Voicework™is a comprehensive approach to voice
training. It includes, as needed, work on
breathing and the body, resonance, speech, dialects,
impromptu and prepared public speaking, text, singing, voice
with movement, and presence. While the training is specific,
it is offerred in such a way that it is compatible with other
approaches. This unique path to the mastery of vocal functioning was originated by Catherine Fitzmaurice.
Voicework™ is currently taught at Yale School of Drama,
Harvard University/American Repertory Theatre's
Institute for Advanced Theatre Training,
New York University's Graduate Acting Program and in several of NYU's undergraduate studios, the
University of California-Irvine, and many other institutions and
theatres in the United States and abroad.
Aspects of this work have also been incorporated
by clinicians into the rehabilitation of injured
or dysfunctional voices, and are used in the
corporate and professional worlds as aids to
Voicework™ explores the dynamics between body,
breath, voice, imagination, language, and
presence. Integrating physical experience and mental focus, the work develops vibrant voices that
communicate intention and feeling without excess
This term refers to the exploration of free "survival" breathing and the addition of "fluffy sound" corresponding with that breathing pattern, followed by "intentional" breathing used to support vocal production and communication.
Destructuring, the first phase, promotes
awareness of the body, spontaneous and free
breathing, vocal expressivity, and presence, through
sometimes hands-on interventions. Tremorwork® encourages students to allow uncontrolled shiver-like oscillations to flow through their entire bodies, making chronic tension blocks apparent and helping to release them. Restructuring, the second phase,
encourages economy of effort while speaking or
performing, using modified bel canto techniques and Catherine's "focus line"™. The
resulting freedom and focus allow for a wide
range of vocal expression without strain. Applications of all aspects of the work are then explored.
There are many
practical benefits to improved vocal
functioning. Since breath and voice lie at
the intersection of the material and the
non-material, this work can also assist in
creative, intellectual, and spiritual
more than 300 certified teachers of this
work, mainly in the United States, but now also
in permanent residence on six continents. Some teachers instruct in
universities and conservatories; others offer
workshops, classes, and private instruction. For
contact and other information on these teachers, visit our Teachers section. To find workshops and classes visit our Events section. For information on our voice teacher certification program email us.
Physicality: we develop awareness of patterns of vocal effort
through a series of gentle and/or rigorous
exercises and Tremorwork®, accessing the body's own healing
systems for deep release.
Breath: we explore the central role that breathing plays
in both vocal production and the inspired
imagination that expresses itself verbally,
encouraging whole-body oxygenation without
forcing the breath.
Vocal Quality: we cultivate the ability to
communicate thoughts and feelings accurately while
meeting the demands of text, space, and the
immediate moment; this is done through both spontaneity and
Practical Results: we reduce strain in the voice, increase vocal
range and expressivity, make speech easy and
clear, and communicate intention more
effectively, allowing creativity to
Vocal Rehabilitation: we can help to resolve many functional vocal
WHO IS FITZMAURICE VOICEWORK FOR?
Voicework® originated as a means to teach actors
effective vocal technique, but it has evolved to help
people in a wide variety of professions. The
work is for people who want to learn about
and improve their voices for performance,
business, personal growth, and fun. It can also
help those with ineffective, injured, or
otherwise problematic voices.
have benefited actors in theatre, film, and
television; singers; teachers of voice, singing,
and acting; directors; TV announcers and hosts;
lawyers, clergy, professors, politicians,
business executives; medical professionals,
speech pathologists, therapists, healers;
movement specialists, dancers, and many others in all walks of life.
HOW DID FITZMAURICE VOICEWORK ORIGINATE?
work began in the explorations and teaching of
Catherine Fitzmaurice. She began acting in
theatre when she was three. From age ten to
seventeen, she studied voice, speech,
verse-speaking, and acting with Barbara Bunch,
who was also Cicely Berry's earliest teacher.
Catherine then attended for three years the
Central School of Speech and Drama in London,
England, where she was a scholarship holder and
prize winner, and where she continued her study
of classical voice training techniques with
Cicely Berry and others. While a student there, Catherine won the prestigious English Festival of Spoken Poetry, sponsored by Edith Sitwell and T. S. Eliot. She began teaching voice, verse-speaking, and prose reading at
the Central School in 1965.
As a teacher,
Catherine found some of her students were
incapable of being sufficiently vocally
expressive. She saw the primary problem as
inhibition caused by tension, particularly
around the breathing, and in exploring ways to
reduce this, she discovered the work of Wilhelm
Reich. She began to adapt some of his work for
voice training and incorporated it into her
classes. Since then, she has continued to study
body-based disciplines and energy work (yoga,
shiatsu, meditation, healing techniques, etc.).
She has adapted and combined them with her
classical training to create Fitzmaurice
Now based in Los Angeles and New
York City, Catherine has taught all over the
world, and has held teaching and consulting
appointments at the Royal Central School of Speech and
Drama, the Juilliard School's Drama Division,
Yale School of Drama, New York University,
Harvard University, the Moscow Art Theatre, the
Stratford Shakespearean Festival, the Guthrie
Theatre, Lincoln Center, among others. She
has also presented her work internationally at
major medical and theatre
conferences, including the "Freedom & Focus™" international conferences on Fitzmaurice Voicework™in Barcelona, Spain, Vancouver, Canada, Bogota, Colombia, and Dublin, Ireland.
For a more
thorough account of the development of this
work, see "Breathing is Meaning," in our store.
For a more complete list of influences on the
work, see Links.
For more information on how you can learn about
this work, see events or email us.
|FITZMAURICE VOICEWORK is a Trademark owned by Catherine Fitzmaurice.
© 2015 Fitzmaurice Voicework™. All rights eserved.