CircleSinging is a form of facilitated Vocal Improv which could be described as “a drum circle for singers” or “improvised choral music.” During the course of the ever-changing chant, the leader develops and gives parts to a circle of singers, which in turn supports individual solos. Both participating in and witnessing the creation of the music that emerges is an exhilarating and joyful experience.
Change it Up; Keep it Going:
A Workshop for CircleSong Leaders
Techniques for Switching Genres, Tempos, Meters and Keys During Extended CircleSongs.
This class focuses on developing the expanded awareness and skills involved in singing in ensemble. We'll do some group warm-ups, rounds, spirituals, do-wop, choral music (including Gospel) and improvisational jam sessions.
Singer, vocal improviser and teacher Ben Silver’s music slides through R&B, jazz, folk, funk, world music and more. Ben has been performing and teaching Vocal Improvisation, Ensemble Skills and other singing workshops on both coasts for over 25 years. He runs a monthly CircleSinging Series in NYC, and has presented, taught and performed at arts festivals, conferences, and retreats. Ben's songs have been published in Carry it On, Sing Out Magazine, the Washington Post, and “Hearing Everyone’s Voice.” He has been a frequent guest leader at Sing for Your Life, an annual CircleSinging marathon in the SF Bay area started by Bobby McFerrin. In 2015 Ben had the opportunity to teach his class "Change it Up; Keep it Going" for other Circlesong leaders as part of a week-long Circlesongs workshop at the Omega Institute. Ben is passionately committed to holding space for people to experience the joy of creating music.
Vocal Expression and Improvisation: Singing for "Non-Singers"
Many of us have been told that we can't sing. This class will create a safe space to discover that we can. Through group and partnering exercises, games, and (of course) singing, we'll work to empower ourselves and each other to express our emotions, spirituality, and personalities through our voices.
Songs of the Moment
We'll be exploring a number of different improv forms and skills, drawing from 12 bar blues, call and response, trading 4s, vocal percussion, free improvisation, and working with polyrhythms. We’ll also be creating freestanding pieces of music as a group using layers of improvised parts.