About The Course
There are few joys greater than being part of a group like ours and watching the work of a whole career—the uniting of two different but related schools of inquiry—play out over time in a fresh context. I’ve had the pleasure of watching the Five Relations and the Alexander Technique and the Circulations—a form born of Guitar Craft and Guitar Circles’ work through the better part of four decades—bring freedom and ease to singers, not only helping them as singers, but as flourishing human beings. Here’s to Heather and our troupe of eight, along with our friends at home, for making this all possible!
Sandra Bain Cushman
Freedom & Ease for Singers is a simple system and guided practice to encourage and allow freedom and ease in your body, breath and sound. This online course is:
Pre-recorded on Zoom
Offered through 10 x 1-hour sessions
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
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 Sandra 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.
My Own Journey
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.