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Welcome


Vocalist, Songwriter, Vocal Mentor, Improv Singer

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Welcome


Vocalist, Songwriter, Vocal Mentor, Improv Singer

 
 

The Regions Own: Patti Shaffner is a local Singing Legend.  Her clear Bell-like tone is soothing and appealing to varied audiences and musical tastes.  No matter what musical-genre she chooses to explore you will be delighted!  

"Ashes to Ashes" an original tune performed together with Waz and Buddy Pearson at Valparaiso University Center for the Arts to benefit WVLP 98.3 FM
 

She is a ‘natural’ singer with an understanding of the profound need to express ourselves through our voices. Her own journey into Improvisational Singing has developed over a lifetime of creating melodies, invented language and performing, eventually leading her to venture into jazz and ’scat’ singing.

In 2004 she attended a workshop with Bobby McFerrin  titled “Spontaneous Invention” and her horizon of vocal improv expanded . In 2008 completed ”All The Way In”, a master class with internationally recognized Master of Improvisation, Rhiannon.

In addition to performing as a jazz vocalist and solo singer/songwriter, Patti is a member of SongSisters  - along with Sue Fink and Amy Dixon-Kolar - together they combine talents and share harmonies and ideas on stage.  

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Calendar


What's Going On & Where & When

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Calendar


What's Going On & Where & When

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Well - I recently became a finalist in The Acorn Theater (Three Oaks, Michigan) Songwriting Contest and after a spectacular night of talent placed 2nd in the competition.  

This was a great night and I am honored to have made the 'grade' with my song "I Don't Do Country"   Would you like to come hear it performed live?   Along with my SongSisters Amy Dixon-Kolar and Sue Fink???  Well save October 19th on your calendar and come out to the One Night Jam in the Attic at Chicago Street Theater in Downtown Valparaiso, Indiana 

SongSisters Live at Davenports - July 2013

          News!!!

My new EP "A Dervish Heart" will be available for sale in CD format and Digital Download within three weeks of 9/8/14 - Contact me for your copy today!

 Performance Dates:

October 3rd  

Maxine's - 8 to 11 PM

Michigan City, IN

Join me for an evening of Jazz with Scott Pazera on bass and Leandro Lopez Varady on piano

October 14th

The Acorn Theater

Three Oaks, MI

Join me for a 'country music themed' open mic at The Acorn Theater in Three Oaks Michigan  - 7pm EST

PERFORMERS: 

To Reserve a slot: please email SandraThompson: sandra@acorntheater.com. Musicians  - 10 minute limit. Spoken word performers - 5 minute limit. NO COVER. Full bar

October 19th

Chicago Street Theater           One Night Jam - 7pm

Valparaiso, IN

SongSisters perform at Valparaiso's Own Chicago Street Theater - Click the link for details and to reserve your ticket today! Seating is limited! 

Look for more updates and please feel free to check out my Facebook Music Page and 'like' it so that I too can get whatever it is you get when you get a lot of 'likes'! 

November 14th

Just Goods - 7pm

Rockford, IL

Songsisters perform at this time-honored venue that is both a Fair Trade Shop and Listening Room - A visit to Just Goods is a very good evening indeed!

 


  For information or to schedule workshops, lessons or performances

Contact Me:

Name *
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Classes and Workshops


"Singing is about listening, not about being heard. When we listen, the song can at last be sung." ~ Patti Shaffner

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Classes and Workshops


"Singing is about listening, not about being heard. When we listen, the song can at last be sung." ~ Patti Shaffner

I have developed and facilitated a number of workshops and in-service introductions to improvisational singing.  These ‘classes’ open doors to greater vocal flexibility and creativity whether participants consider themselves ‘singers’ or not.

Workshops and Classes

  ~ Singing In The Circle

  ~ Singing The Awakened Heart

  ~ Individual Coaching

  ~ Singing Vigil

  ~ Improv 101 for Students                


 Singing In The Circle

Singing in the Circle is improvisational singing.  No text - no lyrics - no sheet music.  It is about creating in the moment.  It is not necessary to be a confident singer to benefit.  Feeling free and more relaxed while singing with others leads to new perspectives, allowing groups to become more cohesive.

This is a  perfect workshop experience for all types of singers: Students, Choirs, Self-proclaimed ‘Non-singers’, Aspiring Singers and Professional Singers as well as Groups and Organizations with a desire to connect with each other for a greater sense of community and cooperation.

  Singing the Awakened Heart

The human voice is an amazing tool for healing. Take this opportunity to learn how to create your own unique healing sounds.  You will also be introduced to overtone techniques and chants.  Allowing yourself to listen and feel into your own body with sound will take you into the journey of awakening your Heart and your own voice.

Participants should wear loose clothing and bring a blanket or mat to lie on.

  Individual Coaching

Those who desire an opportunity to explore their own vocal creativity will benefit from one on one coaching.  We will focus on both speaking and singing vocal qualities and evaluate strengths and areas for improvement.  Anticipate a non-traditional approach intended to elicit your untapped potential.

  Singing Vigil

This four hour workshop will give you an opportunity to learn to sing in a group with the focus on ‘giving back’ to those in transition.  The transition may be one of leaving the body - or traveling the path of difficult change - or recent trauma.  Begin learning the skills that will allow you to listen with deep intention - to be present - to blend with others and to find the healing sounds and songs that are ‘in the moment’.  Chants, rounds, toning and songs will be touched upon in addition to improvised song.  Each participant will have the opportunity to receive song as well as to give song.

  Improv 101 for Students

The Crown Point Indiana High School Choir Class learn the basics of Improv Circle Singing

Students in High School, Choirs, Groups and Organizations can learn basic listening skills as well as spontaneous invention of vocal song.

“You can’t do it wrong! You can make different choices, but you can’t do it wrong!” is the mainstay of this class.

I can come into the school during class hours as a resident artist/teacher or set up specific workshop time and space.

 

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Press


What Are They Saying

Venues

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Press


What Are They Saying

Venues

"Patti's music and presentation are flawless, insightful, and beautifully rendered. Each song is a tasty morsel to be relished. I feast on her music every time I hear it. "

 - Suzyn C. Mills
Former Director, Acoustic Renaissance Concert Series Hinsdale, IL


"In addition to being a fine singer, Ms Shaffner is a talented composer.  Her compositions exhibit a blend of witty lyrics and funky soulfulness that makes them both entertaining and stimulating to listen to." 

- Darrell Tidaback, Professor of Music, Notre Dame


"Patti, your voice is killer!!! I really enjoyed listening to you, Buddy, and Waz together! Smokin'! I thought the next thing that was going to happen was the stage going up in flames!"

 - Melissa Latronica-Welsh, Sax Player


"Whatever she sings, she brings it to life!" 


Photos - Near and Far

Past Peformance Venues Include:

Uncommon Ground - Chicago, IL

Davenports Piano Bar - Chicago, IL

Front Porch Music - Valparaiso, IN

Acoustic Renaissance Concerts - Hinsdale, IL

Just Goods - Rockport, IL

Lake County Folk Club - Gurnee, IL

Sage Restaurant - Chesterton, IN

Westchester Public Library Concert Series - Chesterton, IN

Miller Bakery Cafe' - Miller Beach, IN

Memorial Opera House - Valparaiso, IN

Big Island Brewhaus - Big Island, HI

Maxine's - Michigan City, IN

Francesca's Famiglia - Barrington, IL

 

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Improv Singing


 Spontaneous and in the moment...Once sung, never heard again.  No "wrong" way....only different choices...always choices.

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Improv Singing


 Spontaneous and in the moment...Once sung, never heard again.  No "wrong" way....only different choices...always choices.

 

What is Improv Circle Singing

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Circle Singing is a vocal improvisational technique in which singers adopt text-less, melodic and rhythmic chants that are layered over one another in a seamless whole. Singing tones without words frees the mind from expectations or preconceptions building an exhilarating creativity unique to the moment.

Circle Singing typically begins with one person offering a simple revolving lines that is repeated. Additional lines are layered over the first, creating harmonies and counter-melodies. The sum of the parts often results in beautifully inter-woven songs and complex rhythms. One of the most enjoyable aspects of circle singing is the creativity which emerges spontaneously.
— Tomme Maile - Trybal Revival

This clip is from a benefit event titled “Life As Improv - The Sweet Spot At The  Aquatorium” - June 6th, 2010 combining the efforts of Circle Singers from Kalamazoo, Michigan and Northwest Indiana and Dancers from the South Shore Dance Alliance

What evolves is not intended to be duplicated.  Working outside structured boundaries allows individual expression, spontaneity and experimentation which creates a different experience each time.

Like any improv sometimes things work brilliantly - sometimes, not so much - but for me it is like Life.  We all have stunning moments when what we have surrendered to moves through us in a stream of consciousness that shines through.  We also have those less than generous - less than connected moments when we seem to falter and stumble.  Circle Singing in and of itself brings people together in community allowing both aspects - or rather - many aspects of ourselves to be expressed.  Each person has the opportunity to be part of the whole and individual at the same time....

This is such an ancient way for humans to come together... in song.  Groups that sing together in this way find a way to be at peace with each other if only for the time that they are connect in song.

We are so used to performances being rehearsed and pre-arranged.  This is an opportunity for people to experience something wonderfully flawed from the beginning and wonderfully perfect whatever happens!!!

In this often offbeat contemporary life and time we live in, we sometimes find ourselves without a constructive way to give voice to all the joys and frustrations, challenges and successes that we experience.  As little children we sang because it just felt good to express our current reality in the most primal of ways.  We opened our mouths and let the sound come out about the spaghetti on our plate or the color of the sky.  We didn’t censor it or think of it as ‘not good enough’. 

On October 20, 2010 the Crown Point High School Choir students had their first public performance of completely improvised song.  Since I was without a voice that night they were on their own to create their own music and I am so honored and so happy for them and for the deeper creativity that this process awakens.... Enjoy!

Nowadays we tend to compare ourselves in a very unnatural way.  We think that if we don’t sound like someone from ‘American Idol’ or the latest musical flavor of the day, that we therefore cannot sing.   Maybe we were told that we didn’t have a good voice so we stopped singing and believed what we were told.  We learned that if we didn’t ‘measure up’ to the one that everyone thought was so wonderfully talented - that we should just be quiet and find something else to do with our creative energy.

So I invite you to re-think your voice.  No comparing - no self-deprecation.  There is no way to do it ‘wrong’.  We can always make a different choice.  

 
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Quotes and Such...


Various thoughts and quotes on music and singing

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Quotes and Such...


Various thoughts and quotes on music and singing

 

From my friend:

Peggo Hodes - A Vibrant Voice

Toning is effective for focusing your energy whether sung aloud or silently in your head. The brain processes the information of the sound the same whether you sing out loud or silently. When doing it silently, let you lips, breath, and mind move as if you are singing out loud. This is the power of visualization.


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