The Creative Singer Program
Dr. Susannah Self
17th-22nd May 2021
Through The Creative Singer Program you will embark on a journey to discover your authentic inner voice. As well as performing standard repertoire as singers we need to experience our inner creativity for its own sake. This core value in turn empowers us to become more effective as artists. You will access your voice’s inner resonance through practices such as Prayer Flag Making, Kirtan Chanting, Mandala Painting, Vocal Improvisation, Drumming and Walking the Labyrinth. Every step of the program is designed to facilitate deep relaxation which allows you to find a meaningful expression in the World as a singer. You will be led on visualisations by Dr Self with sensuous soundscapes that feature ceremonial gongs, chimes, bells, gentle drums and original filmatic music. The Creative Singer Program is suitable for professionals to those who just love to sing. The location of the course is aptly near the beginning of the great Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route at Saint Jean-Pied-de-Port. The focus of this inner artistic pilgrimage is reflected in Dr Self’s practice which is steeped in Sharmanic/Jungian Philosophy. It has been clinically proven that singing, art and music are extremely beneficial to maintaining a happy mind, body, and soul balance. The week promises to be very enjoyable, creative and life-changing.
Subject to change at tutor's discretion
17th May Arrive
Dinner followed by Evening Greeting, Singing Bowl Meditation and Chanting.
Morning Session 10.30 to 12.30: Prayer Flag Making Ceremony.
The act of making a sacred prayer flag like the North American Indians can have a cathartic effect on empowering a new life intention. You will be provided with a stick, beautifully coloured wool and ribbons, herbs, feathers, and precious stones. The ceremony will be accompanied by singing bowls, wind chimes and relaxing soundscapes. You will have a prayer flag to take home.
Evening Session after dinner: Kirtan: Gentle group singing of easy to learn chants in harmony accompanied by guitar.
Morning Session: Connecting with the Ancestors: Through a series of imaginative writing exercises we will explore our connection to artists who we admire in the past. This may lead to departures for ideas for creating a book, a painting, a film, a recital or even an opera!
Evening Session after dinner: Sharmanic Drumming and Vocal Improvisation: In the ancient Middle East traditionally women were the drummers. Each participant will have a frame drum or percussion instrument to explore the power of rhythm collectively. This session invariably leads on to vocal improvisation. By setting up chord patterns with guitar and cello we will vocally improvise as a group. There will be the chance for soloists to emerge when they are holding the singing stick although there is no pressure to do this.
Morning Session10.30 to 12.30: Mandala Painting: A Journey to the Self
After a guided visualisation and chanting we will each paint a Mandala with professional acrylics on prepared board. During the painting session you will be bathed in a relaxing soundscape. Mandalas are universal art in the round, you can find them everywhere in the World such as in Tibet, Australia and the Rose windows in cathedrals. Carl Jung the psychologist found that by regularly painting a mandala we can resolve inner issues and as a result become more creative. You will have a Mandala to take home.
Dinner: From My Mother’s Table. Susie will cook a special dinner based on her mother the wine writer Penny Drinkwater’s recipes from her book To Set Before King.
Evening Session after dinner: Workshop on The Mature Voice with Rebecca Moseley-Morgan.
Morning Session: Walk the Labyrinth
Inspired by the magical labyrinth at Chartres cathedral you will follow a specially laid out pattern to walk as an individual meditative journey. The journey will take you deeper into yourself as you are accompanied by sensuous soundscapes. Along the journey you will find hidden treasures to take home with you.
Evening Session after dinner: Open Mike. A chance to sing a song, read a poem, share a life story, a piece of art, an improvisation or some of your writing.
In addition before breakfast each day: Walk to Ignite your Creative Spark: Each morning we will venture in to the gorgeous landscape and work through a creative exercise inspired by Julia Cameron's The Artists Way. Walking enhances brain power. Please bring: water resilient shoes or boots, an umbrella, a blank notebook, a pen and a towel to sit on.