We often hear the sentiment that vocalists are not musicians or that someone with vocal talent was born that way. I think this is wholeheartedly untrue. Expertise in any area no matter what it is comes with some kind of mindful practice, hours of dedication and or a curiosity that one cannot shake. I believe everyone deserves to feel good about their voice.
About seven years ago I was invited to teach my first ever voice workshop where I designed a program for attendees that suited many levels of experience. After years of study in not only voice but body work, I felt awakened to a new calling. For over 20 years I have worked as a teacher and coach in quite eclectic capacities, with all ages birth to elderly. I have studied my own body through healing and recovery of an eating disorder, being a competitive track and cross country athlete, yoga instructor, personal trainer, swim coach and most recently professional touring and recording musician.
I have come to understand the work that I offer is a form of somatic voice work catered to the individual and or community. The word somatic comes from the Greek word sōma which means body. My practice is rooted holistically in connecting our body to our mind and spirit, in recognition that the voice as an instrument encompasses our whole self. For over two years I have been offering this type of guidance to private voice students as a part of the MIAP (Music Industry Art and Performance) program at Centennial College in Toronto.
On numerous occasions I’ve teamed up with the Canadian Mental Health Association and facilitated workshops on mental health and music, as well as taught at Girls Rock Camp Toronto, conferences and festival music camps. In 2017 I helped develop a music class for Hamilton Adult Community Support Program, where I worked with adults of all abilities, using music to bridge gaps in communication and let go of anything holding us back.
I am a two time nominee of the Ontario Arts Council's Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award. I perform, write and tour with my partner Carson Ritcey-Thorpe as the duo Piper & Carson. For the past six years we have toured across Turtle Island and overseas to Scotland and the Netherlands. In October 2020 we released the album Edgewalker's Remedy; an intentioned collection of songs showcasing shifting paradigms and encouraging examination.
From a young age I internalized negative feedback from individuals who told me I was ‘too loud’, ‘too much’ and ‘too bossy’. For a long time I learned and allowed for these words to have power over me. They held me back and led to destructive behaviour that inhibited my voice. Identity is a precious thing and something to be nurtured with love and care. I believe everybody has the ability to sing and belief is a powerful tool that helps us unlock potential. My ultimate intention is to provide safer space for community and individuals to grow. I look forward to connecting with you and hearing about your journey with your voice.