The Total Vocal Freedom (TVF) Academy is an ONLINE education program that teaches singers how to discover their fullest potential through an experiential holistic curriculum based on principles of the Alexander Technique. The learning takes place inside a global support community that is rooted in kindness, curiosity & love.
Singers of all backgrounds, genres, ages and skill levels are welcome in the TVF Academy!
Dear Fellow Singer,
My name is Peter Jacobson and I’m Founder and Executive Director of Total Vocal Freedom (TVF).
Thanks for stopping by to learn about our flagship program, the TVF Academy.
I’m writing this on April 6th, 2020 and it’s looking likely that we’re all going to be in our homes for the foreseeable future.
Of course, there is a very good reason for this but I am just as disappointed as you are about the loss of performances, church services, in-person lessons, rehearsals, live music, etc.
There are a lot of people suffering in the world right now. Perhaps even you and/or your loved ones are hurting. My heart truly goes out to you. It’s just really hard to be facing a world crisis without the ability to make music together in-person.
But since so much of it is beyond our control, we are going to make the best of it and continue to do what we’ve been doing for the last 6 years:
Helping singers thrive in their WHOLE beings so they can get the most out of their singing and their life.
We recently had over 500 singers register for our “Thriving Together in Uncertain Times” drop-in class series where we offered 20+ hours of free classes.
And now we’re opening up the doors to the TVF Academy for our upcoming spring term which will focus on singing confidence, peak performing and become the most effective musical communicator you can be.
During these times, community is so important. We are make the following adaptions to make our community offerings even more robusts:
- Offering more regular classes
- Hosting weekly open mics to have a much-needed outlet for musical sharing and connection
Many of our students report that the community is their favorite thing about the TVF Academy (you can read more about that below). I recently received this message from a TVF student (who is a music teacher):
I feel like I have ‘found my people’ with Total Vocal Freedom. I love how the instructors embrace each musician right where they are, and that’s how I have craved to teach my own students. So many of my professional organizations are rather pretentious and intimidating. TVF is so different…THANK YOU.”
Honestly, if you’re healthy and well, I can’t think of any better time than now to put your energy into learning and connecting with other like-minded colleagues.
This page should give you all of the information you need to decide if the TVF Academy is the right learning community for you.
One important thing to know before you read too far:
The TVF Academy isn’t right for everyone.
If you’re looking for a set of quick-fix tips, a how-to course on singing your favorite pop songs, or the “right” answer handed to you by an “expert,” then I can confidently say this program is NOT for you.
However, if you are:
- Eager to learn some exciting new things about your body, mind and voice (and how they connect)
- Curious and open-minded to new ways of exploring your voice
- Interested in a deep, thoughtful and holistic learning experience that will impact your entire life
- Wanting to develop meaningful relationships with other singers and teachers
…then you’ll likely be a great fit for this program!
(If you’re a teacher I encourage you to check out our TVF Teacher’s Course, which includes membership in the TVF Academy.)
Who It’s For
No matter where you are on your singing and teaching journey, you are welcome in the TVF Academy!
Singers and teachers from all walks of life will benefit from this program, including:
- voice teachers
- aspiring & emerging professionals
- working & retired professionals
- enthusiastic amateurs
- choral educators
- Alexander teachers and trainees
- anyone else interested in this kind of work
This program isn’t about ability level or talent. It’s about having the desire to learn and grow.
What You’ll Learn
The theme of our spring term is:
Peak Performance & Singing Confidence:
How to be a compelling musical storyteller and communicator (online & otherwise)
During this 8-week spring term our learning community will be focused on discovering how to be confident and comfortable singing on stage (or in front of a camera when performing online). You’ll learn how to transform your nerves and fear, create a powerful connection with the audience and silence those pesky inner critics.
The curriculum we’ll use is “The 7 Steps to Performing Confidence and Audition Success,” a set of practical tools to help you sing (and audition) with greater control, confidence and freedom.
Our holistic curriculum will give you practical tools to be the best performer you can be!
How It Works
A few essential things to know about how the TVF Academy works:
- Our spring term is 8 weeks long and runs from April 20th – June 19th, 2020 (no classes the week of May 25th).
- The learning happens in the TVF Academy through online group sessions that take place live. The Discovery classes are recorded in case you can’t attend live (see below).
- TVF Academy classes are non-competitive, supportive and fun!
- The vast majority of the singing you’ll do will be behind the safety of your Zoom mute button.
- We do occasionally ask for individual volunteers to sing in the class but that is ALWAYS optional.
- Freedom of choice is a cornerstone of our work so there will never be pressure of any kind.
What It Includes
1. Regular Discovery Classes
In the past, we’ve offered a weekly 75-minute Discovery class taught by a TVF Academy faculty member. These classes were the “main event” each week and included a combination of guided movement activities, individual singing exercises, body-mapping lessons, group explorations and more.
However, since we’re all mostly confined to our homes, we’re going to experiment with a new class schedule for at least the first 2 weeks (and potentially longer) of the term.
Between April 20th and April 30th we will be offering 30-minute classes, four days a week, Monday through Thursday.
The classes will take a place at 10:00am – 10:30am US Central Time (Chicago) and will be focused on this term’s theme: peak performing and singing confidence.
If we do return to our regular weekly Discovery class they will take place on Tuesdays at 10:00am – 11:15am US Central Time (Chicago).
All discovery classes are recorded and available to watch on replay.
2. Weekly Small Discussion Groups
These optional (but highly recommended) 45-minute group sessions take place live every week and are led by TVF Pro Alexander Trainees (teachers-in-training). These groups are a great way to connect with Academy colleagues, learn new things and become inspired to explore new possibilities in your singing.
Discussion groups will take place during the following times:
- Wednesdays from 2:00pm – 2:45pm US Central Time (Chicago)
- Wednesdays from 8:00pm – 8:45pm US Central Time (Chicago)
- Fridays from 10:00am – 10:45am US Central Time (Chicago)
3. Weekly Open Mic Events (NEW!)
During the spring term, we will host 8 open mic events where you can show up and share your music (or poetry, comedy, monologue, etc) with our community. You also have the option to show up and simply be a supportive audience member to your colleagues.
These events will be held of the following dates and times:
- April 24, May 8, May 22, June 12 @ 7:00pm – 8:30pm US Central Time (Chicago)
- May 1, May 15, June 5, June 19 @ 1:30pm – 3:00pm US Central Time (Chicago)
Speaking of community…
The TVF Academy Community
An essential feature of the TVF Academy is our vibrant support community, a place to share ideas, support one another and engage in meaningful discussions about singing and teaching. You’ll get support, honest feedback and positive affirmation about who you are as an artist and/or teacher.
Our diverse international community is built on respect, trust and non-competitiveness.
We are a community that enjoys learning and growing together!
Here’s what TVF Academy members say about their community:
“The community that has developed from this course is unequaled.”
–Tracy Van Fleet, Singer & Voice Teacher in Los Angeles, USA
“One of the most important part of the TVF Academy is that we are a family and I now have many friends who are supporting me on my journey in singing.”
–Elif Yavuzturk, Singer & Voice Teacher in Ankara, Turkey
“The community is a rare gem and I treasure them all.”
–Alex Carlisle, Soprano in London, England
Questions About The TVF Academy?
Send us a message now!
“There is not an area of my teaching that hasn’t been made better because of my work in TVF.”
“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.”
–Karen Archbold, Singer & Voice Teacher in Chicago, USA
“After only three or four weeks in the TVF Academy I felt my voice freeing up.”
“After a 25 year professional career in singing classical music, I had come to a place where my singing felt stuck. Singing was no longer the joy it used to be. I enrolled in the TVF Academy because I needed a boost and a change, but I didn’t know where to find it. I didn’t have the opportunity to start taking weekly lessons with any of my teachers, due to time, travel, as well as money. After only three or four weeks in the TVF Academy I felt my voice freeing up. A short time after that I began to feel like I had all the flexibility, colors, and coordination of my voice back again! I never lost my passion, but now singing is again my joy.”
–Tracy Van Fleet, Singer & Voice Teacher in Los Angeles, USA
“…I was ready to retire from my professional career of 40 years. The TVF Academy turned everything around for me.”
“After working with a laryngologist and a speech therapist for vocal cord paresis I was ready to retire from my professional career of 40 years. The TVF Academy turned everything around for me. I found freedom and ease where I used to find stress both in my voice and my daily life. It has transformed my teaching as well!”
–Lisa Rogers Lee, Singer & Voice Teacher in Chicago, USA
“TVF Academy is not only a high-quality learning space for singers, but it’s also a life school.”
“One year in TVF Academy has been my healing process as an opera singer in crisis. It is the perfect place to find ease, freedom, inspiration, motivation, energy, power, passion and love! TVF Academy is not only a high-quality learning space for singers, but it’s also a life school.”
–Okan Sipahi, Singer in Catania, Italy
“My singing is much more connected with my body.”
“I am communicating with the audience more, and even if when I cannot achieve that I am aware of the importance of it. But what the TVF Academy program made a change in my life is that I begin to be more proactive in communicating my desires or feedback with the other people. Previously I was generally the one who was waiting for the other person to interact with me. But now I feel more open to others. I am hoping that this new part of me will grow more.”
–Elif Yavuzturk, Singer, Ankara, Turkey
“…consider adding TVF for it’s emphasis on freeing up your body to enhance your voice!”
“If you want to round out your vocal training, even for a seasoned pro, then you really need to consider adding TVF for it’s emphasis on freeing up your body to enhance your voice!”
–Tracy Van Fleet, Singer & Voice Teacher, Los Angeles, USA
“I have greatly corrected my posture…”
“This past year in TVF has changed me in so many ways, it’s made me a better voice teacher and singer but the truly amazing thing is how I feel physically. With learning about and using the Alexander Technique, I have greatly corrected my posture, learned how to stand on stage with little or no pain, and just feel better overall, even my Dr has said I need to keep up what I’m doing!”
–Lois Richardson Shive, Singer & Voice Teacher, Chicago, USA
“TVF is my lantern that gives me warmth and courage to keep moving forward.”
“I’m now a clear and precise teacher, a true supportive friend, a patient loving husband, a better version of myself. And a much expressive singer! I think I’m naturally a leader, but taking the time every week, every day to work on myself and improve my craft. I’ve now have a much longer reach to help so much more people. I’m scared of stepping into the fog’s future but deep inside I’m finding myself wanting to apply TVF principles to my whole island, to everybody I come across. It’s not even about making a living, it’s about making a living so I can keep on making people happy with their music. TVF is my lantern that gives me warmth and courage to keep moving forward.”
–Kevin Kelly Kahelain, Singer and Teacher, Moorea
“I have found more vocal freedom in my upper range…”
“I would say first and foremost that I have found more vocal freedom in my upper range, which was something I was hoping to address in taking this course. By becoming more aware of the tension I was holding in my neck (or muscles that help support the upper spine and surrounding areas) and in my tongue, I was able to release these tensions. This allowed for a freedom in singing that I hadn’t experienced before.
Secondly, I discovered that there are some unresolved issues regarding my identity as a singer. I consider myself a failed singer because I was not able to figure out how to sing without tension in my upper range. Confronting this aspect of my singing (again), brought up uncomfortable feelings for me. This is something I can continue to explore, however, with further introspection.”
–Singer and Choral Director, New Brunswick, Canada
“TVF has completely transformed my singing and my teaching in the most unexpected, delightful, and profound ways.”
When I first started my TVF Academy journey in 2016, I wasn’t sure exactly what I would learn. I was hoping for some tips and tricks for myself and my students, and possibly connections with other vocal teachers. Boy was I blown away! The TVF Academy not only offered a science-based approach to free vocal production, but also an incredible community that has become family, and more support and assistance than I could ever have imagined. I have already learned so much about myself and experienced massive improvements in my own singing, and I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface of possibilities! I can honestly say that TVF has completely transformed my singing and my teaching in the most unexpected, delightful, and profound ways. For once, the ”hype” doesn’t even begin to describe the actual experience. Joining TVF was one of the very best decisions I’ve made for myself and my career!
–Midge McMoyer Smith, Singer and Accompanist, Houston, USA
“There are avenues now for me to make a living with my singing.”
“Peter, I love the way you teach – the positive words you use, the gentle way you correct and the order of your presentations – the way you allow all of us to ‘be’ in a safe, supportive place – priceless! You really named the program right: Total Vocal Freedom (it’s more than just the voice!) There are avenues now for me to make a living with my singing. It will be most interesting to see where my journey takes me next! Woo-hoo!”
–Donna Marie Castaner, Singer, New York, USA
“… a safe and supportive place for all of us to feel free and ease.”
“Peter, I love the way you teach….You are so kind and gentle. You use positive words to correct the members of the Academy. You create a safe and supportive place for all of us to feel free and ease. You approach to problems is very helpful….Thanks a lot for everything.”
–Angeliki Krissila, Choral Conductor, Thessaloniki, Greece
“TVF Academy is an honest, supportive community…”
“When I first started in the Academy, I really thought I was alone in my frustrations about how things had gone in my singing career. I thought I was the only singer insecure in my vocal abilities. I thought that other singers didn’t struggle to find the time to practice or know how they fit into a professional vocal world. I was wrong! TVF Academy is an honest, supportive community and I know now that there are a lot of other singers who struggle with these same issues.”
–Karen Archbold, Singer and Voice Teacher, Chicago, USA
TVF Academy Faculty
TVF Academy classes are led by the five members of the TVF faculty.
Read more about them here.
What Your Tuition Includes
Regular Discovery Classes
- Classes taught by a TVF Academy faculty member focused on the core curriculum
Weekly Small Discussion Groups
- 45-minute classes led by a TVF Pro Alexander Trainee (teacher-in-training) and designed to support your individual singing journey
Weekly Open Mic Events
- Regular opportunities to share your singing with a supportive and encouraging group of singers from all different styles, genres and skill levels
TVF Academy Facebook Group
- Be a part of a thriving community of supportive singers from a wide variety of backgrounds, abilities and genres.
Special Discounts on TVF Events
- TVF Academy members get special discounts on TVF workshops and masterclasses.
TVF Voices Community Membership
- Your TVF Academy membership also includes a free membership in the TVF Voices Community (valued at $29/month).
“I joined the Academy in 2016, and it was easily one of the best investments I have made in my career.”
“I have struggled for years with technical issues – in particular tension, which none of the many teachers I have studied with have really been able to address. In the past year, through the different modules in the Academy, I have found several tools that have helped me address these issues. The best part of these discoveries has been that I have really understood how they came about – which means I’m able to re-create them whenever needed (versus my experiences in the past making progress only to find it fall away in a few weeks and not knowing how to get back there). The different modules all fit together into this brilliant approach to finding more freedom vocally, mentally and emotionally. Peter has somehow managed to put together a community are the most supportive group of people that I have ever encountered – connecting with them has brought me so much joy.”
–Nitya Thomas, Singer and Voice Teacher, New York City, USA
TVF Academy Tuition Fees
The TVF Academy tuition fee is $95/month paid monthly (withdrawn automatically for your convenience).
You may cancel your membership at anytime.
To join the TVF Academy click the button below.
Special “Buddy” Offer
Learning can be even more fun when you do it with someone you already know. If you join the TVF Academy with a buddy (friend/colleague) you each only pay $75/month (as long as you both remain in the program). Limited to one “buddy.” Send us a message for more info on this special offer.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens after the spring term?
After the spring term, we will take a short 3-week summer break and then you will be invited to participate in the summer online learning festival as part of your TVF Academy membership. A new academic year begins in the fall of 2020.
I work full-time and have a family. Will I have time to do the TVF Academy?
Yes! Many of our members have full-time jobs and families and are able to participate in the TVF Academy. The flexibility and convenience of online classes (and the 24/7 access to replays) makes the material accessible even for busy people.
What if it’s not working for me?
We are committed that all TVF Academy students have an excellent learning experience. If you decide at anytime the TVF Academy isn’t right for you, you can cancel your membership at any time no questions asked.
Will I benefit from watching class recordings if I can’t attend live?
Yes, you will get benefit from watching the recordings.
Because classes will address common singer issues and problems there will always be something for you to learn and discover no matter if you attend live or watch the recording.
Of course, it’s ideal to attend class live as much as much as possible but we realize people have busy lives and it’s not always possible.
Do you offer any scholarships?
We do offer a limited number of partial scholarships based on financial need. Send us a message to learn more.
What hardware and software do I need to participate in the TVF Academy?
- Hardware – an iPad, laptop or desktop computer with a camera and minimum internet speeds minimum of 1.5 Mbps.
- Software – Zoom, a free video conferencing program.
I have a voice teacher already. Will this conflict with what I learn from them?
Provided you are receiving quality and anatomically-accurate vocal instruction, this program will enhance the work you are doing with your voice teacher. TVF Academy students have reported getting more out of their voice lessons with TVF tools available to them.
What about vocal technique?
What you learn in the TVF Academy is not meant to be a substitute for a solid and functional vocal technique.
Thought we do have a vocal technique expert on faculty (Michael Hanko), it’s not the primary focus of this program.
Often times, singers have good technique but aren’t able to use that technique fully because of body tension issues. In TVF Academy classes, you’ll learn how to release unnecessary body tension to take full advantage of your technique.
Will I need to change my technique?
No, not unless you want to! The program is designed to improve upon what’s working and help you change what’s not.
How many people will be in each class?
Our class sizes average between 20-25 students.
Will I get certified?
We only offer certification through the TVF Foundations Teacher Certification Training Program.
How much time will it take every week?
The minimum time commitment will be to attend (or watch on replay) the weekly discovery class. This course is designed to fit into any practice regimen. The explorations and learning materials are practical, adaptable and can be practiced anywhere. Additionally, since this approach is holistic, you will be making new connections between the activities of your daily life and your singing and how they influence one another.
How long will I have access to course materials for?
As long as your tuition fees are paid you will have access to course materials.
What if I have more questions?
Your Invitation to Join
Thank you for taking the time to read more about the TVF Academy!
If you feel, based on what you’ve read, that the TVF Academy would help bring you closer to your singing goals then I invite you to register now or click the blue button below and start a live chat with a member of our team.
It would be our honor to have the opportunity to work with you.
To Your Singing & Teaching Success!
Founder & Executive Director
Total Vocal Freedom