Leading and Listening: A Weekend Workshop for Emerging Community Songleaders

Sep 07, 2024 9:00AM—Sep 08, 2024 5:00PM


Marine Mills Folk School, 550 Pine Street, Marine on St Croix, MN 55047

Cost $150.00 or Pay it Forward $250.00

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Song Circle Sabrina Partridge Leading

Leading and Listening: 

A Weekend Workshop for Emerging Community Songleaders.

Dates: Saturday, September 7th and Sunday, September 8th, 9:00-5:00 each day plus Saturday evening informal gathering for song and play.
Location: Marine Mills Folk School, 550 Pine St, Marine on St Croix, MN 55047    

**IMPORTANT:  PLEASE READ NOW! Are you affiliated with a folk school or other grassroots community learning organization? If so, we may be able to provide you with a scholarship to attend. *Please email the name of the folk school to Info@marinemillsfolkschool.org and we will contact you with more information.

song circle Annie Leading.Are you excited about Community Singing? Would you like to help gather people in your home community to twine voices and hearts in this all-voices-welcomed way? Are you intrigued about the possibility of helping to lead songs yourself?

Join Annie Schlaefer, Linnea Champ, Sarina Partridge, and Liz Rog to learn and practice together the tools of community songleading. We will touch on many of the skills involved in successfully getting other folks singing including: teaching in a clear call & response style, picking the right song for the moment, finding a good starting pitch, showing the rhythm and melody in your body, building confidence, and modeling joyful and welcoming humility.

At this workshop you will find connection to 30 other emerging songleaders; a chance to practice among supportive peers; songs and resources galore; and encouragement to go home and continue on the path!We’ll talk about the history and culture of community singing. We’ll consider the singing wounds of our society and how we can be part of the healing. We’ll prepare to offer and receive hospitality through singing in community!

We can learn to serve in brave, humble, and collaborative leadership. This weekend is a time to begin, using the simple tools of song, conversation, slow-time, and good food. I have something to offer: how do I prepare myself to hold space? What practical and spiritual tools do I need? How can my leadership empower others? How do I listen well to the voices around me even as I am asking for their listening? When is it time to rest?

We’ll gather around these questions, and the form we use is songleading. We’ll stand as witnesses to each other’s stepping up, celebrating the different strengths and styles of each and all. The tools we practice can be used in everyday settings: around a kitchen table, in houses of worship, in healing spaces, in movements for change. Our workshop is a circle of belonging, and each person returns home with their own version of what it means to hold space with grace, energy, and ever-growing skill. This is the beginning.

If you feel called to begin or continue learning how to lead others in song and can hold a tune and rhythm reasonably well, this is for you. You don’t need to be a school-trained singer/musician, but even if you are, there is still plenty for you to learn at this workshop.


Weekend of Learning Details:

Accommodations possibilities:

 William O’Brien State Park – 3 miles away from MMFS

Stillwater Hotels and Airbnb’s – 15 Miles south of MMFS

Airbnb’s close to Marine on St. Croix, MN

Free Camping outside Marine Mills Folk School/inside if bad weather (reserve your spot by contacting Kirsten, info@marinemillsfolkschool.org). 

**Meals are provided as part of registration:

Lunch – Make your own sandwich, salad, and fruit

Afternoon Snack – yogurt, nuts, and fruit

Evening meal:  Vegetarian lasagne, french bread, salad, and cookies


Continental Breakfast including fruit, nuts, vegetable egg bake, donuts

Lunch – Make your own sandwich, salad, and fruit

Afternoon Snack – yogurt, nuts, fruit

**If you have special dietary needs, please complete this form and click submit.


Are you affiliated with a folk school or other  grassroots community learning organization? If so, we may be able to provide you with a scholarship to attend. *Please email the name of the folk school to Info@marinemillsfolkschool.org and we will contact you with more information.

Just ADDED!  A Friday evening Song Circle for all Songleader Training participants and the St. Croix Valley Community!

A SPECIAL Community Song Circle (All Ages) Friday Evening, September 6, 2024


Choose one option:

Training and Meals:  $150 per person

Training, Meals, and Paying it forward:  $250 per person

Words from past workshop participants: 

“I learned that song leading is a form of radical presence to the moment, and to the people holding this moment with you. That the success of leading a song depends upon an immense receptivity to the hearts & voices in the room, to their collected energy, to the group as it seeks wholeness, adventure, harmony. And a willingness to trust the group to co-create the moment with you.”

“I learned that song leading is also a way of listening, a way of listening in together for a way towards each other, dreaming new and more loving ways of relating in and beyond the group. That we catch songs, but they also catch us, entwine us in new & beautiful & bewildering forms of intimacy & growth.”

“I’ve been feeling so much gratitude for the way we learned that singing can open up space for challenge, for vulnerability, for the silence of unknowing. How the “leader” component of song leader also emerged through our grappling with some of the complex and crucial questions of our times: cultural appropriation, sexual violence, rage, love, justice… how song community can respond or attend or witness. It makes me glad to know that the ways we will all lead songs include these questions, and a willingness to hear many truths, to feel, to adjust our perceptions, to struggle with finding words that suffice, to not give up the struggle, and to notice how different it feels when it is shared.” 

Song Circle, Sabrina Leading

“I especially appreciated how for a couple days I felt what it’s like to live in a world filled with song. It felt as though a song could begin at any moment–and in many of the moments a song did begin! Songs for blessing meals and blessing each other, songs for late night fun, songs for waking up, songs to support friends, songs for expressing rage, songs to get to know each other better, songs to tell stories, songs for saying goodbye… That’s what I’ve been thinking about since. How can I use the specific song leading tools I learned to spread that magical feeling throughout more of my life?”

“I appreciated the format of the course, which included personal sharing from participants, learning and singing songs, gaining practical knowledge of technique, and also an opportunity for students to teach a song to the group. It was the right amount of singing vs. spoken information.

If you have any questions concerning this training please email Liz Rog at Liz@decorahnow.com or Kirsten Skoglund at info@marinemillsfolkschool.org. See you in September in Marine on St. Croix!