© 2019 Benjamin Mertz

Workshops

Benjamin leads choral workshops on Black Spiritual music and other music of the African diaspora.  He also leads singing workshops in professional development settings.

Benjamin's music is non-denominational and non-dogmatic.  He has worked not only with Christian churches, but with synagogues, interfaith groups, secular groups, schools, and companies.

If your choir or church wants to do a deep dive into the world of Black Spiritual music, let Benjamin take you there.  If you are a school or business, you may be surprised at how community singing can enrich and enliven the work of your staff or faculty!

Speaking at Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Example workshops:

 

A Long Way from Home: The birth story of Black Spiritual music

Participants begin with the music of West Africa, and follow its development through work songs, field hollers, and the early Negro Spiritual. This workshop is designed to help all of us (not only black folks) connect with our own ancestral stories, and learn to tell our stories through the power of music.  It focuses on identity, resilience, empathy, honoring the gift of life, and deepening our understanding of ourselves and one another.

Lift Every Voice: The liberating power of Black Spiritual music  

This workshop focuses on developing the confidence and personal power of participants.  Using centuries-old community singing techniques, we learn to rely on one another for support and develop group sound.  Then, supported by colleagues and friends, we learn how to sing solo and improvised lines through the music of the Black Spiritual. This workshop focuses on trust, risk-taking, empathy, courage, and finding your voice in all aspects of life.

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