We've been taught to think of our voices as machines of sorts. Naturally, then, we figure we’re stuck with what we’ve got. At best, we might hope to learn to manipulate our voices. These classes turn such notions upside down.
no solos voicework is the fruit of four decades of wide-ranging inquiry and collaboration. It’s rooted in Continuum and inspired by encounters with North Indian and West African voice work. All are welcome.
Modern voice yoga
It is possible to become so intrigued by the sensations of vibration that we happily lose track of what we sound like. Sound then has its way with us. Just a taste of this kind of thing can be delicious, even revelatory. If you practice this new approach faithfully, you’ll develop a richer relationship to expression: evermore skilled, spontaneous, and relevant.
Music as an I-Thou relationship
Murmerations +1 Here's the art: How do I be myself and stay in relationship to an Other? This class is co-taught. I invite a musical friend, someone kind and mischievous, to join us. First, we will immerse ourselves in the sensations of our voices. Then we will play along the tricky edges of relationship: Can we feel our own sounds and, at the same time, be moved by something outside of us? Can we touch and be touched while singing?
A kind of love
Harmony singing is one of the deepest forms of love. In this class, we'll explore this sentence. There is a kind of love to be found in chords and intervals; in rhymes and vowels; in the notes of a simple scale. We'll begin by exploring the relationships in the major scale. (For example: how Re, the second note, longs eternally for Do, the first.) This class is refreshing for musicians of all levels. We'll spend a lot of time disappearing into the ocean of sound.
Writing practice as a community grief ritual
In a well-boundaried setting, we use the no solos writing practice to free ourselves from the common conversational conventions that keep grief at bay. In each of seven sessions, we focus on a cultural habit that inhibits grief and learn a practice that liberates us. The point is not necessarily to dwell in grief; it is to create a relationship to it. Grief, done well and regularly, opens us. We become more capable of joy, of praise, and of precise, tender observation.
Writing practice marathons
When enough people in a given community have the basic writing practice chops, it’s time for a writing marathon. When you write, read, and listen, repeatedly, over the course of a long day, the grip of habit, and even of care, tends to loosen; one becomes extraordinarily receptive. Receptivity is the better half of expression.
Writing practice and style
In this culture, we are not usually given the time we need to understand our innate artistic or instrumental natures. We are hurried past this crucial stage in aesthetic development in the race to figure out who’s better, who’s best, and who’s out of the running. The no solos writing practice will help us to catch a glimpse of our intrinsic, nonnegotiable styles. We’ll also consider ideas about style drawn from Greek, African, Indian, and Japanese aesthetic traditions.
The Donkey Class
Writing practice and a fairy tale
Here we will combine the no solos writing practice with the study of a fairy tale or myth. These tales are alive, timeless and weird; to invite one to the party is to be blessed. The tale ushers us into the dream-time so that we too can become a bit more alive, timeless, and weird.
The no solos writing practice involves writing and reading timed writings. The practice makes the world more vivid and we become more vivid to ourselves.
In class, there is instruction, but otherwise, no comments, comparisons, or small talk. The chance to dive beneath the usual noise makes it an excellent tool for the development and enrichment of relationships and communities. Many therapists and community leaders have taken this practice into their own work.
This approach is sturdy. There are writing partnerships and small groups that have practiced together for years. My own writing practice is three decades old.
Interdisciplinary & Uncategorizable
I & U classes, workshops, and programs combine disciplines
in some surprising ways.
Most have sprung from collaborations with other artist-healers.
All are responses to the late James Hillman's call for a therapy - not just for individuals -
but upon the culture itself.
Expressive Arts training for therapists & coaches
For the most part, Aphrodite has been left out of education. Together, we will invoke and make offerings to her. We will call for beauty that is healing and healing that is beautiful. We’ll define beauty generously, soulfully - we’re not talking about mere prettiness. We will re-define mental and community health as having something to do with our capacity to respond artfully to life? In community, we'll undertake the demands and ecstasies of artistic practice and consider its relevance to therapeutic settings.
Community Grief Ritual
A beauty fierce enough
Our culture rewards us when we successfully suppress our grief. It then goes underground or lurks as depression, anxiety, or indifference. On Day 1 of this workshop, we learn the no solos writing practice that carries us beyond inhibiting conversational conventions. Then we can begin to say what we mean. Day 2, we create a lush, carefully constructed, community grief ritual with singing and drumming. Here the offer is sanctuary and a beauty fierce enough to coax grief out of its hiding places.
Community Grief Ritual for Parents & Caregivers
In our love and helplessness
The list of cares and sorrows is endless. This is the best of times and the worst. Loosely speaking, our kids are spellbound, bombarded, sped up, pressurized, targeted, scared, and lonely. We also feel these things sometimes. What helps? Telling more truth than you'd planned on. Being witnessed, not advised. Listening. Holding these kids - not just our own: all of them - together - in our love and helplessness: Laughing. Weeping. Honoring. Yearning. This is a gorgeous, adults only weekend that combines the no solos writing practice and simple, ancient, ritual gestures.
Public Speaking: The True Sources of Eloquence
The speaking voice (each one unique)
Eloquence is a birthright, rarely nurtured. It's the grace that arrives when a speaking voice (each one unique) becomes musical (in its way). It is equally about vulnerability and strength; passion and coolness; spontaneity and discipline. Too often, public speaking classes focus only on the smooth recitation of what we already know. Why aren't we taught that we can learn while we are speaking, even in the spotlight? A public speaking class is more exhilarating when we are helped to connect to our deepest, strangest, most surprising sources of intelligence.
Writing & eating, with poet Jan Wallace
Though armed with multiple theories and approaches to disordered eating, many of us struggle with food. We struggle, of course, in different ways, but the struggle, for all, is preoccupying. 'Fud' is a liberating and elegant daily food writing practice. I’ve created and developed it with the poet, Jan Wallace. It offers a simple way to teach oneself to eat reasonably and well. It increases one's capacities for discernment, self-trust, and pleasure. It also provides artistic satisfaction: its brevity strengthens one’s powers of economy and description.
The Relevant Voice: Genuine Power for Women
Love, voice, & embodiment with Julie Jacobs
This is an intensive workshop for women who want to increase their capacities to embody feminine power. We're emerging from a darkness. Many women who have been compromised or silent are just about ready to express themselves with full originality, power and purpose. Julie Jacobs and I, combined, are radically inspired: my work with expression plus her work with the sensuous body can be transformative. To be more precise: it is spell-breaking. Our common denominator is Eros in the broadest sense. Feminine power is always grounded in love. This course happens intimately and at a depth with a small number of women in a retreat setting.