Workshops 

 


Your Heartsong 

'We go for magic nothing less. Magic is not some quick hocus pocus but magic is that deep inner feeling of love, presence and openness to the wonder of what is now'.
(Michael Roach)

Time: 19.30 - 22u (You are welcome from 19.15 onwards).
Place: Kunstkerk, Prinseneiland 89, 1013LM, Amsterdam
Price: 100 euro for the whole series
Enrol: by email
Payment: account no. 101037600

Five evenings to be surprised by the endless creativity and joy unleashed when you discover your voice; experience the sense of space and connection which can arise when you sing what's there now; go one step further on your own personal journey of awareness and freeing up your own voice.

What will we do?

  • Define and name what you most long for with regards to your voice, your singing, your expression.
  • Look at the counter-forces in your personality that present themselves. (The voices that say 'yes but I can't sing like that because..' ).
  • Physical warm-ups and meditations to connect the voice with the body; become more aware of the breath and feel where there is tension in the body. This reconnects our inner voice and the wisdom of our bodies.
  • Let your body, your feelings and your heart sing. If we connect to our heart we can connect to our desires, our life force, and our intuitive self-healing power.
  • (Re) discover the sound of your natural voice. Make sounds that feel good: sighing from tension or tiredness; wailing with pain or laughing and cheering with joy.
  • Improvising in a way that is accessible for everyone - alone, in duos or with the whole group.
  • Speaking and singing gibberish: there is often much more music in us than we think. When we let go of controlling what comes out our creativity gets a chance to flow.

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Mantra Singing 

'COMING HOME' 'CONNECTION' 'JOY'

'I hear my voice before I know I have begun, and then I lose all sense of strangeness. I have come home, to some home that was inside me all along, and now sings.'
(If you can Walk you can Dance by Marion Molteno)

Singing mantras feels like coming home. I think it was what I was looking for (but didn't find) when I went to church aged fifteen - a place where I could experience and connect with God in me, in others and in the universe at large and celebrate this through song. A reminder of what it means to be human.

' Singing is not an activity with a practical purpose; it is simply the tasting of the joy and the beauty of life, the glory of God'.
(Translated from Muziek van de Stilte by David Steindl-Rast en Sharon Lebell).

When I talk about God it is not connected to any religion in particular. What I call God is the experience of my essence which is pure love, my soul that knows I am already whole even with all my human imperfections. Singing mantras often helps me connect to this part of me. You don't have to believe in God or any particular religion in order to sing mantras. I feel the word God points to an experience or a feeling everybody knows and can recognise, although we may give it different names. The words in the texts we sing will find their own resonance in you. You are free to believe what you want or not to believe anything and simply enjoy the experience of singing together.

The texts and melodies we will sing are straightforward and don't require thinking. This means you can fully enjoy the beauty of the music we create together and the sense of connection with yourself, the people around you and the world that may arise. Since the melody is carried by a number of people there's lots of scope for harmonising or adding your own bit even if that's a variation on what I've taught you. What's important is not to 'get it right' but to sing what feels good for your voice, to trust that your contribution matters and so to sing wholeheartedly.

I invite you to come and experience the joy of singing together, to welcome yourself exactly as you are now and to sing from there.

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Sing out your Baby! Release the Goddess within.

To me pregnancy felt like a state which demanded me to become more present in my own body and turn my attention inwards. There was so much going on inside me emotionally and physically that I had to learn new ways to be able to deal with what I was experiencing. What really helped me was finding a space where I could express everything I felt - especially the things I thought I shouldn't be feeling - and for those things to be ok and not judged.

I still see the birth of my son as one of the highlights of my life. He was born at home in 4 hours 20 minutes. I never felt so much like a goddess:incredibly strong and self-assured with total confidence in my body and my ability to stay with the sensations in my body and to open up to allow life to come through me. Sounds romantic right? I guess it was but it was also the culmination of 9 months of serious preparation in which i really took the time to go inside and listen, to be still and feel my changing body and my  baby through yoga, meditation and making sounds. The sounding happened intuitively - I realised that some sensations that were difficult to be with became easier to carry if I hummed into the tension/feeling. When I gave birth the second time 6 years later I had completed the training as a natural voice practitioner and been running workshops for two years. The main difference between the two births was my voice. Whereas with my son I shrieked uncontrollably during the strongest contractions with my daughter I was able to consciously use low aah sounds to open my pelvis. If you would like to read more about my experience click here.

Why sing when you're pregnant?
Singing is a great way to become conscious of what's going on inside you and then be able to express it. When you're pregnant there's a lot going on emotionally and physically: tiredness, sickness, backache, fear, joy and longing (to mention just a few).

Singing creates space that helps you to be able to be with all these emotional and physical changes. Singing and expressing what's there through sound makes everything - even giving birth - lighter and more bearable.

What will we do?

  • Free expression: make sounds that are pleasurable and create a sense of space and relaxation with accompaniment on guitar or violin.
  • sing together.
  • meditations and visualisations to become more aware of our breath and physical sensations.
  • feel where there's tension and how we can let the tension sing!
  • exercises to feel and become aware of our pelvic area and make sounds from there.
  • and of course, singing for your baby.

This course is for you if you need a space to express what's going on inside you; if you want to prepare consciously for giving birth by increasing your own ability to stay present with the experience you are having in your body; and simply if you like to sing!

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Yoga and Singing Day 

When I go to a yoga lesson we always begin and end the lesson by singing a mantra. I noticed how much easier it is to sing at the end of the lesson. My breath has become deeper, my body and mind are more relaxed and singing seems completely effortless.

We will spend an hour in the morning doing yoga. Then we will connect body and voice and sing.

You don't need any yoga or singing experience to participate.

The yoga teacher is David Dodd.
David completed the 500 hour yoga teacher training at Svaha yoga studio in Amsterdam in June 2008. Since then he has taught yoga classes in The Netherlands and Goa. The key to his approach is integrating the breath with postures and movements - a very good preparation for singing. Other key words are 'joy' and 'non-judgemental'.

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Meditation on Music

From silence I will sing and play on my violin what wants to be played. Then we will return to silence.

Do you feel the need to slow down, go inside and reconnect to your essence?  Then be welcome.

Practical info: Doors open 10.30. Start 10.45 end 12.00

Address: Prinseneiland 283, 1013LP, Amsterdam.

Contribution: 15e. Please transfer to NL26RABO0101037600.

To reserve your space email me at Isabel.watson@gmail.com.

Some responses I have received to my playing:

"your music touched the depths of my soul"

"I could reconnect to my essence"

 

 


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