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Harp Retreat: Choreography of Sound, Silence, and Movement

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013


    Workshop and Retreat 


Oct. 4-6, 2013


   The Choreography


   Sound,  Silence, and  Movement

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Wherever in nature rest and movement meet, rhythm appears.
—L.F.C. Mees, Secrets of the Skeleton

This Music Retreat and Workshop for Harpists, entitled the Choreography of Sound, Silence, and Movement, will focus on the rhythmic body and include integrative bodywork to help us attune to our natural rhythms as musicians.

This workshop is open to musicians and musician-clinicians who seek a contemplative, embodied approach to their harp study and performance. It is suitable for all who have some previous experience with the harp, from beginner to advanced levels. You are invited to come prepared to play two pieces of material from your repertoire. Workshop materials will be adapted to each student’s needs.

CranioSacral Therapy and Reiki will be included as integrative modes of bodywork known to release tension as we are helped to come into alignment physically, mentally, and emotionally. Integrative Body Work is based on the belief in the inherent wisdom of the body and its natural capacity to be always turning toward balance and wholeness. We will listen deeply to the wisdom that resides in the stories stored within our very cells. These subtle modalities help us reconnect with our body as a musical nervous system, integrating our musical explorations and enabling us to hear more clearly the often muted natural rhythms that have lived within us since birth.

Harp lecture and demonstration, as well as ensemble and solo playing within a supportive group setting will enable an embodied learning experience. Each participant will receive a private harp lesson and a private bodywork session, as well as guided explorations, master classes, and opportunities to play together throughout the weekend.


As prelude to gathering together with our varied musical experiences, hopes, and dreams, I share some of my thoughts on rhythm and the musical nervous system that will inform this workshop:

As musicians, deep listening is being called forth from us: deep listening to the subtle rhythms of our bodies and to the sounding world wanting to emerge through us. In our musical work together, we will experience the sensation of sound physically and musically as we meet and release the harp strings, and emotionally and spiritually as the activity of music making continues to resound within us in thought, word, and image. The harp will be our guide in our musical explorations. The voice of the harp is soft; it is a voice meant for listening and intimacy, a voice meant for revelation.  It asks us to feel.  It frees us to feel once again.

In this contemplative way – with the integration of breath, feeling, thought, and movement – the rhythmic body and soul are brought together as a listening instrument with the potential for transformative musical expression. We find a place where our leadings can be held and transformed, a way in which they can be released into the world in their rhythmic forming and reforming. Our sounding ultimately becomes a revelatory silence, a silence that heals us, and the world, in many subtle and unforeseen ways.

And so . . .       

the development of will is needed to stand between the two poles of  pulse and rhythm. The greatest challenge is to become more conscious of how rhythm exists in the body, and how it can be expressed with authenticity in relation to our musical experience in the world. Through our release of the string, and breathing movement from note to note and phrase to phrase, our inner rhythmic life is uncovered and revealed. 

    We can experience ourselves as losing our place “in time”, or being out of synchronization with the music that is wanting to flow through us. How do we learn to live in attunement with our unique rhythms so that we ‘become’ the lyrical melody that moves and heals one another through its beauty and authenticity. 

Music is the experience of cyclic time.

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Winter Apple Tree at the Westmore Honeybee Sanctuary

Important Information and Details: 

Inexpensive accommodations are available. If your group desires a lake cottage setting, I would be happy to find a lake house rental, with a possible additional housing cost that would be shared among the people attending. There are certainly many lovely houses with a large living space amidst the beauty of the lake that would support group sessions, with small rooms for lessons and bodywork.  Either way, a tentative schedule might be:
Harp Retreat and Workshop  (weekends or during the week). Please come prepared with two pieces of repertoire for Master Classes.

Friday: Leisurely arrival during the day, Dinner at 5:30, Introductory 1 and 1/2 hour Harp Lecture and Demonstration, (class ensemble sessions are interwoven throughout the weekend to support musical integration)

Saturday: morning silent meditation (see below) followed by breakfast, morning private one hour Harp Lesson and private one hour Integrative Bodywork session (Lessons/Sessions interspersed through the day dependent on the number of people attending), lunch and free time, later afternoon 1 and 1/2 hour Maser Class / Lecture Demonstration, Dinner, Evening one hour mentored class Ensemble session

Sunday: Morning meditation followed by breakfast, morning 1 and 1/2 hour Master Class /Lecture and Demonstration,  lunch followed by a gathering for final Ensemble Synthesis and Circle Dance (see below) ending at 3 pm.

We invite you to begin each day with the interweaving of silence and sound through a half hour silent meditation together.  A simple meditative circle dance will then set the tone for the day, beginning the activation of our musical nervous system as we enter harp sessions.  As well, at the end of the day, a meditative circle dance will bring us into rhythmic alignment as we enter into the dream work of sleep and synthesis.

In season, some teaching and practicing may occur in the Forest Green Room, an open air space with canopy now being developed in the forest at the Honeybee Sanctuary; and as always, time for swimming and walking around beautiful Lake Willoughby keeps us grounded within the music of the land.

All fresh, organic meals supplied:
Breakfast: Self-served choices from the kitchen from 8 am to 9 am
Lunch: Picnic basket lunch to eat alone or with others, in your room, on a walk, on the beach . . .
Dinner: Hot shared meal in the evening, gathering together (or a person may choose to have a   quiet time alone, if desired)

 For those flying in, harps will be provided at a small additional cost.  Please contact me at  or  if a harp is needed.

     Costs:  includes tuition, lodging, all organically prepared meals with vegetarian options

  $300. Includes Tuition, Lodging, and organically prepared food 

$150. per person to secure Reservation (non-refundable).

Remaining Payment due at beginning of Retreat: $150.00

     Additional Retreat dates are available.

This Retreat and Workshop is available for weekends or weekdays.

For further Information and Scheduling Date Availability

please contact me at

Other possible Retreat themes are available upon request.

 Registration  may be completed by sending a non-refundable deposit of $150.00 by check to:  Linda Schneck, 423 Goodwin Mtn. Lane, Orleans VT, 05860, or by using the Paypal option below.

 The remaining amount will be due by cash or check at the beginning of the retreat. 

Tuition, Room, & Board

                                                      A Choreography of Sound, Silence, and Movement: A Workshop and Retreat for Harpists

©  Photographs and Text  2013

Linda Schneck, M.A., CMTh

MaryLiz Riddle, B.A., Lic.PT,  Reiki II, CSTherapist



 Ancient Female Harpist in a Chinese Sui Dynasty tomb (589 – 618 AD)

CD Now Available!

Thursday, December 20th, 2012
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Westmore Honeybee Sanctuary



Transforming Light  – Harp and Honeybees, Spirit and Earth:

A Contemplative Musician’s Journey








Movement I. Transforming Light
1. Bees in Summer 1:16
2. Surprised by Joy 2:31
3. Heart Psalm 1:28
4. Music of the Wind 0:59

Movement II. A Phenomenology of Mercy
5. Humbled Bones 2:56
6. Legacy 2:38
7. Not as the World Gives to You 2:54
8. Following the Path of the Gartan Mother 3:37

Movement III. Sounding Silence
9. Autumnal Equinox 0:54
10. Mercy of the Bells 2:05
11. Wisdom 2:12
12. Lorica 2:23

Movement IV. In Revery
13. Coyotes in Moonlight 2:17
14. Lux 1:47
15. Salve mater 2:58
16. Woodpecker Rhythms 1:50

Recorded & Produced in 2012 by Linda Schneck
Recorded & Mastered at Soundesign Recording Studio, Brattleboro Vermont
Design by Coveside Designs
Partial funding for development of this CD made possible by a Rural Business Enterprise Grant through the Northern Community Investment Corporation from USDA Rural Development.

Order CD and Booklet

If you are interested in ordering the CD with booklet, please submit your order below using PayPal.
  • Price: $15.00 Quantity:
    28 page Booklet and CD with 16 tracks

New CD Transforming Light

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Transforming Light - Harp and Honeybees, Spirit and Earth: A Contemplative Musician’s Journey is now available!  A meditation on music and the sounding life, this recording includes a 28 page booklet with written text and photographs that gather the music into four delicately framed movements.  Please see excerpts below.

. . .  Living and working as a contemplative musician, I seek the sounding life not only within my own imagination, but within the imagination of the land where I dwell.  The sounding vibration of the honeybees, the almost constant murmuring of the wind, the darkening call of the coyotes, the rhythmic pronouncements of the downy woodpecker – these are all elements of the acoustic ecology of this land.  They inform and inspire my sounding world as each reveals qualities of transforming light in daily relationship with earth and spirit.

. . .   As I use a harp technique that combines fingernail and fingerpad touch, tone can emanate crystalline purity or sun-like warmth . . . Tones are truly released, and so the activity of their combinations is imagined and hoped for, but not fully controlled . . .

. . .   Revery implies an undulating flow of thought, feeling, and inspiration.  We listen within so as to be awake to the thoughts that yearn forward into the world, the thoughts that are meant to come through our own unique physical, emotional, and spiritual make-up.  I think of this subtle element of our being as our musical nervous system.  Our musical nervous system reveals musicality as an activating gesture embedded within our very existence, drawing us into ever-expanding circles of sound and silence, light and dark, movement and stillness, essence and being.