Weekly Women’s Singing Circle
Do you love to sing?
Would you like to develop your confidence as a singer?
Do you ever yearn for a greater sense of sisterhood?
If so, come join us for Mothersong Chorus!
Mothersong Chorus is a weekly singing gathering, led by Noe Venable. Our repertoire draws on folk singing traditions from around the world. Some of the traditions we explore are hypnotic sacred rounds and chants, joyous South African freedom songs with gorgeous, easy to learn three part harmonies, mystical Jewish niguns, and uplifting modern circle songs.
We are a singing group, a talking and listening group, a place to get closer to spirit together. You don’t need know how to read music — songs are taught the old-fashioned way, by ear. Nor do you need to be a confident singer. Together, we create a safe space for singers at all levels of comfort and ability.
Our season ends with a sharing for friends and family. However, this is not primarily a performance-oriented group, and our meetings are not rehearsals. Mothersong Chorus is a place to take refuge in sisterhood and find strength in the uplift of shared song.
As a leader, I strive to foster natural singing. When we sing in this way, we are “in the flow”. Song seems to pour through us out into the world. It’s a mystical experience, a loss of self. When we experience it, we feel joy and release.
All of us have the potential to experience singing in this way. As a long time professional singer-songwriter and teacher, I’ve observed that usually, the main barrier to natural singing is tension in the body. The root causes of this tension are rarely physical– often, it is rooted in our thinking.
In this group, toning exercises help us overcome negative thought patterns so song can flow through us, pure and unobstructed. A supportive group culture helps us feel safe enough to bring our whole, authentic selves. What we bring is enough, and this group is a place to celebrate that.
Talking and Listening
Each Mothersong meeting also includes a brief period of small group discussion, using a format called World Cafe. In this framework, we take turns talking and practicing active listening. Everyone has a chance to speak and be heard. Each time, we learn a little more about each other, so that we can honor not only our voices, but also our truths.
Q: Do I need to be a mother to join this group?
A: No, our group is open to ALL female identified persons.
Q: Do I need to commit to the entire session?
A: Yes. This level of commitment helps us establish a warmly supportive culture where everyone feels safe.
Q: Can I try the group before I commit?
A: Yes. You are welcome to attend one meeting to try it out for free.
Q: Are auditions required for this group?
A: There is no formal audition. However, we do require that everyone can carry a tune while singing with other people. The great news is, this is totally a learnable skill! Occasionally, I may suggest that someone invest in private lessons to get a little extra support, either with me or with a different teacher.
Q: Can I join you after the season starts?
A: You may definitely join us any time in the first month and a half. You may also join us later in the season, with the permission of the director.
Q: Can I bring my child?
A: In a word, yes. The songs we sing are really on point for women and children aged 8 and up. However, there are a lot of younger children who come too, and one of our most enthusiastic singers is four years old! It really depends on the child’s individual temperament. You are welcome to bring your child, and let’s just see how it works for your child and your family.
We look forward to welcoming you to our circle!
To help keep Mothersong as accessible as possible, members pay at three possible tiers. Payment may be made all at once, or in four installments, payable in October, November, December and January.
Our season includes 21 meetings, including the final concert. The amounts below reflect paying $15, $20, or $25 per meeting plus a little extra to split the cost of venue rental for our final concert. You choose your payment tier.
- Full session $540, or four monthly payments of $135
- Full session $435, or four monthly payments of $109
- Full session $340, or four monthly payments of $85
This amount will be prorated based on when you join us.
* To returning members – just a note that the cost per meeting has not increased since last season… These slightly higher numbers simply reflect the fact that this season is slightly longer, including 21 meetings, instead of 19.
Thank you so much for supporting this group at the level you can afford.
Spring Season runs Sunday, January 27th through Saturday, June 8th.
We meet on Sunday afternoons, 3:30 – 5PM at Community Well. 78 Ocean Ave, San Francisco.
Our season ends with a performance and potluck reception for family and friends at the Noe Valley Ministry on Saturday, June 8th. Call time: 2:00 PM. Doors at 3:15 PM, concert at 3:30 PM.
Other Important Dates:
There is one additional meeting on Friday, June 7th, 2019, also at Community Well, from 5 – 7 PM
About the Director
Noe Venable is a singer and holistic music educator. As a singer-songwriter, Noe has released six albums of original music, which have earned her a loyal following throughout the world. Noe’s songs have appeared in film, and Noe has toured nationally with some of the greats, including Ani DiFranco.
As a teacher, Noe’s approach is grounded in the belief that everyone is musical. Her classes provide a safe space for beginners and experienced singers alike to explore the joy of making music together. Noe teaches people of all ages. For little ones, Noe leads Meadowlark Music Class, a nature inspired music class that children attend with a caregiver. For women and girls, she leads Mothersong Chorus, which brings an intergenerational group of women together weekly to sing.
Noe holds a masters degree from Harvard Divinity School, and a Waldorf teaching certificate from Antioch, New England. Noe’s work is grounded in her spiritual practice, which she continues to deepen through ongoing study with Isa Gucciardi of The Sacred Stream.
Mothersong Chorus is a beautiful environment in which to explore songs from around the world with other wonderful women. When I joined Mothersong, I hadn’t sung in an organized group in nearly 20 years, but my nerves were quickly calmed by Noe’s incredible warmth and welcoming nature. Noe is an exceptional music teacher with a rare gift of being able to make any singer comfortable with any new piece of music, and she is thoughtful, patient, and good-natured as she carefully pushes the group beyond our comfort zones. There is such richness in the music she chooses, in her gentle instruction, and in the experience of singing with such a caring group of women. The time I spend singing with Noe has quickly become some of my favorite moments each week, and I always look forward to her calm presence, her joyful instruction, her sincere encouragement, and of course her remarkable talent. Her enthusiasm for the music is contagious, and I have been lucky to sing with and learn from her.
Mothersong brings such joy and richness to my life. I love the diversity, beauty, and magic of the music as well as the sisterhood experience. I’m so grateful for what the Mothersong experience brings to my life!
Mothersong has been the first activity I have done for myself since having children. It is a joy simply to sing together with other women, to take risks knowing that I am held, and to have a chance to breathe and re-center each week.
I had been looking to reconnect with my musical voice when I heard that Noe was starting a chorus. I am a fan of Noe’s music and leapt at the chance to sing with her. Mothersong rehearsals quickly became one of the highlights of my week. I could not have found a better musical guide than Noe, nor a more supportive and all around lovely group of women with whom to share this experience.
Mothersong is a very special place where deep community and healing happen simply by being together in trust and song. It is incredibly restorative for mothers and all humans with busy lives and full minds.
Noe is a such a unique and beautiful person. She is encouraging, welcoming, and makes singing as a group an incredible experience for all, regardless of their previous singing experience. I look forward to the weekly Mothersong gatherings as a place of community where I can decompress after one week and re-energize for the next!