Express, release & relax with creative vocal improvisation, harmony singing & sounding

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This playful, friendly group explores the voice as a tool for creative self-expression, connection & deep relaxation. Consciously playing with sound & voice enables the expression and release of feelings, stress and inner clutter, benefiting our physical, mental, emotional & spiritual health.

Starting full of whatever we bring in to the session, we travel together on a light-hearted journey into sound, song, rhythm & silence. This active vocal workout helps us to gradually empty ourselves … then fill ourselves up again with sound and music, eventually arriving at … stillness.

Build your confidence, feel inspired, practise breathing, learn some voice technique, harmonies and songs from around the world. The process is fun, energising, empowering, relaxing and healing, and you’re likely to float out of the door with your energy transformed. The muddle of life is expressed and we come back to our centre – back to ourselves.

NO EXPERIENCE REQUIRED – OPEN TO ALL !

This is not a choir – it’s a playshop – come and play !

Venue: Studio iO, 3 Queens Place, Brighton BN1 4JY   http://studio-io.co.uk/

Thursdays 8.30 – 10 pm, from Sep 17th 2015

Doors 8.20 pm, starts 8.30 prompt

Cost: First visit £5. Then, drop-in: £10, or

£35 for 4 sessions within 6 weeks (non-refundable)

Run in conjunction with hovestressbusters.co.uk.
To start a conversation or join the mailing list: join Meetup: www.meetup.com/SingersAnonymousBrighton/ or
Facebook: Music Doctor / Twitter: @TheMusicDoctor

Sound & Voice Playshop – an active vocal workout for mind, body and spirit – using the voice creatively for self-expression, meditation & well-being.

In this unique voice group, participants are guided on an active vocal journey, using the voice consciously as a tool for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Combined with simple stretching and movement, I invite participants to breathe, relax, let go of their day and engage in a group process of sounding, vocalising, free improvisation, vocal rhythm, chanting, singing and playing together with our voices. We warm up body & voice, connecting with each other in a creative and joyful group process.

We might shout, stamp and vocalise our feelings … in gibberish. Listening to the silence after that cacophony is exhilarating – you can almost touch it. Then, we embark upon another sonic adventure, perhaps something more musical ! Singing and improvising with simple songs, we make them our own, and as the group begins to vocalise freely, magic is created, with each participant’s contribution blending to create a unique and potent sonic soup of pure expression. Everyone goes on their own personal journey as we travel together through sound and silence, connecting as kindred spirits in a circle which is safe and supportive, yet creative and fun, pausing regularly to reflect on our experiences.

Gradually, this process starts to scramble the mind. The ‘Inner Critic’ in your head can’t cope, and begins to fade as we withdraw our attention. Sound is more powerful. If we allow it, the monkey mind and the sea of emotions become calm as we focus on breath, listening, responding, relaxing, expressing and surrendering to sound. Eventually, we reach a place of stillness, centred in our body, breathing consciously, in a place of ‘no mind’, open to energetic and spiritual experiences, clear, cleansed, open and connected. Leading intuitively and creatively, I notice how participants engage with the process and I respond to the group by drawing on a large repertoire of songs & exercises to stimulate or relax depending on what is needed. No two sessions are the same, and the journey unfolds naturally in a safe space where sound and music do the work.

Singing & voicework, when used in this way, are naturally healing, without us needing to be aware that this is occurring. The playshop enables self – expression, release of stress, connection with kindred spirits, and empowerment – as you find your voice and feel it welcomed into the mix. The process gently changes our usual state of mind, replacing it with healthy alternatives – sound, melody, rhythm and song. And since it is an active process, there is less space for the mind to wander; it is distracted by the fun, with thoughts and feelings carried away by a river of sound.

Repetitive singing, chanting and vocalising, enhanced by movement, scrambles the mind so we can’t think any more. I haven’t found a more powerful way of getting my mind to be still. What a relief ! And although the sound we make is unique, more important, is our willingness to make it, so there is no requirement for participants to be ‘good’ or to have had previous vocal experience. This process is in my experience the most effective way of meditating, which for me, it is stilling the mind and becoming relaxed and centred in the body.

There is no theory or dogma here, just the discipline of remembering to relax and breathe, expanding your breath to improve your command of your voice, listening to yourself and to others; letting go, more and more, until we are empty of mental clutter, and full … of sound and music. Everyone has space to connect to themselves and to the group, and although playful and fun, it is also work, requiring effort, energy and commitment to the process. Like all exercise, it can be tiring, but in a good way – it’s a workout in a voice gym for mind, body and spirit.

BENEFITS

The Sound & Voice Playshop is a valuable tool for enhancing your well-being because it works on many levels: physical, emotional, mental, energetic, social and spiritual. Engaging in meaningful musical activity takes your mind off your problems – it energises, relaxes, is grounding and centring, and encourages awareness of the breath and the voice in the body. Sound and music creates and changes moods, and is healing and transformational via the creative expression of thoughts, feelings and energy.

Participants are empowered to find their own unique voice; the combined sound subtly brings people together to create a group where everyone is contributing, equal and affirmed. Groups are inclusive, open and accessible to all, and excellent for combating social isolation, enabling participants to make friends and have fun while engaging in meaningful creative activities. Individual expressions combine to form a friendly, creative mini-community, something which we all need.

We can develop inter-personal skills such as listening, responding, interacting, giving and receiving, play and spontaneity, something that many adults have forgotten how to do ! It’s a safe space where we can connect with our own spirit or source of spiritual inspiration, and I include songs from many different spiritual traditions. I allow time during and at the end of sessions to share experiences, and after a long flight, we complete, ground ourselves and come back to earth.

The groups creates their own totally unique sound, which is often exceptionally beautiful – a healing experience in itself. This lifts our spirits, and builds confidence and self esteem by creating a safe space where people can start to change negative beliefs about their voice and participation in a group. No prior musical experience or skill is required.

Testimonials

“What an amazing evening! I felt connected. I felt joy. The singing was tremendous fun. I found the session enjoyably challenging and afterwards I felt invigorated yet deeply relaxed. I would recommend this to others curious to try it.”                                                                                  Tony, June 2012
“Great session, if you want to just let go and feel free to use your voice in anyway u want, be silly, have a laugh and get into an almost meditating state with sound, this is the workshop for you. Really easy going atmosphere and leadership style. Cheers. Philip took the weight off my week !”                                                                                                                                                     Laila, April 2012
“This is hand on heart one of the very best workshop experiences I have ever had. The whole evening was loose and relaxed so that you found your own voice – instead of trying to approximate whatever kind of noise you ‘thought’ you should be producing. But we still made beautiful music together. A sheer pleasure from beginning to end.”                                                                    Maria, Dec 2011
I want to thank you for your inspiration, hard work, dedication and the FUN that we all have with you… work like this is not forgotten…it reverberates through our lives and changes us for good.  Our daily life sings!                                                                                                                   Brigid, 2005
At the end of every session I fell a greater sense of the joy of life, of spaciousness, of freedom within myself, and of friendship with my fellow singers.”
‘I really love coming here. It is the highlight of my week… the opportunity to use voice and sing is so moving and exciting for me, because my musical, and particularly, vocal confidence was destroyed when I was forced to study music in a traditional, daunting and humiliating way at school. After a few sessions of coming to these workshops, I have already sung solo, and my confidence in singing with others – and my belief that I can do so – is growing week by week. I so look forward to coming here. The people who come are remarkable, and gel in an atmosphere of sensitivity, friendliness and respect… Your leading of the group is remarkable, showing both technical talent, a range of innovative ideas, a clear and radical vision and the ability to put it into practise, and a wonderful, subtle way of guiding the group.’                                                                                                                       2004
‘You’re an excellent teacher; inspiring, alive, intuitive and well skilled. You give an open space in which people can fully express themselves.’                                                                                         2003