The Shenandoah Conservatory Music Education program will travel to Nantes, France, for its first ever Global Experiential Learning (GEL) trip experience from May 28, through June 4, 2023, to develop improvisational singing skills and community singing.
Free improvisational singing, or circle singing, creates a rich texture of vocal sounds and can be done with little to no experience. It fosters a sense of creative emotional expression. Circle singing with children and adolescents in school music programs not only helps to develop their improvisation skills with their voice or instrument, but also builds a sense of community.
This trip is designed to build these skills for pre-service and in-service music educators to use with their students. Participants will learn various techniques used in free improvisation and circle singing as well as lead impromptu community singing as we travel.
Participants will work with Erwan Noblet ’19 (Master of Music in Pedagogy – Contemporary Commercial Music – CCM Voice), a specialist in free improvisational circle singing, a topic he researched while completing his graduate studies at Shenandoah. He has also studied with Bobby McFerrin and Rhiannon to further his skills in vocal improvisation. Noblet is currently pursuing a doctorate at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, focusing on critical studies in improvisation. Erwan is from western France and will serve as the clinician in Nantes. Prior to coming to the U.S. to study, he lived and worked in Nantes for many years, which makes him the perfect clinician and host. The trip’s last two days will be in Paris, during which participants will continue singing and learning about the history and culture that will surround them.
“The improvisation skills coupled with learning to lead group singing are skills that few music educators possess,” said Director of Music Education and Professor of Music Education Stephanie Standerfer, Ph.D. “Erwan’s work while at SU made an indelible mark on those who workshopped and performed with him. Learning these skills while in Nantes with Erwan will be an incredible experience that will give teachers skills to take their students to ‘next level’ musicianship.”
Additional itinerary highlights include city, boat and museum tours; improv classes with Noblet; and visits to the Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery, Château des ducs de Bretagne, Church of St. Peter and St. Paul (Montreuil, Seine-Saint-Denis), Les Machines de l’Île, Louvre Museum, Colonnes de Buren/Les Deux Plateaux, the Eiffel Tower and more.
Visit the 2023 Music Education 2023 GEL Trip giving page to make an online donation in support of this trip. Contact Shenandoah Conservatory Director of Development Melanie Mathewes at (540) 665-4733 or email@example.com for more information on other ways to make donations.