Salt Spring 
Island Retreat

October 16 to 19, 2020
Stowel Lake Organic Farm 
Wellness Centre
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You are WELCOME...

Come and enjoy a weekend of exploration of The Human Harmonic Vibration!

There are always deeper layers...

That's right!  It's going to be your own personal "case-study" of the liberating experience of vibrating in harmony with other human beings.

When it comes to yoga AND vocal "technique" there are always deeper layers we can discover within (the more you know, the more you realize how much more there is to know),
especially when surrounded by like minded people who are open to sharing, self discovery and adventure.

So whether you're new or seasoned there is a place for you on this retreat to connect, to learn, and to expand on your current skill set/experience of singing and yoga.

Register »

Join us for a weekend of self care and self discovery!

Personal connection, personal education and personal discovery = TRANSFORMATION!
Surround yourself with the peace and serentiy of the island's beauty.
Enjoy delicious, vegetarian cuisine.
Create new friendships.
Heal mind, body and soul.
Come to be inspired and reminded that 
ALL IS POSSIBLE!

Everyone Can Benefit

Learn through En - JOY - ment

Who wouldn't benefit from a joy-filled weekend 
focused on 
breathing... 
          relaxing... 
                    laughing?  

Why breathing, relaxing and laughing?  Because the best way to learn new skills is through FUN! 

En-JOY-ment!

So come with an open mind ready to give and receive Love with a capital "L" because this is essentially what we do when we sing (exchange Love), and is also the true purpose of yoga (union of mind, body, spirit).

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Join us on a transformational journey 
at Stowel Lake Organic Farm Wellness Centre

1

You'll be guided through 
DAILY BREATHING AND BODY EXERCISES

(gentle Hatha yoga & pilates) to help you develop greater awareness of your subtle body energy.

2

You will learn HOW TO OPEN (stretch and strengthen) YOUR PHYSICAL BODY

to become a more powerful "human resonator."

3

you will learn "proper" or TRADITIONAL VOCAL TECHNIQUE AS TAUGHT IN UNIVERSITY PEDAGOGY;

how to develop and maintain good vocal hygiene and healthy personal habits to protect your singing voice for longevity.

4

you will learn how to apply your awareness of subtle body energy into your "vocal technique,"

which will expand your experience of sound resonating in your body.

5

you will learn to pick and choose the colour/flavour of your voice 
to reflect your true personality

(how you want it to sound so it reflects your true personality) through playful "vocal production" exercises designed to develop contemporary vocal technique and the "unique artistry" of every singer.

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A Learning Adventure

WE WILL SING 

songs from around the world, including popular, classical, folk, rock, jazz, blues, reggae & world

YOU WILL DISCOVER 

through experimental and experiential learning, and your personal confidence & freedom with vocalizing will grow

YOU WILL DEVELOP

the ability to make up your own harmonies!  Don't worry... we won't throw you in the deep end!

We have a proven systematic approach to develop your personal "improvising" skills using practical theory/ear training exercises. Through the daily experience of "making up stuff" over simple chants and loop style songs,
it will feel less scary and completely natural in no time!
So whether you are new on the yoga/singing path or an experienced yogi/vocalist, whether you are looking to discover, recover or expand your personal experience/understanding of voice,
whether you are looking for new songs to sing/teach, or maybe you just wanna have some FUN!

Testimonials

Click on the images to read each person's testimonial.
Nicola Cartwright, Victoria, BCLaura Krown, Vancouver, BCKelly Jane Oberle, Furry Creek, BCLisa Cartwright, North Vancouver, BCBarry Gray, Nelson, BCSoheila Aghai, North Vancouver, BCCarlynn English, North Vancouver, BC

Subtle Body Awareness - 
The Final Step

The more advanced we get with vocalizing the more "automatic" it becomes and the further away we get from being conscious of the foundational skills associated with singing.

Proper breath support...

At the beginning of each school year, (or whenever I am working privately with a new to me student), I like to start everyone off with 4-6 weeks of "going back to basics" to remind them (mentally & physically) of the foundational singing skills: proper breathing & breath support, shaping vowels, placing resonance (dark/bright tone), head voice and chest voice, and noting their current "comfortable range". 

I do this no matter how advanced they are, because I believe it is a good habit to get into - and because I LOVE doing it myself!

Blending the chest and head voice...

Once those skills feel like they are back in place and more honed than ever, we move on to more advanced skills like blending the head voice and the chest voice together (in varied degrees depending on the style of music we are singing). 

At this stage we also start playing with the options for creating different colors/flavors of sound: clear or breathy tone or various combinations of clear/breathy, vocal fry, big vibrato/ little vibrato, fast vibrato/slow vibrato, no vibrato.

Is your technique healthy?

Next we work on balancing the head voice/mixed voice/chest voice to increase possibilities for solo singing equally in all areas of the range. We proactively get into the nitty gritty of how a students' particular voice is making its way through the vocal gymnastics exercises; what are it's natural tendencies and are these tendencies the healthiest way to approach the movement that it's trying to do? Together we study their particular habits and slowly and methodically we train new healthy habits to replace old. 

All singers can learn to strengthen "weak spots" and learn to transition through the natural "breaks" seamlessly, but it does take time. So as a voice student you have to be willing to be persistent and patient with your technique. You have to allow time for habitual improvement and understanding without letting the pursuit of "getting better" get in your way of enjoying singing in the "now".

The Final Component

The final component, the energy a singer is experiencing and using or putting in to their vocalization. How subtle body energy works is the same regardless of techniques, styles or volume; so whether one is singing quietly or loudly, gently or belting, classical or folk or rock or pop, their true focus is only on being present to this very personal energetic experience.

Developing subtle-body energy awareness is the final awareness step of vocalizing (and in being "in" a yoga pose). 

It is that final moment where we simply release and it "comes to life".

The subtle-body energy concept is such an important detail for the trained (or busy minded) singer because it is the difference between being "in" the song or just going through the mechanical motions; it is the difference between the voice sounding free, effortless and authentic or effort-ful and "put on".

The more any of us repeat any action, the more likely we are to do them on automatic, it is natural. And for some things automatic is good, but for singing and yoga we will lose interest if we don't keep that personal connection to the experience of doing it.

Professional singers also can (and often do) fall into the trap of being on "automatic". It's good for all of us to remind our bodies of the foundational skills of singing. Without subtle-body energy awareness we can lose connection with both our art and our audience.
    So... the better we get at singing, the more we have to prioritize making and maintaining this sacred connection to our music through our voice. 

    And the better we get a yoga, the more we have to prioritize making and maintaining the sacred connection of "listening" for the still small voice within that leads to our awareness of our divine connection to all.

What to Expect at the Retreat

DAILY SCHEDULE OPTIONS:  There will be a daily schedule for early morning yoga, meditation & chanting for early risers, later morning yoga & singing technique, afternoon walks for quiet reflective time or social time, and evening community singing and gentle yoga for sleep.

The pace will be such that most people can do all of it without feeling overwhelmed or exhausted, but we are big believers in following your own flow and looking after your own needs. Sometimes in retreat settings participants can feel a need for solitude. The farm and the Island are wonderful places to nourish your connection to nature and honour your need for alone time, so please feel free to participate in as much or as little as you would like.
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Photos of the Retreat

Stowel Lake Farm, 
Salt Spring Island

THIS ALL-INCLUSIVE RETREAT INCLUDES:

  • 3 Nights Accommodation and access to all facilities
  • All meals and snacks (delicious vegetarian cuisine)
  • Daily yoga and vocal classes
  • Farm tour
  • A guided walk/hike
* Starting time is 4pm on the first day of the retreat; finishing at noon on the last day.

PACKAGE PRICE, PER PERSON

  • $977 – Private Accommodation. Shared bathroom.
  • $945 – Shared Accommodation (2 or 3 per room). Private Bathroom.
  • $893 – Shared Accommodation (2 or 3 per room). Shared Bathroom. (includes yurts)
  • $772 – Camping or motorhome (bring your own). Includes meals & activites, bathroom/shower facilities.
  • $693 – Commuter (includes meals & activities but not accommodation).
Prices are in Canadian dollars, all inclusive.

Pick up and drop off at the ferry (a free service reserved for those who are uncomfortable bringing a car) this includes rides to the Saturday market. Space is very limited.
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A Free Online Course with Sandi Melody

Foundations: Healthy Vocal Technique for Contemporary Singers and Speakers

A CHANCE TO TRY BEFORE YOU BUY!

Meet the teacher through this online training program!  This course was developed as an introduction to voice for new singers, and as a reminder for experienced singers about the basic mechanics of singing.
WATCH THE SERIES HERE

Meet Sandi & Jeremy

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY & INFLUENCES

Since they first met in 2014, Sandi & Jeremy have grown their personal and business lives according to the ideal that we are all connected, here to support one another, foster each other's learning and guide each other in living our divine nature.

Sandi & Jeremy are spiritually inspired by:
  • A Course in Miracles
  • A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
  • The Power of Now & A New Earth by Ekhart Tolle
  • The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success & The Soul of Leadership by Deepak Chopra
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey

SANDI MELODY

Sandi Melody has been a devoted contemporary voice instructor to more than a hundred private students over the last 25 years. Known for her inspiration she rarely had turn over in her student load. She is grateful for the opportunity of teaching weekly one on one lessons with many students who stuck with her for for a full decade. Many of these students are now professional vocalists and song writers spreading their own unique brand of JOY filled music through their connection to themselves and their world.

It is the knowledge she gained through working so intensely with so many voices, and for so many years in a row that she can absolutely say with all certainty that singing is a skill that can be learned by anyone who wants to learn it. For more on Sandi click on the bio link below.

More about Sandi »

JEREMY VALLANCE

Jeremy Vallance has been involved music throughout his life, teaching in public schools, giving workshops, promoting music and the arts through television, and leading large community choirs.  He is passionate about making music accessible to everyone, helping people find their voice and their confidence, overcome barriers and discover the importance of connection through singing in harmony.

More about Jeremy »


GETTING TO SALT SPRING ISLAND

The closest airport is in Victoria, BC.

There are 3 ferry terminals on the island that bring visitors from the Victoria, Vancouver, and Nanaimo area.

Bring your car or leave it behind.  We can pick you up at the Ferry Terminal on Salt Spring Island with advance notice.

Harbour Air offers a float plane service from Vancouver to Salt Spring.

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