What This Weekend is About


“Musical Self-Discovery”

Have you sat on the sidelines, leaving music making to others because you have been led to believe that you have no talent? It’s time to rethink your musical self-image!

Join us at the beautiful Empowerment Center in Goshen, NY, for a uniquely nourishing weekend of musical self-discovery and more. Meals courtesy of Chef Rami with ingredients from the organic garden; yoga, meditation, biking and running trails.

The facts:

Each of us is born with some sort of musical ability.
Each of us is musical in a different way
There are opportunities for all forms of musicality.

This weekend will be devoted to helping you awaken your inner musician, and giving you the tools and confidence to become musically engaged.

While the thought of revisiting one’s musical potential can be intimidating or downright terrifying, the actual process can be—and should be—fun, lighthearted, and even thrilling. Several of my adult students have described it as “an iron bar melting.”

We are impressed with someone who can stroll over to a piano and figure out a song by ear, or who can turn the little black dots on a page into “Here Comes the Sun” or “Fur Elise.” These abilities seem so amazing and mysterious that we assume the bearer of such skills must have a talent that we, unfortunately, don’t possess. Right? 

The Wizard is just a little guy behind a curtain!

All basic musical skills can be accessible when presented in a way that relates the skills to each other and to a musical whole. This does not mean that we are on the path to a career onstage at Carnegie Hall (necessarily …) It means that the innate musicality you were born with (Yes—YOU!) will be well up to the task. And not only will all of these skills—learning to play simple tunes by ear, accompany a singer, try your hand at songwriting, and decipher those “little black dots”—be easily within your reach. You will not believe how natural, enjoyable, and nourishing it will be to try these things!

Some people are drawn to learning a string instrument, others to learning percussion. Some people are predisposed to learn how to do something correctly, others are more inclined to create. 

Musically speaking, who are you?

You stand on the threshold of meeting your inner musician—one of the most exciting and nourishing gifts you can give yourself!


Those who make music with others consider themselves fortunate. Playing in an ensemble or accompanying a singer, improvising or jamming in a group—these wonderful opportunities speak to music’s unique power. Throughout the weekend you will have opportunities to participate in ...

Making music together!

About the Workshops

The Music Workshops

All workshops will be led by Meryl Danziger (link to http://www.nycmusichouse.org/site/about/about-the-director/ ), founder and director of Music House. 

Playing by ear, accompanying, writing songs, reading notes—skills you may have admired in others, thinking that they have talent and you, alas, do not. But all of these skills are easily attainable when approached through a natural, interrelated process. We are about to turn whatever negative impressions you may have about your musical ability upside-down, by way of of four nourishing and empowering workshops. Prepare for transformation—seriously.

Please note: This is about YOU: your needs, interests, readiness and comfort zone. There are many ways to approach all of these things, and I will help you find what works for YOU! Singing in front of others not for you? We can work from an instrument. You will never be expected to do anything that is not totally comfortable for you. Trust me—you would not be the only person who has come to Music House terrified because of past musical experiences!

The four weekend Music House workshops will be:

Workshop #1- Awaken Your Musical Ear

Imagine: You (Yes, you!!!) stroll over to a piano and casually begin to play a tune someone has just mentioned. People whisper How does she do it??? There is virtually nothing more musically empowering than being able to play by ear. Not only does this skill open the door to all sorts of musical opportunities; it offers infallible proof that you do have musical bones in your body! And it is way easier to develop this skill than you (probably) think!

  • Simple melodies songs at the keyboard
  • Transpose tunes to different keys
  • Transfer songs you’ve figured out at the piano to string and mallet instruments.
  • Participate in duets and ensembles

Workshop #2- Becoming an Accompanist

What are chords? How are they formed, what is their function, and how can you use them to create harmony? Once you understand how chords work, it is a short and gratifying step to becoming a competent and confident accompanist for simple songs.

  • Discover how chords are formed on the piano
  • Learn what “chord families” are, and how to sense chord changes in a song
  • Try accompanying 1-, 2- and 3-chord songs on autoharp, piano, and dulcimer
  • Transpose songs to different keys to accommodate your singer

Workshop #3- A Taste of Songwriting: Rhythm, Rhyme, Repetition

There is rhythm in words—all words. So how can almost any words become lyrics? How can words inspire a tune? WARNING: Once you start, songwriting may take over your life. It has happened!

  • Learn how giving prose rhythm can turn it into poetry
  • Exercise your rhyming muscle and learn strategies for rhyming lyrics
  • Discover how songwriters use repetition to glue a song together and make it memorable
  • Practice improvising a tune over a chordal accompaniment

Workshop #4-  Music Literacy: Sing/Play/Write/Read!

Those black dots all over the page? Let’s unravel the mystery! Using the unique Music House approach, you will discover that note reading is not the intimidating monolith you may have thought, but a tool to use. You will learn how singing/playing/writing and reading are organically connected and easy to grasp.

  • Discover how the contour of a melody follows the shape of your singing voice
  • Learn how notes on a page simply reflect the contour of a melody
  • See the logical progression from singing to playing to writing to reading melody
  • Find out how to use “Snowmen”: an organic shape for reading chords

About the Empowerment Center and Harmony Farm

The Venue

The Empowerment Center in Goshen, NY has a magical quality. Only 1 hour and 45 minutes from NYC, the beautiful old stone building is nestled on a hill with a breathtaking view of the surrounding hills and woodlands. 

Formerly a schoolhouse, the retreat can accommodate 30+ people in comfortable rooms. Some private rooms are available for an additional fee per night please inquire within.

The huge and beautifully cared for organic garden is the source of most of the vegetarian cuisine you will enjoy, courtesy of our beloved Chef Rami. 

Hike the paths through the serene woods; run or bike the magnificent trail that spans the 5,7 miles from the quaint Chester railroad station to the charming town of Goshen.

On site laundry and linens.

I have found much inspiration from the atmosphere here, and trust that you will too!

To reach the Empowerment Center check out our handy FAQ

Daily Schedule

Daily schedule
4-6 PM: Arrive, check in, explore the house and its surroundings
7 PM: Dinner
9 PM: Meet to learn about the weekend and ask questions
10 PM: Listen or participate in jam session

8 AM: Meditation/jogging
8:30-9:30: Breakfast
10:00: Trail walk or one-on-one with Meryl (Sign up sheet on dining room door)
10:30-11:45 Music workshop #1: Your Musical Ear
12-1: Trail walk, ensemble, or quiet time
1-2: Lunch
2:30-3:45: Music workshop #2: The Magic of Harmony
4-5: Nature walk, one-on-one with Meryl, exploration, duets
5-6:30: Yoga or rest time, one on one with Meryl
7-8:30: Dinner
9:00: Sing-along/group participation
10:00 Late night jam 

8 AM: Meditation/jogging
8:30-9:30: Breakfast
10:00: Trail walk or one-on-one with Meryl (Sign up sheet on dining room door)
10:30-11:45 Music workshop #1: Your Musical Ear
12-1: Trail walk, ensemble, or quiet time
1-2: Lunch
2:30-3:30: Musical Shares

By-bye till next time!

Weekend Rates

$275 covers the entire weekend, from Friday dinner through our Sunday afternoon share:
Four music workshops, ensembles, and one on one tutorials
Vegetarian meals prepared by Chef Rami and his protégés, using ingredients from the Empowerment Center’s organic garden
Daily Yoga and meditation