Aligned and Aware: Solutions for the Singing Body

Aligned and Aware

Solutions for the Singing Body

An innovative online movement library for voice teachers who want to stop playing whack-a-mole with singers’ bodies in lessons and know, once and for all, how to help their students.

You’re not here to be a ‘good’ voice teacher.

You’re here to be a GREAT voice teacher.

There’s just one problem: everything you learned in school about the singing body is wrong.

You know the whole body is your instrument, but no one…not your beloved voice teacher, the countless coaches you’ve worked with, nor the maestro in master classes…has ever looked at and really seen the whole you.

So how are you supposed to help anybody else?

When you’re teaching your students, you see how tense their shoulders are.

You hear how hard the high notes are for them.

You know their first deep breath of the day happens when they’re in your studio.

I call this the trifecta of trouble and you know every singer in your studio struggles with some version of this.

But…telling them “relax your shoulders” or “increase the breath energy” and “float the high note” doesn’t work. At all. And you’re left guessing what to do.

I want to let you in on a little secret: until they address their backaches, breathing and yes, even their bunions…you’ll never help them be the singers they’re meant to be.

It's #truthbomb time...

  • That pile of pedagogy pages sitting in your studio? They’re a day late and a dollar – no, ten trillion dollars – short when it comes to addressing the body.
  • We’re more than 2D skeletons on a page.
  • The books tell you “how the voice works” but say nothing about real, 3D bodies that have lived real lives.
  • The singing body is an instrument built out of moving parts all of which depend on the other parts…and when those parts move better, both together and separately, your voice functions better too.

 

What will your singers sound like
when their body stops holding them back?

Visualize this:

You’re in the studio, watching your singer’s shoulders creep up toward her ears as she slowly runs out of breath while singing…and rather than telling her “roll your shoulders and take a deep breath” you tell her to get on her hands and knees and let her belly sag towards the floor – and sing the phrase from there.

Yes, really.

Suddenly, breathing is a whole-torso event.

And the phrase that wasn’t working? She can sing it, without her shoulders tensing up.

It works because you’ve interrupted the pattern by:

  • Identifying what was moving (her shoulders) – which was preventing her from singing freely.
  • Seeing what wasn’t moving (her abdomen) – which needed to release to be able to engage appropriately.
  • And putting her hands on the floor – which helped anchor her shoulders and free the neck.

That’s seeing in the studio

Enter Stage Left.. Aligned and Aware: Solutions for the Singing Body

Because while you can practice on your hands and knees it’s not really possible to perform that way…unless you’re in some avant-garde production in which case GO FOR IT!

Your singer needs to get upright and have the same result when they sing.

You need to know the rest of the story – the story of the body, biomechanics, movement science, alignment, and awareness.

Grab your membership and dive in to learning with access to the core content: learn new perspectives on alignment, breathing and cross body connections that impact the voice. ​

Join today for only $44/month

When you get them moving better in the studio...

  • Bach stops making their low back bark.
  • The songs from Newsies no longer make their necks tense up.
  • The melismas in masterworks that once made them gasp for breath… now flow with ease.

It’s time to shift away from not knowing exactly what to do, toward confidence in the body’s ability to support singing.  

How do you get there?

  • With  sustainable movements that empower your teaching and your singers.
  • With a resource that builds singer’s inner sense of control, safety and trust in the body.
  • Those are  the key components of singing, movement and healing.

It's all inside Aligned and Aware: Solutions for the Singing Body

Press Play to take a tour of the library!

Membership Includes:

Masterclasses

Take a deep dive into the body to discover connections and how the whole body impacts the voice

Breathing Explorations

Explore the breath as a reflection of our inner state and better understand breathing patterns.

Seeing in the Studio

One-move tutorials to apply in the studio and find immediate, impactful differences in the voice.

Movement Classes

These off the mat style classes offer a physical exploration of concepts taught in master classes.

20-60 Minutes

10 Minutes

3-5 Minutes

20-55 Minutes

Grab your membership and dive in with access to the core content: learn new perspectives on alignment, breathing and cross body connections that impact the voice.

From there monthly content includes an assortment of:

  • Master Classes,
  • Movement Classes,
  • Breathing Explorations
  • Seeing in the Studio one-move tutorials
  • Instructional PDFs

All centered on a topic and designed to help you and your singers address imbalances in the body.

  Let’s face it, your teaching just got even better.

Other bonuses:

  • Core content is always available to members so when you wake up at 3am worrying about a particular singer, you can drift back off to sleep knowing the answer awaits online
  • New videos are added monthly so your teaching is always growing and improving making you a #beastyboss studio teacher 
  • Supplemental pdfs are created regularly so you can build a resource binder of your own and have the answers you need always at your finger tips

Vocal Interdependence :

The library works because it addresses Vocal Interdependence, 

and you absolutely need to know what that is if you’re going to be an effective teacher.

 

Your voice is a production resulting from the interplay of respiration, phonation and resonance all of which are impacted by and inextricable from our skeletal, nervous and muscular systems.

 

  Vocal Interdependence is just a fancy way of saying 

your voice depends on every other system in the body to work well.

 

Your job as a voice teacher largely focuses on the vocal tract and resonance to produce sounds that are optimal. Your training tends to focus on registration, phonation and respiration – typically learning about them separately and having moments of overlap as we put it together.

AND there’s a lot to know about those things, but you’ve got that part.

You’ve cultivated your ears, now you’re ready to cultivate your eyes and your ability to see the body.

Couple that ability to see with actually knowing what’s happening and voilá, you have better knowledge in real life of how the body works and can solve real problems quickly.

That’s vocal interdependence in action.

Step outside the (voice) box, off the (pedagogy) page today and join the library to start on your path to being the best performing teacher you can.

Join today for only $44/month

Join the library if you...

…are willing to pick your jaw up off the floor when you begin to see and experience the ways the body and voice are interconnected.

…have strong opinions about vocal technique and what works so now you’re ready to understand the rest of your instrument.

…know shoving a body part into the place it should be is an ineffective technique.

…want to train both your ears and your eyes to better serve the singer in front of you.

…are ready to start living well in your own body.

…want to figure out how to take what you’ve learned in your yoga training and apply it in the studio.

…wish for a straightforward way to connect the body and voice.

…wonder about the places in your body and voice that feel mysterious, elusive and painful.

…are a person who loves getting a great value for your investment.

If you answered YES to any of those, Aligned and Aware is the place for you!

Avoid the library if you believe...

…noble posture is the bomb diggity for singers.

…knowledge is not meant to be challenged and expanded.

…shoving a body part where it’s supposed to go is the best way.

…you can bend your knees AND have your hips aligned over your knees (go ahead, try it, I dare you!)

…you already know everything about the body as it relates to the voice.

…living, teaching, and singing in pain is fine.

…breathing doesn’t really matter after the first voice lesson.

…the surface knowledge of the body that’s offered in pedagogy texts is all you need.

Meet Your Friendly Librarian, Sarah Whitten

Credentials

  • MA, Vocal Pedagogy
  • MM in Vocal Performance, both from The Ohio State University
  • Additional coursework in Voice Disorders from the MGH Institute of Health Professionals
  • 500 hr Certified Yoga Teacher
  • Additional studies in Yoga as Therapy with Susi Hately and Doug Keller
  • Multi-Year Restorative Exercise/Nutritious Movement (™) Training Program
  • Ongoing study of biomechanics, pain science and movement with multiple teachers.
  • 13 years on the Holden Voice Faculty at Harvard University

I’m a voice teacher and yogi turned movement educator. A little buddhist, a little badass, with a whole lotta love for the voice and body.

While performing and teaching voice over the last 20 years I’ve trained in Slow Flow and Iyengar Yoga, Yoga as Therapy and Restorative Exercise™. Coursework in alignment, anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and pain science have taken me deep into understanding the physical body.

It was a journey born out of necessity. As a singer, despite singing at a high level, I received consistent feedback that I my breathing was off, my high notes could be easier and my body wasn’t fully involved in my singing. But, no one could tell me what to do about any of it. I also spent nearly half my life living with low level injuries and after having my second child, was unable to walk for two weeks. 

When I expanded my lens beyond my traditional yoga training and went deeper to address my own issues, I not only regained function, but I had fewer aches and pains than I did as a ‘super fit’ 20-something.

In that time I put together new understandings of the whole body as it relates to singing. I’ve honed in on the best ways of bringing together body and voice through movement and developed a much deeper ability to work with the whole body as a singer’s instrument.

Testimonials

5/5
“It is humbling to be confronted with how much one can know about alignment and breathing for singing, and how good a real expert can be at working the hidden rules of our physiology to elicit improved singing. I’ve been applying what I learned in my studio this week and more readily achieving the results I wanted than even last week. You’re filling in so many gaps for people surrounding the singing body.”
Ian Howell
Prof.  New England Conservatory
5/5
“…pretty much all of the singers who come in are tense in some way, and this has given me some ways to disarm it quickly — it can make a noticeable difference quickly!”
Eden Casteel
President RI NATS, Soprano, Voice Teacher
5/5
“The work you do is incredible. So unique and profound in many ways. Before I found you, I used to wonder if anyone actually existed who worked as holistically and as intuitively as you. Thank God you chose to follow the path you did! Thank you so much”
Dan Gough
Owner of Class Dynamix
5/5
“Sarah Whitten has been instrumental in helping me address deep-rooted physical imbalances that have been holding me and my voice back for years. I highly recommend her to anyone looking to live in a more functional version of their body.“
Bryn Jimenez
Soprano and Voice Teacher
5/5
“The Movement Library is a must. [Sarah’s] work…has been instrumental in my physical and vocal journey.”
Lynlee Copenhaver
Soprano and Voice Teacher
5/5
“As a mother-of-three and a professional singer and voice teacher, I really need my body to work for me. Before working with Sarah, I was constantly frustrated by my physical limitations, which was becoming a severe emotional drain. As a result of working with Sarah privately, attending her online Alignment and the Voice Workshop, and a private workshop at NEC, I have enhanced body awareness and a clear understanding of what I need to do to strengthen my body and care for myself. Not only am I singing and teaching better, I am no longer plagued with anxiety about the things I can't do, and can now celebrate the ease in which I can move and breathe. Sarah Whitten's expertise and clear teaching strategies are a blessing I wish everyone could experience.“
Kayla Gautereaux
Soprano, Voice Teacher

Here’s the really good news about the library!

  • For the equivalent of just a handful of voice lessons you get an entire year’s access to the chance to expand your knowledge of a singer’s instrument, live with less pain and better function.
  • You don’t need a ton of time. Each month your time commitment is between 1.5 and 2 hours. There’s always more if you want it, but it isn’t hard to keep up.
  • Joining means you are no longer slamming the door on your body. As long as you are alive tissue can change.
  • The library is here to be a partner with you on your journey understanding your instrument. This information isn’t found in even the best of vocal pedagogy books.

Ready to see the voice through a whole new lens and really know what to do with your singer’s bodies?

Sign up today to get started in Aligned and Aware: Solutions in the Singing Body.

$44/month or $440 for the year.

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