Each retreat is different and the songs taught in workshops vary in focus from retreat to retreat; from folk songs from across the British Isles to world songs, blues, gospel, original compositions and more. All the songs have folk tradition underpinning them and are arranged in a cappella harmony. During the workshops participants are welcome to use scores and lyrics provided or can learn by ear (you do not need to be able to read music to take part).
Each workshop includes:
Full body and vocal warm up
Detailed anatomical information about how the breath and the voice works
Opportunities to put technique into practise
Fun, easy-to-learn rounds and loop songs
Challenging, unique arrangements
Each session builds from a full body warm up, incorporating breathing and singing technique allowing you to learn how to use your voice safely and to it's full potential. Together we look at resonance, pitching, constriction that might be holding the voice back, how to navigate your different registers, how to use your breath with singing, how to improve your harmony skills and much more.
From this foundation of good technique, we create multiple harmonies as a group, turning single melody folk tunes into rich, textured pieces.
Heg works hard to bring the group together in song, quickly diminishing any nerves with harmony songs that are easily achievable for complete beginners. You'll be singing in harmony before you even know it! By the end of the weekend you will have improved your ability to sing with others in harmony and will be surprised at the sound you can create in a very short space of time.
Song Shares and Instrumental sessions
The weekends are aimed at those interested in harmony singing as well as instrumental players. The evening sessions are informal and a chance to join in with other singers and musicians. The sessions are led by the team initially and usually take their own direction depending on the skills and desires of the group. The team is equipped with easy call and response and campfire tunes to get everyone started. We encourage everyone to have a go at sharing something; whether it's a song you've written, learnt from memory or a book, a round, call and response, solo, a cappella, instrumental or accompanied, anything goes. It doesn't have to be limited to folk.
There will be plenty of song books for you to look through and choose songs from as well and we invite you to bring any books you feel might be useful.
This element of the weekend is often very special and a chance to share music with new people in an intimate, informal setting.