Body and Voice: Somatic Re-education

First Edition

Marina Gilman

Details: 272 pages, B&W, Softcover, 6" x 9"

ISBN13: 978-1-59756-509-7

© 2014 | Available


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Body and Voice: Somatic Re-education is an excellent resource for teachers of singing, voice coaches, and speech-language pathologists who work with singers and other voice professionals. It provides a new paradigm for working with singers in a way that allows for improved kinesthetic awareness needed to work with their body rather than against it. The text contains a series of lessons designed to train singing teachers, coaches, and voice therapists to recognize in their students the patterns of use and posture that interfere with respiration, phonation, and/or resonance. In addition, it provides tools for the teacher to guide the student to a level of self-awareness of habituated patterns along with strategies to implement change from the inside out.

Few pedagogical or therapeutic approaches provide any training in the recognition of the subtle, indirect patterns of use, stance, or tension that prevent students from relaxing the jaw, releasing the breath, lifting the palate, or any of the other demands teachers make to get them to sing well. Even when the teacher recognizes that there is a problem, the knowledge of how to retrain the student’s neuro-musculo-skeletal system in order to effect real change and self-awareness by the student is often limited or lacking. Body and Voice: Somatic Re-education addresses this need.

This book begins with a brief definition and theoretical overview of body reeducation, its principles and applications. Subsequent chapters teach how to recognize poor body dynamics. The final chapters provide specific lessons as well as guidance for independent explorations that will increase the student’s kinesthetic and body awareness.

A CD-ROM containing the lessons described in the book is included.


"...The ease of reading this book is attributable to the very clear organisation, integrating theoretical background, interesting and relevant case-studies with verbatim dialogues with students, supported by excellent illustrations. The CD included further demonstrates the practical aspects of having a conversation with the student's nervous system, rather than through their conscious, cognitive mind. By hearing the author's instructions one appreciates the appropriate pacing and pausing to allow time for processing..."
Helen Sjardin, Australian Voice Association - VoicePrint (2015)

"Body and Voice focuses on the most overlooked element in voice teaching; the nervous system. It addresses the problem faced by voice teachers who frequently deal with students who have postural habits that comprise voice production. It teaches how to have a conversation with a person's nervous system rather than their conscious cognitive mind. (2014:5)...As a licensed speech pathologist, Gilman is an impressive practitioner. This book is a result of her interest and research into the somatic aspect of voice training and it is very much the missing element in vocal teaching. I would certainly give this book 5 stars!"
Deborah Winter, Director of Voice Workshop, Voice Workshop

Table of Contents



Chapter 1. The Somatic Awareness: Body and Voice

Chapter 2. Body and Voice: Somatic and Physiologic

Chapter 3. The Significance of the Unremarkable



Chapter 4. Diversionary, Parasitic, or Other

Chapter 5. Releasing for Breathing

Chapter 6. Mobilizing the Pelvis

Chapter 7. Improving Stability

Case Studies


DVD Table of Contents

Chapter 4, Lesson 1: Bringing the Head Forward and Back
Chapter 4, Lesson 2: Lifting and Lowering the Shoulders
Chapter 4, Lesson 3: Freeing the Jaw
Chapter 4, Lesson 4: Anchoring the Tongue
Chapter 5, Lesson 1: Release of the Breath
Chapter 6, Basic Lesson: Rolling the Pelvis
Chapter 6, Variation 1: Hand on Head
Chapter 6, Variation 2: Hand on Head, Head Tilts
Chapter 6, Variation 3: Standing Variation
Chapter 7, Lesson 2: Circles Over the Feet
Chapter 7, Lesson 2: Pencil Lesson

Marina Gilman

Marina Gilman holds an MM in Vocal Performance (Ithaca College) and an MA in Communication Disorders (Northwestern University). She is a singing voice teacher, performer, Guild Certified Feldenkrais® Practitioner, and licensed speech pathologist with specialization in the singing voice. In addition to serving as head of the Vocal Coaching Program at Cornell University, Adjunct Professor of Voice at Syracuse University, and Adjunct Professor of Voice and Speech at the DePaul University Theater School, she has maintained a private voice studio for over 35 years. Ms. Gilman also taught at The School at Steppenwolf Theater Company summer program.

Since earning her degree in communication disorders in 1997, Ms. Gilman has worked as a speech-language pathologist with specialization in the performing voice at the University of Chicago Voice Center, the Loyola Voice Institute at Loyola University School of Medicine, and the Bastian Voice Institute in Chicago. She is currently part of the interdisciplinary team at the Emory Voice Center, Department of Otolaryngology in Atlanta Georgia.

Marina Gilman’s performing career includes recitals as well as leading operatic roles. More recently, Ms. Gilman has been presenting workshops and paper presentations at professional conferences. In addition, she presents workshops for actors and singers in professional theater and opera companies.

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