“Make your own music… if you would save your soul.” – Pete Seeger
EnChantMent! is a group singing session open to anyone.
You are heartily invited to come out and play; to join your voice with others who like to sing – for joy, spiritual uplift, community building, activist oomph, or just plain fun.
Led by Tina Fields, sessions can range in duration from a one-time meeting of two hours up to a series of 4 – 6 weekly meetings. Enchantment began in 2006, when Tina’s college students in a “Music for Social Change” class didn’t want to stop singing after the class was over.
In EnChantMent, the emphasis is on the group’s collective act of singing, not on finished product or individual solos. We break away from the performer/audience split so prevalent today. Simple percussion is the only accompaniment. You do not need to know how to read music as we’ll be learning the tunes by ear, and you are welcome even if you think you “can’t sing.” The point is to have fun together. We follow the joyful rule invented by the great songleader Doug von Koss: this group sings in a Perfection-Free Zone.
We mainly sing rounds and simple repetitive chants from various spiritual traditions across the world. We also play with working songs such as sea chanties, folk songs and trad ballads with choruses from America and the British Isles, goofy kids’ songs, lullabies and other trance-inducing songs, African part-songs in harmony, and protest songs both old and new. Lyrics are provided. In addition, if you have favorite songs you’d like to bring to the group, they are very welcome. It is a lot of fun.
Participants also develop practical skills in music, gaining more control over, and confidence in, their singing voices. To that end, we do simple warmups that help extend our vocal range; and as we sing, we play with elements of a-capella sound production such as breathing techniques, rhythm, tone, mouth formation, dynamics of volume, and harmony.
Because Tina’s ‘day job’ is college teaching, at times she’ll be unable to resist telling you some tidbit about the historical and cross-cultural uses of the music we’re singing. Or perhaps we’ll briefly discuss how such music can create community, document social conditions, shift consciousness, and/or effect personal and societal transformation. But that will be kept to a minimum. The singing is the main thing.
Even though it’s often scheduled after a long day or week of work, it’s amazing how rejuvenated we always feel afterwards. Singing together feels like a dip in a refreshing pool.
EnChantMent Participants Sing Out:
- “Love the way Tina teaches us the chants. You are so adept at music and leading us. We are very fortunate and blessed to have you!” – Lexi E.
- “Last night’s session was everything I was looking for!!! Thank you for all the wonderful songs, sounds, and leadership, and for the tone of the evening, warm and welcoming without feeling forced!” –Chandra F.
- “You rekindled my love of singing –- which I haven’t felt in years.” –Leslie G.
- “I am continually impressed by how rich and versatile your voice is; you can take it to so many different places, all wonderful — to say nothing of your wacky sense of humor.” –Ed S.
- “It was so great to Sing and EnCHANT with you last week. I Loved it! …Thanks for Be-ing Awesome! –Cameran F.
- “I wanted to let you know that your singing workshop really moved a lot of stuff for me. My life is freaking hard right now, and you helped me grieve through a lot of what’s up. I have you to thank for helping me emote and maneuver the seas of emotion. I felt like I could see land again after that afternoon. It made a big difference for my experience [at dance camp], and I think you’re totally amazing. Thank you.” –J.E.
- “I absolutely loved the singing two weeks ago; it is such a wonderful group of women and it was really exciting!” –Lynne J.
- “What a joyful sense of community you brought to our gathering.” –Mark G.
- Special Topics in Music: Singing For Our Lives! MUS490. Class at Naropa University, Fall semester (Aug 30 – Dec 11), 2018. Tuesday & Thursday 10-11:15 AM. Lincoln Lecture Hall, Arapahoe Campus.
Class Description: “Pete Seeger exhorted people to “make your own music… if you would save your soul.” In this Special Topics course, we will break away from the performer/audience split so prevalent today and joyfully make our own music as a perfection-free singing community. Songs have been used since time immemorial to aid in rhythmic chores, soothe children, induce trance, foment social change, and help create community. In the theoretical portions of this course, we will examine some of the historical and cross-cultural uses of song – how it can document social conditions, shift consciousness, and effect personal and societal transformation. A large portion of each class will be devoted to unaccompanied group singing. This is not a performing ensemble; it’s a community gathering.
Open to all, including non-degree seekers and auditors.
- Please watch this website for announcements of new EnChantMent dates.
I am open to leading one-time rounds and/or chanting sessions upon request. There is also potential to run a short-term weekly group to play with more complex harmonies, if enough interest is shown. Please contact me if interested! tfields8 [at] yahoo.com
Past Special Singing Events include:
- BOO! Camp, Jemez Springs, New Mexico. Group singing sessions and contradance calling. 3-day weekend in late October, 2017.
This isn’t sacred chanting, but it is fun. February 23 – 26, 2017 Stellar Days & Nights dance and music weekend, Buena Vista CO. Along with co-calling every evening contradance and leading the closing songs, I offered 5 workshops, including:
Bawdy British Ballads. – Sing, laugh, and possibly blush as we sing shockingly bawdy ballads of yore, ranging from cautionary tales to carnal celebrations. (Oh my!) Many will feature an easy-to-sing chorus, so you do not have to be a “good singer” to join in. If you have your own favorites, bring them along to share.
- Rise UP! Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder, CO. Story, song & nature-connection for district-wide Junior High youth retreat. March 4, 2017.
- EnChantMent! Open Group Singing
- Monthly gatherings in west Santa Rosa during Summer 2010 (June-Sept) on a Thursday eve, 7-9 pm.
- A five-week series, once per week on Tues eves in Sebastopol, CA. Fall 2009
- Weekly songfest gatherings at New College of CA, North Bay Campus, 2005-07
- Green Gulch Zen Center, CA – Buddha’s Birthday celebration. Singing, songleading, & dance calling. April 29, 2011
- Private memorial service – singer & songleader, San Francisco, CA. February 5, 2011
- BACDS English Dance and Music Week. Singing workshops, group songleading for Pub Night, Beatles/60s singalong, and High Tea. Rustic camp in the redwoods, Mendocino Woodlands, CA. July 10-17, 2010
- BACDS Family Week. Daily singing class. Also did contra dance calling & led contradance workshop. This camp is big fun. Foothill Horizons Outdoor School, near Sonora, CA. July 4-10, 2010 PDF brochure
- Just Because It’s June! “Midsummer evening for Men & Women full of Love & Chant & Community & Song.” Guest songleading with Doug von Koss and Richard Naegle at Finnish Hall in Berkeley, CA. June 27, 2010
- Queer Contra Dance Camp. Singing sessions. Monte Toyon campground near Aptos, CA. Gender-free dance caller extraordinaire Chris Ricciotti wrote, “I’m VERY MUCH looking forward to seeing you at Queer Camp next April! I love your presence and your singing!!!” April 9-11, 2010 PDF Brochure
- Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness conference. Experiential workshop: “Enchantment – Employing Song to Shift Consciousness.” UC Berkeley, CA. March 17-21, 2010 PDF Brochure
- “Singing For Our Lives: Music and Consciousness” arts elective class, also open to the community. New College of CA, North Bay Campus (Santa Rosa, CA). 2004.
About the Songleader
According to her mother, Tina Fields sang before she could talk. Her diverse singing experience since then includes semi-pro musical theater, participation in choral harmony groups such as early music and a-capella madrigals, play with living history organizations doing trad ballads and sea shanties, leading pagan women in ritual chants, and singing with bands in bars and the like doing Celtic fusion and swing blues. She leads singing workshops at dance camps such as the west coast Queer Contradance Camp, BACDS’ Family Week, and English Week. Incorporating song and the other arts into sustainability education in her “day job” as a college professor, Tina has led professional development workshops for environmental educators on traditional regional music as a teaching tool, taught a college course in Singing for Social Change, and given academic papers on using music to shift consciousness. Tina has also served as Artist-in-Residence and storyteller to children, and calls contra dances. She is a clear presenter with a kind demeanor and what has been called “an infectious sense of humor,” who delights in helping uplift the human spirit through group song.
EnChantMent! songleader Tina Fields is also available for outreach work such as:
- Example: Provides songs for particular occasions & from various spiritual traditions to the Director of Lifespan Learning at the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, Canada for use in their congregation’s Singing Meditation class.
- Private Voice Lessons
Work on beautifully performing particular songs, Voice control & quality for beginners/intermediate level singers, Harmony singing, Song repertoire and vocal style enhancement.
- College Courses
- Example: “Singing For Our Lives: Music, Consciousness, and Social Change.” B.A. elective course taught at New College of CA, North Bay Campus for Sustainable Living.
- Professional Development Speeches and Seminars Examples:
- “Deconstructing the Performer/Artist Barrier: Participatory Song for Activism.” (Excerpts available on video by Julian Blair, Performer Activists, Part 1: Art, War, & Peace. 2004.)
- “Using Song for Community Bonding,” and “Understanding and Teaching to Musical Intelligence” (the latter co-taught with Kirsten George). Faculty Development, Audubon Expedition Institute at Lesley University.
- Short Performances Examples:
- For all ages: “Wearing the Other’s Skin: The Great Selchie in Story, Song, and Lived Experience.” Occidental Arts & Ecology Center (OAEC) Chautauqua.
- For children: “Wildlife Neighbors.” Storytelling and song for grades 3-5, Sonoma County Library.
- EnChantMent By Request
- Feel free to write if you are interested in catalyzing an EnChantMent! singing session in the greater Bay Area. Also available are short-term trips to other areas to lead singing or teach techniques of group songleading.
Hope to make beautiful music with you soon!