Fay Putnam

My Story

Without breath you are voiceless, and without voice, you block the flow of the breath of life bringing you fully alive.
Robert V. Taylor, from A New Way to be Human

The above quote expresses perfectly the inspiration behind creating BREATH is the ANSWER. 25 years ago I was introduced to the Alexander Technique at Westminster Choir College in a summer course titled Alexander Technique: Coordination of the Body for Performance. Little did I know that this would be the start of learning which would change much in my entire life. Professionally, the Alexander Technique week at Westminster especially informed my teaching. As a result, In 1998 I started training to become an Alexander Technique Teacher at The Alexander Education Center in Berkeley, CA.

Because breathing-in-singing was a challenge to me, over the course of my singing and my teaching career, I had continued researching this subject and asking questions. Singers always want to know more about breath. As a continuation of the Alexander Technique teacher training and my breath research I was inspired, in 2006, to take Jessica Wolf’s training, the Art of Breathing for Alexander Technique teachers. This was for me the turning of a corner about how I would integrate my own singing career, the teaching of singing, the teaching of the Alexander Technique and of the Art of Breathing. “Breath is the answer” became a phrase I used often.

BREATH is the ANSWER was created because I have a passion for teaching students to communicate successfully in both singing and speaking, in performance as well as in every day life. Through a course of lessons, students learn to become aware of how they are using themselves physically, mentally and emotionally. They discover how to communicate with authenticity, becoming more confident, inspired and inspiring. They truly find their authentic voice and learn to speak their own truth with confidence and clarity.

My background includes over 40 years of teaching voice to students of all levels from children to adults, amateurs and professionals, privately and at the university level. For over 10 years I have been integrating Alexander Technique and breathing re-education into the singing lessons. I have also worked with students who have voice (speaking and/or singing) problems.

I have a passion for working with people who are serious about wanting to change and discover new things. I feel there is no greater reward than helping them to communicate in their professional and personal lives in an authentic, confident, clear manner.

The Art of Breathing & Breathing Coordination

The Art of Breathing is the integration of the writings of F. M. Alexander, “The Breathing Man” and Carl Stough, “Dr. Breath”, by Alexander Technique teacher Jessica Wolf. After graduating from Alexander Technique school, Jessica Wolf started what would be 20 years of working with Carl Stough. Stough, a trained singer and teacher found himself working successfully teaching what he called “breathing coordination” to emphysema patients and athletes, as well as performers. After receiving permission to share his work, Jessica began training Alexander Teachers to integrate Carl Stough’s breathing coordination with F. M. Alexander’s Breathing re-education. Carl Stough stated that “the voice quality is an indication of breath quality”.