MUSIC AS MEDICINE WORK THAT RECONNECTS WORKSHOP
"Music As Medicine Work That Reconnects" is a workshop program designed from Lydia's 9+ years of study with the environmental activist and profound elder Joanna Macy. In these workshops she lead groups through an intimate experience with the Work That Reconnects (WTR), a dynamic, interactive body of work developed by Macy, inspired by her own scholarship in systems theory, deep ecology, and Buddhism as well as more than fifty years of international activism. Through re-invigorating our energy for action and resiliency, this work has helped thousands of people to engage in the Great Turning, the transition to a life-sustaining society and the essential adventure of our time. By speaking openly and honestly about the challenges currently facing our species, and by acknowledging the grief, anger, paralysis, apathy, and fear we may feel, we begin metabolizing these often overwhelming emotions into the profound care for all of life from which they stem. Such metabolization brings us into deeper communion with our world.
Hearts opened by grief and celebration want to sing their songs of longing, despair, reckoning, valiance, belonging, and gentle loving-kindness. Communities have come together to make music for millennia, keeping their spirits strong and nourished through hard times, while also celebrating the gifts of life. Together we hold a space that can heal the wounds inhibiting our ability to make music, learning both technically and emotionally how to free our voices into song. These workshops are open to music-makers of all levels. Singing in a council of friends is one of the most healthful, encouraging, invigorating, and nourishing things we can do.
In past workshops Lydia has partnered with different artists and music groups such as Rising Appalachia, MaMuse, and singer/songwriter Ayla Nereo, exploring songs passed down through generations to uplift and nourish, while drawing from international cultures, the Civil Rights movement, medicine songs, and improvisational experimentation.
This workshop was first pioneered in June 2015 with Penny Livingston at the Regenerative Design Institute in Bolinas, CA. Penny has contributed her own gifts to the workshops, guiding participants to experience their deep connections with Mother Earth, as we combine together the healing interconnectivity of land, community, food for the mind, emotional holding, practices of solidarity, and music.
These offerings can be adapted into shorter experiential workshops, conference presentations, or multi-day retreats. They are traditionally paired with a concert, inviting in the local community and allowing participants to have an evening of just receiving music. They have the power to nourish our hearts and minds and to keep our communities strong during this pivotal time on Earth.
MUSIC AS MEDICINE VOCAL WORKSHOP
In this workshop you will learn basic vocal techniques to empower your voice in community singing environments. We will weave back and forth between learning vocal technique and community songs from international folk and protest traditions that have been cultivated to empower individual and community resilience. We will also explore techniques for finding harmonies in group singing, learning what to listen for and tricks for finding thirds and fifths. This workshop is open to songweavers of all levels! Together we will create a kind environment of exploration and learning.
Music As Medicine Tour
Music as Medicine tours combine our workshops with community dialogues and vibrant concert experiences. Over the course of a week we travel to 3-5 different communities in an area, facilitating workshops and bringing live music to each town. We partner with local artists, non-profits, educational centers, and retreat centers to create an event that will foster connections and good works.
Heritage Choir Curriculum
The Heritage Choir is a program designed to be implemented in middle and high schools to create chorale music programs in schools that have lost music programs due to budget cuts.
In this curriculum, students will learn in a choral setting, developing their vocal technique and song repertoire. The repertoire offered in the class is tailored to the specific cultural heritage's of the enrolled students, and well as American roots music.
By the end of the school year, each student will take with them the knowledge of at least one song from their own heritage. Learning about and participating in music teaches critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, discipline, creativity and self‐esteem – skills that transfer to all academic areas and other aspects of daily life through adulthood.