Winter February 2-4: Private Singing Lessons in Woodside February 5: Choir Day in Marin February 6-7: Private Singing Lessons in Marin County February 8-9: Private Singing Lessons at Ananda Meditation Retreat in Nevada City February 10-12: 6th Foundational Singing Training February 14-15: Private Singing Lessons: Sebastopol February 16-18: Pedagogical Singing Training: Sebastopol February 19: Private Singing Lessons: Sebastopol February 20: Private Singing Lessons in Woodside Summer June 6-7: Private Singing Lessons at Ananda Meditation Retreat in Nevada City June 8-12: 6th Foundational Singing Training at Ananda Meditation Retreat in Nevada City June 13-15: Pedagogical Training: Ananda Meditation Retreat in Nevada City June 16-18: Annual Singing Retreat at Davis Waldorf School June 19-23 & June 26-30: Private Singing Lessons in Marin County June 25: Choir Day in Marin
The experience of the weekend singing retreat with Christiaan B. is multi-faceted. First, the exercises are gentle and respective of the natural function of the human body, without any forcing. This approach is about tending's one voice from the inside, coming to meet your expression of your voice, comfortably and without strain. Attention is on sensing and noticing the inner environment, and supporting the fullness and quality of tone, rather than only on projection of the sound. This approach is to foster allowing the sounds to arise and resonate. The exercises are easy and natural and are designed to work with the body in a soothing way. In this workshop you are invited to experience the glow and energetic effect from the group exercises, as well as gather a collection of tools to continue your journey to discover your voice. Come join with a group of harmonious ones and celebrate your own quality of voice. -Claudette C.
Thanks for an amazing Singing Retreat! I didn't know what to expect...after all the work I've done on myself, I was surprised that this singing showed me some structures inside myself I hadn't known were there. I'm getting glimpses of the 'me' I am underneath all the cultural overlayment and I am thrilled to be finally able to access this territory!-Lissa C.
The Singing Retreat has been for me a kind of soul-oasis, a place where my spirit drank from waters that fed me more deeply than I realize even now. I have been drenched in pure tone and crisp, precise consonants as well as rich and wide vowels.
The spatial dynamics and eurythmy enriched my sense of belonging, both in my physical body and my place in the group, and were a perfect counterpoint to the exercises and singing.
To listen to my own voice resonating in clear tones, and at the same time to the voices of those around me, connected me simultaneously to my inner depths and to the depths we all share... This could be called “the voice of Heaven’. And I am ready to get drenched again! -Pamela B.
Christiaan's Open Singing Course is a revolution in the teaching of singing. These technical exercises gently guide beginning and experienced singers into vocal freedom. It is an often-emotional experience that leads you back to the joy of singing. -Dr. Lynne Morrow, Sonoma State University
Christiaan Boele's lectures are a work of art in themselves, unwinding harmoniously, rhythmically and melodically. -Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training
The experience of the Open Singing Course cannot be captured in words. Moving, replenishing, spiritual, inspiring and lovely are some words that come to mind. Christiaan is a gentle, masterful teacher who has crafted a training as relevant for experienced singers as for beginners and self-proclaimed nonsingers. -Dana R.
The quality of your work with us magnifies with every session. For me, your gift of an elevated understanding of the voice has improved and rejuvenated my work with children and adults alike. Thank you. My own voice has been enlivened and is more flexible and pleasurable as well. -Rusty V.
Christiaan, thank you for sharing this gift of singing with such joy, such humor and such diligence. I had a great time at the Open Singing Course and I wasn't stressed at all. (I am very anxious about singing and I almost didn't come.) -Windsong B.
During my Waldorf teacher training Christiaan taught us Werbeck singing exercises. In the beginning I merely enjoyed doing the exercises. It was an interesting and new approach to singing which made me forget my doubts about not having a beautiful voice. The exercises felt doable. During the years, however, I could experience the transformational power of the exercises. Not only did they make me calmer and more centered, they also helped me to access my creative potential. The exercises felt like a protective blanket wrapped around my body. I also use the exercises to prepare myself before teaching. My voice has improved which inspired me to incorporate more songs into my lessons.-Tosha W.
Thank you! I have studied singing for many years and appreciate the gentle, soothing, relaxing approach. Reminded me of yoga and of labor-opening. -Beth G.
Just amazing! Really connected me to my voice in a new, spiritual way. -Ken S.
Meeting with the School of Uncovering the Voice has brought me closer to a wholesome singing practice and has provided me with a solid anchor on my vocal explorations, a safe and nurturing place for healing the voice and for growing more intimately familiar with it. In the few years passing since this schooling first reached me, new knowledge has been constantly flowing into my listening and singing, deepening my awareness to space as the habitation of the voice and to the voice's place within it. The Singing Training will allow these understandings to further mature and will serve to continue the cultivation of presence, sensitivity and elasticity that allow the voice to shine through the body. With the help of this sharpened presence, I hope to be able not only to meet the world with my own stronger, more centered voice, but also to impart this knowledge to others who may benefit from it. -David K.
This course is very illuminating to me and supports many of my own discoveries during my forty years of teaching guitar. It has cured my "hopeless" attitude about singing! -Nan S.
Christiaan, you are a delightfully clear and holistic teacher. What a joy you are! -Ann O.
I have appreciated the opportunity to be in the Open Singing Course for these few days. The spiritual understanding of the human being sets these singing exercises apart from other 'warm up exercises' that are even similar in some ways in other schools of singing. it is this subtle yet huge difference that gives the therapeutic element an extra dimension that goes so much deeper than most approaches to the human voice. If one is willing to do the work, these exercises can have a marvelous effect in opening the voice. In essence, it is the spiritual understanding of the singing process and particularly the larynx which contributes to the uniqueness of this work. -Joy S.
Wonderful course with depth, feeling and sharing of such knowledge! -Julie M.
I loved it! Moved to tears! Affirmation of my inner needs. I'm longing for the wholeness. Want more! -Jen A.
The small bit of Werbeck singing I have been introduced to has been restorative, energizing and healing and has helped bring practical experience and application to many of the spiritual concepts we study in my studio. I personally have been through a long journey of vocal issues while being a lifelong performer and music minister. Werbeck's work has helped me to recover my voice time and time again and continues to assist me in re-training old patterns of strain that I developed in early, less enlightened vocal study. There is nothing I'd rather do than learn more about this incredible co-creative art in which we have the blessed opportunity to allow living sound presence to take form in the world. -Kath R.
Thank you for all the sensitivity and strength you bring to the world cloaked in wonder, beauty and love. Your way in the world brings hope and healing. -Katherine P.
Wonderful! I love the mix of information and exercises! -Noelle T.
How does one speak of "The School of Uncovering the Voice" without sounding too mythical, opening oneself to suspicion, for this is not an easy thing to speak about. When I first came to the Open Course, I was told the work would "Meet Me Where I Was." I silently wondered what that could possibly mean? I grew up with an Amish grandmother, cousins, aunties, uncles and relatives, who all believed in the power of song. I did not know this then, I only felt it. We sang for every occasion; for work, for birth, for death, in four part harmony, without instrumentation. My first understanding of something sacred came from song. Perhaps the definition of Christiaan's work I might give is that one will discover that which is sacred in oneself again. There are things buried in the heart that perhaps only music can stir up again. -Beth N.
Wow Christiaan, what a gift you have given us. A new impulse for our time and FUN too! You have helped me change my life. -Doug C.
The workshop and private lessons with Christiaan have brought me a deep joy and an awakening that I have been longing for. I am very moved by the process of genuinely connecting with the power of the voice and the breath; of experiencing the wisdom and effectiveness of not pushing and not trying so hard... My voice transformed within a week and I already feel more connected with it. Voice exercises from previous teachers used to bore me, but now I actually feel delighted to practice the exercises I learned with Christiaan... I experience these voice exercises as I would a meditation practice. They bring mindfulness, focus and calm to my busy life.. bringing true healing and peace. -Lena P.
Connection, like the ripples when you toss the smooth stone into the water; connection to the lion’s wild mane. Thank you for these lively, living, working moments Christiaan. Joyous,grateful work!
This day helped me gain entrance to a spacious sense of true engagement with my voice that I’ve not experienced before, with a sense that this resistance I’ve had can give way to more openness and participation. - Lily N.
Passage I no longer linger in the shadows of silencing fear and doubt - The sun beckons me now, waiting - endlessly, effortlessly Sounds fly from my throat and heart like doves and swallows With clear tones sweetly ringing- deftly, solidly, free Led by the infinite air streaming - everywhere, always Needing only to slow my furious pace and quiet my restless mind, I open to the sounds of grace Divine And am enveloped by a harmony of song more beautiful than even dreams' vast skies.
The 6th Foundational Singing Training in California New Students are Still Eligible to Enroll through June 2016 Session Two: February 12-14, 2016 at Ananda Meditation Center, Nevada City, CA
The 6th Training meets over a 3 1/2 year period, for 5 days each June and 3 days each February. It includes four private lessons per year, group work and choir.
This advanced course is offered to those with previous study of Uncovering the Voice (such as attendance at an Open Course and/or private lessons with Christiaan).
In this work, the process of singing is viewed holistically, with the aim of the natural opening and balancing of the voice. The singer is invited to move with confidence and joy towards discovering his or her own voice within the group and in private lessons. It is a gentle process and the voice is never pushed, but gently liberated through engagement and active participation. A wide range of specific singing exercises will be developed together with a comprehensive study of Werbeck's book.
Singing Training Topics:
Session 1: Exercises to Forget the Breathing June 11-15, 2015
Session 2: Directing the Sound February 12-14, 2016
Session 3: Vowels and Consonants June 9-13, 2016
Session 4: Expansion of the Sound February 2017
Session 5: Reflection of the Sound June 2017
Session 6: Reflection of the Word February 2018
Session 7: Summary and Closing June 2018
$800 for June
$400 for February
(this includes two private lessons in June and two private lessons in February)
Please write a paragraph about why you would like to participate in the Training and email it to Sheryl at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Upon acceptance into the Training, you will receive registration information.
In various areas of our lives, many of us are now looking for healthier and more holistic approaches and we are feeling a new sense of responsibility for realms such as nature, food, clean air, clean water, etc. Until recently, people have taken both their speaking as well as their singing voices for granted, as if they come for free and do not require any nurturing. The renewing thought which the School of Uncovering the Voice brings is that we need to take care of our voices in different ways than was done in earlier days. How can we develop our precious, own instruments according to the needs of our times? In earlier eras of humanity, the singing voice was a central issue in life. Now our capacity is shrinking rapidly. We need caring ways of expressing ourselves through our voices and to realize: Through my voice, I express my whole being and by singing, I affect my overall balance and health. This can be done by the exercises given by Valborg Werbeck Svardstrom, who shows us easy ways to build up relation to all the basic elements needed for singing and care of the voice. In a joyful way, we try to experience the musical world as well as to understand the background of our doing; embracing both practicality and understanding. Werbeck states that if there would be more singing and more righteous singing in our world, the criminality would decrease. This thought can be understood as follows: Being with our voice connects us to more pure parts of ourselves and develops that what we may as human beings want to become (our more realized selves). The Open Singing Retreat provides a safe, welcoming and deeply renewing space in time to do all of this and more. It is not only for trained singers, but it is also for people who do not yet have faith in their own capacity as singers and who are open to trying new experiences.
Open Singing Retreat led by Christiaan Boele
June 16-18, 2017
at Davis Waldorf School
3100 Sycamore Lane, Davis, CA 95616
Friday June 16
8:50 Check In
9:00 Welcome Circle and Introduction to the School of Uncovering the Voice
10:15 Morning Break
10:45 Exercises to Forget the Breathing 12:00 Afternoon Break 2:00-3:00 Movement: Eurythmy 3:15 Transition to Song 5:00 Evening Break 6:30-8:30 Joyful Exercises and Choir Saturday June 17 9:00 Building Our Sound Cupola 10:15 Morning Break 10:45 Bringing in the Vowels 12:00 Afternoon Break 2:00-3:00 Movement: Eurythmy 3:15-4:00 Conversation & Questions 4:15-5:00 Children's Choir 5:00 Evening Break 6:30-8:30 Joyful Exercises and Choir Sunday June 18 9:00 Deepening our Understanding of Singing 10:15 Morning Break 10:45-12:00 Conclusion & Closing Circle Tuition:$250 by May 1, 2017, $300 therafter
Eurythmy: Movements and gestures that reveal to the eye what language and music bring to the ear. Speak and sing with the human body, making speech and music visible. Children's Choir: For children and teens ages nine and up. Free to children of retreat participants and also open to the community ($15 per child; one parent may attend free). Grownups are invited to join also! Special Discounts: School Group If three or more staff members from a school or a choir attend, each participant receives $50 off of their tuition. Past Open Singing Course Participants: that register with a guest new to the Open Course, will receive $50 off of their tuition. For more information and to register contact Sheryl at: email@example.com or call: 530-210-3208
What is ‘The
School of Uncovering the Voice’?The simple answer:It was founded in 1924 by the Swedish singer,
Mrs. Valborg Werbeck Svardstrom in collaboration with Rudolf Steiner.Mrs.
Werbeck wrote her experiences and spiritual understanding of the human voice in
her book, “Uncovering the Voice, The Cleansing Power of Song”.She composed hundreds of singing exercises
which were carried to the next generation by Jürgen Schriefer. It is a holistic approach to singing that is
in the early stages of being known in our time and Werbeck’s singing exercises
are taught in some Waldorf teacher trainings.
administrator of The School of Uncovering the Voice in California, I am often
asked to share my own personal experience of Werbeck Singing.In the words of Christiaan Boele, (who has
devoted over thirty-five years of his life to teaching Werbeck singing around
the globe); “This work meets people where they are at.”
Every human’s voice and life story is as
unique as their fingerprints.It is my
hope that by reading the narrative of one person’s journey with Werbeck
singing, some of you might become inspired to explore the possibilities for
yourself.And so I offer you a glimpse
into my involvement with this work as I have gone through the process, from
novice to teacher.
In 2001, I spent time with my friend at
the American Eurythmy School in Weed, CA.I asked her, “Is there a spiritual approach that utilizes the voice in
such a way as Eurythmy does with movement?”Her answer was, yes in fact there was, and I was invited to a weekend
singing course with a visiting teacher, Christiaan Boele.
So, in a pre-cell phone era, on a Friday
evening, I embarked alone for a long drive from the Humboldt coast (where I was
a student teacher), through the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, eager to attend
my first anthroposophical singing class. As my old Buick turned the blind
corner of a windy road on the edge of a dark mountain, it violently collided
into a huge boulder, surrounded by rubble from a fresh rockslide.The tire and its rim were instantly wrecked,
yet somehow I was able to propel the car forward and safely off of the
pavement; thudding tragically down a dirt road that appeared out of nowhere in
the wilderness, bouncing to a dusty halt in front of one lone house. There I met amazing, angel-helper- humans who
were able to jerry-rig the Buick’s spare donut tire onto my car and send me on
my way for the remaining two hour drive to Mt. Shasta.
After almost not
making it there at all, the next morning I attended my first Uncovering the
Voice workshop. My perception of what it means to emanate song as a human being;
of the potential of creating music with a group of other humans; and even my
understanding of the very nature of sound in our world- all was unequivocally
changed.We entered into the realm of
pure cosmic tones and were led there through a process that contained holiness,
sensibility and humor.It was indeed a
spiritual awakening, yet simultaneously compounded with a deep yearning and
sadness.The weekend course seemed as a
moment ‘out of time’; an experience that couldn’t possibly be re-created in the
everyday world.I felt privy to a
mystery school; as if I had been invited to share in a rare teaching that was
only known among the Eurythmists and other esoteric-type folks.
The magical weekend
ended and I returned to ‘the real world’.I managed to get on Christiaan Boele’s email list and periodically
received invitations for lessons and courses that were offered in CA each Feb.
and June.At that time, the 2nd
Foundational Singing Training was beginning but life circumstances prevented me
from signing up. There was also a Therapeutic Werbeck Singing Training being
offered in the US by another teacher, but I was advised to master the
foundational understanding of Uncovering the Voice before learning the
therapeutic applications.Over the next seven years, I attended the Open
Course (now called the Annual Singing Retreat), had private singing lessons and
went to Werbeck singing workshops at Waldorf conferences.I wrote down every Werbeck singing exercise
that I learned and kept them alive by sharing them with my Waldorf students and
In 2008, at long last, I enrolled in the 4th
Foundational Singing Training and my in-depth study of Uncovering the Voice truly
began. What had once seemed to me as a
rare and obscure singing occurrence became familiar and attainable.With the masterful guidance of Christiaan Boele’s
instruction, I gained a spiritual understanding of the process of singing and the
Werbeck exercises worked their magic of opening, clearing, balancing and
strengthening my instrument.After
completion of the 3 ½ year Foundational Training, I enrolled in the Pedagogical
Training and learned how to become a teacher of Uncovering the Voice.In 2013, after demonstrating my teaching abilities,
I earned my teacher certification in Uncovering the Voice, and I am now bringing
the work further into the world in my own unique way.Singing is a lifetime of endless growth and
possibilities and I continue to take lessons and advanced graduate courses with
For the past seven
years I have served in an administrative capacity for The School of Uncovering
the Voice and have thus witnessed the transformational process that people have
undergone as they’ve immersed themselves in Werbeck Singing.I have seen advanced, classically-trained,
professional singers burst into heart-wrenching tears, wishing that they had
found this singing school decades earlier; feeling that at last they were
singing in their own authentic voice. I
have also seen people with severely compromised singing abilities undergo a
healing process; they are uplifted with confidence, joy and knowledge that they
are able to discover their vibrant and beautiful singing voices.In these courses, all levels of singers
become as equals, learning and transforming together.This process will meet you where you are at.
The School of
Uncovering the Voice is a flame of hope for the potential of our relationship
to our individual voices, to each other as we unite in song and in our
connection to the song of life itself.With
each person that embodies this work, it continues to evolve in creative and
artistic applications.In the United
States, there are now approximately one hundred graduates of the Foundational
Singing Trainings and there are a small handful of people who have earned
teaching certificates from Christiaan Boele. A new Pedagogical Training has
just begun and hopefully more teachers will be emerging in the coming years. The
6th Foundational Singing Training in CA will begin this June.
May the work of
Valborg Werbeck Svardstrom continue to blossom in our communities and shine into
future generations.May all people be
able to sing with well-being, liberation and beauty.
If you are inspired
to better understand and develop your voice and undergo this inherently healing
and artistic process:
Singing is a primal human urge, with the potential for the expression of the core of our being. Song has accompanied life through the eras of human culture. It holds its ever important place in cultural activities, rituals, and religious ceremonies, as well as through the work and play of everyday life. As a testimonial to this, we find folksongs fitted to the passing of the seasons, festivals, holidays, professions, and almost every other area of life, all across the world. Today, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find, and develop our most precious and personal instrument, the voice. The School of Uncovering the Voice comes as a timely path to discovery and expression of the individual identity in each voice. From a range of highly differentiated exercises, the healing and regenerative powers of the voice are set free. Through this process, singing comes to hold more than ever the potential for expression of the innermost core of personality. It is a path to encounter oneself, and tune to inner harmony. Christiaan Boele
Certified Teacher of Uncovering the Voice; Waldorf Teacher, Mother, Holistic Health Practitioner, Singer, Cantorial Soloist, Graduate of the 4th Foundational Singing Training and the Pedagogical Singing Training.