“There are no observers here…You are an active participant,” Professor Teresa Moyer told me as Active Voice class began. This is basically what it comes down to. Professor Moyer says, “Trust me,” and if you do, you are all the better for it. Active Voice is a journey, and Professor Moyer is your guide. Along this journey you learn to understand yourself and what stands in the way of your vocal freedom.
Since the turn of the century, Moyer has been teaching Active Voice in order to help students learn how to breathe freely and be confident in their own voices. Active Voice class is designed to give students a “growing awareness of how the entire body and breath contribute to the making of sound… [and] identify areas of tension which restrict vocal freedom.” Moyer says her job is to “demonstrate more truthful, effective and powerful communication, [and give her students an] understanding of the free path of breath.” Not only do her students benefit from taking her class, but Moyer claims personal benefits from teaching: “I see my own developmen andmy own mastery of this.”
It is not just Moyer who believes in the power of her class; her students are amazed by what they have learned. David Dorwart says he sees the class as a place where “we can truly be ourselves, [and] support the voice God gave us. It’s spiritual integration.” This spiritual integration is one of the greatest strengths of Active Voice; several of the students also described the class as a parallel journey alongside following Jesus.
Active Voice is a very diverse class. Dan Edgar, states that he is taking the class “with a whole variety of people of all different grade levels.” Most importantly, Active Voice offers an environment where students can learn to be comfortable with themselves. Caitlyn Hinkle, another one of Prof. Moyer’s students, says this class offers “release” and it is a place where she learned to “live in [her] skeleton, and appreciate God’s creation.” Abigail Storch, another student, notes “This is a place where I am given permission to be fully myself, body and soul.”
I have never been a part of a class such as this one. Everyone there was so present in the moment. It was like they had been waiting all day (maybe even all week) to come back to this class. Participating in Active Voice was liberating for my voice; I felt free. I am definitely taking this class next semester, and I hope some of you, my readers, will join me.