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:

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.

Free Authentic Voice Workshops:

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 Workshops:

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.

Upcoming events (2)

Free Your Authentic Voice Workshop & Open Mic

Candyman, Ltd.

This Meetup has a sliding scale of $10 to $20 to cover expenses. This workshop is for anyone interested in exploring the boundless expression of VOICE. It is for those who are curious about vocal study. Current HVL students are strongly encouraged to attend. You will never be pressured to study voice, but if you have always wondered, this is a great place to start. What does it mean to sing using your Authentic Voice? It means to sing: Without reservation. With resonance. With your own voice. Without tension. With passion. Allowing your voice to come through without judgment, singing by how it feels. Whether you want more power in your speaking voice or singing voice, you will receive tips on how to achieve a greater level of resonance, ease and fluidity. This will be a fun class with up to six people receiving real tips. Group learning has been proven to be very successful: Not only do we learn by doing, we learn and readily absorb by watching and hearing the experience of others. Marie creates a very supportive, nurturing environment for all. Open Mic: This will be a chance for one person (first come first served, email [masked]) to receive a few minutes of coaching on a song you are working on. You will play one verse and once chorus of a song, then repeat it implementing the suggestions received. The only requirement for this opportunity is a desire to sing in front of others with more confidence. You may accompany yourself on your own acoustic instrument (no PA equipment will be available), or you may also play the piano provided by the JCC. You could also bring an MP3 of a pre-recorded accompaniment track on your phone. IMPORTANT NO SHOW POLICY: Keep your RSVP CURRENT. Simply put, no shows are a huge bummer. They throw everything off. They are stressful for the organizer. They are simply rude. When you respond yes and don't attend, you potentially take away the opportunity from someone else. If you fail to attend two workshops in which you RSVP'd and did not change your response, you will be banned from this Meetup. This policy loops since we understand that life happens. You can also email [masked] and beg forgiveness. THANK YOU!

Circle Singing: Guided Vocal Improv Jam

Candyman, Ltd.

This Meetup is sliding scale $10 - $20. Your generosity keeps the circle going! No shows risk being bumped from this Meetup group. --------- UPSTAIRS IN CANDYMAN STRINGS & THINGS Come explore the harmonically charged, meditative, chant driven infusion of good vibrations. Each song is different from the last. Fun musical games are played so we can better tune in to our partners. CircleSinging leads to deeper listening, a deepening of intuition, and a rich community experience. All levels of singers welcome. CircleSinging helps new singers find their voices and seasoned singers can expand their improvisational skills and creative processes. CircleSinging helps songwriters find new methods of writing. Everyone has a chance to build musical confidence in this mistake free zone. CircleSinging Defined: A CircleSong begins with the facilitator creating musical parts and passing these parts on to singers. Beginning with a constant motor, we co-create a rich sound tapestry with harmonies and rhythms layered and juxtaposed with and against each other. As the group becomes tighter the center of the circle is taken by singers wishing to solo or those who simply want to bathe in the sounds surrounding them. Eventually the music becomes liquid and the singers react and respond with each other spontaneously and yet with musical discernment. Singers are encouraged to venture deeper into their own parts and more experienced and/or willing singers are encouraged to solo. The circle may begin with a few minutes of vocal warm ups / mini voice lesson. -------- IMPORTANT NO SHOW POLICY: Keep your RSVP CURRENT. Simply put, no shows are a huge bummer. They throw everything off. They are stressful for the organizer. They are simply rude. When you respond yes and don't attend, you potentially take away the opportunity from someone else. If you fail to attend two workshops, you will be banned from this Meetup. This policy loops since we understand that life happens. You can also email [masked] and beg forgiveness. YOUR ORGANIZER Marie Black has been on a life long singer's journey. 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 others. Her life work is to bring people closer to themselves through voice. -------- Attendee Quotes: I attended my first workshop with Marie a week ago and it was fantastic. I wanted to gain more understanding about how to use my voice in CircleSinging and I did! ~ M.W. I have so much fun at Marie's circles. And for the first time in my life, I am singing without fear outside of the circles. ~ J.B. Chant-Along gave me an opportunity to sit with others and explore the healing property of sound through expression and collaboration. ~ E.I. Chant-Along is a cleansing, healing and relaxing spiritual practice, that is also uplifting for the mind/soul and energizing for the body. I look forward to next time. ~ M. M. It's like painting with voices. C.V. FAQ's: NO Checks. Are children allowed? Young people 13 + are welcome. Cash (exact change welcome) & credit w/service charge plus tax. All content ©2012 - 2019 Marie Swan Black. All rights reserved.

Past events (6)

Circle Singing: Guided Vocal Improv Jam

Candyman, Ltd.

Photos (15)

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