Level 1 Schedule and Program

Level 1: Beginner – Intermediate

Schedule

January 5-7               Voice and Creativity (Levels 1 & 2 together @ Coed Hills, nr Cardiff)
February 24-5           Rhythm 1, Bristol (non-residential)
March 24-5               Agility & Melody 1, Bristol (non-residential)
April 28-9                  Harmony 1, Bristol (non-residential)
June 15-17               Voice, Creativity & Integration (Levels 1 & 2 residential @ Eden Rise)
August 19-24            Rhythm, Agility & Harmony 2 (residential @ Cae Mabon, Snowdonia)
September 29-30      Rhythm 3, Bristol (non-residential)
October 27-8            Agility & Melody 3, Bristol (non-residential)
November 24-5         Harmony 3, Bristol (non-residential)
Nov 30 – Dec 2          Voice, Creativity & Integration (Levels 1 & 2 together, residential @ Coed Hills nr Cardiff.

The group will be at most 10 singers.

Weekend timings:

  • Non residential Bristol weekends, Saturdays 10am – 6pm, Sundays 10am – 4pm
  • Residential weekends, arrive Friday evening by 7pm, dinner at 7.30pm, ending Sundays 4pm.

Course content

Voice, Creativity and Integration
This is focused on in three weekends; in addition, it is threaded throughout the course. It includes:
– Working with the voice; coming fully into the resonant body; setting your voice free; clear, strong, healthy, and beautifully your own.
– Through collaborative and solo improvisation, dropping fear and restrictions, and allowing the creative river to flow. This is a journey.
– Improvising with words.
– Integrated Expressive Practice – using sound, movement and language to express profound truths in creative and resonant ways.
– Integrating the conscious study of rhythm, harmony and melody into free flowing musicianship.
– Sound healing.

Rhythm
– Getting really solid with keeping a beat, not speeding up, sharing a beat with your collaborators, being so clear where the 1 is; gaining control of where your melodies and patterns land in the bar; being more skilled to start things on different beats of the bar (not always the 1); use syncopation (the off beat) and build interesting interlocking sound weaves.
– Getting super clear on the rhythms landing in the body; feet, heartbeat, somatic grounding of rhythmic steadiness
– We’ll likely stick with 4/4 and 3/4 time signatures until this is so embodied.
– Different rhythmic phrases and patterns: learning and getting your mouth, hands and body around them. Producing increasingly sophisticated rhythms consciously – i.e. when you’re trying to – and in surrender – i.e., when you’re just letting yourself sing / be sung.
– Getting to know rhythmic notation.
– Improvising while playing an instrument; piano, drum, shaker, guitar, mbira; using rhythmic routes to being able to improvise with increasing freedom in the voice, while you keep your rhythm steady on your instrument.

Harmony
– Becoming able to skillfully improvise with others harmonically.
– Improving the ability to hear and understand harmony. Ear training; hearing 2, 3 notes, identifying their interval; recognising 135 inversions.
– Harmonic ear training; Recognising and improvising through I II IV V chords – so, improving your ability to sing over chord changes – and, as a harmonic improviser, to sing in and create chord changes
– Harmonic transcriptions (listening to a song and identifying what the chords are); being able to understand your harmonic instincts (“I want to go to the minor IV!”)
– Learning and analysing songs by chord progression
– Improvising harmonic underpinnings behind a solo
– Self recording; layering different harmonic progressions and voicings under your melody
– Following others’ melodies as a harmonic voice
– Joining the chords below as a harmonic voice.

Agility, Melody, Mode
– Becoming more precise, clear and calm when your voice hits this and that note. Being able to land clearly and increasingly quickly onto notes across a range of intervals (i.e. small jumps, big jumps)
– Building a really clear “scale ladder” in your mind; always being able to feel where the 1 / home note is, becoming always able to know where you are on the scale. It’s like going from walking in the dark to walking with the lights on on terrain where you clearly know what’s where and where you are. It becomes a different quality of orientation; through which more and more exciting choices open up of where to go and what to do; the result is that your melodies get more interesting!
– Scales. O yes, scales. (They’re so good for us.)
– Learning to sing Bach’s prelude in C. At least the beginning section, memorising the whole piece if you have sufficient practice time. It is So good for vocal agility.

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