Singing Soul workshop encourages improvisation

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David Hatfield hosts the Singing Soul workshop from Oct. 14-16.

Humming a tune while washing the dishes, tapping out a rhythm on the steering wheel, wanting to hear a certain kind of song to suit our mood, emotional surges and absent-minded creative moments.

What happens when a space is made for conscious improvisation, grounded in the body and carried by the voice? Magic! We are moved by the preciousness of our own music, our own stories, perhaps for the first time.

The Singing Soul returns to Creston from Oct. 14-16, led by David Hatfield, a singer, leadership consultant and facilitator specializing in experiential, transformative education. The Singing Soul is unrehearsed, spontaneous group music making, using all voice. It enables new and highly individual modes of self-expression, linking us to our authentic truth in the moment. It is simple, no-tech and builds community as it deepens our skills in listening, musicality and communication. A wide variety of clearly outlined structures are offered, for the full group, small groups, duets and soloing, each of which generates different experiences and outcomes. We’ll include pauses to talk through our learnings together.

In his 15 years of leading The Singing Soul nationally and internationally, Hatfield has engaged thousands of folks of all ages, backgrounds and levels of experience to explore and maybe discover their voice for the first time. Singers of all styles have found that improvisation strengthens their abilities, while others discover new inspirations, a revitalized connection to music, personal development and lots of fun.

The Singing Soul shows us how to relax into our deepest selves through the spontaneity of improvisation — to let go of “getting it right” and just get into the moment. In doing so, we move away from fears that keep us silent and ties that bind and conform our individuality. Improvisation teaches us to trust what will emerge, and how to work with the kind of energy, enthusiasm and sense of self that creates very new possibilities. As we unveil our uniqueness in melody, harmony and rhythm, our stories become original compositions, soulful, deeply moving, and precious. And as fate would have it, it is also profoundly fun! There are no wrong notes and there’s nothing to memorize — just breathe and sing.

Evoking the genuine, following the emerging, voicing the unheard of – this is also a leadership practice strongly needed to address 21st century challenges. Those with skills in improvisation add significant value to community building, creative problem solving, managing change, addressing difficult conversations and the transformation of conflict.

The Singing Soul is a swingin’ swayin’ funk bump Afro gospel sacred soulful blues chant jam feelin’ hi mash-up — don’t miss it! For more information, visit www.davidhatfield.ca.

Tickets for the workshop at St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church are available at Black Bear Books. The Friday night introduction from 7-9 p.m. is $15, and the weekend rate is $75. For more information, see the ad on page 14.

— DAVID HATFIELD

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