Thank you for supporting the Music Education GEL Trip !

The Shenandoah Conservatory Music Education program will travel to Nantes, France for its first ever GEL trip experience to develop improvisational singing skills and community singing. 

 Dates: May 28 – June 4, 2023 

Free improvisational singing, or circle singing, creates a rich texture of vocal sounds and can be done with little to no experience. It fosters a sense of creative emotional expression. Circle singing with children and adolescents in school music programs not only helps to develop their improvisation skills with their voice or instrument, but also builds a sense of community. 

This trip is designed to build these skills for pre-service and in-service music educators to use with their students. Participants will learn various techniques used in free improvisation and circle singing as well as lead impromptu community singing as we travel. 

Participants will work with SU alum, Erwan Noblet, a specialist in free improvisational circle singing, a topic he researched while completing his Master of Contemporary Vocal Pedagogy in 2019. He has also studied with Bobby McFerrin and Rhiannon to further his skills in vocal improvisation. He is currently pursuing a doctorate at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, focusing on critical studies in improvisation. Erwan is from western France and will serve as our clinician in Nantes. Prior to coming to the U.S. to study, he lived and worked in Nantes for many years, which makes him the perfect clinician and host. Our last two days will be in Paris, during which we will continue singing and learning about the history and culture that will surround us. 
Questions? Please contact Shenandoah Conservatory Director of Development Melanie Mathewes at (540) 665-4733 or