Kirtan Flight School
“If you can’t teach me to fly, then teach me to sing.”
– from Peter Pan by Sir James Barrie
When you participate in a Kirtan, the call and response form of mantra chanting, you’re not just listening to the music: you are the music. As the audience for Kirtan continues to expand, many people are becoming inspired to participate in Kirtan groups, or introduce chanting to their yoga classes. If you are one of those people, whether you are an experienced musician or a beginner, this workshop is for you.
Instruction for all levels in Switzerland is offered in English, German and French.
Deposits are non-refundable. Registrations can be re-assigned to another person at any time with no penalty. Cancellations made less than 30 days in advance are subject to a 10% administrative fee.
What to Expect:
No previous musical experience is necessary. Participants are organized into small ensembles. Each ensemble chooses a chant, rehearses it together, and presents a Kirtan to the rest of the groups.
The instructors rotate through the groups, working closely with the participants to develop rhythmic and harmonic concepts, solve problems, and answer questions.
Instruction will be offered in playing the harmonium and finger cymbals. Participants are also encouraged to bring their own musical instruments with them, but it is understood that the most important instruments are human voices and hands.
The emphasis is on writing and presenting original kirtan compositions, improvisation, leading your own ensemble and advanced arrangement and performance techniques.
Participants should have completed at least one previous Kirtan Flight School at the Introductory Level, or be actively leading regular kirtans with a local community. Proficiency in playing a musical instrument is recommended.
Comments from a recent Esalen workshop:
“This was the most profound and moving experience I have ever had. Flight School is brilliantly conceived, well presented, and rich in support, knowledge and learning.”
“An amazing space for self-inquiry, personal and musical growth using Kirtan as a vehicle.”
“One of the most healing experiences of my life. Dave Stringer is loving, committed, ingenious and fun!”
“Words cannot describe the joy and experience of it all. Perfect team, perfect structure, perfectly amazing workshop.”
“Absolutely fabulous. I signed up for this workshop thinking it was going to be light and only about singing kirtan… but what a journey of transformation and self-discovery it turned out to be!”
“The best music workshop I have ever attended.”
Kirtan Flight School Video
What is Kirtan?
The call and response form of mantra chanting known as Kirtan is a consciousness-transforming practice, directing the singers to vanish into the song as drops merge into the ocean. Participants in kirtans often experience a profound sense of unity, well-being and timelessness. The form is simple: a lead group calls out the melodies. The crowd responds, clapping and dancing as the rhythm builds and accelerates. The mantras quiet the mind, and the music frees the heart. Ecstasy is both the process and the product.
“Immerse yourself in the rapture of music. You know what you love. Go there.”
– The Radiance Sutras