About Me

About Joanna

In her own words:

I love the patterns found in improvisational jamming and the endless possibilities to use texture, tempo, harmony, and tone to explore sound authentically, in the moment, with open curiosity. When people come together in community and still the mind and allow their natural instincts to guide them magic happens. When people listen with their whole being and let go to the flow of improvising, beautiful sounds emerge. This, to me, is bliss. There is nothing more sacred, nothing that melts hearts better than voices singing together.

Following a life changing experience with Rhiannon Watson at Hollyhock retreat center I was called to begin sharing my ‘sounds’ with others. I had been singing all my life, writing songs, recording them and performing with musicians. Most people relate to that kind of singing as that is what we hear broadcasted. But the unaccompanied, raw, free, human voice is astonishing in its ability to reach in and take hold of your heart. It is primal, honest, unselfconscious and humbling to receive.

When I listen to the untamed human voice I feel connected to all life: to animals and plants and the cosmos, and when another voice joins that first voice a conversation begins. This is what VocalEase is about: conversations in sound that connect hearts and souls and release fear and ego.

VocalEase is also about the discipline of listening and offering your best and stretching past your inhibitions to reach a new level of self-expression. It is about supporting the group and sharing whatever you have to give and learning how to sing out fully and dance with joy. It is about creating community and having a lot of fun!

In 2005 I began with a kids class called KIDSPIN: “kids-improvisational-dance-sing-and-play-in -nature,” that was based on some of the games I learned with Rhiannon with the addition of making music from recycled junk. KIDSPIN merged into an adult workshop called IDSPIN. I changed the name in 2007 to “VocalEase” to make it seem less esoteric.. Nevertheless, like Yoga when it first came to the West, Improvisational singing is still weird and scary to many people . . . until they experience it.

My work takes me to communities throughout the world where I can share this beautiful form of communication with others. Anyone who can make sounds can participate- you don’t have to be a confident or experienced singer. All voices are welcome.

About VocalEase

Mission Statement:

We believe that the human voice is a powerful conduit of personal and global transformation entered through the magic of harmony singing and joyful release. Singing elevates the human spirit and connects us to the life force that moves through all living things.

Our Vision:

VocalEase was created to provide opportunities for people to experience the pleasure of freeing their unique voice while witnessing transformation and healing for themselves and the planet.

Joy bird…

Joanna brings love and hope to all who attend her workshops and performances. Joanna continues her study in human development and personal healing though expressive arts, offering workshops at schools, retreats and to private groups wherever her travels lead her. She regularly teaches and performs in Canada, US, Antigua and Ecuador. She works in schools as an Education Assistant, as a gardener and as a cook to maintain a balanced life. She sings original music with a

Teacher, Musician, Activist…

Joanna has worked with adults and children with special needs for thirty years as an educator in schools and colleges, taking particular pleasure in supporting those with cognitive and emotional challenges. A songwriter/actor with several acclaimed CDs, Joanna has performed on international stages sharing her diverse musical personalities. She shines on stage when she sings original Cabaret, Folk, Jazz and Experimental Music, and connects through love, ribald humour, and wild, weird sounds, touching emotions and reaching out to her audience with raw honesty that breaks down the barriers that separate us.

Joanna has studied voice and movement for forty-five years. Classes include classical and jazz voice, flute, piano, viola and percussion.

Vocal improvisation courses and workshops with

Dance and movement include

  • Ballroom
  • Salsa
  • Gypsy/ Middle Eastern
  • Classical Indian
  • Contact Improv
  • Feldenkrais
  • Spacial Dynamics
  • Tai Chi and Yoga.

Teachers include

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arms up - Copy

 

Rhiannon in Victoria - Copy

 

B&W Isthmus at Joe's Garage. Sept 2010