Breakout Session - Disobedient Singing. Break All the Rules. A Personalized Approach to Singing for YOUR Body

Society has historically treated breathing and alignment as a one-size-fits-all issue. This has led to mixed messages and dogmatic rules about breathing and alignment are often confusing and prevent singers from, at best, fully accessing air and, at worst, physical pain due to trying to follow all of the rules they've been given (especially contradictory "rules"). Our team, consisting of a doctor of physical therapy with musical training and a doctor of vocal performance with experience in multiple bodywork modalities, can more effectively help to integrate new postural and breathing skills into their voice practice than either practitioner alone. Together, we provide individualized and comprehensive plans of action to demystify and improve singer’s breathing patterns, and address faulty (and sometimes painful!) postural patterns.


Dr. Abby Halpin is a physical therapist and personal trainer who works with performing artists and athletes of all kinds. She is on a mission to remind singers that they have bodies, too! Her role is to address singers' bodies' histories, movements, and postural patterns that are affecting their easy access to air. Abby observes that performers love to work hard, but they are often working hard at postural rules that don't apply to every individual. She would like singers to break rules when needed and to feel free in their bodies so that their  focus is on artistry. 

Abby has presented to Puget Sound Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (PS-NATS), Northwest Chapter of the Voice Foundation (NWCVF), and a number of individual voice studios in the area. Her virtual practice, Forte Performance & Physical Therapy, combines approaches such as Postural Restoration Institute, Movement Systems Impairments, and more to help singers improve their comfort and performance. Abby completed her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at Ithaca College in 2009. Abby has studied piano and voice recreationally for most of her life.


Dr. Liza Frazer is passionate about the power of music to heal us and to create community (especially in these strange times!) and she brings that passion to the voice studio (well, zoom for now!), the classroom, the stage, and to the choirs with whom she works. Liz completed her Doctor of Musical Arts in 2012 at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and relocated to Seattle in 2017 where she opened her voice studio, Frazer Voice Studio. Currently, she is the President of the Puget Sound Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (PS-NATS). Along with NATS, and running her own private voice studio, and has also been a Seattle Opera Teaching Artist for three years. 

Liz is extremely interested in how our body movement patterns affect our voices and has studied the Alexander Technique and Body Mapping for over ten years, and recently began studying Postural Respiration with the Postural Restoration Institute. She is currently collaborating with physical therapist, Dr. Abby Halpin of Forte Performance and PT, to bring healthy movement patterns to singers and voice teachers, and brings concepts from the Alexander Technique, Body Mapping, and Postural Restoration into her teaching and singing. She has presented her work about these concepts at the Northwest Voice Conference, for Seattle Opera’s Teen Vocal Studio, and various workshops on the east and west coasts. Liz believes that we can all learn to move with more ease and less tension, and that these new habits serve our singing as well as our everyday lives.

Financial Disclosure: Dr. Frazer has no financial relationships to disclose. Dr. Halpin has no financial relationships to disclose.

Non-Financial Disclosure: ​Dr. Frazer has no non-financial relationships to disclose. Dr. Halpin has no non-financial relationships to disclose.​​