Arab Vocal Traditions

Oct 15, 2012-Dec 10, 2012



Mondays 7:45pm-9:00pm
October 15-December 10, 2012

8 sessions: Excluding Monday, Nov. 19 (Thanksgiving)

In this course, Syrian singer and Alwan favorite, Gaida, will help you free your own, unique voice and deepen your approach while learning to sing songs selected from folk, tarab and hymnal traditions of Syria and the Arab world.

You will discover melodies using the maqam modal system, where you will be trained to hear and sing quartertones essential to these modes. These melodies will then be worked into improvisations and you will learn to ornament them in the characteristic styles of Arab vocalists.

Class Structure: Gaida will offer specialized vocal training to increase your voice flexibility, control, and the ability to transition seamlessly between vocal registers, using carefully tailored vocal exercises such as resonant voice, voice stretch, meditation and relaxation techniques.

About the Instructor: Gaida is a Syrian singer and songwriter whose singing traditions were passed down to her through her family. She grew up surrounded by Sufi chanting and tarab singing. Vocalist Gaida is known for her "original and highly personal style marked by great emotional intensityi" as well as her "remarkable abilities to improvise and expand on traditional Arabic maqams"; (Timeout New York).

Gaida has a Master’s Degree in Speech and Language Pathology from Columbia University and is a Certified Vocologist by the National Center for Voice and Speech at the University of Iowa.

In Gaida's Own Words: To sing is to share your soul and most inner feelings and emotions with your audience…to let go…to allow your vulnerability to surface... to celebrate your imperfections…to get out of yourself and deliver your genuine impression of the moment, fearlessly without hesitation or modification. I will teach you how to make your voice resonate and flow easily throughout your body without the interruption of thoughts and worries. Together we will take a fun and easy vocal ride through the lush and curvaceous roads to Arabic singing!>

Group Instruction Pricing:

Single/Trial $20
4 classes $72 ($18/class)
8 classes $120 ($15/class)

*Alwan members receive 10-15% discounts on lessons! Click here to learn more about membership options and view discount levels.

Group Instruction Policies

  • *One trial class may be taken per student. If a student decides to enroll in a package of classes, the trial session will count as the first lesson of the package and its price will be deducted from the overall cost.
  • Students enrolling in a single class or package of 4 or 8 may choose to attend any session throughout the semester.
  • If a student decides to enroll in a package after taking one single trial class, the trial session will count as the first class of the package and its price will be deducted from the overall cost.
  • Combination packages available and customizable to student’s preferences
    (e.g. 4 classes Arab Rhythm + 4 classes Women's Dance=$140)
  • Class will be held so long as a minimum number of students is met by the end of the registration period.

To register for classes or private lessons for the Fall semester, email with:

  • Class(es) you're interested in taking
  • Number of sessions in which you'd like to enroll
  • Level and/or experience (so we can get an idea of the class composition, all levels encouraged to attend!)

Make sure to mention if you are a member of Alwan - many of our membership levels receive 10-15% discounts on lessons! Click here to learn more about membership options and view discount.

Registration deadline: October 9, 2012

**Students may attend classes without registering by paying the "single" class price of $20 cash or check made payable to the Alwan Foundation, but please check the website to confirm that class is meeting on the day you decide to attend, and, if possible, email to let us know when you plan to attend.

Please feel free to email with any questions related to music instruction at Alwan.

Alwan for the Arts

16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor
(between Broad St. and Broadway)
New York, NY 10004
(646) 732-3261

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4th Floor
New York, NY 10004
(646) 732 3261
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