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Maria Weiss is simply one of the best teachers I have  ever encountered in all my training and professional  experience in the theater.  I have performed with a  professional theater troupe for eight years and have  struggled constantly with my voice.  It was very  sensitive, and seemed to go hoarse very easily.  I  studied rigorously at my university trying all kinds of  techniques to improve my voice- some were geared  toward singing others were simply geared toward  freeing the voice.  These techniques helped at times,  yet ultimately they contributed to a lasting gravelly  sound and a continued diminishing of my vocal range.   Finally, as I took up singing in a rock ‘n roll band I  discovered that no matter how much I warmed up my  voice, I could barely speak the next day.  I tried everything:  I warmed up less, I warmed up  more, I drank hot water with honey, I drank pineapple  juice, and I wrapped a scarf around my neck.  I was  desperate.  Then I found Maria.  I had heard of the  Alexander Technique but never managed to put myself  into a training class.  I thought it certainly couldn’t  hurt to give it a try.  At times, I would walk into Maria’s studio and be  unable to get a word or even a sound out of my voice.   After about 45 minutes of working with Maria I could  talk again.  I know it sounds impossible, but that is the  truth.  I could walk into Maria’s studio with no voice   and walk out centered on my voice and talking on the  breath.  It is an amazing process.  Though I am unable  to stay in that place for a whole week between lessons,  I now see that it is possible, that my voice can do it  and that in time, I will get there. 
My voice is not fully back yet, however, I  can sing an entire rehearsal without losing  my voice - which was a weekly event for me.   I am able to understand why this happens to  me and I can begin to undo those habits.  Not only has my voice started on the road to  recovery, but there are other fringe benefits  to the Alexander Technique as well.  My  posture is better; my low back says thank you  every time I release it, my neck is straighter,  and I feel better too!    I was nervous, as a rock ‘n roll singer,  thinking that Maria as a trained opera singer  wouldn’t want to work with a voice like  mine.  But that couldn’t be further from the  truth.  She is non-judgmental and gives me  every bit of respect that I imagine she gives  her finest opera students.  Her education, her  skill and her experience, combined with her  positive spirit makes for a rare and gifted  teacher.  Maria believes in what she does and  if you study with her, you will too.  Lauren
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