This blog post is a celebration of Voice Movement Therapy. There is indeed much to celebrate and enjoy.
VMT core elements offer a wonderful, non-prescriptive guide to the wholeness of being human. There is an immediacy in the VMT approach which touches deep authentic beingness within a safe space that allows participants to free body and voice with compassion, curiosity and an enriched sense of adventure. From earthy jazz-like riffs and rhythms, to beautiful free voice lullabies to oneself, to deeply embodied sounding laments and much more, all becomes possible from the first breath, the first sound, the first movements invited in a session. Much care is offered by VMT practitioners to perceive and receive each person as they are; to approach the unfolding work with an appropriate lightness of touch. VMT intends to offer an unravelling of psyche and soul through voice and movement: to guide each participant to dare to express the beauty, in all its forms, of his/her deeply unique voice.
“Beauty holds faith with the deepest signature of individuality; it graces the passion of individuality when it risks itself beyond its own frontiers—”
–John O’Donohue, Divine Beauty
Over the years practitioners have opened out the VMT map in so many ways, with both groups and individuals, as well as for their own creative work, individuation and performance as singers, actors and dancers and being human.
VMT has offered and continues to offer a re-discovery of confidence and enjoyment in body and voice to sing and sound, a birthright so often decimated; its methodology has, with immediacy, led and encouraged choirs to sing fully with spontaneous, life giving communication; developed the exploration of extended voice possibilities in theatre and music; offered deep psychotherapeutic work, transformed by the inclusion of voice; promoted archetypal discovery, connection and expression through fairy story, myth and mask; explored deep shamanic communion with the planet, ancestral releasing and systemic constellation work; organised programmes for self expressive, healing work in prisons and detention centres; worked, often, long term with powerful, life giving programmes for refugees and people at the edge of life; offered carefully thought out and monitored work with children with language delay and with behavioural problems and with children on the autistic spectrum; given sounding and song sessions to elderly people with dementia; re-built the joy of singing and brought healing by reviving cultural songs after long years of suppression.
These examples of individual practitioner’s continue to develop and expand.
The VMT “map” touches so many levels, from the enjoyment of singing as soloist, ensemble or choir member, through to deep communion with others, with nature and the planet, to clear expression and witnessing of soul needs and soul yearnings.
The amazing adventure continues, spreads and reveals more treasures in a beautiful yet challenging contracting, expanding spiral.
by Veronica Phillips, VMTR
President and Treasurer of IAVMT