Teachers and Classes

Inga Swearingen


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.

Building From the Ground Up

The nuts and bolts of creating music is not unlike building a home. Both need a foundation, walls, a roof, and whatever furniture or art you choose to make it uniquely your space. That musically translates to a rhythmic groove (foundation), harmony (walls), melody (roof) and improvisation (art!). I fist heard this analogy from Roger Treece and it resonated deeply in my family.  Let’s create some sound together and have songversations in our musical homes!

About Inga

In 2003, she began to study with the acclaimed jazz singer Susanne Abbuehl, which was a transformative experience for Inga. In her first competition after her six‐month experience with Susanne, Inga won first place at the Montreux Jazz Vocal Competition.

Inga finished her masters in choral conducting at Florida State University in 2005. During that time, she received her first invitation to appear on Garrison Keillor’s renowned radio show, A Prairie Home Companion, an opportunity that has led to over a dozen appearances on the show. Inga relates, “Garrison spins a story just like jazz musicians improvise.” Today, Inga is continuing to be rooted in jazz, she is now revisiting her folk and classical influences and creating a sound all of her own. “I studied voice and choral conducting in school,” Inga explains. “In fact, I first sang, “Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair”, as an art song with lots of vibrato. It was fun to arrange it as a bossa nova on one of my albums. I like to blur the line between genres and draw inspiration from anything that speaks to my heart. I was influenced early on by Ani DiFranco, and at the same time I love how Bobby McFerrin used his voice as an instrument. I also admire the joy I heard when listening to Ella Fitzgerald sing with all of her being, as though she held nothing back for her next gig. I think the commonality is that all three made music that reflected their life experience.


Ron E Beck

Soulful Expression 

Take your singing out of your head and put it in your heart…. and without fear. Go beyond singing in the shower to celebrating it anywhere.

Singing Without Words

The “Oh yeahs” & “Uh huhs” of singing; ad libbing your expressions to a song.

I’m Here to Help

Show up with a song and let’s see how we’re doing! Be open, flexible and receive critique with love, knowing that it is being given with love. Don’t take it personal, it’s all in the journey of moving forward.

Go For It!

Creating and meeting an outline of your goals with an agenda, a frame of reference and preparation that you can bring forward every time. THAT will allow you to Go For It!

About Ron E

Ron E has performed with lots of folks. He’s recorded with Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. of the 5th Dimension, Bobby Womack, John Lee Hooker, Bill Withers, Bell & James, Robbie Nevil, Sylvester and 2 Tons of Fun Clifford Coulter, Lydia Pense, Sista Monica, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Fred Wesley, Chester Thompson, and Merl Saunders to name a few. From 1975 through 1978, Ron E. toured and recorded with the highly acclaimed group Tower of Power. 

Known primarily as a funky drummer, Ron E. is also a well respected singer in the music industry whose vocal style has been praised by such notables as Tom Bell, Carlos Santana, Steve Cropper and Wallace ‘Scotty’ Scott of the Whispers. As an educator, Ron E Beck has a relaxed, supportive and validating mission to bring the best out of a student and increase their confidence as a musician. 

Ron’s latest self produced recording is about his proud legacy… featuring members of his immediate family; his Mom – Jeanne Rogers, his twin brother – Donnie, 1 of his 3 daughters and 3 of his grandchildren all of whom are musically talented. The songs cover a music spectrum from Ol ‘Skool Jazz through R&B to Hip-Hop. 

Ron E continues to gig internationally and is now instructing male and female drum students as a part of his mentoring program, the Ron E Beck Drum Institute (ReBDI). 


Susan Wooldridge # 2

Susan Wooldridge – Poetry 

Journal Wild!

Your shopping list of things to bring will be Scotch Magic Tape, scissors, unlined paper, pens & pencils, some flower petals or small leaves or other found object goodies. Susan will share glimpses of her journals (begun at age thirteen.) We will cut and collage materials, images and words from text. We will pour our hearts into our own pages and playfully create and share in a realm of safety and/or edgy-ness and joy. Collaging ideas moves us to Susan’s next session…


Poemcrazy sessions help us feel excited about language and self expression in both poetry and prose and song. Susan will first explain about her journals and her own writing process. Then we’ll gather (and steal) words from reading that Susan will present to us and create a really awesome group “word pool”.

Through play we’ll delve into what the soul says, heart says, mind says, and more… as we write about who we are, where we come from and where we’re going. Along the way we will explore imagery, close observation, and metaphor immersed in what poet Ann Waldman calls “goofy profundity”. We’ll welcome both laughter and tears. Sharing work is inspiring, powerful and, of course, always optional. 

Sing Words

In our Sing Words Session,  we will slip words from our Poemcrazy and Journal Wild sessions loosely into song. With assistance from PaJoe Craven, we will play with sound, rhythm, line break, breath, chant, timing, and melodies that might emerge from our words. We will playfully discover which words call out to be sung, shifted, or perhaps read to melodic shapes or percussive rhythm. Or some of us might just jump up and break out into dancing. This session will dovetail with one that Inga will move us through.

About Susan 

She very effectively combines her heartfelt passion and consuming drive with a rallying call to get the poet out of you!  Susan Wooldridge carries a B.A. in anthropology from Barnard College and an interdisciplinary masters in art and writing from CSU Chico, where she developed a love for performance art as well as printmaking and ceramics. She’s held workshops on the creative process of language with thousands of adults and children, including teachers and youth-at-risk. Susna is truly inspiring and is a perfect creative soul in complementing and expanding our vision here at Vocáli Voice Camp. 

Poets & Writers Organization and CA Center for the Book have sponsored Susan’s sessions in over 80 rural California libraries. Her workshops, aiming for “goofy profundity,” have been featured in Poets and Writers magazine. 

Susan’s book Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life With Words (Random House, 1996, in a 29th printing) is on many lists of the best books on writing.  

“This is a wonderful book—smart, wide-eyed, joyful, helpful, inspiring. You’re going to love it, and love writing poetry more for having read it.”                                                                     – Anne Lamott  / American novelist, non-fiction writer 

Vocáli Voice is proud to encore Susan with us for 2021.  


Sheridan Malone  

Rise & Shine/Body & Mind… Jump Start!

In this session we’ll gently prepare ourselves for the day’s Zoom journey with elements of Qi Gong, Yoga, and Vocalise. We’ll stretch our extremities and reconnect with the ground and our core for movement in playing our voice as musical instrument, relief from extended screen times, and remind ourselves of the beauty and importance of breath for generating sound, getting control of our voices, and discovering our power. In the process we’ll get in touch with using our whole body and mind for voice as instrument, and self expression.

About Sheridan 

He is a singer/songwriter from Ukiah, California. A wonderful multi – instrumentalist, vocal production is his primary love. Sheridan has been studying the mysteries of voice for many years, has a slightly different take on technique and harmony, and still explores what’s possible with first one, then multiple voices. He also plays ukulele, guitar, and upright bass, and really enjoys playing ensemble, especially with multi-part harmony. In addition to teaching at RiverTunes Camp for years and now at WinterTunes and Vocáli, he’s taught workshops at Ukiah Ukefest, Ukes On The Loose,  California Bluegrass Association Camp, Walker Creek Music Camp, El Cerrito Free Folk Festival, and at Emandal Art Stays in Willits. He performs regularly around  Northern California and gives private voice lessons – online and in person. He is a valued member of the RiverTunes Family

And we are looking forward to Sheridan awakening our creative souls each morning in helping us all discover more of our vocal and aural capabilities, and ultimately more of ourselves. 


Margo Leduc

Singing For The Vocally Challenged

This Class is a really fun class. It’s not about being a great singer, It’s about allowing yourself to let go and have some fun with it. I will teach you some great techniques that you will use that will change your life. So lets have some fun!!

How to Optimize Your Breath in the Art of Singing

Margo will show you how breath control is key to connecting with your voice. She shares great exercises with the class that will give you excellent results and how to start singing songs with your new technique.

Singing Outside the Box

This will unquestionably be an adventure for all of us. You will discover new found confidence as you safely, yet meaningfully, take creative chances in your ability to truly sing outside your comfort zone.

Margo’s Vocal Lab

Sing a song for Margo with everyone learning together from each other’s examples. This class peels back the layers that keep us from moving forward while helping us break through our fears in the process.

About Margo

A rare artist who can move seamlessly from the background into the spotlight, Margo LeDuc has been performing for over 20 years. She has supported artists such as pop icons Michael McDonald and Deniece William, performed for the King and Queen of Norway, opened for Jay Leno in Las Vegas and performed at the Monterey Blues Festival. Margo’s list of corporate clients includes Disney, Wells Fargo, General Electric, BMW and Redken. 

However, it’s her validating spirit and energy that has literally changed the lives of many people that caught our attention.  As a renowned vocal coach and educator, she has taught in many group settings, such as the Stanford Jazz Consortium at Stanford University as a vocal coach and mentor on all aspects of singing and performance and offering private instruction as well. 

…with equal parts motivational speaker, basketball coach, stand up comedian, local pub bartender and a pinch of diva… there’s no one like Margo and we love her for that!


PaJoe Craven 

Improvisation = Movement 

There are many ways to define what the idea of improvisation is but, fundamentally, what makes it work is simply… movement. Receiving, responding, expressing and stretching your voice in the “costume room”, starts you on the road to flowing without a script. Better news yet, you learn to be more comfortable with it and perhaps even yearning for it. For creativity is a pursuit of possibility and that, my friends, is what we’ll shake hands with and play with. 

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 to. Enjoy the reduced self-consciousness and increased personalization of imagery that comes to the delivery of your words, music and expression in this new way.

About PaJoe  

He wears a lot of hats as an instrumentalist, music producer, creativity educator, music festival Master of Ceremonies and an underpaid fashion insultant. He is, however, the best known mando/bongo/fiddle/found sound musician in his price range!  For over 35 years, this former museologist has been playing forward folk tradition and process by mashing up ideas and tools from a variety of unexpected places, creating new music altogether. PaJoe has made and/or recorded music with Jerry Garcia, David Lindley, David Grisman, Alison Brown, Howard Levy, Vassar Clements, Rob Ickes and many other innovative artists. 

As an award-winning educator, PaJoe has taught with bassist/author Victor Wooten, children’s music innovator Paul Reisler, jazz percussionist Jason Marsalis and vocalists Inga Swearengen and Moira Smiley. He has presented programs at over 500 schools from preschoolers to graduate level college students. PaJoe is the Director of RiverTunes Roots Music Camp, WinterTunes At Home, Vocáli Voice Camp and an instructor at many music camps and festivals nationwide. He is a featured artist/educator in the PBS television series, Music Gone Public, a recipient of the Folk Alliance Far-West Performer of the Year Award and the Swannanoa Gathering’s Master Music Maker Award. 

Whether a presentation to folks in Costa Rica, corporate heads in Contra Costa, CA, Goodwill Industries, The United Way, young men in a juvenile detention center, families in homeless shelters, a university lecture in Washington, jamming with Gnawa musicians in Morocco, on stage at Carnegie Hall with Stephane Grappelli, or on stage with an angel food cake pan in front of thousands of school kids in Scotland… no matter who and what PaJoe’s connected with, he’s at home and loving every minute. 

“Everything Joe touches turns to music.” – mandolinist David Grisman

“Joe Craven is magical.” – San Francisco Chronicle 



Susie Glaze

Troubleshooting; Let’s Fix That!  Vocal Lab

What are your roadblocks to good singing?  What gets in your way?  Do you have any long-standing barriers to making good sounds?  Is it hard to develop better habits around sound production?  This vocal lab will address these typical roadblocks to good singing, many of them universal across genres of music and singers of all kinds.  Students should have questions ready for this workshop. 

I will provide handouts ahead of time that cover frequently asked questions in singing and suggestions for troubleshooting, including exercises to do at home and every day.  The handouts will also cover two songs, with lyric sheets and guitar chords, that you can use for these easy warmups, correlating with our workshop goals.

Storytelling In Song; Becoming A Troubadour

What does it take to become a true “communicator” in song?  How do we reach the inner core of meaning at the heart of every song, to feel it for ourselves and become a true storyteller?  At the heart of every work of art, and especially music, there is a story to tell about the human condition, and this workshop will dive down to help you find it.  We will touch on the general folk music process, then learn two songs that contain vivid portraits of lives lived.  We are looking for the meaning and heart of every song, how to access it, and feel it for ourselves.

Students will receive handouts of two songs with lyric sheets and guitar chords, in which storytelling is prominent.  Students may study these prior to the workshop to have familiarity with the two works.

About Susie

Award-winning recording artist, Broadway singer, journalist, educator and critically-acclaimed vocalist, Susie Glaze has been called “one of the most beautiful voices in bluegrass and folk music today” – Roz Larman of KPFK’s Folk Scene.  

LA Weekly voted her ensemble Best New Folk in their Best of LA Weekly for 2019, calling Susie “an incomparable vocalist…Glaze delivers warm, amber-toned vocals that explore the psychic depth of a lyric with deft acuity and technical perfection.”

As an educator, Susie has lectured at The USC Thornton School of Music and Cal State Northridge on “Balladry to Bluegrass,” illuminating the historical path of ancient folk forms in the British Isles to the United States via immigration into the mountains of Appalachia.  She is a specialist in performance and historian of the work of American folk music icon, Jean Ritchie, and is now offering private voice coaching online. Susie’s new blog for FolkWorks will debut in March, “Voice Notes: a Folk Diva’s Guide to the Universe.”