Creating Light in the Darkness

Days grow shorter, and colder. I sleep later, snuggled warm under my down comforter. Drink more tea, unwittingly participate in a ritual older than time as we reckon it in the western world. The art of making tea. The choosing, the heating of water, the waiting for steeping, for transformation. And just as the flame under the kettle warms the water that joins with the leaf to create a magical combination or warmth and comfort. Of healing and nourishment, I too can be that warmth, that light in the darkness for another. 

These are the things I think about at this time of year. A time when we can feel isolated. When the darkness outlasts the light, we tend to turn inward. For some that is a welcome respite from a busy world and the demands we face every day. For others such solitude is loneliness, and isolation. The darkness can be overwhelming...

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Sharon CostianesComment
Crafting Clarity in Relationship

“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.” ~ Brene Brown, Daring Greatly

I am part of a group online: "Why I did Feldenkrais today." There are so many answers to this question. For many Feldenkrais is a means to manage chronic pain, inflammation, or ease and flexibility. For me, it's to clear my lens.

I believe that I (my body, spirit, mind, all of it) am the lens through which I perceive the world. When I am in physical or emotional pain, my lens is clouded. 

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Sing & Heal

My singers have a ritual when they come for lessons. The tea kettle is turned on, and they make themselves a cuppa. It brews while we warm up, and before long they're happily sipping between exercises. As singers, our bodies are our instruments, and we must learn to maintain them. Voice lessons with me often include tips and suggestions ...

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SUPER STOCK! Immune boosting soup to fend off the ick.

As the Heartstone Herbal School "Food Goddess", I've had a LOT of requests for recipes over the years. This is one I've been making each season when the students study the immune system. The stock (veggie or bone based) is infused with herbal magic to fend off the baddies. The soup itself, reminiscent of Thai Tom Kha, is finished with an extra kick that will have the germs running for the hills!

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Cabaret teaser video!

Rehearsal for "The Musical Theater Geek's Guide to History" was awesome today! These young men and women sound amazing!! 

What's even more satisfying for me is hearing the potential in each and every voice. And rewarding to hear past students coming into their own. Here is Sari Koppel in rehearsal singing "At the Glen" from Dessa Rose.

I do hope you can join us tomorrow to see Sari and many other fantastic singers in person. 3:00 pm at the UU church in Ithaca. For more information: http://www.bodysongcenter.com/#/vocal-studies/

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Sharon CostianesComment
Voice Scholarship Fund Supports Local Teen

It has been said that art imitates everything from life to bad tv to high school. In our ever-evolving attempt to comprehend and connect to the human experience, we are driven to create.

A few years back, my voice students begged me to let them put on a Cabaret. Not just a recital where they stand there and sing some nice songs, sometimes in Italian. But a true performance where THEY got to choose what to sing and how to put it all together.

They are truly artists. The urge to create and express something overwhelms them. Something deep in their hearts pushes them to perform, to sing, to express this thing about living that can't be expressed otherwise.

"So can we do it? a Cabaret?" 

I said, "SURE! You're on." And then, they insisted that they had friends with this same drive. This same desire to learn how to refine their singing to help them tell their stories too. "They needed the help of a teacher like you!" they said.

"But they can't afford it.

Can we create a Scholarship for them?" 

Out of the generosity of past and current students emerged the now-annual Body Song Cabaret, a scholarship fundraiser to support students in need. Each year, one student comes to study with me based on the support of this scholarship fund. So far, it hasn't quite been enough to support tuition 100%. But it certainly helps.

(For more information about this year's March 19th Cabaret, "the Musical Theater Geek's Guide to History" including performance details click here.)

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Gratitude and Honey Sweetened Cranberry Sauce

Each November, if only for one day, we pause as a nation to share what we are grateful for. This  year, I am particularly grateful for my work. It feels like a dream some days that I can support my family doing the healing work that I love. Whether it is on a Feldenkrais table, or class, or teaching a singing lesson, there is a sweetness to my day that leaves me happier and more fulfilled without fail. So as I prepare for the holiday meal with my family, I want to say thank you. And share some deliciousness. A honey sweetened cranberry sauce recipe that came out oh so delicious!

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