by Marina Gilman
Body and Voice: Somatic Re-education is an excellent resource for teachers of singing, voice coaches, and speech-language pathologists who work with singers and other voice professionals. It provides a new paradigm for working with singers in a way that allows for improved kinesthetic awareness needed to work with their body rather than against it. The text contains a series of lessons designed to train singing teachers, coaches, and voice therapists to recognize in their students the patterns of use and posture that interfere with respiration, phonation, and/or resonance. In addition, it provides tools for the teacher to guide the student to a level of self-awareness of habituated patterns along with strategies to implement change from the inside out.
Few pedagogical or therapeutic approaches provide any training in the recognition of the subtle, indirect patterns of use, stance, or tension that prevent students from relaxing the jaw, releasing the breath, lifting the palate, or any of the other demands teachers make to get them to sing well. Even when the teacher recognizes that there is a problem, the knowledge of how to retrain the student’s neuro-musculo-skeletal system in order to effect real change and self-awareness by the student is often limited or lacking. Body and Voice: Somatic Re-education addresses this need.
This book begins with a brief definition and theoretical overview of body reeducation, its principles and applications. Subsequent chapters teach how to recognize poor body dynamics. The final chapters provide specific lessons as well as guidance for independent explorations that will increase the student’s kinesthetic and body awareness.
A CD-ROM containing the lessons described in the book is included.
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