The sound of your voice reveals what is in your heart.
Voice Technician & Coach Biography
Learning to Sing at 18
Over 35 years ago I found a voice teacher Lynn Northfield who lived 2 hours travell by bus each way from my home to hers in Vancouver, Canada. My performances began in Opera, and Art Songs in Vancouver, Canada.
I studied with Lynn for many years becoming more and more fascinated with the human sound, the how’s and why’s of voice production and coaching. It was studying with Judy Mah that I deepened my practice and knowledge of the process of vocal production, to analyse the classical techniques of professional singing and reproduce the methods for brilliant results.
Along on my vocal journey, I worked with a variety of voice teachers at colleges and universities with excellent credentials who were in fact, depressingly inadequate (one was so arrogant she ridiculed her students at public events). Many were book smart but mediocre in their knowledge and methods of production.
One teacher told me the quality of sound didn’t come from the body; I needed to be perfectly still in both practice and performances. Her reasoning why I had issues with my upper range and my jaw hurt to sing.
I knew there were better methods of teaching so through practice, listening and discovery I found my ‘best practices’ to educate myself and clients how to produce incredible voices, both singing and in communicating.
During this time I found Maria, a voice coach who was a retired Opera singer from Poland teaching in White Rock, Canada. She was a darling at 73 then, and I think in her 80’s now is still teaching. My god, she opened a world of voice production I never knew possible in me.
Maria was open to my methods of voice production; she’d never heard of notes so soft and bright. I was incorporating yoga breathing techniques into my singing for incredible results. Yes using my whole body.
Communications Expert, ITC
I became a communications expert/master in my 20’s with ITC, International Training in Communications. Honing skills of public speaking, I found my knowledge of voice production is what set me apart from other communicators and communicating coaches/teachers.
Born a meditation master, I maintain my practice being a member of the Reading Priory, Reading, UK and the Lions Gate Buddhist Priory in Lytton, CA. Here I learn, study and contribute. Priories are part of the Serene Reflection Meditation (Soto Zen) Tradition and the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives – Monasteries Shasta Abbey, USA and Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey, UK.
SFU, Contemporary Music Composition BA
I completed a BA at Simon Fraser University where I learnt contemporary music, about composing and composers. At SFU my world of classical music was opened up to include modern composers. I wrote for choirs and soloists, ensembles and instrumentalists Contemporary Composition. My composition teacher Rodney Sharman, PhD recently won the Canada Council for the Arts’ Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts ($50,000). My classmates were among Roland Lee, Guitarist, Rita Ueda and Jordan Nobles recent winner of a Juno Awards 2017 in Classical Composition.
Registered Yoga Therapy Practitioner
In my late 30’s became a Yoga Therapy Practitioner, expanding my studies to Buddhist and Christian chants, World Music electronic and acoustic tonalities and sound healing.
I travelled to Kerala to study advanced yoga therapy and learn Carnatic Vocal Music for three months. It was exciting times, met people from the world and ate great food.
I operated a Yoga and Martial Arts studio, Z Mind Body Spirit Centre, in Port Moody, BC, Canada for five years. The first to offer Yoga in the tri-cities area near Vancouver, BC opening in 2000.
50’s a continuum in learning
World Teaching and Study
Everywhere I travell France, Canada, UK, Belgium, Ireland, Scotland, USA and other countries I both teach and learn. Students, friends, clients and other travellers from whom I learn so much.
37 Years Teaching
As a continual learner, explorer and openness to possibilities, I have established a career as a Vocal Technician specialising in voice production: tone, timbre, breath control, proper instrument function (anatomy & kinesiology), range, memory, interpretation and mindset. I enjoy working with dedicated people of all ages, genders (including GLBT community) and abilities.
I continue to research and teach from a holistic perspective fusing the mind and body as an instrument that produces excellent results for singers, communicators, vocalists and in use for voice therapy.
I use intuitive skills to understand what each student needs to learn, unlearn, practice and sing for each to soar. I share my experience and expertise openly to the benefit of each student.
My teaching is of a holistic nature to approach voice production methods beyond mere rote exercises of generalities to instil the structures of physical movement and mindfulness in where you can only excel in presentation, performance and skill.
I promote learning that exhilarates all your senses, memory and traditional and experiential skillsets.
Recognising your strengths first and areas for improvement second is my formula for your growth.
You are an individual with a story, a bright future and a present where you can learn. Lessons are where your talent reveals itself.
Humour breaks through layers of a life lived to awaken confidence in your production, in your life.
An addendum: I laugh when told, “but we don’t have a piano, or what you want to hear my speech outside in the park for”?
I teach anywhere, with or without a musical instrument, or computer. You have a voice you take wherever; I can take my coaching wherever too.
My teaching is unique in that drawing from a plethora of methods you will achieve what you need to, as you need it.
Sessions include yogasanas, meditation, mindfulness and breathe techniques for you to excel.
I ask for dedication, openness and a willingness to try from you to accomplish advances in your life through understanding your voice, the self, and your relationship to music.
Your voice has many subtle qualities and intentions within your conversations. I find it intriguing to listen, hear and discover more in your message. Where and when coupled with your choices of what to say, whats behind your message to make it soothing, alluring, jarring or commanding mixed with emotions in the telling of your story.
Soon after I began teaching singing, I discovered I had an ear for vocal subtleties, accents, challenges and emotional blocks. Using a sympathetic ear, I found I could hear more of what was behind messages through pronunciations, inflexions, ranges of feelings, thoughts and context.
Further, I found by distinguishing intent and clarifying thoughts and reasoning; I was able to direct clients to a more on point conversation than merely giving generic voice exercises or general solutions.
Importantly today, I have solutions to increasing your communicating effectiveness and solving your verbal needs.
Everyone is different, and so are your solutions. In helping hundreds of people get their message across as they intend, to be heard, the benefits to listening as part of the productive process you can have real dialogues.
Being a vocal technician is about your levels of communication, thought processes, your knowledge and so much more to accompany the actual mechanic of voice production.
For singers, I help each form the sound they desire, improve their range and quality by instinctively knowing what techniques each need.
With a vocalist or speaker, the methods are similar just the context or intent is different. I draw out hidden talents to persuade, to come alive when storytelling, to be authentic.
I use pedagogic models to involve you in the process of incorporated meditation, varying breathing techniques and yoga therapy into vocal production for spectacular results.
Being a voice technician involves the whole of you, not just the sound I hear when you speak.