"Music As Medicine WTR" is a workshop program designed from Lydia's 10+ years of study with environmental activist and wisdom keeper Joanna Macy. In these precarious times, when the future of 95% of life on Planet Earth hangs from the frailest of threads, how will we bear it? How do we resource so that we can stay present in our work without collapsing into paralysis or panic? 

Joanna Macy's "Work that Reconnects" (WTR) helps us do just that. The WTR is a dynamic, interactive body of work developed over the past 40 years by Macy, a scholar and respected elder in systems theory, deep ecology, and Buddhism as well as 50+ years of international activism. Through re-invigorating our energy for action and resiliency, this work has helped thousands of people to engage in the Great Turning, the transition to a life-sustaining society and the essential adventure of our time. By speaking openly and honestly about the challenges currently facing our species, and by acknowledging the grief, anger, paralysis, apathy, and fear we may feel, we can begin metabolizing these often overwhelming emotions into the profound care for all of life from which they stem. Such metabolization brings us into deeper communion with our world.  

Hearts opened by grief and celebration want to sing their songs of longing, despair, reckoning, valiance, belonging, and gentle loving-kindness. Communities have come together to make music for millennia, keeping their spirits strong and nourished through hard times, while also celebrating the gifts of life. Together we hold a space that can heal the wounds inhibiting our ability to make music, learning both technically and emotionally how to free our voices into song. These workshops are open to music-makers of all levels. Singing in a council of friends is one of the most healthful, encouraging, invigorating, and nourishing things we can do.
In past workshops, Lydia has partnered with different artists and music groups such as Rising Appalachia, MaMuse, and singer/songwriter Ayla Nereo, exploring songs passed down through generations to uplift and nourish, while drawing from international cultures, the Civil Rights movement, medicine songs, and improvisational experimentation.  

These offerings can be adapted into shorter experiential workshops, conference presentations, or multi-day retreats. They are traditionally paired with a concert, inviting in the local community and allowing participants to have an evening of just receiving music. They have the power to nourish our hearts and minds and to keep our communities strong during this pivotal time on Earth. 


Music As Medicine loves offering our vocal workshop and song circle, learning music from Rising Appalachia, MaMuse, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and more as you empower your voice through community singing!  

In this workshop you will learn basic vocal techniques to empower your voice in community singing environments. We will weave back and forth between learning vocal technique and community songs from international folk and protest traditions that have been cultivated to empower individual and community resilience. We will also explore finding harmonies in group singing while experiencing the therapeutic aspects of harmony singing.  

This workshop is open to song weavers of all levels! Together we create a kind environment of exploration and learning. Can be adapted in length.

Music As Medicine Tour

Music as Medicine tours combine our workshops with community dialogues and vibrant concert experiences. Over the course of a week we travel to 3-5 different communities in an area, facilitating workshops and bringing live music to each town. We partner with local artists, non-profits, educational centers, and retreat centers to create an event that will foster connections and good works.

Performing with Chloe Smith (of Rising Appalachia), Ayla Nereo, and Amelia Rae at the Center for the Arts, Grass Valley, CA

Performing with Chloe Smith (of Rising Appalachia), Ayla Nereo, and Amelia Rae at the Center for the Arts, Grass Valley, CA