Nearly 18 years ago I walked into my first yoga class. I arrived a fit, athletic, young performer who, in reality, was overly flexible and weak in many key places in the body. I chalked my aches and pains up to the life of an active person and sometimes yoga made them better, but many times yoga made them worse. That pattern stayed consistent all the way through finishing my initial teacher training in 2008. Those same patterns of physical tension and weakness as well as my busy mind got in the way of my life as a singer as well. I never felt totally free and comfortable on stage.
As I taught voice and began bringing in what I learned in my yoga study to the voice studio, I discovered that nearly every voice had some version of the challenges I experienced. I continued to explore my own body through two pregnancies and the challenges I experienced after. As I put together new understanding of the whole body, breath and voice through biomechanics, movement, pain science, and applying that understanding, good function returned to my body and voice.
Over my years of study and teaching I’ve found that every body and voice can change. Now, I’m on a mission to help singers become the master of their body – moving with intention, control and coordination, and helping professional voice users speak and sing with ease and freedom.
My work is grounded in compassion and a belief in the power of awareness and skill building to lead to change. It took me years and many injuries to understand the value of slowing down and listening to the wisdom my body had to offer me. I strive to meet clients where they are and together we create a place of balance and strength and stability.
Sarah Whitten is a classically trained singer, voice teacher and certified yoga instructor with 15 years of experience. Her insatiable love of learning has lead her to study anatomy, physiology and biomechanics of the voice and body. A teacher, mentor and explorer of her own body, she’s focused on practical, functional ways of moving and using the voice to find an optimal sound.
She completed her 500 hour yoga teacher certification with Barbara Benagh in the slow flow method, and has gone on to study yoga as therapy with top yoga therapists in North America. She has completed multiple years of training in Nutritious Movement™ with Katy Bowman. She is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA) and the Voice Foundation. She holds a Masters in Vocal Pedagogy as well as a Masters in Vocal Performance, both from The Ohio State University. She has completed additional coursework in Voice Disorders through the MGH Institute of Health Professions and done additional studies in The Estill Method and Somatic Voicework™.
A member of Harvard’s Holden Voice Faculty for 13 years, she has presented workshops on the body and voice for professional and amateur singers at the National NATS Conference (2016) New England Regional NATS summer conferences (2009, 2011), the Buckeye NATS chapter (2010), the Boston NATS Chapter (2012) as well at colleges and universities and secondary schools around Boston. She has taught yoga in the Greater Boston area since 2008 and voice since 2002.