Would you like to Apprentice in Vocal Tai Chi, expand your own artist-leader vocal practice and offer Vocal Tai Chi to others on receipt of a certificate of completion of the full Apprenticeship?
The dates for next year are:
Module 1: September 16, 18, 20, 22, 24
Module 2: November 11, 13, 15, 17, 19
Module 3: January 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 2025 (extra day on final module).
TASTER WORKSHOPS IN SPRING/SUMMER 2024 on the last Sunday of April, May and June.
There has been good feedback this year from the first cohort about the structure of the course as a “one day on, one day off” form. See feedback here. Each day is 6 hours long and runs from 2pm – 5pm, break, 6.30pm – 9.30pm.
FEEDBACK from 2023 cohort
Please see this link for feedback from the first group – or go to the link in the Apprenticeship menu.
Zoom Cafe Q and A Sessions, meet Jenni and discuss the course with her and in a group.
Drop an email to apprenticevtc @ gmail. com for date of the next cafe and for zoom cafe link.
Vocal Tai Chi invites a listening stillness from which a full spectrum of expressive free voice can spring. Through formless forms such as drone, scale, and pulse, woven in with ‘the four floors of the vocal house’, realisation of each person’s solo voice is emphasised. We work in micro detail, modular expansion, and macro encompassing levels.
The Apprenticeship links parallel journeys as your own voice development goes along with leading practice clients in one to ones. As you learn you then lead.
Improvisation with the voice, through Vocal Tai Chi, opens a channel between self-awareness, felt-sense, and sung-sound.
Tai Chi offers a stable ground for voicework through its wisdom and knowledge of the body and mind, breathing, movement, flow, and staying in balance. This keeps the widest perspective on what is happening.
Vocal Tai Chi invites and honours the whole human being as a singing vessel to improvise freely and openly, while providing musical anchors a map of timbres from ‘basement’ to ‘attic’ and other guiding maps.
If there is a quivering voice it is invited not to be rejected as unintended. There may be a deeper expression that is trying to get your attention. Wobbles are the foundation of a musical trill or other decorative phrase, sighs are the foundation of glissandi or fine tuning shifts between pitches and self-propelling melodic narratives point to composition. All are welcomed as part of the origins of music, coming up in you.
The singer learns patience while finding hidden links between herself and her whole voice so a quiet sense of deeper connection may arise.
The apprenticeship is 3 modules of 5 days each (one day on one day off – 10 days total), 6 hours per day, over 4 months: April – July 2024.
A certificate is given after completion of an essay and practice client reports.”
Jenni Roditi, September 13 2023.
Please note the application Typeform software DOES NOT SAVE your work.
Prepare and copy-paste into the Typeform when you’re ready to submit.
A Voice Life Practice For the Whole Self
“Through its ancient wisdom and knowledge of the body and mind; breathing, moving, and staying in balance, Tai Chi offers a perfect grounding form for working with your voice. Vocal Tai Chi safely invites and honours the imperfections of being human, including unknown daemons, respectfully and honestly engaging with them. Then, incapacitated grief may rise as vibrant keening. Stuck anger trumpet belly sounds of rage and courage. A quivering, distressed voice, for example, once encountered also spontaneously draws out self-awareness, and perhaps love, to meet with this pain. As the pain hears her own voice, in unplanned trills, shakes, glissandi, and new melodic narratives, compassion gently awakens and soft pulsations of gratitude (for the integrity that the voice itself is revealing) may also stir. “
Jenni Roditi, extract from forthcoming (November 2023) Routledge publication “The Routledge Companion to Women’s Musical Leadership – From the Nineteenth Century, and Beyond”, Edited by Prof. Helen Julia Minors and Laura Hamer. Jenni’s contributory chapter is titled: “Beyond Music Workshops – A Composer and a Community.”
If you would like to read the full chapter (extract above) in its pre-published form please contact Jenni who will email you a Drop Box PDF link of the final draft text.
How can you make your own work in Vocal Tai Chi, as yourself?
Those who are accepted will be met and received, as you are, where you find yourself, today. Please read the Home page for a short background description of the work.
The six VTC spaces
- VTC music – drones, tones and microphones, the vocal house, micro and modular forms, improvisation.
- VTC felt sense – Tai Chi, body work, inner hearing, the nervous system as a barometer of safety.
- VTC therapeutic – working with affect, uncovering hidden voices, triggers, blocks, catharsis
- VTC leadership – finding your own inner leader, observing Jenni as a leader
- VTC collaborative – partnering with each other for reflective and creative development
- VTC meditative – presence, what is.. the Mandala of Being (Richard Moss).
We do the work as a whole, and moving between these different spaces is a central part of the scope of the work. In the moving between, new potentials are often uncovered. In module one we will touch into all six spaces and you will be encouraged to recognise in yourself how each one plays into your strengths and experience and how you can draw VTC into your own journey, practice and accomplishments. Start a journal from Day 1.
HOMEWORK between Modules 1 and 2
1. Set yourself a daily practice schedule.
2.You will be allocated one or two buddies from the group to explore your voice with and for checks ins as needed
3. Write up and then use your Module 1 journal (written during the sessions and on the days off – between sessions), to dig into your emerging themes and enquiries.
4. Record your Vocal Tai Chi regularly, listen back and grow the sense of your own voice and your music.
As we move into the second stage we will go into more details in these six areas, while continuing to work with all six as a whole as well.
- VTC music: ‘Your music can never be more or less than you as a human being’ – Nadia Boulanger to Quincy Jones in 1954. Where is your music coming from? The formless forms of Vocal Tai Chi.
- VTC felt sense: Tai Chi is an example of an ancient body-mind practice of perfect balance. As such it is embodied, intuitive and in harmony. Even as a beginner, Tai Chi offers a way to ground the body and begin to grow from the roots. Tai Chi acts as an inner ‘home space’ from which to travel with the voice, body, music and theatricality. Developing processes that encourage the felt-sense include free-form body work and internal hearing reflected as vocal sound.
- VTC therapeutic: Listening to people speak and sound, under their words and their ‘presenting voice’, reading timbres, how do we see the signs, intervene, demonstrate, inspire, wait, contain, invite self-reflection and insight. Continue using the Mandala of Being, created by Richard Moss.
- VTC leadership: Drawing out the session from the group, while not being afraid of your own impulses to lead, guide, include, tolerate, respond, suggest, provoke, follow. Different formats for the work.
- VTC collaborative: Give and take, when to do nothing, do something, work together, co-creators, groups, choirs, conduction.
- VTC meditative: contemplative voice, heart-brain-voice coherence, mantra, drone, essence.
HOMEWORK between Modules 2 and 3
1. Start working with your practice clients. You will have one local client in your home neighbourhood and one London client with whom you can work on an off day of the modules. Plan at least 2 sessions with each, preferably 4, 5 or more sessions with each of them (some can be online if needed) before Module 3. (You have six weeks!)
2.Record each session with your practice client/s so you can then journal the session afterwards.
3. Continue with your Homework from the previous module.
Collating and presenting your practice.
For the group work experiential leadership practice, volunteer groups will be convened, where you lead an hour’s workshop in Vocal Tai Chi.
- One to one session – you lead a session with a practice client in front of Jenni and some others. Length TBC.
- Group work – you lead a group workshop with practice group. Length TBC.
- Performance – you sing a solo VTC performance as part of the performance event towards the end of Module 3.
- Collaboration – you perform VTC with at least one other, in a Partnership Performance, as part of the performance event.
HOMEWORK AFTER MODULE 3 to be submitted by the end of March 2025
- Make a recording (audio or video) not longer than 10 minutes. The recording will be an example (and therefore also a digital record) of you singing Vocal Tai Chi, and should reflect the ways in which your voice has absorbed the VTC apprenticeship journey.
- Review your journalling and use it a the basis to write an essay (6000 words) about Vocal Tai Chi and your work on the apprenticeship. Give it a good title that reflects what it’s really about. Submit by end of August as part of your certification.
- Present you client reports (detailed step by step record of what happened in each session) and and an Afterword that reflects on each client’s journey.
- A piece of written feedback about how the apprenticeship was run ( 250 words)
A Listening Stillness
“Listening is becoming a lost art, but it is vital to nurture this part of human life. VTC invites a listening stillness from which a full spectrum of expressive voices can spring. Freeing the voice safely through VTC opens a channel between awareness, emotion and sound. A participant may sense pain, but in voicing it, the pain is heard. This gives shape to the unformed, as emotional honesty. ‘Was that really my voice?’ is a common refrain as the singer hears themselves, as if for the first time.” Jenni Roditi, August 2022.
Becoming a Vocal Tai Chi Artist-Leader
If you have attended regularly, participated fully, and can demonstrate your own Vocal Tai Chi in a comprehensive manner, then you can expect to be approved and get a VTC Artist Leader certificate. You may then run your own sessions and use the title Vocal Tai Chi in your practice. See below in section Post- Apprenticeship for information on membership to the Vocal Tai Chi practitioner network.
Group Work Only Participant
If you are looking to experience Vocal Tai Chi in a group next year, but are not interested or sure you’re ready to fully participate in the whole apprenticeship, you can be a Group Work Only Participant and join in with the Apprenticeship group work sessions in the afternoons. You may have done some work with Jenni in the past and want to carry on with that process through coming into group sessions. You may also come to the evening sessions to observe the individual development work.
Those who have worked with Jenni in the past do not need to go through the whole application form below, but do need to fill in the dates you wish to attend within the form. Therefore please fill in the form so I know when to expect you. You may respond to the other questions if you wish… or just write “previous participant”. New participants need to fill in the whole form. To find out more and to apply please click through to this form below via this button. Deadline for Applications March 1.
Become a Vocal Tai Chi practice client
Apprentices will need to work with practice clients and will be looking for people who would like to work on their Vocal Tai Chi with VTC apprentices, both privately, and as part of the final module of the apprenticeship in July 2023. If you would like to volunteer to be a practice client please fill in this form.
There will be Assistants present in some or all of the sessions – these will be certified apprentices from the 2023 cohort. There will also be other professional guests.
You have to be clear that you want go for it and get to the end of the journey. Don’t apply if you want to have an intensive workshop for yourself only. That can be arranged separately and is a totally different approach from what will be offered. This is a process in which, while working on your own voice and discovering other peoples voices, you will be in a process of learning leadership skills.
Everything that you do as a practitioner will be regarded as material for learning and building up conscious and intuitive skills as a Vocal Tai Chi Artist Leader.
If you are unsure about the commitment you will be undertaking, then please arrange a one to one call with Jenni to discuss your reservations before application.
Therapy and ‘therapeutic’
Vocal Tai Chi is not therapy, but it does have therapeutic benefits.
The implications of this are important: Jenni is not a qualified therapist. Your work with her is done at your own risk, and on the understanding that you are working with her to learn from her empirical experience running a form of voice work that has therapeutic elements. She has been involved with this kind of work for over 30 years, without complaint. She is not there to be your personal or the group therapist as such. If you feel you need a therapist then it is important to find someone else to work with separately. A therapist can support you alongside the apprenticeship, if necessary.
Vocal Tai Chi is a good adjunct to therapy, but does not replace it. You need to be willing to take full responsibility for yourself at all times during the apprenticeship.
There is a lot more background information on the kind of therapeutic elements and benefits of Vocal Tai Chi in Jenni’s forthcoming chapter (November 2023). There is a drop box link to the chapter for those who wish to read the final draft of the chapter in advance of its publication and in advance of application to find out more. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hyper link to the PDF final draft of the chapter.
“The work of Jenni Roditi is truly remarkable. All music speaks to the unconscious. But rarely do we find that conduit from the unconscious back into musical form. Jenni Roditi, employing a sophisticated use of improvisation, a deep understanding of how listening becomes musical expression and her own innate musicality, makes vocal work that is at once utterly original and completely timeless. It speaks of what is most ancient in all of us, and, simultaneously, what is most urgent, present and new. It is, quite simply, extra-ordinary. And very, very beautiful.”
Simon McBurney, Complicité founder, director, performer. March 2018.
Pervasive Individual Work Format
Structure and Location
Three modules of five days each run over nine days, one day on, one day off. 6 hours, per day. Some days may be a bit longer. The last module includes one extra day as there is a lot to get through.
We will work afternoons 2pm-5pm and evenings 6.30-9.30pm. Many sessions will be in Jenni’s live/work space in Crouch End, but other venues will also be booked in the locality.
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Monday, Wednesday.
This is a flow form that suits the work. The dates have been placed during the school Easter and Summer holidays and the half term week. With apologies to anyone who is working full time. This course is aimed at those who are in freelance work.
Dates in 2024
Module 1: September 16, 18, 20, 22, 24
Module 2: November 11, 13, 15, 17, 19
Module 3 in 2025: January 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 2025 (extra day on final module).
Full Apprenticeship £2,4.00 [£800 PER MODULE X3]
Group Work Only Participant: £80 for 2 sessions, £115 for3 sessions , £150 for 4 sessions, per module.
All three modules, 4 sessions, £450 total. You can choose how many sessions in each module to suit your schedule. Maximum of 4 minimum of 2.
There will be financial support thanks to a generous anonymous donation. Receiving financial support will be available based on need and strength of application combined, and decided on a case by case basis.
Part grants can be applied for. You will only pay two thirds of the full apprenticeship (£1600) and support will be given for the third module (£800).
This assistance is for people who can demonstrate financial need, outlining their situation simply in the application, and who also have strong suitability and commitment to the work.
SELF-FUNDED applications without financial assistance are welcome and appreciated. You will support those who cannot meet the full payment by keeping a place open for others.
Full payment to be made in advance, without exception. Deadline for payment is March 9th 2024, 4 weeks before the first session. Payment per module is not an option as it is too time consuming to keep track of the different arrangements that would then be struck up.
If after all effort has been made to resolve an unexpected issue, it is still impossible to proceed, particular exceptions can be made for part or whole refunds to be provided, on which a view will taken at the time after all avenues have been explored.
Applications are now open (from September 2023) and close February 10th 2024. Notice of your acceptance on the apprenticeship will be February 24th, 6 weeks before the apprenticeship begins. Enough time to make travel and accommodation arrangements as needed without rush. Payment as arranged, with, or without financial support, is requested between March 9th and 16th. After March 16h 2024 non-payment opens the way to other applicants on waiting list to take priority.
As well as a written application you may be invited to a zoom interview. This won’t be necessary in all cases but please be aware that you may be invited to talk with Jenni on Zoom.
For information on the license to practice VTC, website practitioner listing page, acknowledging the work, please see here.