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Jean McClelland
Voice, Breathing and the Alexander Technique

My Teaching

Everyone possesses a powerful, natural voice that reveals who he or she truly is. It is a voice that is spontaneous and free, open and expressive. It is a voice that we discover when we are completely at ease and comfortable in our surroundings. Often, however, past experiences, fears, and mental and physical tension lead to inhibitions that restrict the natural flow of the voice, resulting in a forced, unnatural sound. In our work together you will learn lifelong tools that will help you to uncover your true voice.

What I teach is a process of discovery that connects us to the deepest, most authentic part of ourselves through voice and song. Our work together is highly creative and intuitive, and I incorporate the Alexander Technique and the groundbreaking breath work of Carl Stough into our lessons. Our greatest singers, when describing their singing, repeatedly acknowledge that good singing relies on a strong imagination which is set free through good physical coordination. The Alexander Technique is a gentle but powerful hands-on method that restores your body’s innate coordination and grace. Students find that lessons in the Technique lead to enhanced emotional well-being and more freedom and ease in their bodies. Carl Stough revolutionized the scientific and medical understanding of the diaphragm and proved that even in cases of extreme respiratory illness the diaphragm could be redeveloped. Freedom in our voices, whether singing or speaking, depends on connecting or “rooting” our voices to the diaphragm. Because the diaphragm is mostly under the control of the involuntary neuromuscular system, diaphragmatic support for the voice remains a mystery to most people. In our lessons and classes we will work to develop an awareness of the diaphragm and to strengthen it in an non-manipulative but powerful way.

I truly believe that there can be no greater joy than to sing and speak freely and spontaneously. Developing a solid physical understanding of breath support helps us to become much more musical and truthful singers, no matter what the style, and engaging and committed speakers. I am passionate about students finding this source of artistry in themselves. Indeed, this has been my journey as a singer.

I currently teach private lessons in voice and the Alexander Technique at studios in New York City, New Jersey and Massachusetts, as well as classes and workshops throughout the country. I invite you to contact me by phone or email.

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