Mothersong Chorus is an intergenerational women’s singing circle. Our regular seasons run September through January, and February through June. However, many members of our community continue to meet over the summer, at our monthly drop in New Moon Circle for Women.
Mothersong Chorus is open to 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 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 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: 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, at the rate of $20 for that single meeting.
Q: Are auditions required for this group?
A: There is no formal audition. However, to ensure a high quality of experience for everyone, we do require that everyone can carry a tune while singing with other people. You do not ever need to be on your own on a part, but you do need to be able to carry your part singing in a group, while other groups sing different parts. Most people are able to do this, provided there are enough people around them singing the same thing. However, some people need a little extra help to master this skill. If you need support on this aspect of singing, I will recommend that you invest in some one on one lessons… And return to us when you’ve got it down!
Meanwhile, you are warmly welcome to join us for our monthly New Moon Circle for Women, which has no requirement of people being able to sing in tune, and which is attended by many members of the Mothersong community.
Q: Can I join you after the season starts?
A: You may join us mid season, with the permission of the director.
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. These tiers work out to around $15, $20, or $25 per meeting, plus a little extra to cover the renatl of our final venue. You choose your payment tier.
Tuition amounts for our fall season are coming soon – to give you a general picture, here were the amounts for spring:
- 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.
Thank you for supporting this group at the level you can afford.
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 established the parent-child program at Golden Bridges School, where she taught 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