Qualifications & Biography
- BA honours degree in singing performance
- Waldorf/Steiner kindergarten teacher training
- Foundation training in Buddhist-based core process psychotherapy
- Reiki III
- Wave Form
- Music therapy qualification, University of Bristol
- Nomadic Academy of Fools, Jonathan Kay
- EFT Advanced practitioner
Born in Michigan but raised in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of north-eastern California, I relocated permanently to England when I was 24 years old.
After a year of studying piano at the age of 17 on scholarship at the Gent Conservatory of Music, I began an undergraduate degree in piano performance at the Indiana School of music but finished at University of Nevada, Reno, where I attained a BA honours degree in singing performance. Though my first instrument was piano, my passion for the voice won out but the piano has remained a very close friend accompanying me & my students ever since.
Despite the many opportunities I'd enjoyed in Reno - orchestral pianist for the Nevada Symphony Orchestra, alto soloist with the Reno Chamber Orchestra, performing as a member of the Nevada Opera Chorus with the occasional minor role, accompanist for the Nevada Opera Company & studying with its director, a true maestro - I felt a need to move on so accepted an academic post graduate scholarship at Arizona State University. Still feeling unsettled when six months later my sister invited me to join her in the UK, I leaped at the invitation. I had visited England during my year in Belgium & had instinctively felt that one day I would live here, without knowing how it would come about.
I spent years studying privately in London and completed an eight month opera course while earning my living directing church choirs & touring for two years with London Opera Players. I sang recitals & as alto soloist in oratorio. I thought I would continue to develop along these lines, yet quite by accident I fell out of classical music without even knowing that it was happening till I looked back a year later.
Suddenly I was singing jazz & having a great time. Yet jazz wasn't enough & I began putting together my own eclectic concerts comprising a wide range of styles & moods. I loved nothing more than reinterpreting songs & fusing different styles - jazz + classical, jazz + classical + roots, etc.
Joining thousands in the Newbury Anti Bypass campaign, my "earth body voice" awakened, a kind of shamanic improvisation or channelling. Being clairaudient at that time as well, I decided to seek guidance from Peter Wright, Britain's leading exponent of toning & one of two people largely responsible for the general model of music therapy in the UK.
Peter knew I wanted to bring music & healing together - I had already completed a foundation course in Buddhist-based core process psychotherapy - & he intuitively encouraged me to train as a music therapist (University of Bristol), though he warned me that I would find it dry & too conventional. I can't help but smile in retrospect because he was absolutely right. Yet I stayed the course & qualified, though I knew I'd never practice in a conventional way.
On the last day of our music therapy training when we had a free morning, I offered a vocal workshop to my fellow students. As a result of that chance offering, to my surprise & pleasure, I was employed immediately thereafter by the university to deliver the vocal module to the music therapy students who followed - a part of my work which I enjoyed for a few years. This was alongside my four year independent apprenticeship with Peter Wright to learn the myriad uses specifically of toning which I have developed in my own way over almost thirty years. (Simply put, toning could be described as healing physically & psychically by accessing the life force through the vibration of the voice to connect us to ourselves & everything around us.)
I have drawn from many trainings over the years to develop my method of liberating that most natural, powerfully expressive tool, the voice
, which is simultaneously a reflection & a composite of who we are & every experience we have ever had.
In short, my life has been devoted to music with a deep interest in personal growth & healing. This has resulted in developing a somewhat unique & eclectic synthesis which continues to evolve. I have worked with hundreds of people to help them find and use their voices with confidence, authenticity & an open heart. I consider myself very fortunate to earn my living at what I love.