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  HOME ABOUT GIGs DISCs CHOIR Voice Movement work

JANUARY 11 – 18, 2020
Puerto Morelos, MEXICO

A weeklong workshop for singers at a retreat villa in this beautiful seaside village on the Yucatan Peninsula.

Puerto Morelos is only 25km from the Cancun airport, making it an accessible destination for a winter retreat. There are direct flights from Ottawa and Montreal.

We will arrive Saturday and meet for a communal supper. Our singing work begins Sunday. We’ll sing each day for 6 days, ending with a communal supper on Friday night. We’ll sing and move in a lovely studio space, and an outdoor gazebo and on the beach. Each day there will be time to enjoy each other’s company; participate in various extra-curricular activities; or simply relax in the gorgeous natural environment.

We have space for 7 more people. We currently have 19 registered and can accommodate up to 26 participants.


pool & villa We have chosen to hold our singing retreat at Villa Shanti. This beautiful villa is just a two-minute walk to the ocean and has a beautiful pool and patio tables where you can cool off and relax in a quiet environment during the day. The whole villa has been reserved for us!
studio We will do most of our singing in the yoga studio or outside in the gazebo, and maybe even on the beach.
bedroom kitchenette Each apartment has a private bathroom with daily maid service, a small fridge and a kitchenette area with a pantry to store some groceries if you chose to have your breakfasts and lunches on site.

Puerto Morelos is a small fishing village – many of the restaurants will serve you the catch of the day.  There are several very pleasant dining venues to choose from.  You can expect to pay around $20 CAD for a very good meal including an alcoholic beverage and 15% tip. There is also a newly built grocery store where you will find everything you need.

People can rent bikes for the day(s) or do a bike tour in the village and surrounding areas. Snorkeling and diving are two very popular activities in Puerto Morelos, their National Park is the second largest coral reef in the world and is a must if you are a lover of the underwater life. Another popular activity is a visit to one of the many cenotes in the area (2 hours from Puerto Morelos). This activity is usually combined with a guided tour in the Mayan jungle to learn more about the medicinal plants and trees that have been around for hundred of years. The morning ends with a lovely meal prepared by a Mayan family where you get to learn how to prepare handmade corn tortillas and learn to speak the Mayan language.

sunset beach There is lots of live music in different restaurants from Flamenco to Jazz. All along the beach you will find places to enjoy great margaritas and watch the pelicans dry their wings near the peer. We think it’s worth mentioning that, unlike some other destinations in Mexico, Puerto Morelos has a reputation as being a very safe place, even for walking at night. 

What to expect in the workshop – We will spend 2+ hours per day in the singing workshop. This will include moderate movement – think expressive dance or tai chi – no one is pushed to do that which they are not willing or able to do. You will be exposed to various elements of the singing practice – always mindful that the JOY of singing is the primary focus here. Singing outside of the workshop hours is highly encouraged.

Here's what will be included:

  • daily warm-ups, which include some vocal skill building;
  • moderate movement with and without musical accompaniment
  • learning short, harmony-rich songs;
  • an introduction to vocal sound healing and chanting – not attached to any religious practice or dogma;
  • an introduction to vocal improv (if participants want this – it's not mandatory)

Do not expect sheet music – there may not be any. The ability to read music is not required. Most songs will be either taught by ear and we may even create some collaboratively, on the spot!

Expect to have fun while learning new skills, expanding your own expressive territory, and singing as a group. The web is full of articles outlining the many physical and psychological benefits of singing with others. These benefits include: enhanced social engagement and sense of belonging; release of tension and anxiety; increased sense of well-being, calmness and resolution; cardio vascular and respiratory health; alleviation of muscle tension and physical aches and pains; enhanced listening skills; an improvement in general alertness; and elevated endorphins. Here is an article that briefly outlines how singing changes your brain. And this one is a compelling TEDTalk about how singing together benefits us.

Do not expect perfection! This workshop is for singers of varying abilities. Each singer is a valued member of the group, no matter their ability or musical background. You will be encouraged to participate with open-heartedness, non-judgement and a willingness to do your best.

There is no concert at the end. We are singing for ourselves. That said, if people decide they want to gather on the beach to 'show-off' what they've created, no problem!

With regards to the workshop schedule: we will schedule the worshop hours to accomodate activities such as trips to the coral reef and the cenotes.





REGISTER: by deposit $500, full payment due by Nov 8, 2019

Early-bird rate: Passed

May 4 – September 6:  $1000

September 7 – November 8: $1100

Single occupancy (private room) add $750 to any of the above rates
Flights, ground transportation, extra-curricular activities food & drinks are NOT included.

Payment cn be made in cash, by cheque or e-transfer. We do not accept credit cards.To set up your payment, please contact Louise Chatelain.

For more information about the program, please contact Chris MacLean.