Summer House 2024 | 5 & 6 VIII and 8 & 9 VIII

In the first week of August, the Summer House opens its doors. This calm oasis is a place of retreat, set apart from everyday life, with the time and space for deeper exploration of sound-oriented singing. The Kloosterkerk in the historic heart of the Hague is a fitting location, a space that invites learning. In the Summer House we are all listeners. The distinction between listener and singer falls away. Fate decides who will have the opportunity to Sing. You can stay at the Summer House for two or four days. Wednesday is a day off.


As you encounter the Art of Singing, you will become acquainted with the living, moving phenomena of your voice. Through perception, the energetic Gestalt of self-organized sound can lead and direct the larynx in a healthy manner. The result: freedom in singing, effortlessness, and pleasure. Along the way, motor conflicts that form obstacles to your artistic instinct are released. Questioning and stimulation of the senses brings your sound new richness and power. This creates connections between sound, physiology, the psyche, and inner stirrings. In action, you become conscious that the performance process is regulated by perception, rather than by a motor concept, with the senses forming a complex, interwoven system. The richness of sound becomes audible and tangible for both the singer and the listeners. Sensory brilliance results in motor efficiency, giving rise to tranquility and profound contact.


The teacher at Voice Learning Centre´s Summer House is Ingrid Voermans, born in The Hague in 1961. After she completed a university-level teacher education program, her passion for music began to take concrete form. Inspired by her master teacher Wolfgang Borghans, she took classes in general musical education, voice training, and choir direction with various teachers, including Ulrike Brand in Germany. She began her musical career on the staff of the Ward Centrum Nederland in 1985, and in 1988 she founded the choir school Schola Cantorum in Leidschendam, which emphasized the teaching of independent, rhythmically oriented singing according to the method of the American music educator Justine Ward. She was affiliated with this choir school as a teacher and conductor for thirteen years. In 1989 she became the conductor of the Pastoor van Ars parish choir.


Her training as a speech therapist and introduction to shiatsu broadened her horizons. She started an independent speech therapy practice and taught subjects such as music, voice, and speech training at the University of Applied Sciences in Leiden from 1989 to 1994.


Her encounter with the metaphysical teachings of Jiddu Krishnamurti gave her insight into living in freedom. Deeper exploration and personal investigation followed. In the 1980s, this was accompanied by a growing fascination with vocal freedom. An intense search, in the Netherlands and abroad, made this a turbulent period in her life. Many questions remained unanswered.


In 1991, the insights into vocal pedagogy of the Lichtenberg Institute in Germany and its director Gisela Rohmert precipitated an immediate and fundamental change. She took the training course for voice teachers there and remained actively involved with the school for more than ten years. In the 1990s, Ingrid became the doyenne of functional vocal pedagogy in the Low Countries, inspiring many others to sign up for the Grundausbilding zum Stimmpedagogen in Lichtenberg.


In 2007, Ingrid unexpectedly found herself in conversation with the Sinologist Kristofer Schipper. His lucid Dutch translations of two canonical Taoist texts had touched her deeply and brought her into connection with another mode of thinking. As she studied the complete writings of Zhuangzi and of The Book of the Tao and the Inner Force, her daily life took a joyful turn. Carefree, happy-go-lucky wandering. This approach developed into the learning method known as the Art of Listening, in which the point is learning itself and not what we gain from it. Doing nothing. Simply daring not to know.


The Art of Listening brings inquisitive singers, instrumentalists, dancers, conductors, physical therapists, psychologists, and lovers of life into dialogue with an intense experience of singing and being. Independence between the student and teacher is fundamental.