What we're about

Hello Singer!

This group is for all people who have a desire to explore their voices. We disregard the popular paradigm that singing is just for celebrities. The only way to tell if our group is right for you is by participating in one and hopefully more events (they are all quite different) and see if you enjoy yourself.

There are many myths surrounding singing. Vocal shaming is rampant and usually happens in childhood. It only takes one time for someone to hear that they "can't sing" to have a deep and lasting impact. Sometimes this gets buried so deeply as to become a character trait that one blurts out at the simple suggestion of singing: "Oh, I can't sing." " I'm tone deaf." "My child tells me to stop when I sing." " My choir director told me to lip sync." These are all actual statements that I hear time and again and it makes me sad. It also gives me purpose for I am on a mission to get everyone singing in a safe space, in a fun and creative way, and with healthy singing habits. Working through the fear of singing can be one of the most liberating feelings in the world. Not to mention the soaring feeling we get by the act of singing! And the health benefits! Science has found singing to:

1.) Decrease cortisol levels. Cortisol is the main stress hormone.

2.) Boost self-confidence.

3.) Improve mood and positively impact depression.

4.) Be a good form of exercise.

5.) Strengthen the immune system.

6.) Help with sleeping disorders like apnea and snoring via strengthening throat and palate muscles.

7.) Build community. And so much more!

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Some of our offerings:

We offer classes in Vocal Mastery and Vocal Improvisation. We recommend you check out our CircleSong events as well as the Authentic Voice Workshops to get a taste of what we do.

CircleSongs:

Circle Singing was developed by Bobby McFerrin as a way to get the audience engaged and to perform without a band. It is now a form of group singing and a movement happening across the globe in small community spaces. It's like yoga in 1940.

Authentic Voice Workshops & Classes

Get a feel for vocal study while gaining insight into how to navigate your voice in these fun experiential workshops. Each person gets a few minutes of individual attention.

Vocal Improvisation Classes

Vocal Improvisation is a boundless, liberating art form. Much more than scat singing, it frees the singer to explore new terrain. Open to those who have a bit of a musical background, traditional or non-traditional and can sing the major scale in pitch.

Tibetan Bowl Sound Immersions with Sounding

Unlike passive sound immersions where participants lie on yoga mats, we mostly sit and sing along with the singing bowls with gentle guidance from the facilitator. The energy in the room guides the experience. Each immersion is different from the last. The sacred metals of these bowls give off many harmonic frequencies and therefore have a more diffuse and gentle sound than crystal bowls. We get healing from the outside through the bowls and at the same time we get healing from the inside when we sing. Vibrations all around.

HVL events are completely non-denominational. We welcome all people.

I hope to see you soon.

Marie Black, Your Organizer

Student Testimonials

Following radiation treatment for breast cancer, my work with Marie had a profound and lasting impact on my physical posture, my interactions with people and the way I meet the world each day. Pure joy. Thank you, Marie! ~ Anne D., Graphic Artist

Marie gets you inspired and teaches useful singing techniques and body mechanics that have helped me become a better vocalist. ~ Caroline S., Singer/Songwriter

I absolutely love Circle Singing. It taps your creative soul. I love Marie’s teaching style and the mistake free zone that she creates. ~ Christy K., Author & Creative Writing Coach

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Marie Black is an award-winning singer/songwriter, recording artist, sound and performance artist and voice teacher. She holds a degree in psychology, is a current NATS member (National Association of Teachers of Singing), and a graduate of the Transformational Voice Institutes' Teacher Apprenticeship, a rigorous year long program dedicated to teaching voice. She became hooked on CircleSongs at Bobby McFerrin's Chant for World Peace in San Francisco when she assisted him in passing parts to the audience. She has since studied the CircleSong form and vocal improvisation extensively with McFerrin and his tribe. Her life work is to bring people closer to themselves and their communities through voice.

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Maybe the way to get past the fear of being ourselves is simply to try it more often. Bobby McFerrin

All content ©2012 - 2018 Marie Swan Black. All rights reserved.

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