Singing in the Vocal River
For singers and teachers with good pitch and the desire to study vocal improvisation, circle singing and song form. Participants sing together to find our unique and personal sound, working alone, in pairs, and in ensemble collaborations using the pleasure of physical movement while combining intuition and invention with skill and heart. Using Rhiannon’s Vocal River exercises, singers deepen their improvisational vocabulary, study melody, harmony, rhythm and tone, and then circle up and sing.
Rhiannon has built her process for teaching vocal improvisation on the idea that we must be solid in musical skills, develop intuition and be available to the mystery and grace that exist when creating music spontaneously. Believing that improvisation belongs in personal creativity as well as performance, she has developed a process to make improvisation an essential piece of a singer's training.
These exercises unfold in a carefully articulated progression. Working in circle, students first improvise melody, harmony, rhythm, counterpoint and interlocking parts in solo and small ensemble games. Then in learning to improvise as an ensemble, with exercises using the natural connection of body and voice, you learn to reveal a vulnerable, authentic sound.
You also practice using language, both invented and in your native tongue, sung and spoken, as part of your musical repertoire. Many of these games become strong performance pieces and teach you how to invent a group sound without a leader. Learning to improvise as an ensemble with shared responsibility and power teaches deep listening, generosity, courage and musical awareness.
Rhiannon is incredibly brilliant and fun. I trust her musical instincts completely. A fellow graduate of MSU (Making Stuff Up) and a member of Voicestra since the beginning, she's one of my very favorite people to improvise with. I'm so glad she's finally taken the time to document her thoughtful, heartfelt, inspired approach Delve in deeply! ~Bobby McFerrin (about Vocal River)
Rhiannon’s mastery as a vocalist, performer and teacher of vocal improvisation is obvious and precious. Yet her biggest gift goes beyond music. It is the sheer distance and depth of exploration she has lived to become so fully and irreplaceably herself, arousing the courage and inspiration in those around her to undertake their own version of the same journey.
David Hatfield, Leadership Consultant and Educational Facilitator TEDx talk on Male Vulnerability
As a person who works at the convergence of activism, spirituality, and the arts, I experience Rhiannon and her work as the perfect medicine for me in these times. Vocal improvisation grounds me and strengthens my voice, my body, my gratitude, my creativity, and my courage for the times we live in. I consider her work a form of alchemical activism, growing beauty, presence, and intention for the healing of our world. Barbara Ford
Join Rhiannon for a two day non-residential VOCAL RIVER workshop in west Oakland on Nov 12th and 13th.
Directions to the studio will be emailed the week of the workshop.
We have a beautiful studio with an open air option ( if the weather allows). Great light and ventilation. we strongly encourage fully vaccinated and boosted participants but require testing two days before and morning of the workshop. THANKS!
SATURDAY, NOV. 12th
12:30-3:30 (break for lunch on your own) 5:00-7:30PM
SUNDAY, NOV. 13th
3:30-6:00 (break for dinner on your own) 7:00-9:30 PM