From “Ah” to “Ah-Ha”: A creative process for empowered singing

The Greater Boston Choral Consortium ( will be presenting a workshop on Saturday, February 27, 2016, from 10am to 12.30pm. The presenter, Stephen Paparo, President-Elect of Mass ACDA, is a certified practictioner of the Feldenkrais Method. The event is free to members of a GBCC organization and $10 to non-members. For more information please contact Anne Watson Born at

Session Description:

This interactive workshop offers a fresh perspective on building vocal technique in the choral rehearsal. Participants will learn a process for developing the fundamental skills of singing, based on the learning model of the Feldenkrais Method®, that will help empower them to make their own creative discoveries about vocal skill building and artistic singing.

The Feldenkrais Method® of Somatic Education is an experiential learning process that develops greater self-awareness, which leads to improved mental, physical, and emotional coordination. Feldenkrais lessons consist of gentle movement sequences and guided attention that re-wire neuromuscular patterns in the brain to replace poor, ineffective habits with new options for movement and self-expression.

The session will: (1) begin with an overview of the creative process and the underlying principles of voice building, (2) review the basic skills of singing, including flexible body, breathing, phonation, resonance, articulation, and expression, and (3) provide opportunities to experience brain and body-based learning strategies that can be easily incorporated as a part of rehearsal. Participants will gain a greater understanding of how easy and effective voice building with this process can be. It will have you moving from “Ah” to “Ah-Ha”!


Stephen A. Paparo, Assistant Professor of Music Education at UMass Amherst, teaches undergraduate and graduate courses and conducts the University Chorale. He holds degrees from Michigan State University (Ph.D.), Syracuse University (M.M.), and Ithaca College (B.M.), and is a Guild Certified Practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method® of Somatic Education. As a former public school teacher, he taught junior and senior high school choral music for ten years in New Hartford, New York, and earned National Board Certification in 2002.

Dr. Paparo is active as a guest conductor and has conducted honors choirs in Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania. He regularly presents at international, national, and state conferences, and has presented at the American Choral Directors Association Eastern Division Conference. He is President-Elect for the Massachusetts American Choral Directors Association, and has served as Youth and Student Activities Chair since 2013.

His research interests include the application of the Feldenkrais Method to singing instruction in the choral setting, and non-traditional choral ensembles, such as contemporary collegiate a cappella, virtual choirs, and circle singing groups. He is published in Bulletin for the Council of Research in Music Education, International Journal of Music Education, and Music Education Research. His chapter, “Circle singing: Composing Improvisation and Improvising Composition” is part of a forthcoming GIA publication entitled Musicianship: Composing in Choir.