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During this course:

  • You will be guided slowly and sequentially through your body’s natural organization system

  • You will tap into your own built-in anti-gravity system

  • You will train the deep, slow-twitch muscles that support the breathing mechanism

  • You will gain easy and simple awareness practices

  • You will be supported by a skilled teacher whose career has focused heavily on working with musicians 

  • You will learn a unique pedagogy that exists nowhere else

A simple system and guided practice to encourage and

allow freedom and ease in the body, breath and sound.

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Sandra Bain Cushman is a movement and awareness teacher. She’s made a career teaching teaching renowned musicians, writers, theater groups, medical professionals, and business leaders how to gain greater poise, balance, and freedom in their work and in their lives. A certified Alexander Technique teacher since 1990 and a graduate of Jessica Wolf’s Art of Breathing training, she’s taught all around the world, in university settings, retreat settings, her own private practice, and more. In this course, she shares with us a pedagogy that she has created and spent the last decade refining. 

Since 2017, I’ve partnered with her to bring her effective approach to singers at The Center for Vocal Study in Charlottesville, Virginia. We’re thrilled to be able to share her work with you here in this new, easy, group-oriented, self-paced way. 

Through 10 hours of instruction, conversation, and guided practice, our online course sequentially delivers Sandra Bain Cushman’s simple framework to you. 

She teaches us how to work with five relations in the body. As we do this, we retrain the deep, inner-core, slow-twitch muscles that govern the breathing mechanism. This leads to freer and easier breathing and singing. 

LISTEN

As for how Sandra’s work has personally impacted me, here are two examples of me singing the same song:

This first recording was taken in June 2020, two months before beginning this project with Sandra.

This second recording was taken in February 2021.

A few things stand out to me in this second excerpt. I notice more openness and spaciousness in my sound, as well as additional warmth.

Visually, you can see my face has softened. My breathing is more relaxed, recruiting fewer accessory muscles. You might notice that my face and neck are more relaxed when I breathe, and my stance is more grounded and centered. My feet feel more at

ease. My arms are more relaxed, contributing to easier breathing and singing.

Throughout our class’ recording process, I experienced subtle shifts in my core. I first noticed them in my ability to sit in my morning yoga practice. With time, they slowly became evident and natural in my own experience of myself singing. In general, I feel more relaxed, at ease, and stronger.

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Freedom & Ease for Singers

is a course that teaches you how to encourage and allow the right conditions within your body for easy and free breathing. In time, this leads to even more beautiful singing. You will understand how to work with your body wisely and precisely.

Shared only with her permission, here are some great, clear examples of what this work can do for a high school singer! Listen as Sandra narrates this side by side example of Alex singing in her lesson with me this past fall:

Meet Alex

High School Junior

Shared only with her permission, here are some great, clear examples of what this work can do for a high school singer! 

Alex also really wanted to share with you her latest audition submission from January 2021, one month after we finished recording our second (*not yet released*) series. Note the poise and relaxed alignment she exhibits.

Before warming up her voice to record this audition, Alex took the time to incorporate a constructive rest, something Sandra teaches us during this series. This simple lie-down practice organizes the lower body to free the breathing container.

 “I’ve noticed that if I do the lie down before I sing, it really makes a difference. When you’re lying down, it doesn’t seem like it’s doing anything, but once you compare it to singing without doing that, you’re like...interesting...it actually DID do something! Usually I’d sing after some other activity so my mind was still on the other thing. But then after taking the time to center myself and my mind, it works! Also, I’ve been more aware of how I’ve been sitting for online school since I’ve been sitting a lot. I feel like I’ve always been aware of it but since I’ve started this course, my back hasn’t hurt. I’ve been trying to implement the things we are talking about here, and it works. So yay!” - Alex

Thank you, Alex, for sharing your voice with us!

 

For other voice teachers out there, I think it’s important to note that I noticed that within just the 6 weeks of recording this first Freedom & Ease series, her upper passaggio opened up a noticeable amount on its own. This allowed us to begin a new repertoire, reaching above the staff.

 

She is also a flute player and throughout this course creation, she identified important connection points and distinctions between what is required of her as a flute player in marching band and the cues Sandra offered us in her guided practices. Sandra’s cues enabled Alex to focus on small adjustments, such as in her feet.

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Freedom & Ease for Singers Online Course gives singers real, practical, tiny ways to work with the body amidst active lives, honoring your needs as a vocal athlete.  

I have found myself saying to Alex on multiple occasions, “I wish I had had this when I was your age.” 

We would love to have you join a growing community of singers who are breathing with greater freedom and ease, sharing the joy of who you are with the world.

We invite you to read what others have to say about their experience on our Testimonials page. 


Have a question?

Please visit our comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions page. And if your question is not answered there, please contact me at thecenterforvocalstudy@gmail.com.


Thank you! We hope to see you on the other side.


Heather
 

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