Psychophonie in english

Psychophonie is a unique and holistic approach to singing based on bodyawareness. It was created and developed by Marie-Louise Aucher in the early 1960′s. The main goal of psychophonie is to deepen a person’sexperience as a whole integrated being.

Today psychophonie is widely practiced in France and in some European countries

Origins

Marie-Louise Aucher (15 January 1908 – 10 October1994) was a French classical singer, musician and singing teacher.While she was singing in churches in Paris for religious ceremonies andplaying the organ in the 1950′s, she physically experienced the vibrating quality of notes. Aware of her body sensations while listening to music or singing, she perceived physical resonances in herbody at specific points which related to different notes. For example, she noted that the note ‘middle D’ resonated in the lower thorax. Thisgradually led her to establish what she called ‘l’échelle des sons’which is a scale of sounds or more precisely a scale of resonances.This scale consists of four octaves which include men’s and women’s vocal registers. These four octaves are spread over different ranges of resonances, from head to toe and from low notes to high notes. This discovery was presented in 1960 at the Académie of Sciences in Paris and led Marie-Louise Aucher to create a new and unique approach tosinging which she named ‘psychophonie’.

As a singing teacher, Marie-Louise Aucher developed her teaching basedon body awareness. She identified specific places over the body whichshe called ‘the singer’s points’. She established specific exercices and psychophonic vocalizations created for each point which enabled singers to develop their voices to their full potential. She taught singers progressively and adapted her teaching according to eachsinger’s needs.

She was one of the first to map the correspondence and relation between sounds and body. She identified the concept of the ‘resonant humanbeing’ and the concept of the human being as both a ‘receiver and transmitter’. She also laid the basis for a clear understanding of  howan experientially based body-voice work using awareness can contribute to personal well-being and enrich day-to-day lives. These concepts areat the heart of psychophonie.

Marie-Louise Aucher believed that all human beings are receptive to sound vibrations including the baby in the womb. This led her todevelop Prenatal Singing.

Psychophonic practice

Psychophonie is a simple and practical method adaptable to all kinds of situations based on self-experimentation.Everyone can sing. One does not need to be a professional singer or musician.

Singing is a whole body experience and the body is the singer’s musical instrument. A range of exercises and psychophonic vocalizations which respect the singer’s physiology and mobilize the whole body is used to tune the singer and to put the singer in vibration. It increases hisself-awareness. The singer sings with more ease and pleasure. These exercises are then implemented using songs. This practice enables the singer to progressively know himself better and to develop his whole potential both as a singer and as a human being.

Psychophonic practice can include:

  • being receptive to sounds and expressing sounds. The quality of our listening and body awareness determines the quality of our vocal expression
  • identifying the vibrations in the body as a transmitter and receiver of sounds, developing awareness of correspondence between notes and body
  • breathwork as breath is regarded as the ‘fuel’ of sound. This breathwork involves the whole body and includes psychophonic vocalizations and grounding work around feet, the power of the pelvis, and the abdomen in order to support vocal expression
  • specific work with the singer’s points in order to develop vocal qualities and expression
  • vocal accuracy : articulation and phonation, movements of the jaw, relaxation of the neck and the larynx.

Psychophonie can be practiced individually or in groups. By following instructions given by the teacher, each person experiments psychophonie as a mean of discovering oneself. In group singing, the collectiveresult is not the main objective. This is not choir work. The work is mainly based on being receptive in order to better attune to ones elf and others. People can hear through ears but also through their body’s skin and bones. Singing in a group promotes the awareness of bodysensations, particularly tactile sensations.

Areas of application

Psychophonie can be used in many ways:

  • prenatal singing
  • child and parent singing
  • singing workshops
  • psychophonie practice in institutions, in psychiatry and with physically or mentally handicapped people

Psychophonie is suitable for everyone including those who think they cannot sing in tune. It is particularly suitable to professional singers who want to refine their practice. Orators, actors, teachers,lecturers and trainers can benefit too from psychophonie.

Further information

Training in psychophonie is available for anyone who is interested in exploring a unique approach to singing in awareness including singers, singing teachers and voice practitioners.

If you are interested in receiving more information about psychophonie and training, please send an email to : psychophonie@yahoo.co.uk

 

Book on prenatal singing

Marie-Laure Potel, a French musician, a psychophonie trainer with over twenty years experience and a pioneer in prenatal singing in France, has written the definitive book on prenatal singing.
This comprehensive and clearly written book is only available in French for the moment.
People who read French can order this book on the internet.