We welcome new members to join us for our Spring session!
We meet Sundays, 3:30 – 5PM at Community Well
Mothersong Chorus is an intergenerational women’s singing circle. We welcome women and children 8 and up to sing with us. (Babies welcome too!) 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 shape note music, a uniquely brash American tradition. 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 includes several opportunities to perform for friends, loved ones, and the wider community. 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.
Our season ends with a sharing for friends and family.
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 now voice 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. When we honor the beauty we see in one another, the music can’t help but be beautiful.
Q: Do I need to be a mother to join this group?
A: No, our group is open to ALL women.
Q: Do I need to commit to the entire session?
A: Most people do commit to the entire session. This level of commitment helps us establish a warmly supportive culture where everyone feels safe.
However, new this season, there are two types of situations where we allow drop-ins.
Drop in is $20 per meeting, and advance registration is required. There is no sliding scale for drop in.
Drop in is available through the end of April. This is also the latest point during the season that new members can join the group. Starting in May, we restrict our meetings to only full time Mothersong members, as we prepare for our final concert.
Who is eligible for drop in –
Who is Eligible for Drop In
1) People who want to try out the group. If you’re new, you can drop in try out a meeting (or a few meetings!) to see whether it’s a match for you. You don’t need to prepare in any way – just come jump in, and experience what Mothersong is about. We look forward to welcoming you!
Should you decide to commit to the full session, you will be able to take advantage of our sliding scale tuition at the rates listed below. (See “Payment”)
2) Experienced Mothersong participants from past seasons. If you’ve joined us regularly in the past, know that you are a valued member of this circle, even in absentia, and we want to stay in touch with you! So starting this season, I want to invite you to take advantage of drop in as a way to stay connected with the group.
Returning chorus members only: If you plan to drop in with any regularity you’ll need to use the rehearsal recordings to familiarize yourself with any songs you’ve missed.
Note that for all drop ins, advance registration and payment is required. It’s fine to do this same day, or even just the hour before.
You can choose to change from drop in to full session at the start of any calendar month. Once you are full session, you need to stay full session (monthly commitment) until the following season.
Why is Drop in Available Only Under Certain Conditions?
Really, for the benefit of everyone.
First, and most important, consistent membership allows us to create the kind of culture where everyone feels safe. (Especially important for newer singers!)
These limits also ensure that the group can have a good experience musically. To attend drop in for more than just a few introductory sessions, you need to know how to access and use practice recordings to keep up with the group. And you need to be confident enough musically that you will be able to handle coming in and out midstream without feeling too overwhelmed.
In rare cases, I may make exceptions to the above requirements, in the case of very experienced singers who the group already knows well from other settings. But this would be the exception rather than the rule.
One Policy Change Relevant to Full Members
Now that I’m adding this drop in option, I will no longer allow people to deduct for absences. If you know you’re going to miss more than a handful of meetings, and that is going to be a financial burden for you, I encourage you to take advantage of drop in.
Q: I want to join you for the season, but I know I won’t be able to make it every single week. Is that okay?
Full time members may need to miss now and then, and that is to be expected. Honestly, it is a rare person who is truly able to join us every single week. If you are absent for any length of time, we do ask that you take advantage of our rehearsal recordings to get up to speed on any material you’ve missed. You will receive that link after you are registered and the group is under way.
Q: Can I join you after the season starts?
A: Many do join us mid session. The first step is to register to drop in to try out the group.
We look forward to welcoming you to our circle!
To help keep Mothersong as accessible as possible, full time members may pay at three possible tiers. You may choose which tier you wish to pay at.
- Full session $475, or four monthly payments of $119
- Full session $365, or four monthly payments of $96
- Full session $295, or four monthly payments of $74
This amount will be prorated based on when you join us. If you are joining the group after dropping in, we will prorate the amount to reflect the date that you decided to become a full time member. (Eg. not retroactively, sorry.) You can change from drop in to full membership at the start of any calendar month.
Thank you for supporting this group at the level you can afford.
Spring Session Dates:
Sunday, January 28th – Sunday, June 3rd.
We meet Sunday afternoons from 3:30 – 5PM.
WHERE: Community Well, 78 Ocean Ave, SF.
We will not meet on Sunday, April 15th.
Other Important Dates
Sunday, June 3rd, 2018
Final Free Concert for Friends and Family at the Noe Valley Ministry!
- Call time: 2:15 PM
- Doors: 3:15
- Show: 3:30
- Reception 4:30 – 5
Friday, June 1st, 5:00 – 7PM
Additional meeting to prepare for final concert.
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. She also leads the parent-child program at Golden Bridges School, where she teaches indoor and outdoor child observation classes for families. 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.
What People are Saying
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.Elizabeth, SF
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!Sasha, SF
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.Laura, SF
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.Beth, SF
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!Jennifer, SF