Tag Archives: confidence

online vocal & presentation coaching with Alexander Technique via Skype

Freeing your voice - The Alexander Technique applied to the speaking and singing voice

Alan Mars offers vocal coaching – face to face via Skype

Alan Mars, voice coach & Alexander Technique teacher, is now offering online voice coaching via Skype:

Spoken voice coaching:

Has your voice, and confidence, ever faltered during a presentation, a meeting, an audition or a musical solo? Develop a reliably confident voice through the Alexander Technique, vocal coaching and specially adapted performing-arts techniques. Experience increasing poise – read more here …

Singing voice coaching:

I can help you to free your singing voice – to sing with greater ease, clarity, resonance and power. I can help you reduce performance nerves and to – read more here …

If you have a Skype account and a webcam we can get to work in the comfort of your own home or office. Payment is via PayPal. Pricing details for 30 minute, 45 minute or one-hour sessions are at the foot of the page.

What will you need to get started?

If you are based near Brighton and Hove and would prefer to meet person to person to have lessons please email me on alan.mars@yahoo.co.uk or call 07930 323 057 to arrange an appointment

Who is Alan Mars?

Alan Mars has taught voice-work, singing Alexander Technique privately and at many top London drama and music schools including – The Arts Educational Drama School, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal College of Music, since 1982.

He has taught presentation skills within many top British and international companies including – Abbey National, General Electric, Sainsbury’s, Lloyds of London and many others since 1992.

Alan offers individual lessons, group classes and in-house coaching. He is a member of the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique.

Terms and conditions

  • Payments must be received via PayPal at least 24 hours before the lesson.
  • If payment is not received the lesson will be cancelled automatically.
  • No refunds will be given if you fail to log in for your lesson.
  • Alan will not be held responsible for any connection or technical difficulties during the lesson.
  • If you are late to log in for your session the lesson will still finish at the agreed time – extra time will not be added.

Alan Mars – online vocal coaching with Alexander Technique via Skype

Freeing your voice - The Alexander Technique applied to the speaking and singing voice

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Confidence Coaching Tricks 10 – Sonnet XVIII

Confidence Coaching Tricks 10 – Sonnet XVIII

Voice, confidence & presentation coaching with Alan Mars
Voice, confidence & presentation coaching with Alan Mars

Recite this sonnet regularly. There are exactly ten syllables per line. Remember what one of the original functions of a punctuation mark was? To tell us where to breathe… ten syllables and a breath will guide you toward a BBC newsreader pace of delivery. A pace that is very easy for just about everybody to assimilate easily. By regulating speech and breath it will also begin to have a calming effect not just on you but also on your listeners. Translate the sense of the sonnet pace into your everyday speech and into your presentation delivery.


Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

Freeing your voice - The Alexander Technique applied to the speaking and singing voice

Confidence Tricks 1 – the Dating Game

“No! You may not call me a Confidence Guru! Absolutely not!” – Alan.

“But ‘Guru’ is an extremely respectable term in media circles!” – Television producer.

“That’s as may be but my fellow regulars at the Neptune Inn will take the… will mock me mercilessly if they hear!” – Alan

8ea6395d-73a8-4dab-8711-65b04e91e8b1wallpaper“How about Confidence Coach then?” – television producer.

“Ok” sigh…

“Ok then” sigh… “Let me introduce you to our ‘dates’ in the Green Room”

I’d been asked by a television production company to help coach some members of the public for live television. It was a dating programme. Interestingly most of the participants were in their late forties or early fifties. The usual participants were in their teens and twenties.

The datees would say a bit about their life, their loves, hates and hobbies directly to camera. We sat at a cocktail bar where everyone had to deliver a chat-up line and come up with an appropriate and, hopefully, humorous response. And, oh yes, we all had to strut our stuff down the catwalk (steady tiger!). Nerve wracking, of course, especially if you are not used to being in the limelight.

I taught the participants some basic centering techniques. I’ll say a bit more about the background to some of these techniques in the near future:

  • Place your attention in your centre of gravity – just a few inches below your navel.
  • Distribute your body weight evenly onto the ground
  • Maintain wide vision and wide shoulders
  • Balance your head easily on top of your spine

In the end we only had time to rehearse one or two things. The participants could sense the potential of the techniques however. And this seemed to really motivate them to simply have fun in front of the camera. A virtuous cycle?

Not everyone got a date. But everyone had fun. What is it about that wonderful mixture of relaxation and excitement that seems to make the world sparkle with possibility?

One woman who was really quite shy and reserved in the Green Room absolutely blossomed on camera. She demonstrated a golf swing, her hobby, to the camera and very shortly thereafter an eligible gent phoned in with a request to get know her better!

The two interviewers were impressed. How come a group of men and women in their late forties and early fifties could be such fun on camera? Why were they so much less inhibited than the usual datees in their teens and twenties?

The centering techniques certainly seemed to help. Is it true that wisdom that comes with increasing maturity? And, perhaps, the ability not to take yourself too seriously? If so then it’s good news for all of us!

The interviewers were also somewhat sceptical. Couldn’t these acting techniques stop people from simply being themselves?

I simply quoted Shakespeare “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players”

And I might have added – we often end up playing a part that is unsatisfying and unsuitable. A part that someone else wrote for us. These centering techniques can give us the flexibility, courage and motivation to try out new behaviours. Not all of the techniques will be suitable all of the time. Some of them will be entirely suitable but may take a little time to get used to. Some of them will be absolutely bang-on or, as the old sherry advert used to say, “One instinctively knows when something is right!” and we will take to them like the proverbial duck to water.

 

PS Many of the centering techniques I teach come originally from my training in Ki-Aikido. They’ve grown and adapted with me. Here is a link for my old sparring partner Charles Harris. We did our yellow belt grading together more years ago than I care to remember. He is chief instructor now for one of the biggest Ki-Aikido clubs in London.