Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method is an organized method of vocal training for Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM) styles, (those styles that used to be called “non-classical) based upon somatic (physical) awareness and aural discernment. The training is presented in three Levels that must be done in sequence.
Level I is called “Basic Application” and includes the following: Introduction to functional principles of voice science and medicine. There will be a vocal health lecture by Chandler Thompson, DMA, Speech Language Pathologist, specializing in care of the professional voice. Its main objective is to instruct teachers how to keep the voice healthy for speech and singing. Level I addresses terminology, and its appropriate use, and the attitude, intention and appropriateness of the interaction between student and teacher. Level I states that the teacher must have a clear intention for the vocal exercise when it is given. The teacher must know (a) either what is missing and needs to be added or (b) what is wrong and needs to be corrected, such that the student’s singing will somehow improve. It rests on vocal function, vocal health and on traditional pedagogy, but it is also meant to help singers be marketable.
Level II is called “Advanced Application.” The main objective of Level II is understanding how to use vocal exercises functionally, and is largely devoted to exploring how singing exercises work….what they do and why. It further examines aural perception as applied to singers of various ability levels and style choices, and how training must integrate small details in each session into the larger goals of the vocalist over time. It enhances the teacher’s ability to evaluate the students in terms of vocal behavior and aptitude. In Level II, the teacher acquires greater skill in choosing exercises that are appropriate and adjusting them to meet the students’ needs efficiently. There is also greater exploration of the many CCM styles and the related vocal issues that impact them, separately from health. This level gives parameters for age-related groups of singers, and addresses lesson protocol and progress. There will be a presentation by Karen Erickson, Doctor of Chiropractic Philosophy on body awareness and bodily health, presenting techniques for greater connection to the physical aspects of singing. We also have a fun night singing for each other and another watching zany vocal videos.
Level III addresses “Repertoire, Problem Solving and Voice Medicine”. It features a noted music theater expert from New York City, Andy Einhorn, Music Director from many Broadway shows, who will conduct a master class in audition skills with chosen participants. This level also may include lectures by experts on jazz or gospel, rock or blues. This year our medical lecture is being presented by Dr. Michael Benniger, internationally recognized laryngologist from the Cleveland Clinic.
Level III also touches upon specific performance skills for any style, and provides an excellent and quick approach to teach pitch matching for those with that issue. It promotes interdisciplinary interchange, i.e., the need for fellowship with Speech Language Pathologists and Medical Doctors. It also supports the idea that teachers should acquire the ability to read, understand and possibly even undertake voice science research which would be of interest to those in all voice disciplines. It goes into all aspects of Level II and III in greater depth. We have another fun evening singing karaoke and eating pizza.
Special extended sessions for graduates of Level III are “Vocal Health” by Dr. Claudio Milstein, Speech Pathologist at the Cleveland Clinic, and “Soul Ingredients®” a certification course in the method of Dr. Trineice Robinson-Martin addressing gospel and R&B. Registration in these courses is limited and fills quickly. Early registration is recommended.
The full three-tier program is informative, friendly and fun. There is a warm atmosphere and an openhearted approach to developing vocal artistry. It will be held at Baldwin Wallace University’s Conservatory, in the Community Music School, in Berea, Ohio (near Cleveland). It begins on July 20, 2019 and ends July 28. Each Level is 3-days long. Registration is open. To date, over 3,000 people from all voice disciplines have attended at least one Level of Somatic Voicework™ and people from 43 states and 15 foreign countries have attended the courses in various locations throughout the USA, in Vancouver, Canada, in Toowoomba, Australia and in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Please go to: www.somaticvoicework.com or www.bw.edu/lovetri or call +1-440-826-2365 for more information.
What Is Underneath and Behind Somatic Voicework™, The LoVetri Method?
Somatic Voicework™ seeks to bring the voice, the person, the emotions and the mind together. It seeks to illuminate the path of vocal artistry by conveying objective information about vocal production based on what is currently known and understood in medicine and science. It supports inter-disciplinary exchange. It is an open system. All premises are subject to improvement and personal adaptation. It honors and respects the styles of music called Contemporary Commercial (CCM) and believes that all styles of music have value and worth.
Somatic Voicework™ rests on respect for the body and allows it to take its time adapting to various stimuli while new responses emerge. It works with compassion, allowing artists to face difficulties, overcome issues and recover abilities even in the face of a diagnosis of pathology or damage. It treats every singer, young or old, famous or unknown, talented or talent-not-yet-tapped, the same. It allows teachers to say, with perfect integrity, “I don’t know. Let me ask.” It recognizes posture and breathing, physical coordination and kinesthetic conditioning, aural acuity and visual feedback and asks only that singers address all aspects of singing function through reasonable, consistent and sustained training and practice.
Somatic Voicework™ teaches “whole people” not larynges or throats or vocal folds, not time slots (the Tuesday noon tenor, “what’s his name” or the “A5 soprano with the wobbly middle voice, Something-or-other Smith”). It incorporates physical, emotional and personal stressors as being factors in living an artistic life and does not diminish singers for having to address these things while training and/or performing. It recognizes that we are not mental health professionals but we are all human beings and that life can sometimes be messy but it is always worthwhile. It teaches careful use of language and its impact on students and taking full responsibility for the learning process as the flawed but passionate people we all are.
Somatic Voicework™ is for those who want to dig deep. It is for those who are not looking for the “10 quickest tips so you can be on American Idol” or the “12 best ways to get really great high notes by next week”. It is not concerned with helping people get tenure, being smarter than people who want to squeeze the throat, position the larynx, vibrate the vocal folds on purpose or with proving that all voices should sing the same way in every circumstance.
Somatic Voicework™ is simple and complicated. It is easy to understand but takes a long time to master. It is available to anyone who wants to investigate it but can only be completely assimilated by those who use the concepts on their own voices over time in many ways. It is up to each individual how much or little the concepts in Somatic Voicework™ matter in their own lives but, as teachers, in order to be both ethical and appropriate, it is imperative that teachers know about all voices, and all musical styles, not just their own or the ones they sing.
Somatic Voicework™ is a method of vocal pedagogy that grew out of the life of Jeannette Louise LoVetri, known as Jeanie to her friends and colleagues. It is the result of decades of singing; training for singing; study, investigation, experimentation of myriad disciplines and philosophies; and thousands of hours spent teaching singing voice lessons for 48 years. She shares the work with an open heart hoping that it will be valuable to others and perhaps help them avoid difficulty, struggle, sadness, frustration and self-doubt, all of which she had to endure to learn what is in the course. It is not presented as “the way” or “the best way” just one way. She invites you to make it your way, if that would be of use to you.