This activity will run as part of the Sunset Ridge after school program
Register now for Forest Voices Choir at Sunset Ridge!
Calling all Kids who Love to SING
Humming in the car, belting along to your Spotify playlist – you weren’t sure for a while, but now it can no longer be denied. Your child loves to SING!
How can you feed this budding interest?
Private singing lessons? Maybe you even tried that, but your child was underwhelmed by learning the mechanics of singing, and by singing alone with the piano.
Turns out they don’t want to stand there one on one with a teacher who directs them how to stand, breathe, and improve their pitch.
They just want to sing!
Isn’t there some place where they can just do that along with some other kids who love singing too? A place that lets them explore singing in a playful, holistic, developmentally appropriate way?
I get it!
As a professional songleader and singer-songwriter who grew up singing in choruses, I know how much fun singing can be.
But I also know that vocal instruction as I experienced it, where we sat still, glued to our music stands, can be a developmental mismatch for kids who need to move.
I want you to know that chorus doesn’t have to be that way!
As a songleader, I’ve spent fifteen years developing an approach to singing that’s embodied, playful and fun. I like to call it authentic singing. It’s based on the idea that who we are is enough, and singing is a chance to celebrate that. To this day, I’ve brought authentic singing to many hundreds of families through my choruses and classes, and learned so much along the way.
Now I’m drawing on all of that experience to create a brand new, pilot offering – a choral experience for the whole child!
Note: Full transparency – this is a stock image. We look forward to meeting the kids who climb aboard for the first season of Forest Voices!
What Your Child Will Learn
Authentic Singing – How to sing with freedom, authenticity, and joy
Self-Confidence – Develop greater confidence not only in your singing voice, but also in who you are
Deep Listening – Listening is the foundation of musicianship, but it’s also an important life skill.
Social Skills – Connect with other kids through the joyful activity of making music together.
Mindfulness – Awareness of the body, the breath, and of the self in relationship.
How to Perform – Our season closes with the chance to share our songs with the wider community. Kids learn how to rise to the challenge of performance, including overcoming stage fright, making their voices heard, and more.
The Songs – Twelve joy-igniting spells your child will love. Learn them today, sing them for a lifetime.
Your Registration Includes
CHOIR WITH NOE
Your child will enjoy sixteen weeks of energizing weekly vocal instruction, plus a closing concert for family and friends.
We provide high quality practice recordings to help make learning easy. We ask that children listen to these recordings at least once a week between meetings.
Participation in a vibrant musical community of children and families, who are all taking part in Forest Voices.
Show your Forest Voices spirit with an equitably sourced, locally printed official Forest Voices t-shirt, designed by Peregrine Venable, age 7.
Note: This being a pilot offering, the testimonials that you see below come from Noe’s other offerings, including singing circles, music classes, and musical birthday parties. Thanks for your understanding while we build this from the ground up!
I’m so thrilled to hear Noe will start up a children’s chorus. Our eldest has been attending Noe’s music classes since she was 6 months old, so transitioning to children’s singing with Noe will be a dream. In my experience at Mothersong, I love that Noe teaches us how to sing from an embodied, connected place, which is so different than other singing I’ve experienced. In singing with Noe, I learn about energy, grounding, connection, teamwork, support, bravery and care, and I can’t think of a better way to introduce my daughter to both the joy of singing and the subtle work of grounding and energy work than in Noe’s care!
Beautiful heartwarming experience I was looking for weekly! Noe’s leading is so gentle and thoughtful. The singing circle made me feel connected to community, especially in these isolating times.
It’s a real trek for me to get my daughter and myself to a singing circle with Noe but I have repeatedly found that I am energized, inspired, nurtured and SO glad we made the effort. Noe is such a gifted song leader, teacher and spiritual guide. We are supported on multiple levels when we spend time with her. The songs are always magical and a doorway to so much more, too. Can’t recommend her singing circles highly enough!
If you’re on the fence about having Noe play at your kid’s party, don’t hesitate for one more second. Noe gave our party a beautiful calmness that kids and parents alike appreciated. She is warm and engaging, wonderful with kids, entertaining to watch, and effortlessly captivated the whole party with everyone sitting in her music circle for her set. I could have Noe at every kid’s birthday party for the next 7 years and not get tired of it. Do yourself a favor and have her at your next event, you’ll actually feel relaxed after! If we could, we’d hire her to play for our kids nightly before bed!
Noe is an absolute gem! She was so generous with her time and created the perfect centering activity for my daughter’s birthday party. Noe is incredibly attuned to children and their developmental stages and provided a fun, loving, and beautiful musical experience that brought me (and some of my guests) to tears. I want to invite Noe back to ALL future birthday parties! Both children and adults alike were absolutely mesmerized. Everyone continues to talk about Noe’s music a full week after the party! Thank you so much for being an incredible artist and sharing so many fantastic musical experiences with Bay Area families, Noe!
I want you to know that the songs are starting to live in my body. I hear myself singing on the way to work, while folding clothes and walking our dog. This is medicine. Thank you for creating this community.
What We Sing
This group starts out with unison singing, and may build up to rounds and two part harmony, depending on the age spread of the group. Some of the types of songs we sing are
- Modern circle songs with uplifting messages to help develop positive self esteem and a sense of belonging
- Gorgeous world folk songs
- Songs to energize and inspire, often integrating choreographed movements and body percussion
- A note regarding cultural respect. As a white bodied song leader, I recognize the harm caused by cultural appropriation. For this reason, when teaching songs from cultures other than my own Jewish and Celtic lineage, I teach only those songs for which I have direct permission and / or enough contextual knowledge to represent the tradition accurately and with respect.
If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.
– IGNACIO ESTRADA
Forest Voices Choir will meet after school at Sunset Ridge as part of the afterschool program on Thursdays from 2:45 – 3:45 PM. in the music room, also known as portable 1. Children should go to the library upon dismissal, and I will pick them up from the library at 2:45 PM.
Schedule: The group will run from Thursday, October 5th to Thursday, January 11th, skipping Thursdays that align with school vacations.
Our Thursday, January 11th meeting will be an informal performance for family and friends, held at our regular meeting time.
There will also be an additional optional opportunity to perform at a more formal concert and reception on Saturday, January 20th at the Noe Valley Ministry, 1021 Sanchez St., San Francisco (Save 2:15 PM – 5:30 PM that afternoon for that event.)
For that concert, we will be joined by three other cohorts of Forest Voices Choir from around the Bay Area, as well as members of Mothersong Chorus, a community choir for women and non-binary folks.
Children who participate in the January 20th concert will also need to join us for one additional rehearsal on Wednesday, January 17th at 4PM at the Noe Valley Ministry.
Hear the Music
Here’s one of the songs we’ll sing ~ Little Piece of Sun by Jes Karper
Who’s it for?
Frequently Asked Questions
The cost of this group works out to $24 per hour long class, plus $15 materials fee for the T-shirt, payable either up front or in installments.
This covers the cost of venue rental for the final concert, licensing fees for music, creating practice recordings, Noe’s teaching and planning time, and the official Forest Voices T-shirt, to be worn at performances (and whenever your child likes.)
We also have scholarships available for those in need.
About the Director
Noe Venable is a songleader with fifteen years experience. In New York, she was music director for the Brooklyn Waldorf School, where she taught music to grades 1 – 6 and led several choruses. After leaving that position to become a mother, she taught music to homeschoolers, drawing on Orff, Kodaly, and Waldorf pedagogy, while also maintaining a lively private teaching studio.
Since moving back to the Bay Area in 2015, her main offerings have been Noe’s Garden Magical Music Class for young children and Mothersong Chorus for women and nonbinary folks, which to date have brought heart centered music making to more than a thousand families.
Also a singer-songwriter, Noe has released eight critically acclaimed albums of original folk music for grown ups and an additional eight albums for children and has toured the US in support of Ani Di Franco, They Might Be Giants and many other well known artists, and has cultivated a worldwide following of like minded folk drawn to nature, spirituality, and the creative path.
Noe holds an MTS from Harvard Divinity School. She is also a certified practitioner of Depth Hypnosis and Applied Shamanic Counseling as taught by Dr. Isa Gucciardi, and is also an ordained interfaith minister of the Buddhist Foundation of the Sacred Stream.
What Do You Think?
I want to give you a heads up that while Forest Voices is a pilot offering, a lot of people have expressed interest in it, and group size will be limited.