PUBLIC PROGRAMS & PERFORMANCES

Course Descriptions

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

SOUND, VOICE, AND MUSIC FOUNDATION

WITH SILVIA NAKKACH

Through an innovative, cross-cultural, and integral approach to awakening one's musicality, this weekly class will provide a framework for understanding how sound, voice, and music can affect one's state of consciousness, promote relaxation, and assist in the process of healing. Students will learn how to implement sound, the voice, and music for personal growth, and in a variety of clinical settings.

This class will introduce techniques from The Yoga of Sound and the VoiceTM, a system for sound and voice development that incorporates breathing, tone range, and vocal practices including seed-sounds, invocations, lullabies, storytelling, jazz, choral singing, indigenous and classical styles, sacred mantras, and overtone singing, and devotional chanting from spiritual and shamanic traditions. Students receive music theory, improvisation, steps for cultivating intuitive playing skills, and instruction on the use of simple instruments.

One's musicianship will be enriched by integrating the contemplative to the expressive, the shamanic, and the ecstatic. Students will gain understanding of the use of sound in alternative medicine, as part of energy healing, music therapy, and as spiritual practice.


MUSIC AND HEALING AS VEHICLES FOR HEALTH AND WELLBEING

WITH BARBARA CROWE

This course will focus on the numerous ways sound, sound wave vibration, and music are used in health, healing, and transformation. Two ancient ideas concerning sound for health and well-being will first be presented: sound/music is a direct curative agent and sound/music is a tool in generating a state conducive to health and healing. Using these two principles, the course will explore the "family tree" of healing techniques, tracing ancient applications and modern professions. There will be discussion of the similarities and differences in these techniques and efforts will be made to establish the common ground shared and the unique characteristics of each.

The second portion of the course will introduce a new theory of sound/music healing based on the physics theory and the science of complexity. Based on the presenter's 2004 book, Music and Soulmaking: Toward a New Theory of Music Therapy, the principles of complexity science will be introduced and the relation of sound/music to this theory explored. The discussion will include energy considerations involved in sound/music, music as a dynamical system (a complex system in motion), and the implications of the assumptions of complexity science for sound/music healing professions. Participants will engage in a dialogue with the instructor in an attempt to develop a "theory of all" for sound/music healing.

 

THE ART OF IMPROVISATION & THE HEALING POWER OF THE VOICE

WITH VERNON BUSH AND SILVIA NAKKACH

We are all born with the innate ability to sing, to dance, and to live a celebratory creative lifestyle. Music is one of the most natural ways through which we can heal and celebrate our spirit. It's feels like pure magic when the healing energy of the human voice joins the power of community making music without borders. Masterfully led by Vernon Bush and Silvia Nakkach, singers and non-singers alike will share the common experience of learning in the oral tradition and singing rhythms, chants, and traditional songs from African American culture including spirituals, jazz, gospels, and spontaneous songs made on the spot. As part of the musical journey, Nakkach will bring together sacred chants from the Afro-Brazilian Orixá tradition, indigenous songs, and the contemplative and ecstatic experience of the Indian ragas. Throughout this experience, the group will explore the cultural values imbedded in the music and the significance of a shared communal experience in ones' personal life, as well as the shamanic and therapeutic dimensions of the singing voice. Through improvisational group techniques and the direct experience of the music of the East, North, South, and the West, students discover how distant worlds of music complement and complete each other. This all-levels workshop is designed to help you develop confidence through creating a positive musical experience, where there are not wrong notes, or the need of ‘getting it right' but the readiness to free our voices in community.


SOUND CLEARING MIND

WITH ANAM THUBTEN RINPOCHE

These teachings are about healing through the power of sacred sound and mantra to clear the mind, exploring meditation as a path of devotion to cultivate an open heart. In the most ancient Tibetan mythological cycles, sound is considered to be the original source of all existence. Sound, which from the beginning of time has vibrated in ineffable emptiness, arises through mutations of light, and then differentiates into rays of various colors, from which the material elements that make up the entire universe originate.

The complete sound that comes from the fusion of the expressive force of the voice, the drum and the bell, is able to cut through the type of membrane that separates different states of consciousness, creating an atmosphere strongly permeated with wholeness and clarity. Rinpoche will discuss how the practice of sacred sound can activate our healing potential, when we are guided by the vision of helping as many people as possible to enter into this liberating realization, which transcends all cultural and philosophical bondage.



TOMATIS METHOD, AUDITORY STIMULATION PROGRAMS, AND INDIGENOUS SOUND HEALING

WITH PAT MOFFITT COOK

This workshop offers an immersion into the use of sound and music as diagnostic tools, healing agents and connectors to spiritual domains in indigenous and cross-cultural traditions. Since the 1940s, auditory stimulation has been used for the reeducation of the ear. This field has grown to include a number of methods that address children and adults with specific listening and learning disabilities, including dyslexia, attention deficit disorders, speech problems, and poor reading comprehension, and communication skills. This workshop explores the comparative research on and clinical applications of the Tomatis Method and a number of Tomatis-based related auditory stimulation technologies used nationwide in learning centers, schools, clinics, and homes. 



The workshop encompasses includes lecture, audiovisual presentations, and demonstrations; individual, dyad, and group exercises; and discussions. Participants will learn about both indigenous and traditional cross-cultural therapeutic techniques and sound/music repertoires used in Western health care settings today. Emphasis will be placed on transcultural themes and the needs of a multiethnic client/patient population. Students will investigate how sound and music are used as diagnostic tools, healing agents, and connectors to spiritual domains, and how each of these elements creates and constructs a dynamic healing session.


SOUND SCIENCE AND SOUND THERAPIES: THEORY & CLINIC PRACTICUM

WITH JOHN BEAULIEU

BioSonic RepatterningTM is a method of healing that uses tuning forks to attune the nervous system and re-pattern mind, body, and spirit. We will witness through demonstration how this form of energy medicine, based on sonic ratios inherent in nature, has practical applications in the healing arts.

Topics include the history of sound healing, the study of wave phenomena, sound and molecular science, sonic anatomy, voice and movement analysis, and sound as super-conscious psychotherapy. We'll also discuss the alchemy of mind, the art of still point, cranial anatomy, sonic fields, chaos theory, and sacred geometry.

Students will learn the theory and practice of healing with Pythagorean tuning forks through direct experience and group exercises. In addition, students we will explore techniques of ear reception, point stimulation, and overtone healing, and examine numerous case studies representing applications for children, relationships, psychiatric disorders, and addictions.


INTRODUCTION TO INTEGRAL COUNSELING & MIDTERM INTEGRATION

WITH SILVIA NAKKACH & GUEST TEACHER

This class is instrumental in providing a technical and theoretical context and a reliable foundation for the student's ability to build a sound healing practice. The class offers the students an overview of diverse approaches to integral counseling and how it can be incorporated in a sound, voice and music healing session, exploring the efficacy of particular practices and theoretical approaches to counseling, psychotherapy, expressive healing arts, and ways to evaluate client outcomes. The rest of the weekend students will present mid-term individual projects that demonstrates their interest and integration of the topics learned during the semester.


CREATIVE MUSIC THERAPY AND CLINICAL IMPROVISATION

WITH ALAN TURRY

Just as speech has its rules of grammar, sentence construction, and different options of syntax, music too contains compositional elements that facilitate and shape its expression. An intimate connection exists in music between composition and improvisation. Both modes of creation use similar structural resources, such as formal procedures of harmonic progression, melodic construction, and rhythmic order. Composition, however, is free from any demands of immediacy, whereas improvisation is the creation of music in the moment and from moment to moment - composed in the living now.

To practice "creative music therapy" is to live at the threshold of artistic and developmental potential. It invites therapists to trust music making - musicing - as a means of reaching out and searching within, and as an instrument of clinical research.

Learn how intuition determines the clinical approach and inspiration for using music in therapy, the significance of the quality of expression achieved, and the importance of order in its form.


THE THERAPEUTIC POWER OF THE HARP

WITH PORTIA DIWA

Learn the basics of how to play the harp in a therapeutic way, and some easy ideas for how to accompany the voice with the harp. This short workshop makes the harp accessible to all levels of musicians. Students experience the healing properties of the harp for yourself, and experiment with how to play the harp in a therapeutic way for others and in clinical settings. The focus of this class is on how to play the harp with intention and mindfulness. Students have a chance to practice what they learn in duos, and hopefully will be inspire to start your own harp journey!


DRUMMING OVERTONE SINGING AND MIND-BODY SYNCHRONIZATION

WITH GLEN VELEZ

Since ancient times the frame drum has played an important role in the legacy of the drum; and it extends to ancient times as an instrument used widely for ritual and healing. In this workshop, you will experience the pulsing of the drum with the rhythm of your own voice in a percussive language inspired by Konnakol, or South Indian rhythm singing. As a group, we will call for guidance and support from ancient drummers, and using our honest endeavors to create a resonant body-voice-drum sound temple.

This workshop will explore simple movement, rhythmic breathing, and the tones of the frame drum to help strengthen the connections between the body, the voice, and the drum, as well as to experience the joy of being alive. We will use active listening, synchronized pulsing, overtone singing, and call and response to generate a sense of unity of purpose within yourself and the group as a whole as we explore the language of rhythm. People of all frame drum experience levels are welcome.


TRANSFORMING EMOTIONS IN DEVOTION: THE YOGI'S WAY OF KNOWING

WITH SWAMI SITARAMANANDA
Bhakti Yoga (the Yoga of transforming Emotion into Devotion) and Mantra Yoga (the yoga of chanting and repetition of mantras) are scientific and universal approaches to Divine Love that can be applied to our relationships in our daily life, whether you are religious or not. It is through the experience of Pure, Selfless and Divine Love that all our emotional wounds and unhappiness are healed. We are usually not consciously aware of all our emotional habits nor of the power of healing that comes from Divine Love and Divine Name. Swami Sitaramananda will guide you in meditation on how to develop spiritual love in our relationships, how to transform our emotions into devotion through the 9 classical methods of Bhakti and mantra chanting.


TIBETAN SOUND HEALING: THE FIVE SEED SYLLABLES OF THE WARRIOR MIND

WITH TENZIN WANGYAL RINPOCHE

One of the world's oldest unbroken spiritual traditions is the Bön Buddhist tradition of Tibet. This wisdom path has survived, thanks to the efforts of a handful of dedicated teachers such as Bön lineage holder, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, the founder and spiritual director of Ligmincha Institute and an acclaimed author and highly respected teacher. You are invited to learn from a master of this ancient lineage, and discover the power of sacred sound. This evening teaching is based on the book the Rinpoche has written recently on the Tibetan Art of Sound Healing and the Five Sacred Warrior Seed Syllables (A, Om, Hun, Ram and dZa). These syllables are termed warriors, because they have the power to control and overcome the negative emotions, problems and dilemmas that we face in our daily life. They are connected with the chakras and have the potential to expand our awareness and clarity of mind.


OUR HIGHER VOICE & HARMONIC SINGING

WITH BAIRD HERSEY

The perfection of harmonic vibration relaxes the body, focus the mind, and opens the hear. This class introduces Natural Voice Harmonic Singing techniques and explores Our Higher Voice. When the mouth and throat are shaped into a resonant chamber for the voice, a second beautiful high whistling harmonic tone is produced. This is how Tibetan Buddhist monks and Mongolian throat singers both, with their low and gravely sustained tone, sing two or more pitches at once. These age-old sacred musical forms are the roots from which Natural Voice Harmonic Singing has grown. By applying the fundamental techniques of these ancient vocalizations it is possible to sing a regular pitch and add a mellifluous harmonic tone above it. Through playful exploration and singing meditations, students will be able to deepen their listening and develop their Harmonic Voice. Techniques include: Focusing harmonics through vowel production; Filtering harmonics by tongue shaping and placement; Sharpening your external and internal listening; Breath control and expansion; Understanding the Harmonic Series.

 

BUILDING A VOCAL COMMUNITY 

WITH YSAYE M. BARNWELL

There is an awesome power in the human voice and when uncommon voices are blended for the common good, they become a 'vocal community' at its best. Masterfully led by Dr. Ysaye M. Barnwell, singers and non-singers alike will share the common experience of learning in the oral tradition and singing rhythms, chants, traditional songs from Africa and the Diaspora, and a variety of songs from African American culture including spirituals, ring shouts, hymns, gospels, and songs from the Civil Rights Movement. The historical, social and political context will provided as an introduction to the songs. Throughout this experience, the group will explore from an African American world view, the values imbedded in the music, the role of cultural and spiritual traditions and rituals, ways in which leadership emerges and can be shared by and among community members, the nature of cultural responses to and influences on political and social struggle, and finally the significance of a shared communal experience in ones' personal life. All that is required is a willingness to sing.


SONIC BREATHING AND CIRCULAR MEDITATIONS: DEVELOPING A PERSONAL PRACTICE 

WITH STUART DEMPSTER

Sonic Breathing and Circular Meditations will start out like an event and move toward a group and personal practice.  Early on students will be guided through Dempster's playful, yet serious, Sound Massage Parlor that will present the provocative compositions Aura Fluff, Didjeriatsu, Acuhosery, Sonic Facial, and Didjeridervish.  Featured will be group healing and instruction on simple ways to play the didgeridoo.

Dempster thinks of his work as equally appealing and appalling; healing is at its best when it is both humorous and serious and you are unsure which you are receiving.  Listening is a big deal-we live on an "earth", not an "eyeth". There will be recognition of the gravity of that fact.  Other Dempster scores to be collectively performed include:  Integrity29, Milanda Embracing, and Dream Timepiece. This is a rare opportunity to adventure into the core of new music guided by with a great master trombonist, composer, didjeriduist, and founding member of the legendary Deep Listening Band in collaboration with Pauline Oliveros.




THE USE OF MUSIC IN CONTEXT OF GROF BREATHWORK AND NON-ORDINARY STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS

WITH DIANE HAUG & SILVIA NAKKACH

This workshop is an introduction to Holotropic Breathwork, a powerful method of self-exploration, personal transformation, and healing that implements music. The work is of value to the practitioner's interest in deepening their inner exploration, self-knowledge, wellness, creativity, and spiritual awareness. It is an excellent experiential adjunct to sound healing, as well as a powerful method of self-care for helping practitioners of diverse modalities. HOLOTROPIC (derived from the Greek holos and trepein) means "moving toward wholeness." The work was developed by Stanislav Grof, MD and Christina Grof, leading pioneers in the field of transpersonal psychology. A highly experiential method, Holotropic Breathwork combines enhanced breathing, evocative music, focused release work, art, and group sharing to access the intrinsic wisdom of the body/psyche/spirit. By activating the unconscious and mobilizing blocked energies, Holotropic Breathwork mediates access to all levels of human experience including unfinished issues from our post-natal biography, traumatic physical or emotional events, perinatal memories, and a variety of transpersonal experiences. Participants have discovered that the process can sometimes facilitate a dramatic release of blocked feelings and memories, thereby promoting new levels of mind-body integration.  We'll place a strong emphasis on the particular use of music in a session, and the integration process that follows the breath and sound work, supporting participants to recognize what is being learned during the semester, and how the learning is happening - what capacity is growing - as well as ways to foster the ongoing learning and inner work following the workshop as a spiritual practice. Diane is a senior member of the Grof Transpersonal Training staff. Nakkach will facilitate the mid-term integration and introduce counseling techniques.


EMBODIMENT AND EXPRESSION THROUGH BREATHING, MOVING AND MUSIC

WITH BONNIE BAINBRIDGE COHEN
In this workshop we will explore the foundations of breathing, moving, vocalizing and playing of instruments flowing from our cellular matrix. The Body-Mind Centering7 approach to Embodied Anatomy is a deep, internal study of the body and consciousness in which movement is explored through the direct experience of our own body systems, tissues and cells. The learning process takes place not just in the mind, but in the body itself and the experience is integrated at the cellular level. The bones and organs are a wonderful entry point for exploring the body systems in this way. The skeletal system (bones and joints) gives our body its basic form, with which we locomote through space, act on the environment, and sculpt and create the energy forms in space that we call movement. Bones also provide the foundation for the psychophysical qualities of clarity, effortlessness and form. Our organs are vital and alive. They are the contents of our skeletomuscular container. Organs provide inner support to our postural tone, movement, breath and voice and they underlie our feelings, expression and sense of volume, both physically and psychologically. 

Skeletal misalignments in our body and poor movement habits can cause us chronic pain, stiffness, weakness and awkwardness. Working with the functional units of the skeleton and with organs can offer new insights into these problems. In this workshop we will experientially explore the relationship between our bones and organs seeking: the structural clarity of our bones, the full-bodiedness and authenticity of our organs, the effortlessness of cellular movement in presence and expression, facilitation of change in ourselves and other.


THE ART OF DJ: SOUND AND MOVEMENT INTO STILLNESS

WITH ALEX KING-HARRIS, AKA RARA AVIS
This workshop explores the physics of sound production and it's relation to consciousness and the human psyque, a connection that is essential in order for sound waves to transmit and transform our emotional disposition. Molecules between the sound source and the listener have to be affectively connected in order for music to be experienced. Additionally, Rara will share his experience as a successful yoga and wellness centered DJ, and how the architecture of music contains universal relationships that are found everywhere, in nature, in other forms of art, in mathematics. Rara will play selections of his multiple psychoacoustic-based albums for the students to deepen their insight of how efficiently to create playlists, recording productions, and new compositions with sounds and music that assists in the process of becoming present, of releasing fear, and of embracing self love and compassion for others by transmitting a strong sense of sympathetic vibration, a phenomenon of connecting through common resonance and sharpening frequency awareness.

As one gains experience in music, one begins to realize that less is more, that simplicity in self expression creates better listeners, and how carefully selected music can provide a profound sense of sanctuary for ritual of passages, and the seminal evolutionary moments in our lives.