LIVIA BRASH M.Mus.Stud, B.Mus
A few years into my teaching journey, I began to realize that, for many singers, a purely technical approach has its limitations. Oftentimes, technical issues are a symptom of something psychological beneath the surface. My aim is for singers to feel supported and empowered in their journey. Singing as an art form is all about expression, communication and emotion, and in order to be completely open to that experience, we need to feel safe. My style is to facilitate an environment where singers feel they can fully explore their voices without judgement.
Intention and understanding are the key to progress.
Whether you be singing to correct a specific technical issue, or for an emotional reason, I encourage artists to have clarity about their intent. It really is when magic starts to happen. It also opens the singer up to the opportunity of self-empowerment. My goal is for singers to eventually be able to trouble-shoot issues for themselves, and feel empowered in doing so.
The other thing I encourage in my artists is to embrace the sensation of singing, rather than to listen to their voices. Not only are physical sensations a more accurate indicator of what is happening technically, it also moves us away from self-criticism and analysis paralysis. Singing becomes meditation in movement. It provides an environment where we can fully explore singing technique without the fear of making mistakes. It also means we know exactly what we did to achieve a certain positive result, and can therefore reproduce it. Understanding the detailed sensations when singing is also the key to sounding like yourself, rather than trying to emulate a certain sound.
Whilst I have taught a wide variety of singers over the years, nowadays I have predominantly intermediate- advanced contemporary and classical singers in my studio. These range from Diploma and Bachelor of music students to professionals. I do however regularly still teach beginner students (and I love it!)
Masters of Music Studies (Opera)- Sydney University (Joan Bonamy & Geoffrey Rothwell Scholarships)
Bachelor of Music (Classical Voice)- Australian National University
American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz (full scholarship)
George Solti Accademia (full scholarship)
Pacific Opera Young Artist (fully sponsored)
Performed in masterclasses for Richard Bonynge AC CBE, Barbara Frittoli, Grace Bumbry, Roberto Frontali, Bruce Ford, Nelly Miriciou, Linda Watson, Yvonne Kenny, Bernadette Cullen.
Estill Method for Voice Training Certificate 1 and 2
Vocal Hygiene- Dr Jonathan Liversey (facilitated by the Sydney Conservatorium)
Accent Breathing- Dr Ron Morris (facilitated through ANATS)
Understanding Alignment- Sarah Whitten (facilitated by Opera Programs Berlin*)
The Acoustic Landscape- Kenneth Bozeman*
Effective Acoustic Training Strategies for Treble and Non-Treble Passaggi- Kenneth Bozeman*
The Voice Teacher as Fitness Trainer- Dr Claudia Friedlander*
Anatomy in Action- Dr Claudia Friedlander*
Training Spinto, Dramatic and Zwischen Voices- Dr Stephanie Weiss*
Crossover and the Classical Singer- Susan Eichhorn Young*
Training Transgender Voices- Dr Stephanie Weiss*
Training Singers with Visual Impairments- Jennie O'Brian*
Hormones and the Female Voice- Joanne Hayes Bozeman*
Post-Vocal Trauma Training- Carol Mastrodomenico*
Laban Movement- Wild Voices Theatre
Feldenkreis for Singers- Zoran Kovich
Professional Counselling Diploma- Complementary Therapists Accredited Association
Psychological First Aid - John Hopkins University
Music and Wellness- Berklee College of Music
Healing and the Arts- University of Florida
Diploma of Music Therapy- Centre of Excellence