Tag Archives: singing for everyone

Laurel Murphy, Rhiannon, Ysaye Barnwell – Improvisation

Left to right: Laurel Murphy, Rhiannon and Ysaye Barnwell in a moment of spontaneous vocal invention. Filmed during a week-long singing retreat at Hollyhock, Cortes Island in 2001.

We couldn’t be more excited to have both Laurel and Rhiannon teaching at Hollyhock again in 2014!

The Spontaneous Voice, April 12 – 13, presenter by Laurel Murphy in Vancouver, BC.

Vocal Improvisation: The Mystery & Technique, Jul 13 – 18, presented by Rhiannon on Cortes Island, BC.

Is singing for you?

by Shivon Robinsong via shivonrobinsong.com

Hollyhock’s first ever workshop was Susan’s Singing for Everyone. She was the first person I heard claim that singing is our birthright, a radical notion that changed my life. To hear the lead singer for the Paul Winter Consort, an extraordinary singer with an unforgettable voice, declare that singing was for everyone, not just for the gifted few, seemed to me a most generous, inclusive and liberating statement. Having spent too many years wishing I had a different voice, “a good voice”, I began to accept my singing voice as it was, and to sing more. I came out of hiding, and discovered the immense pleasure of singing in community, letting go of the need to judge myself or others. And along that journey, I found my deepest calling in life.

As well as performing and recording, Susan has been teaching groundbreaking workshops on the power of song all over the world for 35 years. I am thrilled to be teaching with her this summer, and we are both full of excitement about what will come of our collaboration.

While my teaching has focused very much on the power of voices together, Susan takes us on a much more personal journey. She talks about singing as “the direct language of the soul … a way to enter the body and breath, contact who you are beyond thought, and from that place create a gift of beauty and truth to share with others.” She calls singing “a way to still the mind by deepening, slowing, and extending the breath.” and also… “an essential part of the human emotional digestive system”. We can’t wait to see what happens when we all do that individual work with our voices, and then bring them together in harmony to create something that only can be achieved by a group.

The Way of Song is for anyone who would like to:

  • Reclaim the joy of singing
  • Strengthen and expand the clarity and range of their voice
  • Explore the practical uses of singing as a tool for communication, as a practice in intimate creativity and emotional integration, and as a pathway to deep silence.
  • Learn to appreciate the sound of their own voice, develop confidence singing with others and experience the thrill of voices raised in harmony.
  • pend five days in paradise with Susan, me, and whoever else is moved to come for this experience.
Source: shivonrobinsong.com/
Source: shivonrobinsong.com


Susan Osborn (left) is a singer, and teacher. Formerly with the Paul Winter Consort, her work has primarily been in Japan for the past 22 years. 

Shivon Robinsong (right) is Hollyhock co-founder, and founder of the Gettin’ Higher Choir in Victoria BC. 

Join Shivon and Susan for The Way of Song, Aug 4-9, 2013 at Hollyhock on Cortes Island.