LIFESONG – 10-week intensive course

Admission to Lifesong begins with a personal interview.  
Please contact Chris.

NEXT SESSION: winter 2024

Once a week, 7-10PM Location tbd

Reclaim the natural malleability of your voice so that the emotional and spiritual bounty of your inner landscape, borne on your words, can sing itself into the hearts and souls of all who listen to you. 

Based on the principles of Voice Movement Therapy, Lifesong offers an opportunity to explore your voice as an instrument of self-healing and life transformation. Lifesong is exercise for the voice. It opens you up — physically, emotionally, spiritually — to more fully express the genuine, authentic, multi-faceted you. 

Lifesong groups are kept small, so that everyone can receive lots of personal attention.  

8 participants maximum – preferably fully vaccinated

Lifesong is not for casual participation. Voice work is fun, but it can also be emotionally and physically challenging. Participants can expect to spend about three hours per week doing homework in addition to class time.

“I live by breathing in and breathing out. I sing by transforming this breath into sound, sound which in turn forms the material for the contents of the soul.” 

Alfred Wolfsohn 

What is LifeSong?    

Lifesong helps you grow a voice that is responsive to your inner landscape and flexible enough to convey your own emotional and spiritual music. 

Before we could speak, our voices were totally uninhibited. As babies we used an amazing array of sounds. As our interior experience changed, the sounds we made changed too. As we acquired words we made less and less use of the physical agility of our vocal instrument. Our voices lost much of their ability to authentically convey the feelings underneath our words.

In Lifesong, we explore the sonic possibilities we were born with, to reclaim our full range of sounds, and allow us a broader vocal palette for expressing what lives within us.

"I really appreciated your approach to music, that it is a creative process that everyone is free to experience, and not just available to those who are considered "talented" or "musicians". I love this way of looking at music and will keep exploring, discovering and experience it because I truly enjoy it." Hazel, Lifesong graduate, Ottawa ON 

How does LifeSong Work?  

Every evening of LifeSong has two parts:   

Physical Movement & Vocal exploration:   
Participants use free movement to probe the interconnections between breath, motion, emotion and voice. This part of the evening is devoted to increasing the malleability of our vocal instrument by exploring 10 different parameters of voice production.   
In the second half of the evening, participants explore the various themes of their lives by telling stories and singing songs that they, themselves, have written.  

Songs? Singing?   

You don’t need to have musical experience to do Lifesong. We will work together to take the lines you’ve written and play with them, exaggerating the natural rise and fall of the spoken language, expanding and freeing your voice, until your uncontrived melody emerges spontaneously from the well of joy or pain, laughter or despair, anger or delight, that bubbles within you. 

Lifesong was created and facilitated for over 20 years by Barclay McMillan. 

In June 2019, at age 87, Barclay retired and sadly, he passed away months later. But the work that Barclay said was the most important of his life, carries on.

What is Voice Movement Therapy?

Voice Movement Therapy (VMT) is an integrated Expressive Arts therapy that seeks to embody the voice and use the whole body and the intuition as instruments of self-expression. What is stored within (even the unspeakable stories) are expressed through breath, sound, movement and rhythm. By focusing on the mechanics of voice and movement; the exploration of our own energetic space; and the creation of collaborative sound; painful emotions are allowed to emerge, exist and be transformed. 

Voice Movement Therapy was founded by Paul Newham inspired by Alfred Wolfsohn’s pioneering work on the human voice and its psychological implications; Roy Hart’s work on the human voice and theatre; otolaryngologist Paul Moses’ study of voice; and the psychological work of Carl Jung. 

Chris is a registered Voice Movement Therapy practitioner and member of The International Association for Voice Movement Therapy (IAVMT). For up-to-date info, visit the IAVMT Facebook page.