Photos of Monica by Eliot Holtzman Photography
Monica Norcia was born in Rome, Italy, into a family of opera singers and actors. A Bay Area voice teacher, singing performer, pianist and music director since 1997, she received her bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from California State University-Hayward.
As a singer fluent in Italian, she enjoys specializing in the performance of the Italian/Neapolitan repertoire. After a 3-year training, she was certified in 2002 by the Alexander Technique Institute in San Francisco.
She is a Level 2 Reiki practitioner, certified in shamanic healing from HCH in Lafayette and is an avid yoga practitioner and meditator. She teaches voice in San Rafael, California.
Once I heard a friend of mine, a wonderful jazz flutist, play. “That flute sounds wonderful!” I said, afterward. “That’s not my flute, that’s ME!” he responded, humorously indignant.
It was a good lesson and one I remind my voice students all the time: As singers, we ARE the instrument! Therefore, how we breathe, move, physically and emotionally exist in our bodies has a huge effect on the quality of our singing or speaking voice.
Many years ago I sang high, acrobatic opera on a very tight body. I was an anxious sort, holding my breath a lot to gird against the slings and arrows of the world. My ribs were tight and my spine rigid. But I was very determined to conquer the repertoire and I pushed through…ending up with vocal nodules. I thought it was the end of the world. Little did I know that it was the beginning of a journey not only toward healing my own voice but toward gathering the tools I presently use to help others.
I call myself a “therapeutic voice teacher” because I offer singers and speakers the opportunity to deeply explore all aspects of the voice, from the breath to making sound, in a way uncommon in traditional voice lessons for kids and adults. I weave together classic vocal techniques with body and energy-centered modalities, such as the Alexander Technique, yoga-inspired movement and Reiki. As an excellent vocal/body/energy diagnostician with deep knowledge of the vocal mechanism, I am able to quickly get to the root of a vocal problem or help someone grow vocally by addressing long-held physical and psychophysical habits that interfere with free and easy expression.
My students are beginners and experienced singers young and old, actors, business people and broadcasters, folks from all walks of life who want to improve the quality of their voices, resolve vocal problems or work through stage fright. I also love to work with young people, helping them through the vocal transition, and the older vocalist to help him or her maintain singing and speaking strength and flexibility. It’s not unusual for a student to start a lesson lying on a massage table observing the breath, vocalizing in a yoga asana or toning. Not only is it fun but it teaches us how to make sound from the totality of our beings.
Can one learn to sing from one’s soul? Absolutely. Singing or speaking authentically, whether for oneself or for others, can be a big part of a happy emotional and spiritual life. Breathing and allowing sound to vibrate through one’s whole self can heal a beleaguered body, mind and spirit. Take my singing lessons for adults and kids and join me in this merry sound-making.
If you are interested in experiencing my transformational voice lessons, don’t hesitate to contact me.