Freeing the Voice – A Workshop for Doulas

Aviva Chernick leads a Freeing the Voice workshop

Aviva Chernick leads a Freeing the Voice workshop

It saddens me to have to report that this workshop has been cancelled due to low registration. I hope that we will reschedule for another date when more people are available soon. If you did register, you should have received an email from notifying you of the cancellation. (05/31/13)

If you are a doula in Toronto or the surrounding area, you are invited to attend a wonderful workshop with Aviva Chernick on June 2nd, 2013. It will be held at a private studio in central Toronto. Cost is $45 per doula. Email to register. Participants should bring a yoga mat. Space is limited, so register today!

FREEING the VOICE : Vocal Play and Care for Doulas

This three hour adventure 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 gentle Hatha Yoga practice that moves into a standing practice of breath, yawns and sighs, finally inviting voice to follow. We continue on through a repetition of simple melodies, finding our way to improvisational set of song circles. Together we review what tools may be found in an improvisational took 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.

We will be focusing on vocal play, exploration and caring for doula’s own voices and how this, in turn, might serve your work with others.  The session will include an opportunity to speak about relationship to voice and the ramifications and benefits of this work for the work of doulas.

No previous yoga or singing experience is necessary.


Aviva is a singer and award winning composer, writing, recording, performing and touring a fusion of World Music styles in Hebrew, Judeo-Spanish, English and French.  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 a collection of Balkan Judeo-Spanish repertoire.

Aviva has been training in the Bel Canto technique and the development of that practice with Fides Krucker with whom she has apprenticed as a teacher since 2009.  Aviva is also a Hatha yoga teacher trained at the Esther Myers Yoga Studio, 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.

Aviva has been teaching privately as well as leading these workshops as ongoing classes through her own studio in Toronto and for a variety of communities around North America including; at The 2012 Ontario Multifaith conference, and while on tour with groups in Atlanta, Ottawa, Perth and Haida Guay, British Columbia.


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, 2010


BirthFire 2013


After the tremendous success of last year’s BirthFire, we have decided to make it an annual event! I hope that you’ll join us on May 10th as we share our fears, past experiences, expectations and frustrations about birth. This event is a wonderful opportunity for anyone with an interest in birth and a desire to let go of something associated with it to do so in a supportive, respectful and safe environment.

Learn more about BirthFire 2013 here. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about the event.

Related: Is Birth Fire For Me?

New testimonial!

Another heartwarming client testimonial. I feel so honoured to have been a part of this birth.

Hiring Heather was one of the best decisions I made during my pregnancy. I had thought about a Doula early in my pregnancy, but hesitated because I didn’t know much about what she did and I didn’t know where to find one. About two weeks before I was due, a friend suggested I consider a Doula and gave me Heather’s number. After a brief conversation on the phone with Heather, I knew I had made the right decision. She made me think about things I hadn’t previously thought of and encouraged me to ask questions at my next doctor’s appointment.

I was very impressed with her prenatal knowledge as well as her experience with delivery. She always made me feel like I was in control over what would happen to me during delivery, but I was confident that she’d be the advocate I needed in the delivery room. Her calm demeanour and soft voice carried me through every contraction and provided the encouragement I needed to have a natural, drug-free birth. Even though I had only met her twice before the birth (baby decided to come early) I felt like I’d known her for years. Her presence at the birth offered a great deal of relief to my husband, allowing him to take care of logistics, all the while knowing that I was in good hands.

One of the things I appreciate most about Heather is that she goes out of her way to find resources to support us, whether it be how to deal with baby’s first infection or community groups for mom and baby. She is a wealth of information! Thank you for everything, Heather.