Teaching

See the Calendar for dates of upcoming workshops.

 

Group Class

Please see comments page to hear how others have benefited from this work.

 

WHY IMPROVISE?

Learning to improvise can be a journey of self-discovery. As you learn to trust and follow your spontaneous impulses you will discover the path to your own, musical heart!

Who is it for?

  • anyone who would like to tap into their own unique sound and experience more freedom and creative expression in their singing.
  • shower singers who would like to play with others (clothing required!)
  • inexperienced singers, looking for singing lessons or vocal technique
  • singers of any style who would like to experience more freedom and authenticity in their sound
  • choir singers who want to sing outside of the written song
  • songwriters who are feeling stuck or would like to develop new musical ideas
  • experienced singers who want to keep their chops up and free their voice of old habits
  • anyone who would like to use sound to connect to inner worlds

 

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 PAST WORKSHOPS

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The Spontaneous Voice

When you put down the sheet music or disregard the rehearsed song, what is left? Singers take a leap of faith. You open ears, heart, mouth, and soul in order to fly free, trusting your powers of intention, invention, and improvisation. Is this something any one can do? Vocalist and teacher Laurel Murphy says, “YES!” Drawing upon her many years as a vocal explorer and her work with Rhiannon, Laurel will guide the group through interactive and solo exercises designed to nudge or push us into a cosmos of possibility, intentionality, and artistry. Lift off requires only two things: you sing past your fears and stretch into the unknown (while having a good time.)

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Soul Songs 

Explore the meditative and magical qualities of Tibetan bowls and the Indian shruti box as support and inspiration for the voice. Without any predetermined chant or mantra, we will weave our sounds, allowing pure vibration to carry us toward our own authentic impulse. Singing experience is not required! Individuals may participate at whatever level they feel comfortable: from listening and toning to experimenting with solo voice.

This class is for anyone who would like to:   

– Explore their voice in a supportive atmosphere   

– Tune out of the mind and into the body and breath  

– Connect to singing from a more meaningful place  

– Bring new depth to any other singing you may do.

 

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Singing on the Edge

Explore the voice as instrument and learn to fly free, trusting your musical instincts! Working with a variety of playful exercises we will demystify music and find new ways to express our own unique sound. Looking at rhythm and harmony, vocal technique, texture and text, we will develop musical awareness and learn to let go into the unknown. Vocal improvisation can open us to worlds of creativity and heartfelt self-expression! These classes are for anyone wanting to sharpen their ears, stretch their edges or just experience more aliveness in their singing!

1.5 to 2 hour sessions generally run in a series of anywhere from six to twelve consecutive weeks.

Level One / All Levels: These classes explore improvisation as a vehicle to free the voice and spirit. For singers with basic skills in rhythm and pitch who are interested in learning to sing in a more spontaneous, playful way. We look at fundamentals of rhythm, harmony and vocal technique and experiment with a variety of approaches designed to by-pass the critic and encourage spontaneity and fun!

Level Two: Delving deeper into the principles covered in Level One, this class is for singers who are ready to be heard and want to stretch their personal edges! Participants should have good skills in rhythm and pitch and some experience with these improvisation exercises.

Advanced: For experienced singers who are ready to risk and be challenged. More focus on theory, complex rhythms and harmonies, memorization and spontaneous composition. Classes include two or more sessions with instrumentalists.

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SongRise: Circle Singing

Imagine your voice – your irreplaceable and inimitable voice – soaring, whispering, and wailing in an ever-evolving circle of song. SongRise provides a soulful surround for each singer to discover the joys of the spontaneous voice. Inspired by the work of Bobby McFerrin, this simple yet powerful approach to community singing allows participants to experience spontaneous music making. Parts are created on the fly, there is nothing to learn in advance.Take your place in the circle and help to create songs rise and fall: body-shakin’ grooves, sacred rants, earthy chants, and sonic castles made from all the esoteric/harmonic/melodic/rhythmic/sonic elements we can muster.

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Sound Journeys Introductory Class

So much is still unknown about sound and its effect on the body’s ability to heal. We do know that sound vibrations penetrate down to the DNA, affecting cells, emotions, mind and spirit.  In this series, we will learn to use the voice in conjunction with Tibetan bowls and a variety of atmospheric instruments with the focus of connecting energetically, deep listening and development of intuition and intention. Sessions are structured so that participants experience giving and receiving sound. No musical experience is necessary, but an open heart and willingness to explore is.

Laurel Murphy has been working with sound for healing at the Callanish Society in Vancouver since 2004.

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For singers who would like to dive in and take advantage of the depth and continuity that a full weekend or week of singing provides. These workshops can be designed for singers of all levels, in or outside of Vancouver. A typical weekend format would run 7-9pm Friday, and 10am-5:30pm on Saturday and Sunday. For groups of 12 to 20 singers. An optional Thursday evening “Community Sing” (based on the “SongRise” style of spontaneously created music) is a good way to involve more people from the community. Week long workshops may be tailored to suit the group and location.

Elements of Rhythm

This workshop focuses on the building blocks of rhythm. Learn to clap notated rhythms, strengthen your time-keeping ability and understanding of common time signatures.

Basic Harmony
The harmony class focuses on scales, interval training, and basic theory. No experience is necesary for either of these classes.

Sightreading for Singers
The sight-reading class puts both rhythm and harmony knowledge together. Participants start by recognizing and singing intervals and then progress to sheet music. For participants who have not completed the rhythm and harmony classes, an understanding of basic rhythm, harmony and theory is required.

Saturday or Sunday, 7hrs class time.

These workshops may be organized for groups of 8 people or more. Please email Laurel if you are interested.