Singing, drumming, and dancing are vehicles that lift us into the jet stream. This unitary state of consciousness is the flow and the zone that athletes and artists speak of. It's where you feel and perform your best and are one with what you are expressing. Action feels effortless, time ceases to be important, and focus becomes so complete that everything else falls away.
This view above the clouds is boundless and ecstatic, and learning to play music in a group context is a joyful and inhibition-releasing means of getting there.
As music and ritual bring us together to experience this state of flow, we are connected by the mantra chanting practice of kirtan, an ecstatic technology that modifies consciousness. It's simultaneously calming and thrilling, a flight path of brain wave oscillations, neuropeptide surges, and autonomic nervous system responses. It strips away your usual frames of reference, your sense of self, and experiences of time.
Flight School is a spiritually inquisitive music, science, education, and public speaking workshop that has developed in powerful ways over the last 10 years, with voyages into neurobiology, group dynamics, improvisation, songwriting, physics, philosophy, ethics, psychology, ecstatic poetry, and aeronautics. It is designed to facilitate an experience of yourself that once seen, cannot be unseen.
How does Flight School work?
We put you in a band with four or five other people. You bring whatever instruments you have, or play instruments we provide, like harmonium, cajon, djembe, or finger cymbals. If you don't know how to play an instrument, we can teach you. Simple, interlocking parts combine to produce surprisingly sophisticated music. No previous musical experience is necessary.
During the week, we meet to sing and drum together, survey history and theory and linguistics. We focus on techniques of finding your voice, developing arrangements and becoming a relaxed performer. Some sessions, the instructors rotate through every band, offering support, not judgment. We guide the rehearsals and help you shape the sound. When ready, the bands let it rip, and talk about what has just been experienced and learned.
The emphasis is on improvisation, writing, performance, and speaking extemporaneously. Advanced rhythmic techniques, arrangements, and methods of organizing, inspiring, and leading a group are also explored. For the advanced level, you should have completed at least one previous Flight School at the Introductory Level, be able to play a musical instrument with practiced ability, or be actively participating in some form of ensemble or community music practice.