Emerging Music workshop

Here is wonderful team building soundscaping process that I used in a workshop at the transformational festival Prana which I call “Emerging Music”.

The group chose the theme of the soundscape and created their own sounds and sonic ideas, while the facilitator role is to encourage people to make sounds freely, without inhibition. This is best done by modelling.

Emerging Music Process

In a circle, close enough to hear each other without straining (we were sitting on the earth) someone decides on the  theme ‘the story of our country, Aotearoa (New Zealand), specifically the colonisation and loss of Te Reo ( Maori language ).

We lined up seven rocks to signify the key points in the story :

  1. The Maori journey by sea from Hawaiiki
  2. The arrival and the beauty of Aotearoa
  3. Colonisation by the British
  4. The conflict
  5. The banning of Te Reo Maori ( Maori language )
  6. Reclamation of Te Reo
  7. The now

Then together , using only our voices and hands, we created a soundscape in which we moved together through each point in the story. ( Powerful listening skills are required here!)

The group had to keep very aware of where everyone else is in the story, to try and keep together in the unfolding.


Facilitator notes :

  • It’s a good idea to have a story ready as an example but be ready to hand it over the second someone gets the idea and starts to run with it.
  • Encourage stories with obvious sections, i.e horses running over wooden bridges, a plague of cats, a snoring giant… these will give very obvious landmarks for keeping the group together. If someone gets lost they can find their way back in easily.
  • Encourage the group to move through the parts of the story using aural non visual cues,  resist the urge to point at each rock in turn to try and ‘ keep people together’, it’s OK if it falls apart as it will let everyone know they have to listen more powerfully in the next story.

Powerful voice for Yoga Teachers Workshop

I was invited to deliver this workshop by the leader of a leading local Yoga Academy that offers a teachers training programme. Powerful voice skills are included as part of the course

First I explained to the participants their Course Leaders purpose for the session:

To explore tools to develop voice:

  • Projection
  • Tone
  • Pitch variation
  • How to enhance each persons individual voice to engage their students
  • To be fiery of voice or softer when necessary in their delivery of the instructions for the different asanas ( including for the different parts of each sequence).

Then I asked the participants to write down their personal purposes for their own voice development on A4 paper with the 3 main points they wanted to be coached on.

Began with voice/body warm up – included jaw relaxation, tongue stretches, breathing, humming, humming into opening the mouth

Included vowel and consonant exercises – used the room fully, standing with our backs to the walls to feel the spine, asked the participants to imagine and address:

  • a baby in their arms
  • a kitten stuck under a house
  • someone in their family who was making them late to leave the house
  • their dog
  • and finally a dog in the road in the path of a truck

Asked them to observe their throats, bellys, neck muscles, head resonators, and breathing for each of the examples. Explained that to speak well in public it’s good to have access to the full spectrum of vocal sounds, and then to improvise, speaking from the intention to communicate, and allow the whole authentic human voice to function.

Asked the participants to teach one- three asanas to the group while I watched, listened and took notes and observations based on the course managers and the participants individual purposes .

Coached on the three points they outlined, plus any very clear points that I pick up on that they might not have noticed.

Offered opportunity for self reflection.

Offered an opportunity for peer feedback.

Finished by listening to recording of Sanskrit pronunciation of the asana names. We all practiced these together.

Sung Vande Gurunam ( Ashtanga mantra ) three times with Om.


Here are some resources you can download



And a mp3 to listen to by Awakening Circus collective performing a rousing street yoga demonstration with music. ( in Spanish and Sanskrit) which begins with Vande Gurunam.