Inga's ClassesBZ's ClassesSheridan's ClassesJoe's Classes

Sessions with Inga Swearengen


Circle songs are wonderful for building skills and confidence in the area of vocal improvisation.  We’ll start with a cappella songs that we create together and learn important skills such as rhythmic groove, harmonic structure, motif development, etc.. This is a place to safely explore and play!

Our Bodies Sing 

“We do not hear with our ears only; we do not see with our eyes only: both these senses go together and form a whole which makes human communication complete.” -Max K. Adler

Movement and gesture can help with the nuts and bolts of singing in tune, and in time. Show the story in our bodies and the sound will follow.

Also, incorporating movement and gesture into our rehearsal and performance helps us connect to our feelings about the lyric. Let’s investigate all the possibilities that nonverbal language can bring to the communication between performer and audience.

Singing Your Story

Let’s take what you’ve created in Joe’s Songetry class and play with it even more! Make musical choices based on what you’d like to convey emotionally. There are huge possibilities and choices in the world of stylization to help you sing your story.

Breakout Sessions each afternoon  

Sessions with BZ Smith


“Have some Fun & Break the Ice through Storytelling Games & Improvisation” Opening Event  Storyteller B.Z. Smith kicks off Vocali 2020 with an evening of play and introductions. 

From Page to Stage”  What if you could learn to tell a story for performance in less than one hour? Be prepared for the Rapid-Learning Method, a tried and true process to get ready for performance and build your own storytelling repertoire!

“Don’t Get Lost, Just Hold On to the Red Thread” Have you ever wondered how storytellers can tell a big old long story and get all the way through it? In this Break Out Session B.Z. will give us keys to unlock the labyrinth of meaning and mapping so we can walk ourselves from the beginning, through the essence, and on to that final act of letting go. This is that brilliant moment when the teller gives the story away, and lets the listener take it in on a personal level.

Breakout Sessions each afternoon  

Sessions with Sheridan

Finding Your Unique Sound – There’s more than you think, and it’s all yours for the making

Within each of us lies a life-bringing capability to generate a unique and powerful sound. If you can discover a singular resonance on one vowel or one note, you can learn to gently grow and shape it to happen in your entire range of vocal tones.                                                          In this session, we’ll learn to play with our voice and sonically expand it so that even a single note can create audible overtones. But wait, there’s more…
Moving Up The Mountain – Transcend your fear of heights
We’ll learn to sing consistently higher (and lower) by finding a clean resonant sound and capitalizing on our own “sweet spot” facial mask targets as we gently gain range without strain. Ultimately, we will raise our vibrant voices in a unison note and listen simultaneously for some of the mystic reverberations.

Greater Than The Whole – The more the merrier!

When freely resonant voices join together in harmony the cumulative effect is a miraculous cascade of sounds larger than the group.

In this class we’ll learn to shape our voice and match it with others so that it sounds like one voice. We’ll start in pairs, then trios, and quartets and then we’ll learn to move our vowels together from unison to multiple harmonies with out sacrificing our consistency. There may be a smidgen of triad theory and the physics of overtones, but there will be more vocalizing and listening in a spirit-cleansing immersion into a bath of sweet sounding chords.

Breakout Sessions each afternoon  

Sessions with Joe


WOW – a fast and fun moving class with the goal of timed creative movement with spontaneity. Write a poem in 5-10 minutes based on an assigned theme. We’ll pick a few and explore intention in a poem through blending the language of words working with the language of music. We’ll put rhythm and harmonic mood intuitively & playfully to match content within a poem. We will be surprised and/or delighted with what can come out of these stories that are told in words and music.

Poems tell a personal story. Everyone has the ability to write such stories, short or long, and that is grist for the mill of songwriting, whether it’s your first or 50th one.

There are different ways to approach writing a song; sometimes the music comes first and then the lyrics. In this class, Joe will guide you with the approach of story first and then the music to serve the written word. 

Improvisation; In the Moment and Without a Net 

There can be many ways to define what the idea of improvisation is but, fundamentally, what makes it work is simply movement. Receiving, responding and expressing, starts you on the road to flowing with the unknown and, better yet, learning to be comfortable with it and perhaps even yearning for it in creative process. For creativity is a pursuit of possibility and that, my friends, is what we’ll shake hands with and play with.  

Seeing Blindbolded

Creating and expressing with an editor can open you up to different ways of being and engaging the world different than what you’re used toEnjoy the reduced self-consciousness and increased personalization of imagery that comes to the delivery of your words, music and expression when you’re blindfolded.

Breakout Sessions each afternoon