(Photographed above: Cecilia Spyer and Jeanie LoVetri)
In the new year, Jeanie is headed back to Brazil, what has the reception of Somatic Voicework™ in Brazil been like since Jeanie’s last visit?
(Photographed Below: Cecilia Spyer)
When I first came to study Somatic Voicework™ in the United States in 2012, Somatic Voicework™ wasn’t well-known in Brazil. Since Jeanie first came down, Somatic Voicework™ has become very popular in Brazil. There is a lot of buzz, excitement, and curiosity about Somatic Voicework™ and Jeanie’s trip in 2020!
Quando eu fiz a formação nos EUA em 2012 poucas pessoas conheciam o método aqui no Brasil. Desde que Jeanie veio a primeira vez, Somatic Voicework™ tem sido bem mais divulgado. Criou-se mais curiosidade sobre o método. [Read more…] about Spotlight on Cecilia Spyer
(Photographed Above: Top Left-Right: Cate Frasier-Neely, Mary Gresock, Carrie Trax, Ethan Watermeier, Jennifer Suess, Kyle Smith, Bennet Umhau, Middle Left-Right: Rosanne Fraley, Rebecca Ocampo, Miki Rebeck, Maria Damore, Tessa Trax, Dustin Faltz, Nicole Lamm, Maggie Ramsey Katie Katinas, Front Left-Right: Alison Crockett, Silvia Ledon, Jeanie LoVetri, Bharati Soman, Jen Crawley)
Jeanie had a wonderful time in Virginia for the Teacher Training Weekend. A huge thank you must be extended to Bharati Soman and Jennifer Suess for the incredible work they did to make this weekend happen! The turnout was incredible. If you are wanting to host Jeanie for a weekend workshop in your city, please click here.
(Photographed Left: Jen Hawley working with Sylvia Ledon at the Teacher Training Weekend in Virginia)
In January 2020, Jeanie LoVetri will be headed to Brazil to present two separate Somatic Voicework™ teacher trainings. A full LoVetri Institute offering all Three Levels of Somatic Voicework™ training will be presented in Sao Paulo from January 17th to 26th. This is being hosted by Vocal SP. To register, click here. In addition, Jeanie LoVetri will also be offering a Level I Training in Rio de Janeiro from January 10th-12th, 2020. To register, click here. This exciting news is the result of a group of very motivated and energized women in both places who are determined to bring Jeanie to Brazil for the fifth time. Her work continues to flourish with the talented Brazilian vocalists and teachers there, who have realized the benefit to their universally loved styles. For information about the workshop in Rio, please contact Suely Mesquita by clicking here. For information about the workshop in Sao Paulo, please contact Joana Mariz by clicking here. The trainings will be offered in both English and Brazilian Portuguese.
In April, Jeanie will be visiting New Zealand for the NEWZATS national conference where she will be focusing on working with kids and teens. She will be presenting and also working with students and afterwards doing a limited number of private lessons. For information please contact Ruth Koroniadis-Armishaw by clicking here.
(Photographed above: Joana Mariz and Jeanie LoVetri)
In January Jeanie is headed back to Brazil, what has the reception of Somatic Voicework™ in Brazil been since Jeanie’s last visit?
A influência do trabalho da Jeanie e do uso do treinamento funcional aqui no Brasil tem sido marcante. Observo que vem crescendo o interesse dos professores de canto por aprofundar sua formação, buscando mais recursos e mais conhecimento para que seu trabalho se enriqueça.
O relato dos professores que fizeram os dois primeiros níveis do Somatic Voicework™ conosco em 2017 e 2018 é de que o método transformou sua maneira de escutar a voz cantada, ampliando muito suas ferramentas e trazendo consistência a suas abordagens de trabalho.
(Photographed above: Joana Mariz and Jeanie LoVetri)
The influence of Jeanie’s work and the use of functional training here in Brazil has been remarkable. I’ve seen the interest of singing teachers grow since Jeanie’s last visit. Singing teachers are wanting to deepen their training, seeking more resources and more knowledge.
Teachers who took the first two levels of Somatic Voicework ™ with us in 2017 and 2018 are reporting that Somatic Voicework™ has transformed their way of teaching; from listening to the singing voice, and greatly expanding their tools, to bringing more consistency to their work. [Read more…] about Meet Joana Mariz
You currently run a very successful private voice studio in Frederick, Maryland. What advice do you have for teachers wanting to start a private studio?
(Photographed Below: Roseanne Fraley working with a student)
Begin by getting promo materials – most importantly a web site and business cards. To get students to seek you out as a teacher, there are several ways to go. What I did was teach a night or two at a local performing arts company. After teaching there awhile my schedule was full so I began taking other students two nights a week at my home, thus creating my private studio. Eventually, I had enough students to teach solely at my private studio. Another way to build your business is to contact the middle and high school vocal music and theatre teachers in your area. Send them a letter telling them who you are and what you have to offer. Include either some business cards or information papers that they can give to interested students. You could even offer to teach a vocal workshop to students at a school. That may also help you get private students. There are also online software tools such as Music Teacher’s Helper that can help you with scheduling if you have many students. Create a studio policy that explains how your studio works (pay for the whole month at the beginning of the month, etc.) Lastly be sure to have a way to keep track of payment.
When did you first meet Jeanie LoVetri? How has Somatic Voicework™/Jeanie LoVetri changed your teaching and/or singing?
I met Jeanie LoVetri in July of 2012 at the CCM Vocal Pedagogy Institute where I took Levels I & II. My success as a voice teacher has improved dramatically in the last seven years as I have continued to take Jeanie’s courses (multiple times) and Teacher Training sessions in New York and the Washington D.C. area. I am much better at listening functionally and having the intention of an exercise in mind as I work with students. I am able to get results with them in a shorter period of time. It’s exciting for both myself and the student!
As a singer, working with Jeanie has brought my voice back to a healthy place. Teaching elementary school music for many years was leaving my voice with some weak spots, although I was managing fine when singing with my pianist and a couple of bands. Through Jeanie’s guidance and many hours of practice, I not only have a healthy voice with much more efficient vocal fold response, I am able to belt in a couple of styles and have gotten that extra headiness out of the way! I am grateful to Jeanie and Somatic Voicework™ for changing the way I sing and teach for the better. It truly is life changing! [Read more…] about Meet Roseanne Fraley
Viva Las Vegas! This past weekend, Dr. Michelle Latour hosted Jeanie in a workshop at her studio in dynamic Las Vegas. Students of all ages and styles joined Dr. Latour and Jeanie for a series of master classes and lectures. We had a wonderful time exploring and discussing the principles of Somatic Voicework™ – learning and engaging together.
(Photographed Left: Jeanie LoVetri & Dr. Michelle Latour)
Next up Jeanie will visit to the DC/Baltimore area to work with Somatic Voicework™ teachers and those interested in exploring Somatic Voicework™. Jeanie will be discussing her functional voice work and demonstrating it with those who attend the sessions. For further information, there are full details at the bottom of the newsletter. To register, click here.
(Photographed Above: Jeanie LoVetri and workshop participants in Las Vegas)
You have recently launched a Free Online Piano Course specifically designed for singers, what can you tell us about the course? How did it come about?
I am the middle of five kids; I don’t come from a family that had extra money kicking around for piano lessons. When I started teaching, I realized there were many students who shared a similar story, they loved singing, they loved music but financial resources prevented them from developing some areas of their musicianship that would help them as artists and singers.
So, I developed Singer’s Piano as a free online course as are resource for adults and young people who are driven, self-motivated, and talented to build the skills they need without breaking the bank. I wanted to create a resource that eliminated the wealth-based barrier to learning the essentials of piano.
Level One is a 12-week course. Each week students learn scales, chords, reading music, how to accompanying themselves, and song writing essentials. By the end of the 12 weeks, they’ll have explored all 12 keys, and learned the basics of what they need to know to read music and sing and play at the same time. If you’re interested in checking out Singer’s Piano, click here.
Your voice studio is very unique in that the majority of students take lessons online. What advice do you have for teachers wanting to teach voice lessons online?
I consider myself very lucky to work with many unique and creative artists all over the world. When I moved to the United Kingdom from Vancouver, Canada two years ago, I suddenly found that my private studio was 100% via online lessons. Now that I have returned to Vancouver, the rate is about 50-50 for online vs. in-person lessons.
The most important considerations for any teacher wanting to consider offering online lessons are the following:
1. High Speed Internet. You have to invest in the highest-speed Internet possible. If your Internet is not high speed, the audio and video will lag. This will hugely interrupt the learning process. If possible, plug your computer directly into the Wi-Fi router.
2. Headphones & External Microphones. The most important way to prevent delay is to use an external microphone (I recommend the Blue Yeti USB microphone) and to wear headphones during the lesson. If the student can do the same on their end, that would be an ideal situation. At very least, have the student wear headphones during the session.
3. Demonstrate and Play Exercises Simply. You have to slow down your exercises a little bit. This doesn’t mean that you modify your teaching completely or never work agility, etc. The computer has difficulty processing really fast sounds. So, I will demonstrate a nine-tone scale to a student and then just play a basic chord for them while they’re singing.
4. Invest in using Zoom. Zoom is an online video conferencing service. I pay for a Premium account (the free version of the account doesn’t allow for sessions over 45 minutes; students only need to download the free version of Zoom for lessons). Zoom is extremely reliable when compared to other online video conferencing platforms. Zoom also allows you and the student the option to video record the session.
How can voice teachers use social media to leverage and promote their work?
A common concern of many voice teachers, myself included, is that there is a large amount of misinformation and potentially harmful information online about singing. Lots of this information comes from people who have developed huge social media followings and now charge an upwards of $500-$1200 USD/hour for a private singing lesson (sometimes more). While I respect the marketing genius, that is absolutely absurd and potentially exploitative. I’ve had many students end up in my studio after spending thousands of dollars in lessons or courses with these social media “experts” and some of the misinformation they’ve been taught is appalling.
I think the best way to combat the misinformation is to have more incredible voice teachers creating content that is informed and helpful. Everyone I have met in the Somatic Voicework™ community has brought a unique experience and informed perspective. We are a vibrant community of experts and what you have to share is valuable and insightful. Create a blog, start a Podcast, post videos on Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram, post inspiring singing quotes or pedagogy tips (Somatic Voicework™ faculty, Amanda Chmela is amazing at this!) on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Ethically, I think it’s important to create content that can easily be understood and applied by a singer at any level (from absolute beginner to an expert), to make sure that I have citations for everything I am saying, and to create content that doesn’t undermine the profession. For example, it doesn’t hurt anyone to make a video talking about how to change a key of a song; however, it does undermine the profession to post a video with a “free vocal warm up” because you don’t know if the exercises you’re posting are going to free up someone’s voice or be the cause another person to develop nodules.
What are you most excited about for the future of Somatic Voicework™?
(Photographed Below: Billy Gollner and Andrea Luyties)
I am so grateful to be a part of such a unique, skilled, and vibrant community. We are all so lucky that Jeanie continues to share her light with us and the world.
I’ve had the pleasure of revisiting Somatic Voicework™ so many times, as both a participant and most recently as faculty. I learn something new every time. I have recently been exploring the body-voice connection in more depth. Just when I think I understand my [ae] vowel, Jeanie gives me a slight adjustment and reshapes my singing world.
I am very excited for the 2020 LoVetri Institute for Somatic Voicework™. I know Jeanie is currently organizing an amazing group of presenters for Levels I, II, and III. I am also extremely excited for the ever expanding Post-Certificate Courses for Graduates of Levels II/III (depending on the course). Dr. Trineice Robinson-Martin’s course was sensational this past summer, Dr. Claudio Milstein’s Vocal Health Intensive the past two years has been amazing, and I know Dr. Anita Kozan’s course on Working with Transgender Voices this coming summer is going to be amazing.
Jeanie is branching out, her new Podcast is amazing. The online courses are an incredible way to continue your learning from home and interact with Jeanie and students in real time. This is an extremely exciting time for Somatic Voicework™!
Check out more from Billy Gollner!
You are a choir director extraordinaire! You put on incredible rock-choir performances each year with your school choirs, how did this come about and what has the reception been?
(photographed below: Jeff Costello performing with his band, Kos & Kos)
Oh my goodness, let’s not get carried away, but thank you for the kind words. My public school choral program is definitely different from most but I feel this is the direction the choral music world needs to go in order to survive. And, by “survive” I mean maintaining large programs and not shrinking programs of specialized choral singers. My students get a real world, full rock band accompanied Spring Concert experience every year. Because of this experience, they should feel much more confident stepping into a Praise Band at church, a local pop/rock band, or even singing karaoke in public.
My shift away from a more traditional, Classical choral curriculum to that of a more CCM based, student driven curriculum began in 2008 when I was first introduced to Somatic Voicework ™ and the teaching of Jeanie LoVetri. Hearing Jeanie say that ALL genres of music deserve equal respect really resonated with me. A highly respected teacher was finally saying what I had been thinking for years. I suddenly felt like I was HOME!
The reception has been great! Two of the last three years’ Spring Concerts were covered by a local TV news station and I have 30 more students this year than I had last year. People are starting to pay attention to what we are doing, which is very exciting. [Read more…] about Spotlight on Jeff Costello