I believe that we must follow the stirrings of our hearts, however crazy they appear to us or to others – “”If you’re speaking your truth to puzzled faces, just remember: today’s mighty oak is just yesterday’s nut that held its ground.” Though I did not always know it at the time, it was this principle that led many of my decisions in my personal and professional life, and which explain some of the twists and turns I have taken that might appear unexpected to the casual observer.
I also believe that when we are at our most authentic, we fully honour ourselves and are able simultaneously to uphold the dignity of every other person, no matter what their outlook or actions. Moreover, being authentic is immensely practical. While it may feel highly risky at times, it is the only way to go if we are not to betray ourselves, and if we wish to do others deep service in the long term.
Here are some of the areas of my work where I have been exploring these ideas:
… 40 years coaching individuals and facilitating groups: health and education sectors, corporate world, NGOs and charity sector, performing arts environments, TV and media, therapy centres, small businesses and sole traders, and intentional communities.
… Teaching voice and communication skills to: CEOs, MDs and Directors of international companies (including FTSE 100, and companies such as Unilever, GlaxoSmithKline and HSBC); senior academics (university professors and heads of faculty); keynote speakers; actors and voiceover artists; therapy training organisations.
… Running several businesses, including: Director of Tacpac, providing resources and training using touch and music for people with severe sensory or neurological impairment and developmental delay – prizewinner in the nasen/TES Special Educational Needs Awards 2007 (“tools for beautiful moments of contact” Royal National Institute for the Blind:); a corporate team building and training group using African drumming.
… Keynote speaking and seminars for organisations such as the British Voice Association, Oxford Psychotherapy Society, the International Association of Voice Movement Therapy, and the Association for the Teaching of Religious Education in Scotland.
… Heading music and drama departments in schools (PGCE with Distinction, Leeds); taught at University level; worked as an educational researcher at Oxford University (MSc), editing a book on children’s learning, and one on research methodology.
… Performing internationally as a professional solo vocalist and instrumentalist, in the classical, opera, folk, world music and jazz worlds – from the Salzburg Festival, to Sydney, and the UK (“Eloquent … Alexander Massey projected a honeyed tenor line” Gloucestershire Echo; “Alexander Massey was excellent” The Independent; “consistently thoughtful and light of touch” Oxford Times).
… Teaching singing – to beginners and seasoned professionals across all musical styles – recording artists from the pop world, opera singers, actors, amateurs, choirs through www.OxfordSingingLessons.co.uk
… Publishing writing: journals as wide-ranging as research methodology, education, psychotherapy, and voice teaching; one book on education, and another on research methodology; poetry; literary commentary; song lyrics
… Composing: my main compositional work can be found at http://www.AlexanderMassey.com