Here are some comments from participants in my workshops:
"This workshop is not about powering through tiring new techniques or screaming your lungs out. It is much more about opening up and listening to what is there. With Neil's integral warm-up (which was a beautiful discovery of our one and only singing instrument: our body - no matter if you like it or not!) and Margaret's continuous and patient research for our "real" voice with a range which in fact is much wider than I thought, I found that this teacher-duo complemented each other perfectly.
I learnt to listen. To myself, to the teachers, but also to each one of our group; we are so different and similar at the same time! I learnt to relax my jaw while dancing. I learnt that when I really connect to my spine my voice is much more rich and honest. I learnt that singing a song is much more than melody and text; an emotional bearing can change everything! I learnt that the voice does not lie.
Margaret and Neil listened to each of us carefully and I had the feeling to be guided in a wise and sincere way.
The safe and peaceful setting gave me a freedom to 'fail' (which actually does not exist in this workshop). And it made my own research very honest and intense.... I feel inspired to continue my way as an artist - on stage and off stage.
I would recommend this workshop to everybody who is curious and wants to discover a new horizon of voice, body and soul. And yes: Every single body can sing!! " Judith Bach, performer. ('Voice-Body Intensive' with co-teacher Neil Paris August 2015 at l'Hameau de l'Etoile, France.)
"The workshop was both practical-down-to-earth and inspiring. Such an experience reflects the high level of teaching. Although the classes are taught in groups, each student receives feedback and encouragement to match their individual journey of discovery. I also learned as much or even more from comments to other students as from those directed to me. When I needed it, I was given time and space to explore and at appropriate times I received the gentle encouragement to break out of my comfort zone and take my work to the next level. I cannot recommend this workshop highly enough." Stephen Berwind, PhD MFA Senior Lecturer in Drama Manchester Metropolitan University-Cheshire. ('Voice-Body Intensive' with co-teacher Neil Paris July 2015 at l'Hameau de l'Etoile, France.)
"Der Workshop in Frankreich war einfach großartig! In einer traumhaften Atmosphäre mit professionellen, wundervollen Lehrern wurde das Zusammenspiel von Stimme und Körper perfekt umgesetzt. In Gruppenarbeit sowie auch in individueller Einzelarbeit wurden wir diszipliniert, sehr professionell, aber auch liebevoll, lebendig, mit viel Spaß und Freude, und mit viel Achtsamkeit durch den Workshop begleitet. Ich habe mich jederzeit sehr gut aufgehoben gefühlt und habe auch Dank der gemeinsamen, sehr homogenen Gruppenarbeit, was nicht zuletzt ein Verdienst von Margaret und Neill ist, eigene Grenzen kennengelernt und mich gewagt sie zu überschreiten. Ich habe gelernt, dass wir durch gutes Zuhören und Zuschauen bei den anderen genauso viel lernen wie im eigenen Prozess. Die Verbindung von Stimme und Körper macht die Stimme stark und ausdrucksvoll. Das perfekte Zusammenspiel macht die große Reichweite der eigenen Stimme möglich. Ich kannte Margaret durch meine monatliche Gruppenarbeit, aber dieser Workshop in Frankreich ist das Tüpfelchen auf dem i. Herzlichen Dank für diese wundervolle Arbeit und Zeit, die wir zusammen verbringen durften."
Heike, from Cologne ('Voice-Body Intensive' with co-teacher Neil Paris August 2015 at l'Hameau de l'Etoile, France.)
"Just to say ‘thank you’ for a wonderful week of vocal and physical exploration at Le Hameau. Thank you for all your hard work, care, generosity and the very high level of both group and individual teaching. I had quite a few personal vocal revelations and the journey continues of course.It was a great combination of holiday and work - perfect! And with such a brilliant group of people too." Jane Vicary, Assistant Head of Voice, ALRA NORTH, UK ('Voice-Body Intensive' with co-teacher Neil Paris August 2014 at l'Hameau de l'Etoile, France.)
"Playing, experimenting, mirroring, moving and singing and shouting,
under the genial and inspired guidance of Margaret and Neil, I learned
to trust my voice and body to explore new places and make new shapes and
sounds. In the process I discovered a new foundation for my work as a
writer/director. I recommend this course to anyone who wants to break
free of personal limitations and and open up their possibilities. Also,
it is great fun. Thank you both." L.WW.('Voice-Body Intensive' with co-teacher Neil Paris July 2014 at l'Hameau de l'Etoile, France.)
"The exercises we did were most enjoyable. I'm not a performer but Margaret created such a safe and supportive environment that doing things solo that would normally terrify me actually didn't." R.T. (Salford University 2014)
"It was quite amazing how Margaret was able to understand our voices, just by simply listening to them for a short while in the exercises we played with. My voice felt like it had been expanded by the end of the session as well as being clearer.
I began to understand just how important the breath is in vocal work, and life in general. I very much enjoyed working with breath first in order to establish the voice, almost like a baby.... Margaret brought something into my conscience that I will never disregard again. 'Using the voice isn't about straining it or making weird sounds. It's about depth, clarity and expression'". J.M. (Manchester University 2014)
"The course was one of those few times in the process of creative work that is marked as a key crossroads. In my 30 or so years of learning within creative practice this course goes down as one of those epiphany moments. I feel it has enhanced my development both as a teacher and as an artist. Thank you. The quality of teaching was of a very high standard with close attention to one on one and good group work that offered different levels of learning. Beautiful location and lovely food. Perfect." Carran Waterfield. (Response to workshop: 'Explore Your Voice and Sing' with co-teacher Neil Paris - July 2013 at l'Hameau de l'Etoile, France)
"I feel very thankful, I enjoyed the playful and joyful way of learning very much and want to integrate this more in my own teaching." Kirsten Willnat, ('Explore Your Voice and Sing' with co-teacher Neil Paris July 2013 at l'Hameau de l'Etoile, France)
"“I would like to thank you both for a wonderful week that has made a deep impact on me, both as an individual, as a researcher and as an artist. It was a pleasure to work with two sensitive, talented, assured master-teachers. I felt in very safe hands throughout, and felt able to explore my voice in a supportive, non-judgemental environment. The accommodation at L’Hameau de L’Etoile was exquisite – it was wonderful being so close to the stunning natural surroundings and being able to take a dip in the pool after class. I felt that this was a reflection of the great care and attention to detail that went into the whole workshop!" P.C 2012 ('Explore Your Voice and Sing' with co-teacher Neil Paris July 2013 at l'Hameau de l'Etoile, France)
"It was such an magnificent present I got out of this "Schnupperworkshop"...I kept singing all my way home, and my voice was flowing out of my body, as naturally as a large River. It felt powerfull and soft at the same time. Thank you very, very much again." Regine Leonore Birkner, Köln Sept 2012
"Die Klassen von Margaret Pikes sind einfach genial! Wer mit der Stimme experimentieren und sie erweitern möchte, ist hier richtig. In kleinen Gruppen und in absolut entspannter Atmosphäre kann man hier ausprobieren und sich von anderen inspirieren lassen. Margaret Pikes ist eine aufmerksame Lehrerin und leitet in einfühlsamer und unterstützender Weise. Sehr wertvolle Impulse für mich."
Christina, Köln Sept. 2011
"Die Arbeit mit Margaret und der Roy Hart Methode ist wie ein Fenster, eine Öffnung zu meiner eigenen, wirklich eigenen Stimme. Nicht etwas, was ich mir vorstelle, wie es klingen muß.
Und deshalb ein Fenster zu etwas Echtem, einer Authentizität, die mir das Wichtigste von allem zu sein scheint.
Es ist nicht, etwas lernen, wie man es macht, sondern es ist „etwas in sich öffnen“.
Und dazu kommt , dass dann genau dieser Klang der ist, den man sucht. Egal, wie er klingt.
Er klingt, weil er echt ist, immer irgendwie sehr schön.
Das ist so faszinierend, technisch passieren dabei oft Riesenschritte, die man nicht üben kann, nur plötzlich entdecken. Als würde man über einen kleinen Bergweg doch noch Sänger werden, obwohl man es nicht so erwartete. Ich liebe diese Arbeit."
Susanne, Köln September 2011
"Margaret's course, 'Explore your Voice and Sing', was the first professional voice training I had had in my life. I have always been a singer, from choirs when I was younger to solo performer currently and was looking to expand my vocal range as well as exploring different aspects of my singing voice and improving my overall sound. I would also say that I was looking to discover what my unique voice and vocal expression was. With Margaret's lifetime of experience studying, performing and teaching all aspects of vocal work, I couldn't have found a better teacher. The course was 6 days and was absolutely fantastic. I have come away with many new ideas, techniques and sounds to explore and play with. I found power and depth in parts of my vocal range that I didn't really know existed, and I had a really fun time working with such a wonderful teacher. It also pushed me out of my comfort zone with some of the improvised vocal journeys, which is always a useful life lesson! Wherever you are in your singing life (professional or personal), if you want to add colour and richness, texture, emotion, technique and power through vocal training, I would highly recommend any course Margaret does."
Jon - August 2010
"J'ai beaucoup apprécié qu'il y aie à la fois un travail de groupe et aussi l'espace pour un chemin plus personnalisé. J'ai aussi trouvé très riche lorsque le groupe me soutenait dans mon travail vocal individuel, de même lorsque je faisais partie du groupe qui accompagnait l'un de nous. J'ai apprécié l'alternance de ces dynamiques, leur cohérence et leur synergie. Il me semble que c'est un art de gérer un groupe ainsi...
Chaque début de matinée et d'après-midi,le warming-up m'ancrait, me centrait et me rendait disponible au travail vocal qui suivait....
J'ai reçu des repères de sensations concernant ma voix. J'ai aimé ces voyages de sons dans les profondeurs, dans les sphères du milieux et dans les hauteurs: je sentais ainsi les différentes qualités de ma voix liées aux différents lieus de mon corps et aux différents vécus intérieurs. J'entends mieux maintenant comment ma voix vibre et d'où elle vient.
Je trouve très riche de plonger corps et âme dans l'exploration vocale...et aussi de donner une forme momentanée à tout cela en abordant des chansons en les présentant à la fin.
Je ressens combien ma voix et reliée à ma vie." Pascale - Aout 2010
"I was helped to orientate the sensations I felt through my vocal work. I loved these in depth sound journeys, going into the middle and upper spheres: through this I felt how the different qualities of my voice link to different areas in my body and to different interior experiences. I can now hear better how my voice vibrates and from where it comes.......I feel how my voice is linked to my life." (translation) Pascale - August 2010
"Working with you has been a wonderfully liberating experience, and a real revelation. I came to the workshops because I was frustrated by the lack of connection between my voice and body.....the two seemed to work in almost complete isolation. I hoped that I might be able to find a connection between the two through Roy Hart work, and this is exactly what has started to happen. My voice feels much stronger and more flexible, I have become much more courageous in experimenting with my voice and my range has extended at both ends. Thank you so much!" Amanda
"For me the voice experience is about getting in touch with the essence of who you are - your past, a sincere connection with the present and the confidence to embrace the future. The eyes maybe the windows to the soul but the voice is the light that guides you in." Mian
"I wish to thank you both for the truth in the voice and the self you helped to be revealed, by uncovering the layers of our voices that lead to our souls. Thank you for the journey..that goes on..on..and on..." Athina