Ashley's Journey - Biography

Ashley Stafford MA (Oxon) PGCE DO
Born March 1954

Ashley trained at the European School of Osteopathy in Maidstone, Kent (1990-1994). Before setting up the BushMaster Natural Health Practice with Peter Chappell in 1996, he worked at the Stanlake Practice in Shepherds Bush. He now runs his own practice, Breathing Space located in West London.
Ashley was privileged to be trained by osteopaths who continue true to the fundamental principles of osteopathic practice laid down by its founder A T Still, but who are intellectually and practically alive to all the possibilities which recent scientific and medical research offers as it endorses what Still and the early osteopaths achieved.

Ashley is also a professional musician/singer and his more than 35 years experience of teaching voice and singing ranges across every age group and experience level.
His singing career, which started as a boy treble in Westminster Abbey (1963-1968) rapidly progressed to an international level after he left Oxford university (1972-75) where he had read for his degree in English Literature and Language. He appeared in major concert halls and venues in Europe, USA, the Far East and Australia, and participated in many recordings.
Ashley was a founder member of the Tallis Scholars, worked and recorded with the Huelgas Ensemble, Hilliard Ensemble, and sang and recorded over a period of 10 years with John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir.
As well as working for many other professional ensembles, Ashley was a vicar-choral at St Paul’s Cathedral (1977-1995) and developed an international solo career as a recitalist and oratorio singer of a wide range of musical periods and styles.
For 21 years (1988-2009) he was a vocal professor at the Royal College of Music in London. He continues to teach singing privately in London and Somerset, as well as visiting both Oxford and Cambridge Universities on a regular basis.

As a practicing osteopath, Ashley continues to develop his osteopathic and clinical skills. His particular interest is the integration of vocal and instrumental performance with osteopathic philosophy and principles, which calls for a dynamic and harmonious relationship between the structure and function of the body and our total environment.
To this end, alongside teaching and his work at Breathing Space, he runs regular performance workshops for singers and instrumentalists both in the UK and abroad, most recently in France, Austria and Finland. Since 1995 he has collaborated with Marco Ozbic, (conductor, repetiteur, Vienna Boys Choir, Vienna State Opera, San Carlo Opera, Helsinki Opera), developing Il Corpo Cantante, a programme of workshops, courses and concerts for singers across a wide spectrum of performance styles and experience. Its focus and goal is the development of a holistic integrated approach to musical interpretation and performance which unifies our frequently fractured and imbalanced body-mind relationship.

He has presented workshops, lectures and seminars on voice (the Singing Body, Nature’s Voice) from the osteopathic perspective for, among others, the British Voice Association, Sutherland Cranial College, IOS and OEGO (Austrian Osteopathic Organisation).