Bulgarian Folkloric Singing: Feature on Bulgarian Television

It is hard to convey the utter amazement I felt hearing my name spoken on Bulgarian Television…

“All Together, Everywhere”

In this special edition of the Fulbright Newsletter, I share my journey of building my online courses with extraordinary all over the world.

Fall Calls…

When the air gets crisp, I have two clear instincts: HIBERNATE and GO ADVENTURING…

Costume, Movement & Mood

How what we wear can fit, inspire and enhance our movement and performance. Kate Conklin X Sumissura

Discovering the Truth Behind the Marking

Guest post by Rebecca Richardson on interpreting dynamic markings, action and honesty in performance.

Voice Care for Burning Man (and other tricky terrain)

Strategies that can be adapted to performers and humans of any kind…

Interview with Issue Magazine

Kate Conklin lists actors, singers, chefs, athletes and tech startups as a few of the professions that would benefit from the Alexander Technique – clearly, this technique is not easy to categorize.

Animacy, resiliency, reciprocity: Robin Wall Kimmerer

“… this grammar of animacy means that we have the linguistic structure to speak of the living world as if it were alive, as if it was a person, as if it were our family- because in our way of thinking, it is.”

Why I don’t talk about “stage fright” and “performance anxiety”

For centuries, performers – and now, the most recent scientific research- know perfectly well performers aren’t afraid of stages or performing.

The Role of Risk in Performance no. 1

A soprano and a high-diver get into a debate…

Cher on greatness

What could you achieve if you were willing to begin a discovery process?

I don’t expect anyone to care about the Alexander Technique- I expect them to care about THIS

The Alexander Technique is a powerful tool to do what Yo-Yo Ma describes beautifully here, often termed “deliberate practice.” That is it’s value.

Tom Waits on being stronger and stranger

“My kids are starting to notice I’m a little different from the other dads. “Why don’t you have a straight job like everyone else?” they asked me the other day. I told them this story…”

Why I study

I continue to consult, study and coach with my mentors. I do this because everything I do- singing, teaching, living my life- is a life-long learning endeavor.

I’m hearing it more than I’m feeling it

The old feeling can’t happen in a new process.

Consistency and creativity

Technique, skill, consistency, quality and creativity.

Bigger Ears: How to recalibrate your listening

Listening exercises to get your ears in ship-shape shape.

Compassionate Self-Criticism from The Improvised Life

“I’ve been trying this technique out and find it incredibly useful, a real shift of view: I view myself with more measured, impartial and compassionate eyes…”

Resonance as an emergent property

By appropriately coordinating the vocal mechanism, one can quite easily call up different colors and emphasize specific spectral resonance without diminishing the others.

WOOP. A powerful strategy to get what you want, overcome what’s in your way…and an app!

Mental contrasting is a process that helps you overcome inner obstacles and fears, and gives you clear steps to get what you want.

Soaring through leaps: A guide to navigating intervals

The metaphor I keep using for high, sustained passages that dip down into the lower range.

An expensive habit

There is a moment I sometimes see in a lesson or coaching that has a crisis of perception lurking behind it…

An argument for starting NOW

“Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it.” Madeleine L’Engle  

Rerouting in the moment: The Bonaly

When the easy way out is a back flip. On one foot…

Fact or Technique?

A fact is something that is empirically known to be true, a technique is a way of doing or achieving something. One of the most powerful tools you can have as a performer is to know which one you’re dealing with…

The Goldilocks Conundrum: Just Right

What does “just right” actually mean?

What I wish every musician knew about the Alexander Technique

Yesterday I gave a two-hour masterclass for pianists. I said something that elicited gasps of surprise.

Mirror neurons and Empathy

” … we flow into each other, stream through each other, boundlessly and magnificently.”

Leaping Animals and Mirror Neurons

We are all natural born movers. We are all organized by the dynamic relationship between head and spine. And we have all jumped, bounded, skipped and sprung …This post then, is a big wheeeeee for your mirror neurons.

Doing it better

…learning the Alexander Technique is not like buying a muffin. You are not given an end result, you are learning how to do for yourself, that’s why they are called lessons.

Performance Readiness: Guest Blog for Bar Exam Mind

A detailed process to get ready for an exam or performance of any kind. Re-posted with permission from Bar Exam Mind.

Things change…

“My commitment is to truth not consistency.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Responding to Desire

Talent is insufficient. Desire is insufficient. We have to choose to respond to our desire, and do the work that we need to do to support that response.

The wheel, reinvented.

Reinventing the wheel is unnecessary. Unless you happen to be quite interested in wheels…

Wisdom from Georgia O’Keeffe

“I have already settled it for myself so flattery and criticism go down the same drain and I am quite free.”

Understanding Beans

“I gave you a recipe Madame, I did not teach you how to cook.”
Georges Auguste Escoffier

How to be an Explorer of the World by Keri Smith

An extremely useful and practical guide.

Slowing down to speed up

To innovate you need flexible, stable framework.

Bill Evans: Elaboration and Understanding

“The point is: What are you satisfied with?” Bill Evans

Resiliency in Performance: The Window Pane Test

Resiliency means the ability to reliably sing or move with any quality you wish, no matter how robust or delicate.

The Way It Is…

“The way it is is always in relation to the way you are.”
– Alan Watts

Ann Herbert on Animacy

“Are you alive? Can you move and do you?”
– Ann Herbert

Performance Preparation: Michelle Jenneke

Michelle Jenneke dances to get ready to run hurtles. It’s a superb example of a studied rehearsed routine, using humor and the life of the mind to focus and feed yourself for performance.

The Greatest of Ease: Part 1

As I sang each show, I had the view of a lifetime; seeing these astounding humans performing extraordinarily, twice a night, 10 shows per week. I wondered. How are they doing what they’re doing?