PLAY, DREAM, SING!
– Laying the Foundation for a Magical 2019 –
Have you been feeling stuck artistically and emotionally?
Have you lost your joy in singing?
Do you have big plans for your singing in 2019?
What: A 5-day residential retreat focused on playing, dreaming and singing (using principles of the Alexander Technique)
When: January 2nd – 6th, 2019 (arrive late afternoon of the 2nd; depart noon on the 6th)
Where: Sevenoaks Retreat Center in Madison, Virginia
Who: Singers (and voice teachers/coaches) of any age, ability or genre who want to create and sustain a deep commitment to their musical lives in 2019
Why: To lay a foundation for a joyful, productive and magical 2019
Come and explore what’s possible for your singing in 2019!
TVF Founder Peter Jacobson here. 🎵
Our theme this year is: PLAY, DREAM, SING! and the primary goal is to help you lay the foundation for a magical 2019.
A quick story:
This past summer I had the opportunity to “play” with one of the greatest vocal artists in the world, Bobby McFerrin.
I attended a workshop at the Omega Institute in upstate New York called CircleSongs: with Bobby McFerrin & Friends. It was basically 7 days of singing and playing together in a group of 160 singers and about a dozen wonderful faculty members, including Bobby himself.
During that workshop, I participated in some of the most connected and joyful music-making of my life.
I reconnected to the childlike joy for singing that I believe we all have inside of us. I also remembered how to play.
I’m passionate to share that same spirit of joy and play (and the knowledge I gained from the workshop) with you during our winter retreat.
In addition to playing, you will have uninterrupted time and space to dream – opening up your imagination to what’s possible for your singing in 2019 without boundaries or restrictions.
And you’ll be doing lots of singing, exploring new pathways of artistic expression grounded in the world-famous Alexander Technique.
It will look something like this (in no particular order!): Dream – Play – Sing – Laugh – Eat – Sleep
Rinse and repeat for 5 days.
How does that sound to you?
You will leave the retreat inspired, rejuvenated and profoundly connected to your deeper artistic purpose.
Who This Retreat Is For
This retreat is designed for singers with a desire to create a deep commitment to their musical lives in 2019 and beyond, so that they can do meaningful artistic work in their community and the world.
That includes singers who want to do one or more of the following:
- Rediscover your passion and joy in singing
- Get unstuck and move your career forward
- Make your singing a priority again (especially if you’re a teacher who spends most of your time serving others)
- Get back into singing after a career or family hiatus
- Learn some new tools to explore your full potential
- Recharge your batteries for the year ahead
In TVF, we welcome and value you wherever you are in your artistic journey.
We believe that every singer is unique and has a valuable contribution to make to the world with their voice.
Our past and current students encompass a wide variety of skills, genres, styles, ages and abilities and include:
- Aspiring & Emerging Professionals
- Working & Retired Professionals
- Enthusiastic Amateurs
- Choral Educators
- Voice Teachers
- College Students
Do you have an open mind, a kind heart and a desire to learn and grow?
What You Will Learn
Every day there will be specific sessions devoted to exploring our 3 main themes: PLAY – DREAM – SING!
How often, as an adult, do you let yourself play?
During the retreat, you will:
- Get in touch with your childlike joy of singing
- Learn how to play more in all areas of your life
- Explore how to play in your practice sessions so that learning becomes more fun, spontaneous and light
- Learn how to skillfully incorporate the world-famous Alexander Technique into your singing practice and life
IMPORTANT NOTE: In this event, like all TVF programs, you will be learning Integrative Alexander Technique, meaning that you will learn how to directly apply it to singing and other activities you care about. This is a key distinction for those that have only had traditional chair-and-table Alexander lessons.
You will have many hours of quiet, uninterrupted time to focus on your dreams – imagining exciting new possibilities for your music and life.
Your dreams might include (but are not limited to):
- Recording an album
- Creating a sustainable and consistent practice routine
- Creating an educational program for underprivileged audiences
- Composing your own music
- Putting together the ensemble or band of your dreams
- Starting a new business for your teaching or singing
- Learning a new role to add to your repertoire
- Doing some high-quality preparation for audition season
- Putting on a concert or recital of meaningful music for a cause
You will leave the retreat with inspiration, motivation and a clear plan of action to achieve your singing goals in 2019!
Here are the different singing pathways you will explore:
Vocal Explorations – work with a TVF teacher in a group setting learning the Foundations curriculum (see below) which includes body mapping, applied Alexander Technique, vocal technique, nerves, body ease, tension, breathing and more.
Vocal Improvisation – safely and gently explore different activities and games related to vocal improvisation that will help you awaken your inner creative musical self.
CircleSinging – learn a form of group vocal improvisation developed by Bobby McFerrin designed to deepen human connection and develop greater musical fluency.
Sing-Alongs – sing favorite songs with your retreat colleagues.
Circle of Healing – these group sessions will offer a safe healing space where you will chant, tone, hum and experience how sound can heal your entire being: body, mind, spirit and voice.
The Daily Schedule
Schedule subject to change.
- 7:00 – 8:00 Yoga (Optional)
- 8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast
- 9:00 – 12:00 PLAY: CircleSinging, Games & Vocal Explorations
- 12:00 – 1:00 Lunch
- 1:00 – 4:00 DREAM: Visioning, Goal-Setting, Planning
- 4:00 – 6:00 Electives: Vocal Improv, Vocal Technique or Circle of Healing
- 6:00 – 7:00 Dinner
- 7:00 – 9:00 SING: Group Singing (CircleSinging or Sing-alongs)
- 9:00 – 10:00 Social Time, Lullabies or Free Time
NOTE: Day 1 (Wednesday) & Day 5 (Sunday) will follow a different schedule.
The TVF Foundations Curriculum
In TVF, we believe that mind-body freedom is the FOUNDATION of beautiful singing and music-making.
And we are passionate about teaching singers the essential information they need to move, sing, breathe, practice and perform well.
In this retreat you will learn principles from the TVF Foundations Curriculum, which is based on Alexander Technique principles.
It consists of 4 core areas:
- Body Freedom – Explore your total body anatomy (including vocal anatomy)
- Inspired Breathing – Learn how to breathe naturally and efficiently to become more “inspired” in your music-making
- Deep Practicing – Discover new holistic ways to practice deeply and effectively
- Confident Performing – Break through performing barriers and fears to perform with confidence
All learning will be experiential.
A key aspect of the curriculum is integration: learning how to create a singing experience where mind, body, voice and spirit are merged into one unified and integrated whole.
We strive to create a learning environment that is kind, constructive and safe.
The 2019 TVF Winter Retreat Team
Peter Jacobson is the Founder and Executive Director of Total Vocal Freedom. He is an AmSAT-certified (American Society of the Alexander Technique) teacher of the Alexander Technique. He is a graduate of Alexander Technique Mid-Atlantic, where he trained with Nancy Romita and Wendy Salkind. Jacobson began his teacher training at Alexander Technique Urbana, where he studied from Rose Bronec and Rick Carbaugh. His training took place over three years (1600 hours). A singer, multi-instrumentalist, conductor and music educator, he discovered the Alexander Technique over 13 years ago after suffering from back pain and tendinitis while pursuing his music studies.
In addition to his private teaching, Jacobson has taught workshops and group classes to musicians at Peabody Conservatory (Baltimore, MD), Towson University (Towson, MD), Gettysburg College (Gettysburg, PA) and the Orchestra Institute of Napa Valley (Yountville, CA). Concurrent with his Alexander Technique teacher training, Jacobson has earned advanced degrees in Conducting from University of Illinois and Peabody Conservatory. In the summer of 2018 he participated in a week-long workshop with Bobby McFerrin and is about to embark on a training program to become a 3 Principles Transformational Coach.
Michael Hanko founded his NYC-based training program, FreeBody FreeVoice, to integrate his expertise in three fields: voice training, Alexander Technique, and gentle-touch bodywork. A graduate of Princeton University with a degree in Music, he received his certification as an Alexander teacher from the American Center for the Alexander Technique. Michael studied vocal technique and vocal pedagogy for over a decade under the renowned master Cornelius Reid. He has trained in multiple bodywork modalities at the Upledger and Barral Institutes. Michael writes and performs his own musical theater works and appears as a classical baritone soloist in oratorios and concerts.M
Michael teaches classes and private lessons, both in his studio and online to students throughout the world. Along with his TVF contributions, he has taught group classes in such venues as the Juilliard School and the William Esper Studio. His classes have focused on many topics, including Overcoming Stage Fright, Vocal Technique Mastery, Alexander Technique for Performers, and The Joy of Walking.
Donna Marie Castaner
Donna Marie Castaner, affectionately known as “Mama Donna” offers Nurturing Spirit Music to the world in her calling as a healer. She is a Certified Total Vocal Freedom Coach and is currently finishing up her certification as a Music Practitioner with the Music for Healing and Transition Program. A singer, songwriter, and Therapeutic Musician, Mama Donna sings in local churches, for life-cycle ceremonies, and for those who are ill or dying. She also runs workshops on Remembering Wholeness: Our Body, Mind & Breath Connection, Musical Meditation, Hymn Stories & Song, and Circles of Healing.
She studied the Science of Healing for many years with her teacher, Mrs. Helen Childs, and has had musical training with, among others, Les Robinson Hadsell of The Master Singers of Westchester and Danielle Woerner, currently of Sunrise County Arts in Maine. With over 30 years of continuing exploration and practice in the healing arts and sciences, Mama Donna offers her students a safe space, whether virtually, or in her home studio, in which to explore the beauty and grace of their unique voice, encouraging, cultivating and celebrating these vehicles of light and sound, to be instruments of peace.
TVF faculty are highly-trained teachers and musicians and are passionate about helping YOU!
Sevenoaks Retreat Center
The retreat will take place at the peaceful Sevenoaks Retreat Center in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The Retreat Center is about 30 minutes from Charlottesville, VA and 2 hours from either Dulles Airport or Richmond Airport.
Shuttle transportation to and from the Charlottesville airport will be available at an additional charge. After you register we will be in touch with you directly about your transportation needs.
All meals are included in your retreat fees. Sevenoaks has a wonderful kitchen staff that will be happy to work with your food allergies or needs. Please let us know in advance (after you register) if you have special dietary issues. There will be a microwave and refrigerator available for personal use.
Commuter fees include two meals per day (more meals available for an additional charge).
You have the following options to upgrade:
- Double Occupancy Room – additional $100
- Single Occupancy Room – additional $300
You will choose your housing preference on the registration page.
Unless you tell us who you’d like to room with, you will be assigned a roommate.
Arrival & Departure
Arrival on Day 1: Plan to arrive at the Sevenoaks Retreat Center on Wednesday, January 2nd between 4:00pm and 6:00pm. We will have dinner followed by an opening session.
Departure on Day 5: The retreat will end by 12:00pm on Sunday, January 6th.
Success Stories from the Summer Retreat
“The retreat is right up there with the very top experiences of my life.”
“Still on my endorphin high from the retreat. People are still saying to me ‘you are absolutely glowing!’ ‘It makes me SO happy to see and hear you SO happy!’ ‘Are you in love?!’ The retreat is right up there with the very top experiences of my life. I can’t think of a better sixtieth birthday present to give myself, which is how I framed it when I decided to sign up. (My birthday was a week later.) Magnifico!”
–Lynn Lanese, Singer from Chicago, IL
“Thank you for an incredible learning experience.”
“Where to start? I have not had this much fun learning something new. I feel like I have found long lost family. You three leaders did such a great job guiding us through the week. I loved the concert that we gave to the nursing home. Listening to the soloist and being part of the chorus was wonderful. I think the highlight for me was the New Talent and Fran’s morning sessions. When I share my week experiences, I light up and move my arms with much excitement. Everyone loves the play by play of the week😌❤️. Thank you for an incredible learning experience.”
–Linda Ransom, Singer from Madison, WI
“Watching others’ transformations was so exhilarating and informative.”
“When I came home, I was a better teacher, taking more time to listen and to not worry about having all the answers right away. My own singing the next Sunday, after two weeks of not singing before, was relaxed, free and unencumbered.”
–Lisa Rogers Lee, Singer & Voice Teacher from Chicago, IL
“It was absolutely worth every penny and I would recommend it to any and every singer…”
“This retreat gave me a new outlook on how I view my personal relationships with those around me from day to day, but especially with other musicians. I am so happy that my experience at TVF has given me new insight to how I can approach meeting other singers. My sincere hope is that I am able to bring the light and positivity of TVF with me to school and any future singing I do, not only for myself, but for those around me. building people up and really connecting with my colleagues is my number one focus!
Other than that, I just want to say that I do really appreciate you letting me be a part of TVF this summer. It was absolutely worth every penny and I would recommend it to any and every singer, as long as I know they have an open mind and a kind heart! The retreat was so uplifting, it made me feel support in a field where support is seldom found, and I got to learn about the Alexander technique which is something I have always been curious about!”
–Emily Soule, Singer from Chicago, IL
Retreat Tuition Fees
The regular tuition fee is $1,295.
This includes all tuition, meals and lodging (a triple room). It does NOT include transportation to and from the airport.
If you would like double room, it’s an additional $100.
If you would like a single room, it’s an additional $300 (limited availability).
The commuter fee is $1095 and includes two meals per day (additional meals available for an additional fee).
4 Notes (contact us below for more information on these):
- Monthly payment plans are available (10% additional fee applies).
- Limited need-based scholarships are available.
- If you plan to travel from outside of North America to attend this event, there is a special international discount.
- If you’ve attended a TVF retreat previously or are a member of the TVF Academy, you are entitled to special rate.
Join the 2019 TVF Winter Singing Retreat
Frequently Asked Questions
Will there be WiFi?
Yes, free WiFi will be available. However, since the retreat is designed to take you out of your daily life habits, we recommend that your retreat be a relatively screen-free experience. We do understand the realities of modern life and that you may need to use your phone or computer to check in with loved ones. In that case, we encourage you to limit your electronic device time and do it mindfully and consciously.
Are alcohol or drugs allowed?
This is a chemical-free event and so with the exception of prescription drugs, no alcohol or drugs will be allowed.
Will I get a certificate of participation?
Yes, all participants will receive a certificate of participation in the retreat.
Do you offer continuing education credit?
At this time, TVF does not offer continuing education credit. However, many employers allow you to submit your hours independently for approval. In that case, we will provide you with any official documentation you need on official TVF letterhead.
Will there be an accompanist?
Yes! We will provide an accompanist throughout the entire event.
Is it possible to attend a portion of the retreat?
Due to the fact that we will creating a short-term community built on trust and safety, it will be too disruptive to have people arrive late to the retreat.
What if my plans change, can I get a refund?
We totally understand that sometimes things can happen and you might need to ask for a refund. We will try to help in whatever way that we can. Before December 1st, you can receive a full discount less a $100 administration fee. After December 1st, your refund will be issued as credit that you can use for future TVF online programs or live events.
Thank you for taking the time to read about our winter retreat.
If you like what you read and hear a call to join us, click the black button below to register now.
I understand that it’s a significant investment of time and money so if you have questions or uncertainties, click the blue button below to start a live chat with a TVF team member.
We’d love to learn more about you, your goals and can decide together if this event would be a good fit for you.
To Your Singing Success!
Founder & Director
Total Vocal Freedom