Heart Song Collective runs Song Medicine sessions: relaxed & playful group singing for wellbeing
Hey folks, I’m Assamiya (pronounced A-sa-mee-a, she/her pronouns) and I’m the Creatress and Song Leader of Heart Song Collective CIC, based in South East London.
I’ve been a professional classical choral singer for nearly 20 years now, a singing teacher for 10, and I started running regular Song Medicine sessions in my local community (Telegraph Hill, SE14) in September 2022. I created Heart Song Collective (HSC) and developed the Song Medicine practice as a way to bring the fun, low-pressure, accessibility and nervous system nourishment (experienced at singing workshops I attend at Summer festivals) back to the folks at home. I don’t identify HSC as a “choir” as we’re a non-performing and non-hierarchical group, where I serve as Song Leader. When we sing together, it’s all about how it feels for the individual, about staying in conscious choice, and about nourishing our nervous systems – not about improving the sound we make! And the irony is, when the pressure is totally off, people tend to make their freest, most amazing sound!
Details and bookings for our regular Thursday evening (7.30-9.30pm) Song Medicine sessions in London, SE14 can be found via this link.
Other upcoming events:
Song Medicine at The Ecstatic Dance Retreat, Dorset – 27th-30th April 2023
Song Medicine for the Psychedelic Society, London SE14 – Saturday 13th May 2023, 2-5pm
Group singing workshop for Oxford Storytelling Festival – 25th-28th August 2023
Here at Heart Song Collective, we’ve moved beyond the traditional “choir” set-up as a way of singing together, and into something more flowing, less formal, more inclusive, and totally focused on how it FEELS to sing (rather than what we sound like). No sheet music, no rehearsals, no performances: just weekly evening sessions of relaxed and heart-centred singing, playful connection and nervous-system-nourishment via simple, soulful music and community. You are always in choice in these sessions: stand or sit; stillness or movement; choose the voice part or parts which FEEL most pleasurable to sing. The human voice dances far beyond the gender-binary.
As well as having a nourishing and enjoyable experience, you will pick up professional voice tips for greater ease and confidence with singing, co-regulate your nervous system with the others in the room, and maybe even experience a human voice soundbath! (they’re super scrummy). The songs we’ll sing are especially composed for this kind of community singing by members of the Natural Voice Network, with themes of nature, what it is to be human, some World music and some gently spiritual (but not religious) themes. You can watch videos of the Song Leader singing some of them here on our website. Some are fun and playful and upbeat, some are more mellow and meditative.
Song Medicine session outline:
🟊 7.15pm doors open and registration
🟊 7.30pm begin with group check-in
🟊 physical and vocal warm-ups
🟊 learn and sing a song in 2/3/4 part harmony, a call & response or a round
🟊 tea break
🟊 learn and sing another song (or two)
🟊 group closing circle, share & check-out
🟊 9.30pm close (& those who wish to socialise together head to a local watering hole)
All the exercises, shares and songs are optional, so you are in choice throughout the evening. Take time out if you want, go to the loo when nature calls, sit on a chair or the floor or stand depending on what is most comfortable for you; choose more personal space during the circles, sing with your eyes open or shut… you know yourself and your needs best, so you choose how to take part. You can’t get it wrong, and your choices and boundaries will be honoured and valued.
Please note: These are alcohol and substance sober events.
Assamiya (pronounced A-sa-mee-a, she/her pronouns) is an experienced professional classical singer, choir coach, workshop leader and trauma-informed transformational coach. She has a Holistic Singing Teaching practice in Brockley (SE4), facilitates singing workshops across the UK for festivals and community gatherings, and is an active, sex-positive LGBTQIA+ ally and climate activist.
Assamiya is passionate about singing, wellbeing and community, and is making it her mission to spread the practice of Song Medicine across the UK, helping people reclaim their voices, nourishing their nervous system and having fun!
Thursday evenings in term time, 7.30-9.30pm