The Virtuoso Academy

Are you ready to awaken to a new relationship to your voice, your self, your world?

You have it in you to be a virtuoso vocalist and virtuoso human being.

My one-of-a-kind voice*posture*breath*life coaching will realign your body, voice, and thinking to bring them back into sync with Nature. By reawakening your connection to your inner knowing, I will set you up for making your own discoveries about how you can sing and live your best. As you—with my gentle and masterful guidance—relax into your true self, you’ll experience confidence, ease, health, and success in your singing and other aspects of your life. 

FreeBody FreeVoice: compassionate, potent coaching for vocalists. Free yourself from whatever is standing in the way of well-being and effective performance.

  • Would you like to sing consistently at a high level of skill and with confidence?
  • Are you ever frustrated that, just when you need full access to your skill, you experience tensions in your voice or body that impede your performance?
  • Do you often get discouraged or stuck in a self-destructive thought cycle? Would you like to learn how to get out of your head when practicing or performing?
  • Would you like to live in a state of harmony with your natural design? To stop getting in your own way as you navigate through life?
  • Do you wish you could feel relaxed, at ease, and free of pain and tension in all your activities, including singing?
  • In the pursuit of your personal and professional goals, would you appreciate the guidance of a compassionate, experienced teacher?
  • Are you open to a previously unexperienced possibility: that you can be abundantly skillful, happy, and productive…and that this can be effortless?

Contact me now to set up a complimentary phone or online video consultation. During our conversation, you can outline your goals and anything that is interfering with them. If it seems that your situation is a good match for my program, I’ll let you know how I can help you, using the various tools and modalities at my disposal. 

FBFV Program Essentials

WHAT: I offer multi-disciplinary short- and long-term coaching for singers that combines elements of functional voice training, Alexander Technique, light-touch bodywork, and transformational life coaching. Years of experience and a deeply honed intuition will guide me in custom-designing each session to bring about powerful results for you. No two sessions are alike, but you can expect every time we meet to experience shifts in vocal skill, breathing, postural awareness and ease, mind-body connection, thinking patterns, relationship to music and other people, and general state of physical and mental well-being. The cumulative effect of our work together is likely to bring about monumental shifts in how you view yourself, your life, your voice. The Virtuoso Academy includes Off-site Support: 15 minutes of complimentary coaching after each session via email, phone, or video call.

WHO: My program is open to singers of all genres and skill levels who want to experience joy and ease in performing. I am equally at home working with professional singers at the top of their field and complete beginners who have not yet had the time or confidence to learn to sing. You only need to have an open mind and a willingness to explore new ideas in a loving, supportive atmosphere. You can make me your primary voice instructor, or you can use my program to catalyze your work with your current teacher or vocal coach, helping you to break through barriers and achieve superior results faster and more easily.

WHEN: We will schedule your sessions (either in person in my NYC studio or online) at your convenience. I offer slots throughout the day and evening on most weekdays and occasional weekends.

HOW: During your complimentary phone or video consultation, we’ll decide whether you want to embark on my FastTrack (one 2.5-hour session) or DeepTrack (four 2-hour sessions) or whether we will design a personalized CustomTrack (any number and length of sessions) to meet your particular needs. All of these options include Off-Site Support at no additional cost. Once you have completed your Track, you’ll have the option of scheduling additional Tracks or sessions of any length from my menu of à la carte offerings: voice lessons, Alexander Technique lessons, and bodywork sessions.

WHERE: In-person sessions will take place in my NYC studio, which is in an easily accessible location in the vicinity of Penn Station. Any services (with the exception of bodywork) may also take place online via video conferencing software like Skype or Zoom.

WHY: My program will help you feel confident and joyful as a performer, whether your performing venue is Carnegie Hall or the privacy of your shower at home. You will experience an increase in your well-being and artistic skill and, as you become free in yourself, you will find a deeper connection to your music and your audience. Along the way, you will discover how easy and productive life can be when you are operating in accordance with the design of your whole self, mind+body+spirit+voice. You will gain a deep understanding of what it means to be a human being and a singer. This will lead to increased success in every realm of your life.

FEES: Our initial conversation (usually 15-30 min) is free of charge and comes with no further obligation. A FastTrack (one 2.5-hour session with Off-Site Support) costs $400. A DeepTrack (four 2-hour sessions with Off-Site Support) costs $1200. If you choose a CustomTrack, we’ll negotiate the fees for your program. Fees are the same whether we meet in person or online.

If you are drawn to this program but can not afford the fees, please see the section on scholarships on my fees page.

Contact me to schedule your free phone or video consultation. Let’s talk about your dreams and how we can get you closer to them.

FreeBody FreeVoice: compassionate, potent coaching for vocalists. Free yourself from whatever is standing in the way of well-being and effective performance.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

You will find my program to be quite different in spirit from many other systems of performer development out there. I believe that nurturing performers through non-judgmental, kind-hearted support produces better results than using negative motivators like fear, guilt, or shame. All my coaching starts from the notion that nothing is more important than your feeling good about yourself. Please do not register for my program unless you are committed to being treated with kindness and to treating yourself with kindness. Do join me if you’d like to experience a shift in your life that is uplifting and inspirational and will allow you to soar to new artistic heights as well as to levels of joy that you might never have thought possible.

Are you ready for a new paradigm in which you live well, feel good, and sing at your highest potential? Are you ready to find out how easy it can be to be brilliant once you’ve gotten out of your own way?

 

Dear Singer,

FBFV founder Michael Hanko here.

I believe that you already have within you everything you need for greatness as a performing musician. And that you already have an inborn state of perfect coordination that will give you access to a highly functioning physical, mental, and emotional state. It is likely, however, that your ideal state is currently masked by habitual patterns of response that produce tension, anxiety, and stress. I can show you how to override these habits and restore your natural state of musical and personal mastery.

If this possibility excites you, you’re invited to invest in my multi-disciplinary FreeBody FreeVoice coaching program: The Virtuoso Academy.

In a single session or a series of sessions, short- or long-term, you’ll explore a new way of living mindfully and in harmony with your natural design, in which your best singing shows up reliably and without effort.

  • What if you could redirect the energy currently going into tension, nerves, and negative thinking and allow it to support you in being dynamically, spectacularly you? 
  • What if you could feel good — really good — in yourself as you practiced your music and sang it in front of others?
  • What if you could free yourself from that negative, self-defeating voice that plays in your head? What if that voice no longer had the power to interfere with your potential?

The more you learn about how your system is designed to work, the more you will be able to rely upon it to support you in achieving whatever you set out to do. That is the inspiring possibility that we will be tapping into as we work together.

Before I tell you more about my program, let’s take a look at how many singers fall prey to a cycle of stress and negativity.

Are you getting in your own way as a performer?

Do you know in your heart that you have the capacity to put music across in a way that moves and entertains people? Do you also have doubts from time to time about your abilities, doubts that make it hard to show up and put in the work of learning and performing music? Have you ever been your own worst critic?

I think all of us have experienced this frustrating scenario at times in our musical lives. It’s part of the human condition.

When we are not in sync with our design, we tend to get in our own way. We create difficulties instead of experiencing ease. By interfering with Nature’s perfection, we throw ourselves off track. Despite our good intentions, we may give up or give less than what we know to be our best. Or, even if we manage to produce something of value, we may not enjoy ourselves very much in the process.

Do you know that it is your nature to be joyful and successful? To experience well-being, no matter what challenges you face? To sing at your highest level of proficiency in the privacy of your practice room and on stage in front of an audience?

Why do some performers seem to find it easy and fun to show off their prowess in public? What do they have that supports them in being their best at all times?

And, more importantly, can you have access to this secret power too? 

YES!

Yes, because you already have inside you everything you need to perform with skill, connection, and joy. And the good news is that I can help you in discovering how you can stop getting in the way of your perfect self. It just takes awareness of a few basic principles about how our systems are meant to function…and a little bit of practice in following a new path of personal freedom. 

But it’s so easy, especially without support, to fall back into our habitual modes of self-sabotage. That’s where my coaching comes in: I’ll give you a safe space in which to explore a whole new easier way of being, that will lead to more joy and satisfaction in your performing…and in your whole life.

Are you ready to explore the new paradigm I’m describing? Contact me if you’d like to join my Virtuoso Academy.

Here are some of the things you’ll be exploring with me:

  • How understanding the design of you (mind+body+spirit+voice) leads to good singing
  • How to keep negative thoughts from derailing your success
  • How you can free yourself to explore aspects of your music you may not yet even be aware of
  • How you can create a deep sense of connection with your music and with your audience
  • How you can build a vocal technique on which you can rely under any circumstances
  • How you can look confident on stage by being truly confident
  • How making music can bring you a deep sense of satisfaction and joy

Once you’re in my coaching program, we’ll be covering many aspects of singing, including

  • vocal technique (classical, pop, musical theater, jazz, belt, rock, etc.)
  • breathing
  • phrasing
  • diction
  • stage presence
  • connection with the audience
  • dramatic and musical interpretation
  • posture/alignment
  • whole-body freedom

You will make some important discoveries along the way:

  • Your own unique vocal sound
  • Your own personal interpretation of your chosen music
  • Your identity as the perfect singer you are
  • Your identity as the perfect human you are

 

The Program Curriculum

The structure of my program is purposefully not pre-determined so that it can organically evolve to support your needs in each moment. Since everyone’s situation is different, I will, after consulting with you, custom-design a program to give you access to your performing brilliance and to your unfolding as a unique, thriving, fulfilled human being.

Who It’s For

This program is designed for singers who want to explore an effortless, enjoyable path of making music and living life. You may enroll in my program whether or not you are currently studying with another teacher. You are welcome no matter what your current level of singing—everyone from complete beginners to seasoned professionals will find my coaching valuable.

If you’re new to the whole singing game, you’ll get to embark on an exciting new path while avoiding common pitfalls.

If you’ve already mastered the art of performance, you’ll get to hone your craft even further, plumb new depths of artistic expression, and find more ease in the process than ever before.

If you’re somewhere in between, you’ll enjoy the journey of discovery and value the new tools we’ll be exploring—tools that will raise you to new heights in your artistic development.

I often notice that those singers who flourish most in my program share certain traits with me. My program is a good match for you

  • If you are open to exploring new possibilities in the realms of mind, body, spirit, and voice
  • If you feel good in the company of a supportive, like-minded coach
  • If you aren’t afraid of the Big Questions and jumping into the unknown (with support!)
  • If you are passionate about discovering your greatest potential
  • If you want to enjoy a profound sense of ease and well-being while pursuing big challenges

Let’s hear from those who have already coached with me:

“Working with Michael has transformed the way I approach singing. I am now able to be open to what is happening in the present moment, without trying to anticipate, control, or judge it. This has had such a positive effect on my singing… and on many other aspects of my life.”

Sharon Gesthalter, Singer/Songwriter

“In his sessions, Michael creates a safe space for me to try out unfamiliar strategies and find new approaches. He has an amazing ability to focus on exactly what I am doing in the moment and make a suggestion that has an immediate impact on my level of performance.”

Sylvia Floyd, Classical Soprano

“You really helped open me up and get past some of those inner voices that hold me back when singing. You have a way of bringing out the best in me and I very much appreciate having the opportunity to learn from you. Thank you!”

Jim Buckmaster, Cabaret Singer

“Working with Michael is always magical! He has an amazing balance of relaxed playfulness and focused precision when teaching. His program is helping shed light on that voice in my head that says I’m not good enough or I’m not “there” yet. I become more and more aware of how untrue these thoughts are! I am able to slow down and feel content exactly as I am. I’m finding so much joy singing and living in a new, gentler way. Michael is gifted in how he guides me towards finding relaxation, joy, and my true voice, always aware of the connection between mind, body, and voice.”

Marguerite Stern, Musical Theater Performer

“I’ve been to many voice teachers, but only Michael has demonstrated such a deep knowledge of anatomy and how it all works, and the desire to use that knowledge as a teaching tool to help me explore the full expressive potential with my voice. Michael applies his knowledge of and passion for Alexander Technique and proper vocal technique in a way that has led me to much greater vocal discovery than any other voice teacher I’ve studied with.”

David Dodini, Rock Singer

 

About me, your guide during your journey of self-discovery:

Michael Hanko founded his NYC-based training program, FreeBody FreeVoice, to integrate his expertise in four fields: voice training, Alexander Technique, gentle-touch bodywork, and transformational coaching. A graduate of Princeton University with a degree in Music, he received his certification as an Alexander teacher from the American Center for the Alexander Technique. Michael studied vocal technique and vocal pedagogy for over a decade under the renowned master Cornelius Reid. He has trained in multiple bodywork modalities at the Upledger and Barral Institutes. Michael is currently exploring how the human mind functions in the realm of the Inside-Out Understanding (also known as the 3 Principles), under the mentorship of transformational coach Michael Neill and others.

Michael writes and performs his own musical theater works and appears as a classical baritone soloist in oratorios and concerts.

Michael teaches individuals and groups, both in his studio and online to students throughout the world. He is on the faculty of TVF (Total Vocal Freedom), an international program to develop singers and voice teachers that holds regular courses online and in various venues throughout the US and abroad. Michael has taught group classes in such venues as the Juilliard School and the William Esper Studio. His classes have focused on many topics, including Overcoming Stage Fright, Vocal Technique Mastery, Alexander Technique for Performers, Anatomy for Singers, and The Joy of Walking.

 

Program Schedule:

Along with other aspects of this program, the schedule will be custom-designed for you. You are free to choose the length and frequency of sessions that works for you. Your individualized program can consist of any combination of in-person and online meetings.

The fee for my program will depend on whether you choose the FastTrack or the DeepTrack. In either case, your entire Track must be paid in full before we meet for your first session. Amounts and terms for a CustomTrack will be determined between you and me before your first session.

Contact me to schedule your complimentary consultation (phone or online video) and start your journey in the FreeBody FreeVoice Virtuoso Academy.

FreeBody FreeVoice: compassionate, potent coaching for vocalists. Free yourself from whatever is standing in the way of well-being and effective performance.

Rediscover yourself as a person with talent, confidence, and ease. And unleash your vocal brilliance into the world.

With love and music,

Michael Hanko

Founder, FreeBody FreeVoice

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