AVIVA CHERNICK – SINGER/TEACHER
Aviva is a singer and award winning composer, writing, recording, performing and touring a fusion of World Music styles in Hebrew, Judeo-Spanish, French and English. Her compositions and voice can be heard with the two – time Juno Nominated Global Roots Ensemble Jaffa Road, in her own Devotional Music project released December 2012 and through a Virginia Folklife sponsored apprenticeship with Master teacher Flory Jagoda in the study of Balkan Judeo-Spanish repertoire.
Aviva has been training in the Bel Canto technique with Fides Krucker in Toronto, with whom she has apprenticed as a teacher since 2009. Aviva is also a Hatha yoga teacher trained at the Esther Myers Yoga Studio, also, in Toronto. She has combined her practices, as well as her work as a prayer leader, merging body and breath to facilitate group workshops in freeing the voice towards singing.
These workshops for both amateur and professional singers culminate in solo and group improvisation.
SELECT TEACHING VENUES
- ongoing group workshops in Toronto since 2010
- for Spiritual Care Providers at the Ontario Multifaith conference in Jackson’s Point, 2012
- while on tour with groups in Atlanta, Georgia, Toronto, Ottawa and Perth, Ontario and Haida Gwaii, British Columbia
- ongoing private classes through her studio in downtown Toronto
- educational workshops on Piyutim (prayer poetry), Ladino, Nusach (prayer modes) and developing a personal prayer practice at congregations around Ontario
- one-week intensive while on staff for Jewish Women’s Music Festival at Isabella Friedman Retreat Centre in Connecticut, 2010
- one-week intensive while on retreat as the Poretsky Artist in Residence at the National Havurah Institute in New Hampshire, 2009
FREEING THE VOICE – WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION
This session of vocal play is an opportunity for participants to surprise themselves as they discover the pleasure of finding their voice and singing out in community.
We begin with a focus on breath, move to yawns and sighs and finally allow voice to follow. We continue on through the repetition of melodies and then moving to an improvisational set of song circles. Together we review what tools may be found in an improvisational tool kit, i.e., unison, harmony, fills, rhythm, echoing, listening etc and use these tools to enter into and discover our voices anew in a simple, repeated melody.
This practice is open and geared to a variety of different levels. No previous singing experience is necessary. Most melodies will be wordless.
Workshops vary between one and three hours in length.
“Aviva Chernick makes magic. In the span of just two hours, she can transform a person’s relationship to their voice.”
“I invited Aviva to be a guest workshop leader in my Anthropology of the Senses course at York University. That week the students were exploring the rich sensory modalities involved of healing and spirituality. They could not have had a better guide to draw them out of the texts they were reading and into a rich sensory experience where they could feel the voice as a conduit for both healing and spirituality. Aviva is an outstanding facilitator: she has an exceptional capacity to tune into a group and feel where the work needs to be done. She took a group of thirty undergraduate students, most of whom had no experience with movement or vocal work, and got them moving and singing together in a workshop that sought to “free the voice.” Beginning by tuning us into the full-bodied experience of generating sound, the workshop challenged us to let go of our insecurities and shyness, and brought us to a place of remarkable intimacy singing together eyes closed in a close circle. The students were incredibly moved by how much changed for them over the course of the two hours. It was an utterly beautiful experience and full of the kind of learning that can transform lives.”
Natasha Myers, Associate Professor, Anthropology, York University, Toronto
“I took a short workshop with Aviva and it was one of the most transformative hours I have spent. Under her guidance I was able to understand for the first time in my life how to free my voice and sing. Friends of mine will tell you I can’t sing. But now they are wrong.”
Andy McKim, Artistic Director, Theatre Passe Muraille
“I’m still buzzing from the workshop…singing brings me so much joy, release, power…”
Suzanne Bradley Siskind, Teacher and Mother
“Over the course of an intensive festival week full of lots of singing, Aviva’s class saved my voice. Her whole-body approach helped me discover new ways to use my posture and breath to support my singing. In a renewing, dynamic way, Aviva’s class unlocked my voice in completely new ways.”
Ri Turner, Singer and Composer, Participant at the Jewish Women’s Music Festival