I’m sitting here with a warm cup of tea in my kitchen, and an excited feeling.  Today I launched my new website, Deep River of Song, which is all about music making as a source of spiritual nourishment.  I feel excited, full-hearted and deeply grateful to everyone I’ve worked with over the last few years for helping me find this path.  Whether you’ve sung in one of my groups, attended a playgroup, or come to me for lessons, thank you.  You’ve helped me find the work I was meant to do, and, little by little, to nurture the confidence to bring it out into the world.   I could never have put these pieces together without you.  And now, I can’t wait to share it with you!

You see, I’ve long dreamed of a unique sort of physical space to teach in.  It would be a sacred space devoted to music.  A big, open room, with exposed beams and incense burning.  An altar with seashells, leaves, treasures collected by children.  And some outdoor space– a few shady trees, a grassy meadow, some wildflowers.  Nothing too careful or kempt.  But lots of room to sit, play guitar, sing together.

I’ve never felt too comfortable bringing my children into a  church, temple, or zendo.  People have been welcoming, but I feel an internal pressure for my children to be other than they are.  To be quieter.  More contained.  In the sacred space of my imaginings, people wouldn’t feel that way.  Children would be free to be children– to dance, play, and sing out loud, and mamas to be mamas– to talk, nurse, laugh, cry if they needed to.  Because I don’t know that it gets more sacred than that.

 

In this space, we’d make music.  Women, children, grandmothers, babies, all the generations coming together to celebrate and strengthen the music that lives in us, and to experience that special joy that in-person music making can bring.

I haven’t created this temple yet, the musical / community-building temple of my dreams.

But in my heart, I’m there.  After years spent cultivating my teaching vision and skills, I feel so alive…  So present in this work… . So overflowing with the impulse to share it…  that it was time to create… something.  

So I’ve created a virtual space.  Deep River of Song.  

The name Deep River comes from an anonymous spiritual of African American origin.  With gratitude to the long-ago, unknown author of this song, I’ve taken this phrase to evoke what to me lies at the heart of music making– opening ourselves up to a power greater than ourselves— the universal power of music.  

 

The Deep River of Song is the root and source of soulful singing.  When we attune ourselves to this dimension of music, the songs become more than just songs.  They are teachings, connecting us with the wisdom of the whole human continuum.  Used right, they are medicine, capable of transforming our pain, changing our reality, and bringing us together.  I know no greater fulfillment than to meet people in this vibrant, ever-evolving space.

Anyone can access the Deep River of Song.  You don’t have to read music.  You don’t need to consider yourself a strong singer.  Deep River is the place where song streams as an ancient means of connecting to Source.  You might not have called it by this name, but you’ve felt its power.  It’s in the release you feel while driving, when you throw back your head and belt out the chorus of your favorite song.  It’s what helped you that night the baby wouldn’t sleep, when as you rocked her, you started to hum, and the humming soothed you both.

My passion as an educator is to help you find ways to connect to this power— so you can enjoy being an active music maker in your own life.  I work with people of all ages in many contexts, and I love them all.  Whether you’re a young woman just starting your journey into adulthood, a parent or caregiver looking for ways to ease and streamline your life with young children, or a grandmother exploring new means of self-expression in community, I want to help you find your own Deep River, the place where song starts to serve and strengthen you.  Maybe even to transform your life, as it has transformed mine.

On this website, you’ll find fresh content, updated weekly, including songs, tips, practices, and rituals to make life more musical.  You can join the email list to stay informed regarding classes, retreats, and ways to work together one on one.  In the weeks to come, I’ll also be developing a social media presence for Deep River of Song, so we can connect there too.

Thank you for joining me on this journey, and for all the ways you’re helping me find the way.  I look forward to making music with you.

With love,

Noe Venable