Testimonials

‘I have taken classes with Donya at Harmony College and Harmony University and have observed her work with Lions Gate Chorus, and I find her to be unlike ANY other instructor in barbershop. She is an absolute genius at putting singers and performers at ease, and she gently guides you to explore the edges of your comfort zone and discover strategies to help you make friends with your own weird and wonderful body and voice. I find her to instuction to be both therapeutic and empowering. She is deeply knowledgable about the psychology and physiology of performance and is writing a book about the body and performance that I can’t WAIT to read.’ -Elizabeth Davies, Seattle, WA

‘I’ve been a singing teacher for 15 years and I’ve been singing professionally for 20 years… I started taking lessons with Donya and I realized what was in front of me was a different way of understanding the relationship between body, voice and art – and that seemed promising to me. However, it was at the workshop that I was able to better understand the whole of Donya’s work. With her years of experience, in addition to Fitzmaurice (Voicework) and Somatic Experiencing, Donya created a perfect workshop for the singer / actor who wants to get in touch with the real artistic potential. She is a very sensitive teacher and knows how to lead the student to the challenges posed with wisdom. It was wonderful for me to discover ways to access sensations and emotions in a safe environment. And we went beyond that: in the workshop we also tried to put these feelings and emotions at the disposal of singing, of art. It was revealing to realize the difference in the richness of the singing of colleagues at the beginning and end of the workshop. It was revealing to discover that through the proposed bodily work I can be whole and safe on stage being only myself, fully.’ -Daniella Gramani, Curitiba, Brazil

‘I found the course to be highly beneficial.  Areas that I got a lot out of were the overall relaxation of my whole body.  This allowed me to breathe deeper and more consistently.  I also experienced a deeper connection to both “things” and people through this work.  A great line that Donya mentioned was “People need to see your pain before they can believe your joy”.  This resonated with me.  I learned the importance of being more present and to show my experience so people/the audience could feel like they have permission to experience or be genuinely entertained with the performance.  I would recommend this course to anyone in entertainment – both new and veterans.’ -Member of The Squares, Vancouver, BC

‘The workshop got me to think about the relationship between my body and my singing in a useful and interesting way. The range and scope of the workshop meant that there could be many different takeaways for each individual. The concepts and ideas I am taking away from the workshop are already making me a better singer and performer and they will continue to do so as I practice and strive to improve.’ -Member of The Squares, Vancouver, BC

‘I walked away feeling empowered and energized.  The somatic experience approach will be a useful tool to help me bring my authentic self to each performance situation. Specifically, I must remember that is by connecting to the experience I am having as well as the one the audience is having that I can truly live in the moment. To complement that thought, increasing my vulnerability is not driven by ‘upping the stakes’ internally but instead by expanding my ability to cope with external stimuli (through the Somatic Experience work). In this way, I can integrate the audience, the material, and my Self to produce an experience that is truthful and meaningful.’  -Member of The Squares, Vancouver, BC
‘What an uplifting and enlightening experience!  Many little things learned: relaxation, connection, response.  My biggest takeaway is how unaware I’ve been of my own physical response to the excitement/fear/thrill of being on stage.  I will be checking my body’s reaction to all stimuli and working to use those reactions to produce a more “real” performance.’ -Member of The Squares, Vancouver, BC
‘My main takeaway wasn’t really formulated until a quartet rehearsal after the workshop, when i realised that i was singing, with a fifth ear [coach] present and watching, with my eyes closed for half of the song.  I need to make a bigger effort to connect both internally (to my body sensations) and  externally (to people/objects in the room) when singing.  That has ended  up being my biggest takeaway, though it was by no means the only thing I  can use from the session to improve my performing.’ -Member of The Squares, Vancouver, BC
‘I found the experience challenging and rewarding to be more aware of my body, my reactions to performance stress. I left with some practical approaches to stage time, and a general reminder that self-care on a daily level will impact my performances. It’s hard to put into words how much the information on how our individual bodies processed stress was beneficial.  I think that we learned a lot because of the group process – seeing in others want we might not see in ourselves.  Both the small group size, and the skillful facilitation made for a unique learning experience. I think this workshop is a must for anyone planning to make the most out of time on stage.’ -Member of The Squares, Vancouver, BC