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?
Applications are now open. We start (new date to avoid Easter weekend) March 28th 2023, North London, UK.
Regular Zoom Cafe Q and A Sessions, meet Jenni and discuss the work with her and in a group.
The next Zoom Cafe will be Tuesday January 31st, 5pm GMT for about an hour.
The next Taster Workshop will be in February, either 12th or 26th, TBC. 1.30 – 6.30pm in Crouch End, North London.
Drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – for zoom cafe link and to book in for the taster workshop which is £47 – special offer.
Also on offer is to join the Apprenticeship not as a full apprentice but as a Group Work Only Participant, a Practice Client and/or an Observer. More info below.
Applications are now OPEN
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-forms, improvisation.
- VTC felt sense – Tai Chi, body work, inner hearing.
- 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 – coming into presence, letting go
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 the foundation module 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.
HOMEWORK between Modules 1 and 2:
1. Set yourself a daily practice schedule.
2. Find a buddy to explore your voice with, on or off the Apprenticeship
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 five 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?
- 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 theatre. 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 to see the signs, intervene, demonstrate, inspire, wait, contain, invite self-reflection and insight.
- 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.
HOMEWORK between Modules 2 and 3
1. Start working with your practice clients. Find one or if you can two clients. 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
4. Make a recording (audio or video) at least 5 minutes, not longer than 10 minutes, that you will submit by August 14th as part of your certification. 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.
5. Review your journalling and chose the best 3000 words. Collate this writing into a coherent sequence and add commentary (around 1000 words) to bind it all together as needed. Give it a good title that reflects what it’s really about. Submit by August 14th as part of your certification.
Collating and presenting your practice.
For the Group work certification we will create practice groups (can be other Apprentices, GWOP’s and Practice Clients) where you lead a 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 of at least eight people. 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 one other, in a Partnership Performance, as part of the performance event.
- How do you see Vocal Tai Chi working within your existing skills and passions or will it be closer to a stand-alone new beginning for you? Discussing your process with a view to your written work.
- Feedback on the Apprenticeship journey – group ‘Social Dreaming’ process – based on live discussion.
- A piece of written feedback between (guideline) 500 and 1000 words about the whole Apprenticeship, submit by August 14th .
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 Participants, Practice Clients and Observers
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 –
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.
If you would like to observe sessions: afternoon group-based work or evening individual-based work please let us know who you are and when you plan to come, via the button below. There is no charge to observe, but you are kindly invited to make a donation that will go towards supporting the apprentices’ travel expenses or to helping develop the digital documentation of the work. Thank you very much.
Jenni will invite in musicians and others from time to time to support the practical work.
Grants and Scholarship
There will be financial support offered for cases of special need, thanks to a generous donation from close supporters. Receiving financial support will be available based on need and strength of application combined, and decided on a case by case basis.
There will be two options to apply for in terms of requesting support.
- There will be one full scholarship available to enable one person to attend fully supported, all costs covered, if that is demonstrated to be essential.
2. The second option is that there will be a few part grants available where you will only pay two thirds of the fee and support will be given for the third module i.e. £750, if you cannot meet the full amount.
This assistance is only 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 will be in the mix of applications.
Full payment to be made in advance. Deadline for payment is March 3rd 2023, 4 weeks before the first session. Payment per module is not an option as it is too time consuming to keep track of all the different arrangements that would then be struck up.
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. 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 email@example.com 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.
There will be occasional extra sessions with guest facilitators. These will be paid for on a one-off basis and you only need come if you want the input being offered, as extra curricular.
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.
We will work afternoons 2pm-5pm and evenings 6.30-9.30pm. Most sessions will be in Jenni’s live/work space in Crouch End. We are currently looking into other larger workspaces for opportunities to move more. Jackson’s Lane Studio One (huge space) in Highgate has now been reserved for the last Tuesday of each module.
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday.
The main reasons for spacing things out are energy conservation and absorption of the work. Please note this pattern of days has recently been updated to a new pattern: old pattern was – M, W, F, Su, Tu.
Dates in 2023
Times for each day: Sessions One – group work – 2pm – 5pm.
Session Two – individual work – 6.30pm – 9.30pm.
Module 1: March 28, 30, April 1, 2 and 4 2023 (week before Easter)
Module 2: May 23, 25, 27 ,28 and 30 2023
Module 3: July 11, 13, 15, 16 and 18 2023.
There will be a special performance/sharing event with invited audience, towards the end of Module 3.
£2,250.00 [£750 PER MODULE X3]
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 November 7th 2022) and close February 1st 2023. Notice of your acceptance on the apprenticeship will be February 15th 2023, 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 15th February and 4th March. 2023. After 4th March 2023, 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 between February 1st and February 15th 2023 you may be invited to talk with Jenni on Zoom.
For further information including the certificate, support follow up sessions, license to practice VTC, website practitioner listing page, and a future apprenticeship in 2024, please see here.