I have formulated a full-body experience of self-palpation and physioemotional muscular “points” that address muscle inflexibility, myofascial meridians, neural tunnels, and cognitive self-awareness.
The voice is contained in the body. If a singer experiences anxiety, would the four systems (respiration, phonation, articulation, and resonation) of historic voice pedagogy be outdated? Should vocal pedagogues encompass the muscular, nervous, endocrine, and circulatory systems into our innovative voice practicums?
Science has shown the fight or flight mechanism to negatively impact the alignment of the body. The fetal position, a “safe” position for the body, activates the psoas. For those living with generalized or performance anxiety, this can cause the pelvic girdle to rotate posterior and misalign the entire respiratory system and spine, often causing the pectoral girdle, neck, and head to engage in a forward aspect. This causes issues in the entire system. Using psoas stretches, this portion of the experience realigns the pelvis and allows the psoas muscle to regain flexibility and release any built-in emotional triggers.
Typically experienced during fight or flight is the sensation of body paralysis or muscle rigidity. Using lacrosse balls, the myofascial self and partner palpation portion is a complete body muscular/myofascial/neural tunneling experience the allows rigid muscles to sensate the pressure of the ball, pressurize local muscular attachments, enliven neural awareness, and replenish cardiovascular nourishment.
To offset high subglottal pressure associated with muscle rigidity, systems respond by stabilizing themselves to assist in the pressure imbalance. The articulatory system depresses of the tongue or causes tension in the TMJ; the phonatory system stabilizes by activating extrinsic laryngeal muscles and lock in a high or low suspensory position; in response to inflexibility in the phonatory and articulatory mechanism, the resonators can be negatively affected by pharyngeal constriction or velopharyngeal rigidity. Using static and dynamic laryngeal palpation, the myofascial portion guides the vocal tract toward release by manipulating muscles of the jaw, larynx, and pharynx.
The jaw, psoas, and full-body myofascial experience is a fantastic way for performers of any level to experience immediate and lasting effects of this work.
FUTURE MYOFASCIAL EXPERIENCES
Fall 2019: Myofascial Experience with Voice Masterclass, Lawrence University
Fall 2019: Myofascial Experience with Masterclass, Boston Conservatory at Berklee Alexander Technique Teacher Training
PAST MYOFASCIAL EXPERIENCES
March 2018: Myofascial Experience with Voice Masterclass, Boston Conservatory at Berklee
March 2019: Myofascial Experience with Voice Masterclass, NATS: Boston Chapter
March 2019: Myofascial Experience with Voice Masterclass, UARTS
February 2019: Myofascial Experience with Voice Masterclass, Brown University
February 2019: Myofascial Experience with Voice Masterclass, Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music
January 2018: Myofascial Experience with Voice Masterclass, Arizona State University
November 2018: Myofascial Experience with Voice Masterclass, Willamette University (Salem, OR)
November 2018: Myofascial Experience with Voice Masterclass, Portland State University; (Portland, OR)
October 2018: Myofascial Experience with Voice Masterclass, Rider University; (Lawrenceville, NJ)
Spring Semester 2018: Voice Technique for Non-Majors, University of Miami Frost School of Music
Fall Semester 2017: Voice Technique for Non-Majors, University of Miami Frost School of Music