary Frances Lubahn, Singer & Voice Teacher, Graz, Austria
What Your Tuition Includes
The tuition fee for this course is $295/month for 3 months (for a total of $885).
If necessary, we can work out alternate payment plans.
To request more information about this option, send us a message.
To ensure a high-quality learning experience we are limiting the course to 20 participants.
COURSE FULL – REGISTRATION CLOSED
Is Teaching The Greatest of the Arts?
I’ve always thought that being a teacher is one of the highest callings.
The great American writer John Steinbeck said:
I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.”
Except for one thing – Steinbeck didn’t mention two essential aspects of a human being – the body and the voice.
TVF Alexander work includes the interaction of the WHOLE person – mind, body, spirit, voice – which makes this way of teaching even more rich and rewarding.
If you are excited by what you have read about this course, I invite you to join us!
With Music & Love,
Founder & Executive Director
Total Vocal Freedom
PS – If you have any questions, click the blue button below to start a chat with a member of our team.