TheWell About hero

Mission Statement

The Well is a global network that supports and inspires vocal practice, collaboration, self-inquiry & human connection through the art of improvising music with the voice and body.

We are performers, teachers and students, choir directors and members, composers, sound healers, body music practitioners, music therapists, nature collaborators, community organisers, folk and Indigenous music holders who bring the essential qualities of vocal improvisation to our work.

Vocal improvisation can take so many forms that we cannot name or define them all. It might be practised solo, in small groups, or within large gatherings. With or without leaders, roles, rules, or facilitation. It may or may not include words, groove, harmony. It may or may not involve movement. It might focus on musicality, spirituality, self- expression, social bonding – the possibilities go on and on.

TheWell MissionStatement img02
TheWell MissionStatement img01

The music might be created by a conductor, as is the case in circlesongs, a form named and popularised in the 1980’s by Bobby McFerrin, or co-created by participants, as is the case in collaborative vocal improvisation (a term originating from the UK) or co-improvisation (a term used in France, Belgium and Switzerland), a model that gained its first systematised teaching approach in the 1990’s with Rhiannon’s Vocal River curriculum.

We believe that vocal improvisation has been an integral part of human expression and music-making since ancient times, a spontaneous practice woven into oral traditions from around the globe. It is an art form pertaining to humanity itself; connecting vibrant global communities such as those originating from Brazil’s Música do Círculo, Rhiannon’s Vocal River, Denmark’s Vocal Painting, France’s Chant pour Tous, Bobby McFerrin’s Circlesongs School at Omega Institute and in California, USA…

Our values

Recognising that the ground and foundation of The Well is spontaneous music creation and singing
Honouring our ancestral and cultural roots as well as our teachers and their legacies
Exploring our musical relationship with the natural world
Celebrating the innate musicality of the body as a vessel for sound and vibration
Cultivating listening, generosity and presence
Acknowledging ancient musics and Indigenous peoples who have long cultivated improvisational practices
Valuing kindness, shared empowerment, transparency, accountability, healthy learning, healing and justice
Embracing collaboration in service to the music
Encouraging a deep and sustained commitment to our voices and musicianship
Nurturing intuition, authenticity and compassion for ourselves and others

Our goals

To build community and deep connection between people – a language that embraces all ages, identities, ethnicities, cultures, abilities and socio-economic conditions
To contribute to making vocal improvisation available and valued as an art form and pedagogy in formal and informal music education settings
To grow the influence of the voice as an improvisational instrument
To acknowledge and respect the evolution of our individual teaching methods and our common devotion to the gifts of improvisation
To honour this work with an online archive and links to members of the global vocal improvisation community
To support and promote forums and gatherings in-person and online, and to make membership to this global network available worldwide

Meet us

Read a note from Rhiannon, The Well’s founder, as well as discover our founding members.

TheWell MeetUs alt

Select a language:

(powered by Google Translate and might not be entirely accurate)

Skip to content