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January 2011: Susanne has retired because of long-term health problems. See Home for more information.


In these workshops singers have the opportunity to explore the roles of inventor, arranger, back-up, lead and interpreter. Susanne lovingly brings each group through her playful curriculum of musical structures and prompts, keeping everyone singing. Adapted from theater games, her performance experience, what she has learned from Bobby McFerrin, David Darling and many other teachers, as well as her own sense of fun, these exercises help singers develop more confidence, creative play and range of expression.

[photo: Jamming away with Susanne Barkan, Sarah Buchholz, Kim Erslev, Marti Pomputius, Peter Wood and Sandy Johnson]

Singing is a highly personal activity.

Creating music right on the spot makes most people nervous.Knowing how important it is to establish a safe and supportive environment, Susanne sets the tone (pun intended!) for relaxed, energized learning. She has worked with a wide range of participants, from professional singers and songwriters, High School and College students to Retirees, people with many years of voice training, people with none, instrumentalists, teachers. "We all have gifts to bring to this work," Susanne says, "our first task is to get out of our own way and teach ourselves what's inside."
In these workshops singers may create a "Potluck Partita" a "Hum Circle" or a "Spontaneous Song."


January 2011: Susanne has retired because of long-term health problems. See Home for more information.

Some past projects include:

February 22, 2009: Taste of Toast & Jam Vocal Improv Workshop with Susanne Barkan in downtown Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts. 1:30 - 3:30pm, sliding scale $10 - $15.

Performances (solo and with vocalists from Toast & Jam Workshops)

Shelburne Falls Women's Club, Pothole Pictures, Greenfield Public Library, Riverfest Shelburne Falls, 2nd Sunday Coffeehouse (now Hilltown Folk), Arms Library, Univ of Mass Herter Gallery

Workshops, Classes and Coaching Sessions

Jan Term at Hampshire College, Four Winds School, Pioneer Valley All People's Gospel Choir, Pioneer Valley performing Arts Charter High School, Spontaneous Combustion performance coach, Music Class (based on Music Together) for Pre-School at Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School, Families in Tune (based on Music Together) at Artspace in Greenfield.

See What's Vocal Improv, Frequently Asked Questions, Cool Quotes, and Fan Mail for more of the flavor of Toast & Jam.