Core Sounding

DeArmoring of the Heart
April 12-16

Join Marisa Michelson at WildHeart in upstate New York for a four-day immersion into voice, movement and spirit. Root deep into the present moment. Connect to body-truths. Express authentically. Give voice.

During this retreat you will be invited to connect more deeply to your own wildness and Truth through a body-honoring voice and movement practice called Core Sounding.

In addition to the Core Sounding™ practices you can expect quiet alone time to settle in with Nature.  We have a lake available for rejuvenating cold dips.  We’ll have campfires in the evenings to keep us warm, and lots of ritual and magic.  Additional embodiment practices will be led by Pilobolus dancer Neva Cockrell.

What is Core Sounding™? 

Core Sounding™ is a model and practice for connecting to Self and Other via group voice and movement improvisation. We always begin with connecting to Self and move outward from there to listen in to the body of the Group. We invite what is raw and unformed inside of us to express, and from there we practice shaping and forming and chiseling. We honor our bodies and nervous systems as locations of wisdom, intuition and healing.

Learn more HERE

image by Ri Tornello

You will be fed three meals a day. You will practice tuning into your unique somatic experience in the present moment and expressing what is real for you via non-verbal sound and movement.  You will also practice listening deeper into the other humans you’re sharing space with and inviting their full expression.  You will be asked to let go of your phone during the day time.  Different housing options ideally help make this retreat accessible but please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need financial assistance to attend. Reach out personally. 

Attendance to this retreat is application based. In order to prioritize individual attention, spots are limited to no more than 12 participants. To apply, please fill out this application form and Marisa will get in touch with you.

Who is this retreat for?

  • Humans who want to explore self-expression through voice and movement 
  • Tantra practitioners who want to see what it feels like to integrate their voice into practices of surrendering and directing 
  • Anyone longing for community that is centered around non-verbal connection 
  • Anyone whose idea of a good and relaxing time includes singing and moving 
  • Improvisers who want to explore improvisation from a Somatic starting point
  • Professional singers or dancers longing for more freedom, joy and release!
  • Artists who want to find more freedom in their art-making practices 
  • Humans who want to expand

Sample Schedule:

(very much TBD!)

7am – 7:30 – Optional Breathing Practice
(not Breathwork – stimulating practices based on the work of Carola Speads)
8 – 9 – Breakfast
10 – 1 – Core Sounding™ Embodied Practice
1 – 3 – Lunch
3 – 4 – Afternoon Activity (Forest Bathing, Sound Circling, Swimming, etc.)
4 – 5 – Yoga / Movement
5 – 7 – Core Sounding™ Embodied Practice
7 – 8 – Dinner

After dinner options: campfire, singing in the dark, dance party, tantric practice, moonlit singing walk, etc.

Each day will be different. There will be lots of time for the delicious voice and movement practices. We will also honor the body’s need to go slow and rest and integrate.

“I can say that I am infinitely thankful for, and frankly astonished by, the new sense of purpose and possibility I feel in my musical life and in my work as a therapist after spending a weekend sounding, moving, being together in such radical, soul-centering ways. What a joy to be led by Marisa, whom I trust so deeply, and how profoundly refreshing to connect authentically with such a curious, genuine, playful (and often hilarious!) group of people! It felt like coming home. What a thrill, to sense so strongly that this is just the beginning!” 

– Alysa, Therapist 

“I experienced the Core Sounding workshop as a radical act of focus, presence, and collaboration in a world of distraction. Doing this workshop gets at the core of what I aim to do in my life: To acknowledge that simply being present with others is enough. Exploring sound and singing with self and others is a joy and a challenge.”

– Eliana, Spiritual Leader, Mom

“This workshop helped me reconnect to my voice in such a more authentic and full way. It helped get me out of a stuck pattern that I often find myself in of trying to sound pretty (which would end up feeling and sounding forced and disconnected). In this workshop I not only found the sound emerging freely but I found myself wildly surprised by what would come out of me. Being so surprised by my own expression was so incredibly nourishing and revitalizing for me as an artist and as a human. It felt like a new layer of my voice was reborn.” 

– Lane, Performer

About Marisa Michelson 

Marisa is known for her grounded, deep-listening approach to helping people of any level sing, speak, and move through the world with more skill, more truth, and more joy.

Her perspective is grounded in the Libero Canto© Approach which she has studied as both a singer and a teacher for over fifteen years. The Libero Canto Approach was first developed by Lajos Szamosi in Budapest before World War II. This holistic, process-oriented approach rooted in the Western Classical Tradition is her primary vocal pedagogical lineage. 

Marisa is also an accomplished and award-winning composer working at the nexus of theatre, experimental music, opera, new music, and improvisation and the founding director of the embodied vocal-performance ensemble, Constellation Chor. Constellation Chor has made a name for itself performing at such venues as Lincoln Center, The Kitchen, National Sawdust, Pioneer Works, and in Greece and Iceland. To read more about Constellation Chor visit

In addition to working privately with professional and avocational singers, Marisa has worked as a vocal coach for a number of musicals (Octet at Signature Theater; Moby Dick at American Repertory Theatre) and has taught workshops at the American Theater Wing, The Performing Arts Project (TPAP), Prospect Theater Company, Signature Theatre, Millikin University, the University of Puget Sound, and at the Goetheanum in Switzerland. 

What else? Marisa was trained classically as a pianist, got her B.F.A from NYU (Tisch) in Musical Theatre, is a former yoga instructor. She studied Hindustani singing in India for six months. She had a deep and long Anthroposophy phase. She consistently practices Circling and Tantra. Her ancestors are Jewish, Irish, and Scottish. Being in intimate relationship with singing is her life’s passion, encompassing all. She believes process is product, that we are vessels for beauty and spirit, and that all black lives matter.

Retreat Location

WildHeart is located on 46+ beautiful acres in the Hudson Valley. Retreatants will have the option to stay in a single room, double room, dorm, or camping in either our main retreat center or in private two-bedroom cabins. All options have access to shared kitchens and bathrooms. Daily events will take place in the studio, shared common spaces, and outdoors. Retreatants are welcome to enjoy the lawns, walk in the forest, and swim and boat in the lake during their stay! More info about directions and transportation options HERE.

Cancellation Policy

  • Full refund – 1 month in advance
  • Partial refund 50% – two weeks in advance
  • No refund after that, unless cancelling due to COVID

Retreat Cost

Different housing options ideally help make this retreat accessible but please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need financial assistance to attend. Reach out personally

All prices include food and housing, and full participation in the Core Sounding retreat!

  • $1300: Single-occupancy / private room
  • $900: Double-occupancy room, shared with one other retreat participant.
  • $650 Single bed in our spacious “Dorm,” sharing a big room with a maximum 4 other people.
  • $650 Camping, with shared bathroom / shower / kitchen access. Bring your own gear.


A note on food

We channel a lot of love into food at WildHeart, and ask that guests join us for an hour each day in cooking or cleaning our communal meals. We pride ourselves on accommodating a wide range of diets–We serve meat and dairy daily, and always have vegan and gluten-free options available. If you send us your dietary preferences in advance, we will do our best to make sure there is good food for you at each meal! All living accommodations have access to a full kitchen (separate from the main/commercial kitchen). Breakfast groceries are provided for you to prepare and eat on your own, while lunches and dinners are communal shared meals. Beverages include: coffee and tea, dairy and non-dairy milk, sparkling water, lemon and lime juice, red and white wine.

Lastly, our current COVID policy: (may it be for the benefit of all)

  • Please test on the day of arrivals. We ask you to provide your own test. We recommend testing before you come here to be sure, but if you forget, we will have tests available for purchase on arrival. We will ask you about your test upon arrival, but do not need photo (or other) proof.
  • We will also all test on the third day of the retreat. These tests will be provided. 
  • Do not come if you have any COVID symptoms.
  • If you test positive for COVID within 10 days of the start of the retreat, please do not come. We will issue you a full refund. 
  • If you get sick during the retreat, we will ask you to leave, and will refund you prorated to the number of days you were able to participate. 
Thank you!


Attendance to this retreat is application based.

You will be contacted shortly after submitting your application.

Right now the biggest take away is I am fully letting myself take my time as I make decisions throughout the day which is creating space for me to actually lead by desire and authenticity. This feels like everything to me. I feel more secure in myself than I have in….maybe forever? literally about to cry. This work is so important, Marisa. THANK YOUUUUUU. As a teaching artist, I’ve been showing up with my clients and students differently. This is where I’m feeling so much patience and trust. As I shared with you before I was feeling stale and unfulfilled in my work but bringing core sounding principals into sessions has given me new life! 

Katie Lovell, Teaching Artist

“Being on this retreat was transformative and life-changing. I’m a dancer and a digital media creative. I work with different types of artists so I’ve witnessed a lot of different art making processes. I’m also a kundalini yoga teacher. And I’m from Hong Kong and from a home-setting where I was introduced to a lot of different religions growing up. Core Sounding™ was a new and healing experience for me.

I’ve never had anyone teach me how to effortlessly use my voice. My body feels nourished. As a person who feels so much in the musculo-skeletal system, the throat is an area I have trouble accessing somatically. There was a deep opening in my throat area.

–Melissa Wu, Dancer


“This [Core Sounding™] felt exactly right. And that’s not to say that it felt easy… You (Marisa) are a trickster. Like you say it’s not therapy. You have this way of directing the question back to the questioner and letting people really sit with that, as opposed to spoon-feeding or hand-holding or even coaching. You’re not getting people into their stories but allowing us to sit with energies and let them work on us. It’’s not therapy but it is medicine. This was a concentrated dose. I felt like, “this is what I want to devote my life to in some way or another.” It was beyond what I was expecting.”

– Meave Shelton, Performer 

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Find out about WildHeart happenings!