Cluster „Singing with Body and Soul“ - Ruth Gabrielli-Kutrowatz


Praised as a versatile singer, Anne Marie Bice enjoys singing many different genres of music including classical, jazz, and rock. She has been teaching and singing professionally in the Chicagoland area since 2001. Highlighted engagements are with the Chicago Symphony Chorus and Chicago Chorale. She is currently the Vocal Jazz Combo Instructor, Vocal Colloquium Director, and Adjunct Professor of Voice at Valparaiso University. On campus, Prof. Bice enjoys collaborating with the Faculty Jazz Trio, Jazz Ensemble, the Bach Institute, Guest Artists, and performing numerous Faculty Recitals. She also maintains a successful private voice and piano studio in Northwest Indiana since 2008. Prof. Bice holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music from Luther College and a Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from Northwestern University.  Anne Marie has been a member of NATS since 2006.

Anne Marie was introduced to yoga during college as a young voice major. She enjoys and teaches many styles of yoga. As a professional singer and music educator, she incorporates yogic practices in her music studio. Prof. Bice also shares this knowledge on campus through practices offered during Instrumental and Vocal Colloquiums. Anne Marie is a 200hr RYT and is Chair Yoga and Restorative Yoga certified.  She is currently completing her Meditation Teacher Training to become a CMT at the 200hr level.  Her training is through the Yoga & Ayurveda Center under the teaching of Stephanie Ball-Mitchell and Selina Francis-Hall. She is registered through Yoga Alliance and is the owner of Yoga2You

Breath of Life: Pranayama – Its Uses and Benefits for the Practice Room, Studio and Stage

Pranayama in Sanskrit is a combination of two words: prana (life force/breath) and ayama (expansion). In English, it can be translated to the “expansion of one’s life force.” Pranayama is the fourth limb of the eight limbed path of yoga as defined by the Sage Patañjali. Can this ancient yogic practice be implemented in today’s world during a voice lesson, practice, or even on stage?  The answer is yes.

Vocalists are well aware of the importance of breath to their art.  They spend years fine tuning their breathing mechanism.  Unfortunately, vocalists can lose that connection to the breath.  This can be due to many factors including stress, mental or physical illness, and injury.  However, including pranayama in the vocal regimen can be vital to a singer’s well-being as an artist and as a human being.  Pranayama strengthens the connection between body and mind. It promotes relaxation and mindfulness. Pranayama also aids in healthy lung function, blood pressure, and cognitive abilities. These are all important factors in a vocalist’s physical and mental ability to sing and perform.

In this presentation four practices are highlighted: Ujjayi (Ocean Breath), Viloma (3-Part Breathing), Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breath), and Bhramari (Humming Bee Breath). Specific techniques, benefits, suggested uses, and potential obstacles are discussed for each practice. Attendees will have the opportunity to practice each.

As we continue to exist in a world with Covid-19, health and wellness have been pushed to the forefront. Being present, connected and mindful are now more than just “buzz words.” Fortunately, we have the tools to achieve this balance for the sake of our music and the sake of our health.


Maria Busqué, the flow-whisperer, is a musician, teacher and author based in Berlin, Germany. She helps musicians learn how to make music with instead of against their body (and, of course, how to get into states of flow). In her online teaching she offers workshops for individual musicians such as her Flow-Seminar and the online exercises of Resonance Training. Offline she has given lectures and workshops for institutions, such as International Federation for Choral Music, Austrian Society for Music and Medicine, Conservatori Superior de les Illes Balears, Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen, EPTA Germany, Landesverband der Musikschulen Ostwürttemberg.

Her own musical background is piano and harpsichord, while having sung for many years in semi-professional choirs like Lieder Càmera of Barcelona and the European Youth Choir 2000 under Frieder Bernius. She got certified in Resonance Training (2011-2014) and furthermore in Integral Methods with Thomas Hübl (2017-2019). Since 2014 she writes a popular email column for musicians, called »Flowletter«. Out of the conversations with her readers she wrote her first book, which she successfully crowdfunded in 2020: »Flow with the music – the art of leading a musical life«

Regenerative Singing – Introduction to Resonance Training

Resonance Training is applied physiology of music, developed by a musician for musicians. It offers ways to regenerate the musician’s body during the process of actually making music. The guiding principle is »The more ease in the movement, the more resonance in the sound.« This is supported by the physical rule: »A mass is easily moved if taken by the center of gravity.« Musicians learn how a movement from the centers of gravity opens up the joints and the soft tissue, allowing the whole body to become a resonance body. Thus, musicians experience how the ease in the movement leads to a more resonant sound.

Applied to the singing voice, this way of understanding the singer’s body allows them to stay connected to their musical intention while realising their full artistic potential. The decisive element is to allow the hearing to lead the musical movement (and not the other way around). There is a connection of the movement apparatus to the hearing through the inner ear, which we will explore during the workshop. With this clarity, musical movement turns into something personal, intuitive, unrepeatable, not only enhancing the personality of the singer but also making it easier to react to the sounds (or the music). This way, a virtuous cycle begins, the singer is in the flow, and that’s where singing becomes a restorative practice at any level of accomplishment.

Resonance Training encompasses not only this perception-oriented way of playing or singing, but also a series of body exercises outside the musical practice, to prepare the body for gravity-center movement. We will explore some of these exercises during the workshop. Further guiding principles are whole-body breathing and whole-body resonance.


Christoph Habegger completed the Feldenkrais training in England and has been teaching for over 20 years. He is a trainer in international training programs and co-director of the Feldenkrais Training Zurich City. His background as an actor and singer, trained at the Conservatory of Vienna, brought him to further educations in voice and breath studies. For 7 years, he was member of the faculty of the University of Music, Drama and Dance in Linz (Austria) and continues working with singers, actors and musicians. Christoph runs an institute for somatic education in Vienna and teaches in Europe and Asia.

Dynamic stability, breath and sound

Breath, alignment and voice develop in interaction with the floor, gravity and environment. Ideally, we feel supported by our skeleton, effortlessly upright and free to move. The upper body is supported and experiences an uplifting force, which relieves the sensitive parts and facilitates the flow of breath. In this way, the performer can let go of inappropriate tensions and sing, speak and express vitally from a stable, grounded base. 


Dr. Frank Wayne Ragsdale, Associate Professor of Voice and Chair of the Department of Vocal Performance at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami earned degrees from Atlantic Union College, The Longy School of Music, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Miami. He teaches a variety of styles of voice including classical, music theatre (legit, belt, and mix), pop, rock, and country, and has success with them all. In 2014, while teaching at Oklahoma City University, he was awarded the university Full-time Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award, for which he was also a finalist in 2008.

Dr. Ragsdale’s students have gone on to graduate programs at Eastman, Indiana University, The Cleveland Institute of Music, San Francisco Conservatory and Rice, and young artist programs like Sante Fe Opera, Glimmerglass, Florida Grand Opera, Seagle Music Colony, and Tri-Cities Opera. They have sung with Houston Grand Opera, Tri-Cities Opera, Opera Omaha, Glimmerglass, Florida Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, to name a few. They have been signed by agents and been booked on Broadway and top regional companies as well as won competitions like Classical Singer, Lotte Lenya, Crescendo, Utah Festival International Opera Competition, and the districts and regions of the MET Council Auditions.

Dr. Ragsdale has had a long and varied performing career in opera, oratorio, musicals, plays, and recitals throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, Europe, South Africa, the Middle East, and Central America where, for three consecutive years, he was invited by the U.S. Embassies of Costa Rica and Honduras to give recital tours and masterclasses. He has performed in such notable venues as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Cairo Opera House, Mechanics Hall, Notre Dame, San Marco di Venizia, and St. Martin-in-the-fields. Dr. Ragsdale is on the faculty of the University of Miami Frost School of Music at Salzburg and is the Coordinator of the NATS National Musical Theatre Competition. In 2021 he was a Master Teacher for the NATS Intern Program.

Laban for Singers: Laban Movement Analysis for Body Release and Character Development

“Laban for Singers: Laban Movement Analysis for Body Release and Character Development” is an interactive presentation that will show how these words and movements can greatly enhance teaching in the studio to assist with body release. It further helps the student to find new and creative ideas for character analysis. 

Rudolf Laban was a Hungarian dancer, choreographer, and theorist, and is known as the father of European Modern Dance. His method and language of movement were originally used by dancers and choreographers but have been adapted for use by actors, musicians, conductors, athletes, therapists, anthropologists, and many other disciplines. The Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) uses eight different words with correlating actions to express all human emotions. These eight movements are; Dab, Glide, Flick, Float, Wring, Press, Slash, Punch. Each of these consists of 4 elements; weight, space, time, and energy. Each element has opposing actions. Weight is either heavy or light, space is either direct or indirect, time is either legato or non-legato, and energy is either bound or free

An overview of LMA and its origins in dance and further adaptations to other disciplines. It will introduce all eight movements and the four elements of each. The audience will then be asked to try each movement on a phrase and experience the sensations and intention of each movement and discuss how each is different physically and dramatically. Next, demonstrations of the movements will be applied to repertoire of different styles, playing with the differences in interpretation and physical connections based on which movements are employed. Finally, audience participation will be solicited, followed by a question and answer session.