One-off workshops - singing for wellbeing - songs from different cultures - Georgia and Corsica
I’m currently on sabbatical and writing a new book about Georgian song and dance, so my singing activities are mostly on hold, but … normally, I teach ethnomusicology and world music cultures at the University of Manchester, where I also lead an informal singing-for-wellbeing choir called Global Harmonies. I lead occasional workshops elsewhere, sometimes focusing on Georgian or Corsican songs and sometimes teaching a combination of songs from different traditions. Wherever possible, I include information and stories about the songs in their cultural context. Who sings a particular song or type of song, on what occasions, and for what reasons? What does the text really mean? Are there different variants of the song? Have there been changes in how it is used? What does it mean, in that culture, to sing together with others? What part does singing play in people’s everyday lives? Songs that have been passed down through the generations and kept alive in the oral tradition are often the ultimate shape-shifters and this never ceases to fascinate me.
I believe passionately in the power of song to enhance wellbeing and promote intercultural understanding. I share songs which I find inspiring, energising and (usually) uplifting, and which open my imagination to other worlds and other lives. I pass on these songs with the aim of enabling others to experience the joy of being part of a singing community, and to enter into new ways of experiencing the world through song.
I have written a book about the natural voice movement, which includes material based on dozens of interviews with NVN members: see under ‘resources’ for further details.