Immersion Circlesong 2024-2025

PRE-REGISTRATIONS FOR 2024-2025 ARE NOW OPEN

A 20-day circlesong training course divided into a series of modules of 3 to 6 days each.

Photo Credit: AC Kuenstler

 

Description

PRINCIPLE OF THE COURSE

This 1-year program is for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in the world of vocal improvisation. The aim of this course is for participants to acquire practical tools to help them develop theircirclesong pratice within a framework of regular, structured follow-up over the year.

The course is 20-days long and is divided intoa series of module of 3 to 6 days each.

Each day of the course takes the form of group work focusing on:
technical aspect of circlesong (harmony, rhythm, melody, evolution, leading, body percussion, beatbox…)
relational aspect of circlesong (letting go in your solos, non-verbal communication, connecting with your emotions, knowing your habitual vs. non-habitual mechanisms…).
The days of these modules are punctuated by a 30-minute session of individual, personalised circlesong coaching. Each day also ends with an hour of free circlesong practice in the evening.

Between modules, participants canpractice circlesong on a looper at home or set up a practice group in their area. To support them in their practice, participants are given a booklet of exercises to practice with.

Each class is made up of 10-12 participants.

CIRCLESONG

Circlesongs is a musical structure that involves creating spontaneous vocal compositions in a group setting, often in a circle or semicircle, with one person standing at the center of the group and freely improvising small musical patterns (loops) which she distributes to parts of the circle. Like a song, a circlesong has a beginning and an end. It starts with silence, continues as long as the improviser finds inspiration and ends when the circle is brought back to silence.

For the leader,working on this musical structure involves developing musical skills in the creation of improvised arrangements, developing the qualities of clarity and precision in leading the circle, and awakening the inner posture to let go and be present to what comes through during the improvisation.

For those in the circle, working on this musical structure involves serving the leader by reproducing the rhythmic and harmonic suggestions given, by developing a sense of listening and cohesion within the group, and by finding pleasure and comfort in repetition.

PEDAGOGICAL METHOD

The course is organised around a ‘problem-based’ learning approach, which puts the practice of circlesong first and foremost. The tools are therefore not approached as ingredients to be applied beforehand in order to make a “beautiful” circlesong, but are introduced in the course of practicing circlesong as tools forresponding to the needs or desiresthat arise.

The teaching method adopted combines several approaches:
a technical approach of music: the course focuses on acquiring a solid technical grounding in circlesong and applying this technique to musical performance. Awareness and assimilation of the implicit and explicit ‘rules’ that govern music is at the heart of the course. As we shall see, these ‘rules’ are magnificent keys to making life beautiful, in other words, to enabling us to create circles in which we feel good and with which we can fully express our creative potential.
a relational approach of singing: Singing, like any practice that you embark on in earnest, can easily lead you into areas of discomfort or even blockage. Understanding our protective mechanisms can also help us make life more beautiful. It’s a question of going out and meeting ourselves, to create circles in which we feel at ease and to follow our spontaneous impulse to the extent that we feel like doing so.
an informed approach to learning : the tools proposed are taught in such a way as to take maximum account of the different learning profiles of the participants by varying the methods used to present them, adapting the vocabulary used to explain them and giving different keys to encoding the information visually, aurally and kinaesthetically.

In addition to these approaches, because it’s part of my life’s journey and when relevant, contributions from philosophy, non-violent communication and dance are sprinkled throughout the course.

GENERAL COURSE CONTENT

  • 20 days face-to-face training (160 hours)
  • 1 individual coaching session per module (6 coaching sessions)
  • Free practice evenings
  • Evenings leading circlesongs in a wider setting, with a choir of participants from outside the course
  • 1 end-of-course concert open to the public
  • Written chronological sequence of each module
  • Video recording of each module with unlimited private access
  • Circlesong toolbox: booklet listing and categorising all the exercises covered during the course
  • Exercise videos: little by little over the years, I put the training exercises on YouTube.

AIMS

  • Developing autonomy in your circlesong practice
  • Building a toolbox for leading and arranging circlesongs
  • Developing rhythmic skills (even and odd rhythms, interlock, binary/ternary transition, etc.)
  • Developing harmonic skills (harmonisation, tonality, mode, chords, cadences, etc.)
  • Developing melodic skills (imaginary language, real words, nuances, intensity, solo development, etc.)
  • Developing non-verbal communication (gestures for communicating with choristers and leadership posture)
  • Develop skills in leading groups
  • Developing dramaturgical skills (evolution, narration, spatialisation)
  • Developing flow skills (Música do Círculo tools)
  • Learning about vocal technique

ASSESSMENT

  • Continuous assessment (practical exercises and vocal practice during free practice evenings)
  • Mid-course assessment: 10-minute narrative circlesong in a performance context
  • End-of-course assessment: performance of an evolving, spatialised circlesong lasting 30 minutes
  • Certificate of completion

COURSE TIMETABLE AND ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS

– Morning: 10am-1pm
– Afternoon: 2:30-5:30pm
– Evening: 6-7pm or 8-9:30pm depending on the evening
– Course ends on the last day of each module: 5.30pm

The training is intensive. While there is no ‘homework’ to be done between meetings, just a simple invitation to practice regularly on your looper or with a practice group to optimise learning, it is just demanding in terms of attendance. If you sign up for the course, you’re there. You organise your timetable so that you’re there every day of the course, you arrive on time, you’re there all day and on the last day you leave after the course has finished.
I’m sorry for anyone for whom these conditions may be difficult to accept or respect. I like clearly established frameworks, they support me in teaching and I also believe that they create a group dynamic that is conducive to learning, relaxation and connection.

PREREQUISITES

To follow this course, you needto be familiar with vocal improvisation and the specific practice of circlesong, so that you can enrol knowing what this practice involves. For this, several options:
– To have done a workshop with me
– To have taken a workshop focusing on circlesong with teachers who teach this musical form (Gaël Aubrit, Line Tafomat, Nicolas Mahnich, Ananda Montange, etc.)
– To have some initial experience of circlesong as a musical form (tell me in what context you experimented with it)
– Not to have any of the above options, but to be highly motivated. However, I’d like us to meet up one way or another to make sure that you really want to make a long-term commitment to work with me and that you’re enthusiastic enough about this practice to make a long-term commitment again.

To follow this course, you need to have a basic knowledge of music:
a sense of rhythm (being able to keep a regular beat, feeling a bar in three or four beats, singing off-beats)
harmonic ear (being able to reproduce a voice in unison and in octave, holding one’s voice in the middle of a polyphony and alone in a section)
vocal technique (being on pitch, volume control, ability to adapt timbre to that of another voice)

To follow this course, you need to have the ability to dare:
to be seen and listened to
– taking one’s place
– watching, communicating and giving directions to others
=> The principle of circlesong is that you step alone into a circle of choristers and temporarily become its conductor. Being at the centre of a circle, being seen and listened to as you learn, taking on the role of leader is exposing and frightening on many levels. If you do this course, be aware that circlesong goes beyond the simple framework of musical work and encompasses an exploration of the self, the body, the emotions and the relationship with others.

EDUCATIONAL PRICE

Price for the 20-day course + all extras (see general course content)
Price is between €1,700 and €2,100
You choose the amount you wish to give me according to your financial capacity.
Arrangements can be made if needed, let’s find a solution together 😉
The course is not Qualiopi-certified and therefore cannot be financed at present.
This price does not include your transport, food and accommodation costs, except forthe residential training in the Ain, where accommodation is free

The price commitment is for the year. You register for the year and pay for the whole year, whether or not you attend all the training days.
It is possible to pay in several instalments, but payment may not exceed 31 March 2025.

PRACTICAL DETAILS

Non-residential class in Brussels
Non-residential means :
. everyone is in charge on their own accomodation
. Meal times are on your own (spontaneous potluck is welcome!), knowing that the room I rent allows you to eat indoors.
Course will occur at Blanches et Noires : Rue Vanderschrick 111, 1060 Saint-Gilles (10 min walk from Brussels-Midi station)

Residential class in the Ain region
Residential means:
. accommodation is provided on site for the duration of the course. If you are coming from far away, you can arrive the day before and leave the day after the course at no extra cost. Rooms are shared 3-4 persons rooms.
. meals are managed collectively. You will bring ingredients to cook together, except for breakfast, which you will cook on your own.
Course will occur at La Mixture Enchantée : 7 place de l’église, 01800 Joyeux

DATES 2024 – 2025

BRUSSELS Group – nonresidential and in english
23-27 october (Wednesday-Sunday)
2-5 January (Thursday-Sunday)
5-9 March (Wednesday-Sunday)
29 April-4 May (Tuesday-Sunday)

AIN class – residential and in French
19-21 October (Saturday-Monday)
20-22 December (Friday-Sunday)
21-23 February (Friday-Sunday)
25-27 April (Friday-Sunday)
20-22 June (Friday-Sunday)
16-20 july (Wednesday-Sunday)

Certain dates may be subject to change. Organised so far in advance, dates sometimes need to be readjusted.

REGISTRATION

Pre-registration
– You fill in the form below
– I will respond positively or negatively to your request

Inscription
– Payment of a non-refundable deposit of €100 to confirm your registration

Pre-registration form

I am available to answer your questions via this form.

Immersion Circlesong Form

Dates

Do you already know whether you'll be staying on site or making your own accommodation arrangements?

Dates availability

Prerequisites