Immersion Circlesong 2024-2025
PRE-REGISTRATION FOR 2024-2025 WILL OPEN IN MARCH 2024
A 20-day circlesong training course divided into a series of modules of 3 to 6 days each.
Photo Credit: AC Kuenstler
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.
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.
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.
- 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)
- Learning about vocal technique
- 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.
You don’t need to be trained in vocal improvisation to take this course, nor do you need to have taken singing lessons before, nor do you need to have any theoretical knowledge of music, as long as you are motivated, serious and willing to commit to this 1-year course. However, I would advise you to do a workshop with me beforehand to make sure that you want to work with me over the long term and that you enjoy the practice enough to make a long-term commitment.
To follow this course, you need to have a basic knowledge 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.
Price for the 20-day course + all extras (see general course content)
Food not included.
Free accommodation for residential training in the Ain region.
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.
The course is not Qualiopi-certified and cannot be funded at present.
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.
This price does not include your transport, food and accommodation costs.
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. 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 class – non-residential and probably in English
• 23-27 October (wednesday-sunday)
• 2-5 January (Thursday-Sunday)
• 5-9 March (Wednesday – Sunday)
• 29 April-3 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) ou 20-24 August (Wednesday-Sunday)
Certain dates may be subject to change. Organised so far in advance, dates sometimes need to be readjusted.
PRE-REGISTRATION FOR 2024-2025 WILL OPEN IN MARCH 2024
Pre-registration period: March -> April
– Until the end of April, you can let me know if you would like to register for the course by filling in the pre-registration form.
– In the form, I ask you for a series of details that will help me to set up the group
Selection period : May
– In May, I’ll be putting together the group. If the applications are just between 10-12 people, there will be no selection as such other than on the basis of the pre-requisites. If there are more applications than places, selection will be based on a number of criteria:
• Dates Availability
• Group homogeneity/complementarity
• Balance des tarifs proposés
Registration period : June-July
– A non-refundable deposit of €100 is required to confirm your registration.
I am available to answer your questions via this form.