Exploring the ABCs of Total Vocal Freedom
Includes the Live Training Component for Level I of TVF Foundations Certification Program
What: A 6-day immersive learning experience focused on Applied Alexander Technique, body freedom, community, voice use, learning, teaching, fun, kindness, singing and more!
When: July 20th – 25th, 2020 (Arrive afternoon on July 20th; depart late morning on July 25th)
Where: The DeKoven Retreat Center in Racine, Wisconsin
Who: Singers, voice teachers, actors, choral conductors, and general music educators of any age, ability or genre
Why: Learn how the world-famous Alexander Technique can dramatically improve your singing, teaching and life!
Faculty: Molly Kittle, Michael Hanko, Peter Jacobson, Eleni Vosniadou & Darci Balkcom (TVF Faculty – pictured above)
Special Early-Bird Offer
If you register by March 15th you save $150 off registration fees.
Use this coupon code at checkout (case-sensitive): SAVE150
Do you want to explore singing and teaching in a supportive community?
Are you hungry to make music more of a priority in your life?
Would you like your singing and/or teaching to be more joyful and free?
This table of contents is to help you easily navigate the information on this page.
- What It’s All About
- Who It’s For
- What You’ll Learn
- How You’ll Sing
- How You’ll Play
- The TVF Community
- The Daily Schedule
- The Faculty
- What Past TVF Retreat Participants Say
- The Event Venue
- Travel Information & Arrival/Departure
- Event Fees
DISCOVER exciting, new possibilities for your singing and teaching.
Exploring the ABCs of Total Vocal Freedom
Dear Fellow Musician,
My name is Peter Jacobson and I’m Founder & Executive Director of Total Vocal Freedom.
On behalf of our entire faculty and community let me say that I’m excited to invite you to join us for our 3rd Annual Summer Workshop & Retreat!
For 6 days you will have the opportunity to get away from the demands of “normal” life and be fully immersed in learning, singing and playing.
You will participate in educational classes, playful games, fun activities and non-competitive performing opportunities all designed to bring about lasting positive changes in your singing and teaching.
Our theme this year is:
The Alexander Technique & Your Voice: Exploring the ABCs of Total Vocal Freedom
By “Your Voice,” we mean both the physical structures that make up your literal voice as well as your metaphorical voice – the expression of who you are in the world.
You will explore the ABCs of Total Vocal Freedom:
- A is for Alexander Technique – learn why performing artists have relied on Alexander’s work for over a century
- B is for Body Freedom – learn how to cooperate with your body instead of fighting it
- C is for Community – learn how a supportive community can help you access your deepest potential
In addition to the return of favorite activities and events from previous years, we’re adding two things this year:
- The live training component for Level I of the TVF Foundations Certification Program
- Several electives on popular topics
You can read more about these two things below under “What You’ll Learn.“
If what you’ve read so far interests you, I encourage you to continued reading to see if this event is right for you.
(If you have any questions, please send us a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.)
BECOME inspired, rejuvenated and profoundly connected to your deeper artistic purpose.
2018 TVF Summer Retreat Highlight Video
LEARN practical tools and ideas to access your fullest potential as a singer, artist and teacher.
Open Minds & Kind Hearts
This event is open to singers and teachers of ALL ages, genres, and skill levels including:
- Emerging, Working & Retired Professional Singers
- Church and Semi-Professional Singers
- Enthusiastic Amateurs
- Actors Who Sing
- Choral Singers, Conductors & Educators
- Voice Teachers & General Music Educators
In TVF, we welcome and value you wherever you are in your singing and teaching journey.
We believe that every singer and teacher is unique and has a valuable contribution to make to the world. We avoid hierarchies or “food chains” in TVF.
No one is placed above or below anyone else, which can be very refreshing…even liberating!
Our attitude is this: we are a group of human beings who love music and learning with WAY more in common than not.
The most important requirement to attend this event is that you have an open mind, a kind heart and a desire to learn and grow.
If you’re not sure this event would be a good fit for you, send us a message and we’ll help you find out (we’ll be honest – we don’t want to waste anybody’s time or money!).
2018 retreat participant Emily Soule letting her voice soar
ENJOY being part of a vibrant community of like-minded and kind-hearted musicians.
A 2-Part Curriculum
There will be two parts to the curriculum this year:
- Part 1: The Common Thread – The TVF Foundations Level I Curriculum
- Part 2: Choose Your Own Adventure – Electives on a Variety of Topics
TVF Foundations Level I Live Curriculum
During this 6-day event all retreat participants will learn the TVF Foundations Level I Curriculum, which forms the basis for everything we do in TVF.
Even if you’ve learned this curriculum before, it will be a great refresher. Additionally, since we are constantly innovating new, fresh ways to approach this work in TVF, you’ll definitely learn something new that you haven’t learned before.
The title of Level I is “The Integrated Singer: Exploring Total Vocal Freedom.”
The overarching goal is to teach you the magic of how your overall mind-body-voice system is made so that you can get the most out of your singing and/or teaching.
You will build a solid foundation to create deep and long-lasting positive changes not only in your singing and performing but your whole life.
You will learn:
- Universal principles of human design based in part on the world-famous Alexander Technique
- A proven and holistic approach, grounded in science and anatomy
- How your system is designed to function optimally
- How to “update” ideas, thoughts and beliefs that interfere with optimal functioning
- How to use TVF Foundational principles to consistently experience a free body and your best voice
- Essential information about your body that you probably didn’t learn in your musical training
In this event, like all TVF programs, you will be learning Integrative Alexander Technique, meaning that you will mainly learn the foundational principles experientially in movement and activity. This is a key distinction for those that have only had traditional chair-and-table Alexander lessons.
Here is a basic outline of the Level I curriculum:
Session I: An Introduction to TVF Core Principles, Part 1
- The TVF Formula for Success – Learn our simple 3-part formula involving desire, coordination and skill to help you get better results in your singing and teaching.
- Evolution of a Technique – F.M. Alexander was a man ahead of his time. Discover what led him to make his discoveries about optimal human functioning and how it affects you as a voice user.
- Body-Mapping Topic – “Head-Spine Relationship: Alexander’s Great Discovery”
Session II: An Introduction to TVF Core Principles, Part 2
- Recognizing Wholeness – We are whole beings. Every part of us is connected to everything else. Recognizing this fact will have tremendous positive implications for your singing and teaching.
- Quality of Movement = Quality of Sound – Singing is movement and the quality of our movement determines the quality of our sound. Learn how to move and sing more gracefully by increasing awareness and enlivening your kinesthetic sense.
- Body-Mapping Topic – “The Pelvis: Is it Part of Legs, Torso, or Both?”
Session III: Being & Singing In Balance
- Posture & Alignment – Two necessary ingredients for healthy beautiful singing are a comfortable, natural singing posture and a well-aligned body. Learn the posture/alignment ideas that help and the ones that hurt.
- Body Balance – Because of our upright bipedal nature, balance is a primary concern for human beings. Learn the 6 main points of balance to help you create a sense of security and confidence in your body making it much easier to move and sing with freedom.
- Body-Mapping Topic – “Lower Limbs: Happy Feet, Happy Legs, Happy Voice”
Session IV: Constructive Thinking & Inspired Breathing
- Constructive Thinking – What you think is what you get. Learn how YES plans can improve the quality of your thinking to get better results.
- Natural Breathing – Learn a simple understanding of breathing, one that focuses on anatomical truths and the primary role of our thinking and overall body coordination in determining the quality of breathing.
- Body-Mapping Topic: “Ribs & Respiration: It’s Simpler Than We Think”
Session V: The Many Forms of Freedom
- Freedom of Choice – When we believe we aren’t free we get tight in ourselves. Learn how to give yourself freedom of choice in any moment to create more freedom and ease.
- Innate Freedom – Human beings have infinite potential for freedom. Learn some of the “keys” that will help unlock your own innate freedom.
- Body-Mapping Topic: “Arms & Hands: Singing with Wings”
Session VI: Celebrating Success & Next Steps
- Celebrations – Knowing how to acknowledge and celebrate your successes, both big and small, is an essential aspect of learning. In the final session, we’ll celebrate you, our community and all the learning that will have taken place over the past 5 days!
- Going Home – Learn practical ways to continue to integrate the material you’ve learned into your singing and teaching practice as well as your whole life!
- Body–Mapping Topic: “Putting the Pieces Together: Returning to the Whole Self”
Retreat participants have the option of applying the live training they receive in this event towards a Level I TVF Foundations Certification.
To receive a Level I certification you must complete the following 3 requirements:
1. Attend a Live Training (this event)
Participate in a minimum of 15 hours of live training at a TVF live Foundations training event.
2. Participate in the TVF Online Foundations Course
The TVF Online Foundations Course is a companion to your live training. It consists of 15 x 1-hour classes on the TVF Alexander core concepts and ideas.
Special Limited-Time Offer: Register before January 31st and get access to the TVF Online Foundations Course as a FREE bonus ($295 value).
3. Complete Other Course Requirements
To receive your Level I certification there will be a few other requirements you’ll need to complete:
- Read Your Body, Your Voice by Ted Dimon and Body Learning by Michael Gelb
- Write a short (2-4 pages) essay that includes your personal reflections on the book readings and live & online training experiences
- Pass a written and verbal assessment on core Level I principles and concepts
Electives on a Variety of Topics (New This Year!)
We’re offering something new this year that the faculty is very excited about – electives on a variety of topics to help you customize your learning experience.
During the retreat you will be able to choose from the following electives:
The TVF Teaching Lab
- A practical teaching laboratory where you will experiment with various ways of using TVF Foundational principles in your voice and music teaching.
The Choral Experience
- Do you sing in a choir? Direct a choir? During this elective you will actively explore the key aspects of singing in and directing a choir – vocal production, body use, gesture, breathing, rehearsal techniques, and more!
Vocal Technique & The Breath
- Explore vocal technique and breathing with master functional voice teacher Michael Hanko.
Spotlight on Performance
- This elective is for those that want an opportunity to explore singing repertoire in front on a friendly audience with the gentle guidance of a TVF teacher. Included in this elective will be an exploration of acting in the context of singing.
- Learn a form of group vocal improvisation developed by Bobby McFerrin designed to deepen human connection, develop greater musical fluency and help you awaken your inner creative musical self.
Everyone having a great time during the 2018 retreat sing-along!
Throughout the event there will be many opportunities to sing:
- Work with a TVF teacher in the activity of singing in front of the group. Participation is optional and there will never be pressure of any kind to sing in front of the group). However you choose to participate, you will still get great benefit from each and every exploration.
- Sing favorite songs with your retreat colleagues. In our retreat handbook, we provide a list of song lyrics that we all sing together. Sometimes, there are harmonies or dances or solos or well, just about anything can happen. In 2019, we even had a national anthem sing-off (Canada, Greece, and USA anthems were sung!).
Celebration of Song
- There are several activities at the retreat that allow singers to put into practice what they learn. But none of them are quite like our Celebration of Song. Everyone is invited to participate and the rest of the community gathers around to support the singer in a style that is unlike any other! During this event, the focus is on connection with the audience rather than perfection. The community members celebrate the singer and their offering. For many, this is a really special moment to feel this kind of support from other singers. For others, giving that kind of support to other singers is a new experience.
Nursing Home Performance
- One of the other highlights of our retreat is a performance at a local nursing home. It is so special to go out into the community and share our music. We typically close the performance with a sing-along. There usually isn’t a dry eye in the house!
- After a long day of stimulating learning and playing, it can be challenging to fall asleep. That’s why we offer optional Evening Lullabies, which are led by music healer and TVF student, ‘Mama’ Donna Castaner. During these sessions you will, as a group, sing together in a way that is soothing, calming and relaxing. The perfect thing to get a great night of sleep to be rested for the next exciting day!
Play both deepens and lightens learning and is an essential part of TVF work.
That’s why play – structured and unstructured – will permeate this entire event.
Structured play will occur during the classes as its one of the main ways you’ll learn the Foundations curriculum. We use playful games and fun activities to create a delightful atmosphere of laughter and joy.
Unstructured play and down time is essential to “digest” what you’re learning. Throughout this event, we will offer times where there is nothing scheduled and you are free to do whatever you like. If you’re interested in additional down time you can opt-out of any session at any point during the week. Freedom of choice is one our core values!
The following optional activities are available:
Barn Dance & Sing-Along
- Last year this event was a smash hit! This year we’re bringing back the string band and caller and you will have the opportunity to square dance and contradance to live music. If you’re relatively active and fit, this style of dancing is easy, fun and learnable no matter your dance background.
Yoga & Movement
- Every morning we will offer an easy 1-hour Yoga & Movement class with a certified Yoga teacher.
Walks & Bike Rides
- There will also be opportunities to go for walks and bike rides (bikes available to rent for a small additional fee with advance notice) on the shores of nearby Lake Michigan.
The 2019 TVF Summer Retreat Closing Ceremony
A Safe Place to Learn & Grow
TVF is known for the quality of its learning community.
Students frequently report that the kindness and support they feel in TVF is like nothing they’ve experienced before.
During this event, you too will experience that kindness and support.
Along with that comes connection – you will forge meaningful new relationships with other passionate singers like you.
And you will be inspired and learn from each other.
We believe that when musicians feel supported, respected and appreciated by a larger community they become much more effective musical communicators.
Emily Soule, a 2018 summer retreat participant said: “The retreat was so uplifting, it made me feel support in a field where support is seldom found.”
A core part of our mission is to make kindness and respect the foundational values of the learning process.
We believe negative emotions like fear, shame, embarrassment, guilt have ZERO place in music education.
In TVF, we teach the way we’d like to be taught – on a safe “vocal playground” that is encouraging, empowering and uplifting!
Kevin Kelly Kahelain lights up during a vocal exploration with TVF Faculty Member Eleni Vosniadou
An important part of the TVF philosophy is a being in the moment and freedom of choice. Because of that, the basic schedule below will sometimes change. We will do our best to communicate schedule changes clearly.
- 7:00 – 8:00 Yoga & Movement (Optional)
- 8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast
- 9:00 – 10:30 TVF Foundations Session
- 10:30 – 12:00 Elective Sessions
- 12:00 – 1:30 Lunch
- 1:30 – 3:00 Free Time
- 3:00 – 4:30 TVF Foundations Sessions
- 4:30 – 6:00 Elective Sessions
- 6:00 – 7:00 Dinner
- 7:00 – 9:00 Optional Evening Activity or Free Time
- 9:00 – 10:00 Social/Free Time
NOTE: Day 1 (Monday) & Day 6 (Saturday) will follow a different schedule.
The 2020 TVF Summer Workshop & Retreat Faculty (L to R: Molly Kittle, Michael Hanko, Peter Jacobson, Eleni Vosniadou, and Darci Balkcom)
Peter Jacobson is the Founder and Executive Director of Total Vocal Freedom. He is a singer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, conductor, music educator and an AmSAT-certified (American Society of the Alexander Technique) teacher of the Alexander Technique. 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. He is also a Certified Transformative Coach (Michael’s Neill Supercoach Academy Europe – Class of 2019).
Eleni Vosniadou is a percussionist and teacher of the Alexander Technique. Trained in classical percussion, she began to take an interest in body awareness in order to treat chronic tendinitis, a persistent obstacle in the way of her professional career. In 2006, she began to study the Alexander Technique Internationale in Sommerakademie Mozarteum (Salzburg, Austria), and spent the next few years deepening her knowledge in Germany, Switzerland and England. She completed a postgraduate three – year course at the London Center for Alexander Technique and Training, followed by a complementary course in Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology in London, UK. In 2012, she began teaching the Alexander Technique at the Royal College of Music and Arts Educational London Schools in London.
Currently, she lives in Brazil where she has developed the Body Consciousness For Musicians course, specific to instrumentalists and singers who face pain or who want to improve their relationship with the instrument or with their voices. In Brazil, she is frequently invited to offer a series of training courses for the faculty of EMESP – São Paulo State School, and the Guri Santa Marcelina project, a project of the state government of São Paulo. In 2014 she presented the impact of the application of the Alexander Technique in music education at the 31st World Music Education Congress of ISME (International Society of Music Education) in Porto Alegre. Body Consciousness Lectures and Workshops For Musicians in various spaces and music institutions, including FASM – Faculdade Santa Marcelina, UNESP – Paulista State University, FAMOSP – Faculdade Mozarteum de São Paulo, Baccarelli Institute, SESC Research and Training Center, among others. In 2016 Eleni was invited to join the Internationale Sommerakademie Mozarteum faculty in Salzburg, Austria.
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.
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.
As a teacher, musician, and artist, Molly Kittle’s mission is to empower her students and clients with tools to find ease, depth, and freedom in any activity. Not only is she passionate about conveying the power of natural movement and mechanics, she intends to help people access their own unique innateness and grace, so that they may lead richer, more meaningful lives. During her undergraduate and postgraduate studies where she majored in Vocal Performance, Molly encountered the Alexander work. Inspired by the vocal and expressive freedom she found as a result of studying the technique, she discovered her passion for working with musicians and serving others through this innovative method.
Molly holds a Bachelor of Music degree in classical vocal performance from University of Denver and has graduate education in voice performance and pedagogy from Northwestern University. Molly’s experience and love of performing is quite versatile, spanning the genres of opera, Baroque, contemporary classical, jazz, and world folk styles.
Additional training includes the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Italy, extensive training in the Body-Breath-Sound technique method, and certification through the Contemporary Alexander School, which is part of the Alexander International Alliance. Molly has trained in the Southwest, Pacific Northwest (USA), and Japan, and is honored to be a part of an international community doing such important and empowering work.
Darci Balkcom is a singer, Alexander teacher, and yoga instructor living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Darci is the Vocal Division Coordinator and Alexander Technique teacher at New Mexico School for the Arts in Santa Fe and privately. She leads workshops in Alexander Technique, Vocal Health, and Yoga for Vocalists. She is on the faculty at Montecito Music Festival, Los Angeles, teaching both Alexander Technique and Yoga for singers. As a guest teacher, Darci has taught Alexander technique around the United States at places like University of Texas El Paso, University of New Mexico, Rio Grande NATS Chapter, Santa Fe Opera, and the University of Alaska.
Darci holds a Bachelor’s in Vocal Performance from the University of New Mexico. In 2010, after experiencing severe tension and vocal fatigue for a couple years, Darci became fascinated by body awareness and the vocal freedom that Alexander Technique made possible for her to rediscover. Darci became a certified Alexander Technique teacher by studying at The Contemporary Alexander School, a 1600 hr program. Additional trainings include becoming a certified yoga teacher with Barkan Method Yoga, currently studying Yoga of the Voice, and Body-Breath-Sound Technique. As a professional performer, Darci has sung as a soloist in oratorio and opera with groups such as Boulder Symphony, New Mexico Philharmonic, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, La Musica Lirica in Italy, and Quintessence. Darci’s experience and love of music spans many genres including, musical theatre, chant, gaelic, folk, art song, and opera. Darci is a very passionate educator and performer, constantly inspired to further her knowledge of the body, mind, voice, and music. She is dedicated to applying the principles inspired by the work of F.M. Alexander to her teaching and life.
Learn from highly trained Alexander teachers and musicians who are passionate about helping YOU!
“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
“One of the best things about TVF is that you make a safe place for a singer to feel comfortable enough to experiment.”
“The idea not to be afraid of “failure” but to learn from it is very healthy. I get bogged down thinking that if there is any flaw at all that I find, my performance isn’t worth sharing. You showed me how to loosen my ideas about that and to learn to love to perform just because I love to perform.”
–Diane Tipton, Singer
“Before TVF, I was going through a rough patch with my own confidence as a singer…”
“…but much of the program focused on self-care and self-kindness, and I feel like this allowed me to focus inward and find ways to embrace my singing and work on a new level. I left the retreat with a more open heart and a stronger sense of self-worth. I am eager to continue learning from these teachers and students!”
–Nadine Gomes, Singer & Voice Teacher
“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
“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
“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
“I LOVED the retreat.”
“I learned so much about myself, perhaps most significantly that I could give myself permission to do (or not do) some things. That seems basic when I see it in writing, but in the context of self-care, it was a radical realization for me.”
–Margaret Quinnette, Singer
“Meeting members of the TVF community was very rewarding.”
“With all of the awful things happening in the world, meeting people with a genuine and selfless care for others gave me hope. I found the retreat relaxing and freeing. Having permission to play and explore was pure joy.”
–Amanda Chmela, Singer & Voice Teacher
“The retreat was a very positive experience for me. I was so inspired by other teachers and artists.”
“There was a balance of musical concepts and connecting with ourselves as a person. The highlight for me was the explanations and the circle singing. This retreat made me want to find a deeper connection with my inner compass. Also learn more about the human body.”
–Yedda Hay, Singer & Teacher
“I felt like it didn’t matter that I am not a professional singer, but felt like what I thought and felt was valid.”
“I loved the casual masterclass atmosphere, the way everyone was treated with love and respect, and as if we were the only one in the room. The opportunity to explore our creativity was welcome, and way more fun than I thought it would be. Activities that encouraged play are not usually something that I enjoy, but since this was a judgement free zone, I felt more comfortable.”
–Martha Springstead, Choral Director
“Because of the safe and trustworthy space created for freedom of exploration and discovery, I was able to lay aside my former self-judgement and fear of mistakes.”
“When it came time to perform in front of everyone, I was not even thinking about the fact that there was an audience present, and I wasn’t nervous. My intention for every performance was to provide every possible aspect of support to the singer while creating beautiful music and a satisfying, enjoyable performance experience. Because I had not rehearsed with them, I gave full permission (to both myself and the singer) to expect mistakes and imperfections; this resulted in the ability to completely ignore or let go of those things as they occurred, and allow myself to be totally present in the joy of making music. It is truly one of the most rewarding things I’ve experienced in 40 years of music-making.”
–Deb Logan, Accompanist & Choral Director
“My experience of the retreat was an immersion in living and learning in grace and truth…”
“…of finding song and substance/soul within and seeing with new eyes, listening – opening, a blossoming awareness and connectedness to the beauty of our oneness in sound and being. There was joy in the simple things; the tiny shifts in mind and body which led to peaceful ease, the healing touch of a loving hand, a look shared between friends. I found comfort in being included, and noticed others finding it too. It was a safe space in which to begin to bloom and I gave myself permission to breathe free.”
–”Mama Donna” Castaner, Singer & Teacher
The Event Venue
The retreat will take place at the historic DeKoven Center in Racine, Wisconsin, located right on Lake Michigan. It’s quite a magical place; we’ve dubbed it “The Hogwarts of the Midwest!”
There is an easily accessible bike path and bikes will be available to rent with advance notice.
A double room is included as part of your registration fee.
Bathrooms are shared.
Unless you tell us who you’d like to room with, you will be assigned a roommate.
All rooms are air-conditioned.
A double room at the DeKoven Center
All meals are included in your retreat fees.
The DeKoven Center 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 (a third meal is available for an additional charge).
Racine is about 1 hour and 15 minutes from O’Hare Airport and about 40 minutes from Milwaukee Airport.
Racine is easily accessible by car and there is free parking at the Dekoven Center.
We will be assisting in organizing ride sharing. After you register we will be in touch with you directly about your transportation needs.
- Arrival on Day 1: Plan to arrive at the DeKoven Center on Monday, July 20th between 2:00pm and 5:00pm. We will have dinner at 6:00pm to kick us off followed by an opening session.
- Departure on Day 6: The retreat will end by 12:00pm on Saturday, July 25th.
Retreat participants in the Great Hall during a movement exploration
Will there be WiFi?
Yes, WiFi will be available but limited. 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. That should be easy because you’ll be in a beautiful location with lots of things to do! 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.
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. In addition, all retreat participants will have the option of applying the live training they receive in this event towards a Level I TVF Foundations Certification.
Is it possible to attend only a portion of the event?
Due to the fact that we will creating a short-term community built on trust and safety, it is not possible to attend only a portion of this event.
The 2020 summer workshop & retreat fee is $1,595.
(Save $150 if you register before March 15th.)
That includes all tuition, meals and lodging (in a double room).
It does NOT include transportation to/from the airport or bike rental.
Upgrading to single room is an additional $200 (use the single room option checkbox on the checkout page).
The commuter fee is $1,195 and includes two meals per day (send us a message to register as a commuter).
A Few Important Notes (Contact us below for more information about these):
- Monthly payment plans are available (10% 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.
- There is a discount for groups of 3 or more.
Your registration fees are refundable (less a $300 administration fee) before June 1st, 2020. After June 1st, 2020 your refund will be issued as credit (less a $300 administrative fee) that you can use for future TVF live events (not valid for online programs and not transferable to another person). Your account credit must be used within 12 months after this event.
Special Early-Bird Offer
If you register by March 15th you save $150 off registration fees.
Use this coupon code at checkout (case-sensitive): SAVE150
Thank you for taking the time to read about our 2020 summer workshop & retreat.
If you like what you just read and feel inspired to join us, click the black button below to register now.
If you have questions click the blue button above to start a live chat with a TVF team member. We’d love to learn more about you, your goals and see if this event would be a good fit for you.
To Your Singing & Teaching Success!
With Music & Love,
Founder & Executive Director
Total Vocal Freedom