Vocal problems

Alexander Technique for Vocal problems

If your voice is your tool, you want it to work reliably. You want to go onstage knowing that when your cue comes, you will be able to respond powerfully and resonantly.

But sometimes things go wrong. A cold at the wrong time, causing you to force your voice, can be enough to set up a train of bad habits that affect your voice months or even years afterwards. If you’ve ever felt that

  • Physical tension is hampering your vocal production
  • There’s something funny about the way you’re using your breathing apparatus, but you don’t know how to fix it
  • You get hoarse onstage, but medical interventions don’t help
  • Your jaw is tense, either when performing, or after sleeping
  • You have trouble sustaining your voice for a whole show
  • You are starting to turn down work because you’re afraid your voice won’t hold out
  • Every time you go onstage, you’re worried about whether you’ll have a voice by the end of the performance
  • You’re sick of the discomfort; you’re bored of the steam baths, the lozenges and the sprays

I can help you.

Jennifer Mackerras teaches Alexander Technique for vocal problemsMy name is Jennifer, and I am a performance coach. For nearly ten years I have helped performers from all disciplines to reach their potential. I am Alexander Technique tutor at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and I work with both music and acting students there to help them reach their dreams.

For freedom in performance

Music and drama colleges all over the world have long recognised the benefits of Alexander Technique for musicians and actors. Studying Alexander Technique can help you:

  • Improve your sound
  • Reduce unnecessary muscular tension, especially around the jaw and throat
  • Improve your breathing
  • Help you achieve technical excellence
  • Hone your rehearsal strategies
  • Clarify your thinking

As a performer myself, I know how important it is to feel well-prepared and at ease before a performance. Alexander Technique is a well-known and proven tool for helping alleviate some of the common causes of vocal troubles in actors and singers.

Alexander Technique for vocal problems, right from the beginning

The Alexander Technique was actually created as a means of solving one actor’s vocal problems. The work’s creator, FM Alexander, suffered from hoarseness onstage that did not respond to medical intervention. FM found that muscular tensions and the inefficient way he was using his whole body was creating the vocal problems he experienced. Not only that, but he founded a new approach to the working of the human body in order to solve the problem! It works for many other problems too, but is definitely a great tool for solving many vocal difficulties.

How I work

I want my students to get better quickly, and to be able to apply the ideas I teach whenever and wherever they choose. So I structure my sessions to encourage my clients to learn to do the Alexander Technique for themselves!

At your first appointment with me, I will meet with you to discuss what you both think the problems are, and to hear about what you both would like to achieve. In that first session I give a short explanation of what I do, and give you an experience of the physical (hands-on) guidance that forms part of most Alexander Technique coaching.

I will do the following things:

  • assess your current physical problems and take a history
  • find out what goals you have
  • give you some background on what Alexander Technique is
  • let you know whether I think I will be able to help you to achieve your goals, and how long it is likely to take
  • give you the opportunity to decide if you feel comfortable with me.

By the end of the first appointment, I aim to give you an assessment of my impression of how things are currently, and how long it is likely to take for me to be able to help you. If I think you’re in the wrong place for what you want to achieve, I’ll tell you that, too! My aim is to give you an honest summary, so that you can decide how you want to proceed.

If we decide to work together, I will recommend a series of appointments, initially weekly. I always recommend doing a reassessment at the end of the 6th appointment, so that we can see if you’re progressing towards your goals.

You can either pay for each session singly, or purchase 6 sessions all up front. If you decide to go for the up-front option, I will give you a the sixth session for free. You will also receive a book worth £18 to aid your understanding and help you improve faster.

Cost:  £55 for up to 40 minutes
OR  £300 for a six lesson package.

OVER THE FIRST SIX APPOINTMENTS, I WILL:

  • check in with you to see how things are progressing
  • work on specific activities that you want to improve, so that we can make them freer and easier
  • teach you both the basic principles and tools of the Alexander Technique
  • give you small pieces of ‘homework’ that are aimed at helping you to apply Alexander Technique to your everyday life. My aim is to make it fun and easy to incorporate into your daily routines.

In sessions 5 and 6 we will spend some time discussing whether you feel you have progressed sufficiently, and feel confident enough to keep working independently. Often, 6 sessions is enough! If this is the case, we’ll discuss options for helping you keep in touch with the ideas from my lessons. I have a newsletter, and I offer an ongoing email support service to all my students.
Of course, some problems take longer to solve than others, and I will take the time to work with you for as long as it takes to get you to where you want to be. But I also work to help you to be able to ‘do’ the Alexander Technique for yourself. In my experience, six lessons is frequently all that is needed to make substantial improvements.

Why do it now?

Nobody should have to put up with the constant lingering fear of whether they will be able to do their job effectively. If your voice is your tool, you need it to work. Alexander Technique might not be the answer to your problems. But, what if it is, and you’ve put off trying it? You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
Don’t put things off. Nip any problems in the bud now. Try Alexander Technique for vocal problems.

Let’s get started.

I’m looking forward to talking to you about how we can work together to help you regain vocal freedom. Fill out the form below and I’ll be in touch within 24 hours.

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