Petra Raspel Borzynski is a vocal, somatic and cognitive behavioural coach and accredited therapist with special expertise in helping (performing) artists and creatives to perform better and despite their fears.
She is currently one of the Solo Performance Specialists (Voice) for the University of the Highlands and Islands and works as a Cognitive Behavioural Coach for Google, helping performers and speakers all over the world sustain a (singing) career and find professional and personal fulfilment.
Her work in the field of singing, creativity, performance anxiety and performance psychology has been featured at conferences, in several publications and podcasts.
Petra holds a Diplom (German equivalent to a Masters Degree) from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum and also trained in Musical Theatre Performance at the Stage School Hamburg. After performing and touring all over Europe for the best of a decade, she began focusing exclusively on teaching and relocated to Scotland in 2006. Wanting to find answers related to peak performance and performers’ mental health, she has since studied Psychology and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (University of the West of Scotland) and added further qualifications in Counselling (with a special interest in Crisis & Trauma) and Somatic Therapy to her skills. She continues to further her knowledge in third wave CBT (e.g. Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction/Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy).
Petra’s vision is access to continuous mental health support for every performer, and that looking after our mental and emotional health becomes preventative instead of curative.
Singing & Speaking
- Two decades experience as a performer of classical and contemporary music (e.g. Thomas Kirche Leipzig, Savoy Theater Düsseldorf)
- Female lead and support in Musical Theatre productions
- Shows, concerts and tours throughout Europe (UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland, Austria and Switzerland)
- Voice-over work
- Detailed artistic CV on request
- Owner of Singing Sense (est. 2006) in Dumbarton (Greater Glasgow area/Scotland)
- Associate Tutor for Vocal Performance / Solo Performance Specialist for the BA (Hons) Applied Music course at the University of the Highlands and Islands
- Cognitive Behavioural Coach (Performance Anxiety/Social Anxiety) for Google LLC
- Extensive teaching and coaching experience; special interests include contemporary singing techniques, music & performance psychology, and somatic & cognitive behavioural coaching for artists
- Experienced workshop leader, e.g. “Comfortable in the Spotlights: The Mental Training of Singing” for the European Voice Teachers Association Belgium: Cognitive Behavioural Approaches to help Nervous Performers
Presenting, Writing etc.
- Keynote Speaker for the British Voice Association “Healthy Mind, Healthy Voice” June 2020: “What we focus on expands: Cognitive behavioural and somatic approaches to peak performance for voice users with performance anxiety.”
- Articles for blogs, websites, magazines, e.g. Music Teacher Magazine, The Banter (recently shortlisted for the Scottish Magazine Awards), The Naked Vocalist
- Articles on creativity and copyright referenced in Entrepreneurship for the Creative and Cultural Industries (Bonita Kolb)
- Interview about the psychological effects of menopause on singers for the book Singing Through Change – Women’s Voices in Midlife, Menopause and Beyond (Bos, Bozeman, Frazier-Neely)
- Growth Mindset for Creatives – Every Sing Podcast with Nancy Bos
- Guest on The Mindfulness of Singing Podcast
Education & Qualifications
Voice & Music
- Affiliations: Musicians’ Union (Teaching Section, Theatre Section)
- Diplom (Univ.) (Ruhr-Universität Bochum): Musicology, Theatre Studies and Geography (German equivalent to a Masters degree/postgraduate Diploma)
- Vocational certificate/award in Musical Theatre Performance (Stage School Hamburg)
- Private (vocal) studies, courses and masterclasses (full list available on request)
- Professional development in: Estill Voice Training, Complete Vocal Technique, Dalcroze Eurythmics
Psychology & Pedagogy
- Affiliations: British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP), Association for Contextual Behavioural Science (ACBS), International Practitioners of Holistic Medicine (IPHM)
- Psychology, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (University of the West of Scotland/Institute of Counselling)
- Accredited Diploma in Clinical & Pastoral Counselling. Concentration: Crisis & Trauma Counselling
- Accredited Diploma in Cognitive Coaching and Mentoring. Concentration: Personal & Life Coaching
- First Year Practitioner Training in Somatic Experiencing
- Training & Supervision in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
- Certificate in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
- Certificate in Psychological First Aid
- Certificate in First Aid for Mental Health
- Diploma in Drama Education
- Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in: Somatic Healing Approaches to Trauma | Complex Trauma Intervention | Anxiety & Depression Intervention | Covid-19: Psychological Impact, Wellbeing & Mental Health | Neuroscience of Learning | Peak Performance & Flow | Mental Skills for Sports & Health