Welcome to the world’s first and only certification program specializing in Alexander Technique and Singing.
“This program has given me tools, knowledge, confidence, and the desire to explore all that my voice can be.”
“In just one level, my voice has been transformed from what it was. I relish the fact that this is only the beginning of those transformations. Now I have so much joy in creating music with my voice and I look forward to what the next level of change will be!”
Midge McMoyer Smith
Singer & Teacher in Houston, Texas
What is the TVF Foundations Certification Program?
Dear Fellow Singer and/or Teacher,
Thank you for your interest in the TVF Foundations Certification Program (formerly known as TVF Pro)!
This rigorous yet flexible training program is for voice teachers, vocal coaches, choral educators, and singers (of all levels) to help you dramatically improve the quality of your singing and teaching and connect you to your deeper purpose as a singer, performer and vocal educator.
The core of the program consists of applying the ground-breaking discoveries of F.M. Alexander (the originator of the Alexander Technique) to singing, learning, teaching and performing.
The TVF Foundations Certification Program, which combines the convenience of online coursework with the power and impact of live training, offers three sequential levels of training:
- Level I – The Integrated Singer: Exploring Total Vocal Freedom
- Level II – Deep Practice: The Art & Science of Learning
- Level III – Onstage Magic: Essential Skills for Peak Performance
During each level of training you be empowered to give your musical gifts generously and freely to the world by learning how to remove the interfering factors (whether they be physical, mental or emotional) that get in the way of connected and joyful singing and teaching.
By the end of the program, you will possess a rich and varied set of practical tools that will allow you to experience greater freedom, ease and confidence in any situation you encounter in your singing practice, teaching and life.
Since launching this program, it’s been thrilling to watch our students make surprising and unexpected discoveries about what’s possible with their singing and teaching. I am extremely proud of our students and how they are awakening to the fullest version of their most authentic creative selves.
On this page you will find information about the Foundations curriculum, what the program entails and how certification works. If you are excited by what you read here, I invite you to register for our online course or join us at one our upcoming live trainings.
To Your Singing and Teaching Success!
With Music and Love,
Founder & Executive Director
Total Vocal Freedom for Singers
NOTE: Level II & III are not being offered at this time. Level II will be offered in mid-2020 and Level III in late 2020.
There are two main parts to each level of the program: online coursework and live training. See below for more specific certification requirements.
There are two ways to participate in our live trainings:
- Attend a live 3-day training weekend in the cities listed below.
- Or attend a winter/summer workshop & retreat.
Same curriculum, same faculty, different setting and structure (the workshops & retreats are longer periods of time and include meals & lodging).
- New York City, NY from April 3-5, 2020 (Balance Arts Center; 151 W. 30th St, 3rd Floor, New York, NY, 10001)
- Chicago, IL from May 1-3, 2020 (Chicago Human Rhythm Project; 410 S Michigan Ave # 464, Chicago, IL 60605)
- Toronto, ON from Jun 5-7, 2020 (Location: TBA)
Special Early-Bird Offer: Save $250 if you register before March 1st, 2020
(use this coupon code: SAVE250)
These training weekends will follow this schedule:
- Friday Session: 10:00am – 6:00pm
- Saturday Session: 10:00am – 6:00pm
- Sunday Session: 10:00am – 6:00pm
Live Workshops & Retreats
- Yelapa, Mexico from Feb. 13-17, 2020 at the 2020 TVF Winter Workshop & Retreat
- Racine, Wisconsin from July 20-25, 2020 at the 2020 TVF Summer Workshop & Retreat
Get the Online Foundations Course free as part of your tuition ($295 value)
“For all of this, for the experience, the knowledge, and the relationships, thank you 1,000 times. I am transformed.”
Singer & Voice Teacher in Berlin, Germany
How TVF Foundations Will Benefit You
The TVF Foundations Certification Training Program will benefit many areas of your life:
- Natural relief from tension, pain and stress
- Learn how your body is designed to move most efficiently and naturally
- Increased freedom, resonance, and agility throughout your entire vocal range
- Learn tools to reliably sing with your best voice
- Discover how to breathe deeper and fuller
- Learn a natural approach to breath control and support
- Accelerate your progress by upgrading how you learn
- Learn how to increase your focus, concentration and self-awareness
- Help your students solve vocal problems quicker
- Learn to how to expertly guide your students to make faster progress
- Connect with the audience on a deeper level
- Learn lasting and effective solutions to deal with performing-related fear and anxiety
Your Health & Well-Being
- Enjoy greater vitality and energy
- Learn how to find peace of mind and calm amidst the business of modern life
The TVF Foundations Certification Program also includes:
- Non-traditional learning
- A warm, nurturing and supportive learning environment
- High standards of excellence
- Engaging and meaningful discussions
- Fun social events during the live weekends
- Experiential learning activities and movement explorations
- A respect for each person’s unique individual journey
- A strong emphasis on effective communication and personal growth
- Support and accountability from colleagues and peers
“Through this training program, I really started to have a physical and practical understanding of how Alexander Technique can be helpful to me both in singing and in life.”
Singer & Voice Teacher in Annapolis, Maryland
TVF Foundations Program Curriculum
The Integrated Singer: Exploring Total Vocal Freedom
Level I is about learning and applying the foundational principles of TVF Alexander work to singing, teaching and other activities of living.
This level will form the basis for all other work you do in TVF.
The overarching goal is to for you to discover the magnificent design of the total mind-body-voice system in order to get the most out of your singing, teaching and life.
You will learn:
- Universal principles of human design and functioning (based in part on the world-famous Alexander Technique)
- How to intelligently solve body and voice problems
- How to coordinate your whole body in a productive and useful way
- How to think more holistically and deeply about the body, mind and voice
- The connection between your whole body coordination, your breathing and your singing.
- A proven and holistic approach, grounded in science and anatomy
- How your system is designed to function optimally
- How to “update” ideas, thoughts and beliefs that interfere with optimal functioning
- How to use TVF Foundational principles to consistently experience a free body and your best voice
- Essential information about your body that you probably didn’t learn in your musical training
In this event, like all TVF programs, you will be learning Integrative Alexander Technique, meaning that you will mainly learn the foundational principles experientially in movement and activity. This is a key distinction for those that have only had traditional chair-and-table Alexander lessons.
Here is a basic outline of the Level I Live curriculum:
Session I: An Introduction to TVF Core Principles, Part 1
- The TVF Formula for Success – Learn our simple 3-part formula involving desire, coordination and skill to help you get better results in your singing and teaching.
- Evolution of a Technique – F.M. Alexander made his discoveries to solve a vocal problem (chronic hoarseness). Discover what led him to make his discoveries about optimal human functioning and how it affects you as a voice user.
- Body-Mapping Topic – “Head-Spine Relationship: Alexander’s Great Discovery”
Session II: An Introduction to TVF Core Principles, Part 2
- Recognizing Wholeness – We are whole beings. Every part of us is connected to everything else. Recognizing this fact will have tremendous positive implications for your singing and teaching.
- Quality of Movement = Quality of Sound – Singing is movement and the quality of our movement determines the quality of our sound. Learn how to move and sing more gracefully by increasing awareness and enlivening your kinesthetic sense.
- Body-Mapping Topic – “The Pelvis: Is it Part of Legs, Torso, or Both?”
Session III: Being & Singing In Balance
- Posture & Alignment – Two necessary ingredients for healthy beautiful singing are a comfortable, natural singing posture and a well-aligned body. Learn the posture/alignment ideas that help and the ones that hurt.
- Body Balance – Because of our upright bipedal nature, balance is a primary concern for human beings. Learn the 6 main points of balance to help you create a sense of security and confidence in your body making it much easier to move and sing with freedom.
- Body-Mapping Topic – “Lower Limbs: Happy Feet, Happy Legs, Happy Voice”
Session IV: Constructive Thinking & Inspired Breathing
- Constructive Thinking – What you think is what you get. Learn how YES plans can improve the quality of your thinking to get better results.
- Natural Breathing – Learn a simple understanding of breathing, one that focuses on anatomical truths and the primary role of our thinking and overall body coordination in determining the quality of breathing.
- Body-Mapping Topic: “Ribs & Respiration: It’s Simpler Than We Think”
Session V: The Many Forms of Freedom
- Freedom of Choice – When we believe we aren’t free we get tight in ourselves. Learn how to give yourself freedom of choice in any moment to create more freedom and ease.
- Innate Freedom – Human beings have infinite potential for freedom. Learn some of the “keys” that will help unlock your own innate freedom.
- Body-Mapping Topic: “Arms & Hands: Singing with Wings”
Session VI: Celebrating Success & Next Steps
- Celebrations – Knowing how to acknowledge and celebrate your successes, both big and small, is an essential aspect of learning. In the final session, we’ll celebrate you, our community and all the learning that will have taken place over the past 5 days!
- Going Home – Learn practical ways to continue to integrate the material you’ve learned into your singing and teaching practice as well as your whole life!
- Body–Mapping Topic: “Putting the Pieces Together: Returning to the Whole Self”
“This level has been a great exploration.”
“I have become aware of movements I have made my entire life and how wonderful and amazing our bodies are. I have found as I delve into this new way of thinking, or relearning my body map, that there so many more parts to it than I was aware. The body is truly an amazing design and I am excited to keep exploring!”
Jamey Ruiz McClellan
Singer & Voice Teacher in Vancouver, Washington
Deep Practice: The Art & Science of Learning
Philosopher John Dewey was a student of F.M. Alexander and said that the Alexander Technique, “…bears the same relation to education that education itself bears to all other human activities.”
In other words, the Alexander Technique is a powerful tool that you can use to powerfully enhance your own learning, allowing you to become a more facile and effective learner of any skill or activity. In this level you will learn a conscious and constructive approach to learning in which “how” you do something is as important as “what” you do, dramatically increasing the effectiveness of your practice time.
In addition, you will explore some of the latest research from the field of neuroscience that shows how the brain’s ability to change itself (known as brain plasticity) can benefit your practicing and performing.
“This was a really useful level for me, as I was able to realize that I can chunk my practice time into something useful regardless of how much time I have in a day, and it ‘counts’. I often placed a lot of pressure on myself to be super thorough in my practice and if I didn’t follow my own method, I would get upset with myself and then avoid practice altogether. For me, learning how to focus on the parts of a particular song or memorization that I’m finding difficult to get maximum results (the whole 80/20 principle), was HUGE. I now practice something every day (based on my own priorities of what is coming up for me) and have developed pretty good habits in how to learn music. I no longer judge myself if I am not feeling well and can’t sing per say, but there is always something I can do to move myself forward as a singer, whether it be watching videos of great singers, reading, translating, thinking about dramatic intent and character or the nuggets of wisdom that my many teachers have instilled in me as a singer. I also find days where my voice isn’t feeling great, that I can speak rhythms, think about my coordination and do many other things that help me learn the music.”
Singer & Voice Teacher in Ottawa, Canada
Onstage Magic: Essential Skills for Peak Performance
We all know the feeling of watching a great performer in action. It’s a magical thing, where time stops and the world stands still.
The question is – are greater performers born or made? Though some people are natural born performers, the truth is that anyone can grow into a great musical communicator by nurturing a set of performance skills that are innate within all human beings.
During this level, we will take the mystery out of performing and learn skills to consistently perform at peak levels while connecting with the audience on a deeper, more profound level. You will also learn how to create, develop and refine constructive performance plans in your singing practice that will reliably support you to realize your goals and desires in any performing situation.
`You will also learn how to combine total mind-body-voice awareness with a deep and practical understanding of how to use the music itself as a guide towards psychophysical and creative freedom. You will discover how great musical artists coordinate their entire selves to create freedom and beauty in sound regardless of style or genre.
“In this level, I feel like I finally started to feel like I maybe I know what I’m doing when I audition. (Imagine that!) Tapping into my desire to sing was a key step that I had been missing. Obviously, I knew that I loved singing, but that was never my main thought when I went to sing before a panel of judges. Renewing that desire, and realizing that I had a choice of whether or not to sing at all made it much more clear to me that this is what I want to be doing. When I allowed myself to feel that love and to truly want to communicate it, I actually enjoyed auditioning! Yes, auditioning can be frustrating, but like Alexander realized, “his desire was stronger than his frustrations.” Also, allowing myself to feel “performance readiness” rather than trying to shut that off has helped tremendously. Before, I had felt that nervousness and immediately thought that I shouldn’t feel that way and tried with all my might to not be nervous. Clearly, that doesn’t work. Starting to learn how to turn “performance anxiety” into “performance readiness” was pretty life-changing for me.”
–Rachel Sitomer, Soprano and TVF Pro Graduate
How Certification Works
TVF Foundations Level I Certification Requirements
NOTE: Level II & III are not being offered at this time but will follow the same basic certification structure as Level I.
1. Complete the TVF Online Foundations Course – Level I
This 15-class course will help you lay a solid foundation for lasting vocal freedom. You’ll learn the foundations principles of the TVF Alexander approach and the practical application of those principles to singing, performing, teaching or anything in your life that’s important to you. Class recordings of course, which took place in January 2020, are ready and available for you to watch at anytime.
2. Attend a Live Training
You have two options to meet your Level I live training requirement:
- Attend a live 3-day training weekend in the cities listed above under “Upcoming Level I Live Trainings.”
- Or attend a winter/summer workshop & retreat.
The live trainings are designed to help you deepen the work you do in your online classes by giving you a 3-dimensional, in-person experience of the Level I curriculum. You will have the opportunity to work with TVF faculty to practically apply TVF Foundations principles to your singing and performing. This will include the added benefit of touch communication, a powerful aspect of TVF Alexander work. These weekend trainings are not only designed to be educational but a whole lot of fun too as we usually include some sort of fun group social activity, such as attending an opera, musical, concert, or comedy club.
See the “Upcoming Level I Live Trainings” near the top of the page for more information about dates, locations and schedules for our current live training weekends.
3. Complete Other Course Requirements
To receive your Level I certification there will be a few other requirements to complete:
- Read Your Body, Your Voice by Ted Dimon and Body Learning by Michael Gelb
- Write a short (2-4 pages) essay that includes your personal reflections on the book readings and live & online training experiences
- Pass a written and verbal assessment on core Level I principles and concepts
If you have questions about the TVF Foundations Certification Program, send us a message.
TVF Foundations Teaching Faculty
- Peter Jacobson, Founder & Director of Total Vocal Freedom
- Eleni Vonsiadou, Founder & Director of Body Consciousness for Musicians
- Michael Hanko, Founder & Director of FreeBody FreeVoice
- Molly Kittle, Founder & Director of MK Soundbody
- Darci Balkcom, Founder & Director of Body Tunes Studio
An Important Note
This program will train you as a TVF-Certified Singer, Coach and Teacher and will allow you to use any and all TVF techniques, methods, and exercises. Your certification will mean that you have an intellectual and practical understanding of the F.M. Alexander’s discoveries (along with the other program topics to study) and their direct application to the art and craft of singing and voice teaching.
This program does not qualify you as a teacher of the Alexander Technique.
However, the TVF Pro Teacher Training Program does provide additional levels of training beyond this program that lead to becoming a TVF Alexander teacher.
The TVF Foundations Certification Program are both prerequisites and requirements to join further levels of training and so the transition will be smooth and seamless.
Tuition Fees for Level I
NOTE: Each level will be relatively the same cost as Level I (i.e. the price will not increase dramatically for Level II and III)
There are three components to your TVF Foundations Level I Certification Tuition:
1. Online Course Fees
The cost for the TVF Online Foundations Course – Level I is $295.
How to Save $100: You can bundle the live training weekend and the online Foundations course and save $100 (choose this option at checkout).
2. Live Training Fees
These fees vary depending on if your choose to do a 3-day training weekend or participate in a retreat
The training weekends are $895.
How to Save $250: If you register before March 1st, you can get the early-bird discount of $250.
3. Assessment Fees
When you are ready to take your 30-minute assessment you will pay a $100 assessment fee.
How to Save $50: The first 20 people to go through Level I will get a 50% reduction of their assessment fee.
Estimate of Total Tuition Costs for Level I
- TVF Online Foundations Course – $295
- Live Training Weekend Fees –$895 (cost will vary if you choose to do your live training at a workshop & retreat)
- Assessment Fees – $100
- Books – $35
- TOTAL: $1,325
NOTE: This amount does NOT include travel, lodging and meals (lodging and meals are included in the winter/summer workshops & retreats).
We offer many special deals and offers so though this is the “sticker price” you will likely not pay this full amount (especially if you register early).
TVF Foundations Program Scholarships
Limited scholarships funding is available.
If you’re interested in being considered for a scholarship, please send us a message.
If you have questions about TVF Pro, please reach out to us. We’re here to help!
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