Workshops / Lectures / Demonstrations / Master-Classes

Facilitated by Members of the Yuval Ron Ensemble

Music as Medicine in the Ancient East

A lecture-demonstration on how sound was used as medicine in biblical times by the Hebrews, and earlier in India as well as in the Ottoman Turkish empire. An analysis of the musical modes of the Mid East and some mention of the Indian ragas as powerful tools of the healers of the past. A live music demonstration how these modes modulate our feelings, emotions, and sense of light and darkness. This is a fascinating topic which often leave students stunned when they realize how impoverish the West was left after losing the spectrum of musical modes over the last 1000 years.

Based on Yuval Ron’s recent collaboration with neuro-scientics Andrew Goodman and Mark Robert Goodman (fellows of the Center for Spirituality and the Mind in Penn State U and authors of How God Changes Your Brain), this talk includes references to some of the latest research in Music Therapy and Neuro-sciecne, mostly when such research confirms earlier mystical traditions.

Spiritual Music Traditions of the Middle East

A lecture-demonstration of the sacred music of Sufism (Islam), Judaism, and early Christianity. Demonstrating with the Oud or the ensemble, Yuval Ron presents some of the most ancient prayers of the three Abrahamic traditions of the Middle East and discusses how these were constructed, the inter-relationship and mutual influences they share, and the message of unity and peace which his research brings forth.

The Vanishing Modes

Model Music of the Middle East and its promise for expanding and restoring the emotional nuance and human expression range of Western music. A demonstration of the model system of the East and an historical discussion of how and why the musical modes have vanished from Western music and why it would be a good idea to bring them back.

Healing and Transforming Consciousness Through Sacred Sound, Music and Dance

Experience introspective and ecstatic practices of four ancient spiritual paths: Zen Buddhism, Kabbalistic Judaism, Early Contemplative Christianity and Sufi-Islam. This unique experiential seminar will journey deep into sacred music chanting, movement, and spiritual mindfulness practices, drawing from the hidden wisdom of the traditions of the East. These practices result in heart opening, increased compassion, deepening of inner explorations, and have been shown scientifically to impact the structure and function of the brain in ways that enhance memory, cognition and awareness. These practices also promote healing by lowering stress, anxiety, depression, and anger. The activities are based on Yuval Ron’s work with master spiritual teachers of the East and neuroscientists of the West. Through this incredible journey to your inner world, you will have a rare perspective into the worlds of Zen Buddhist masters, mystic Sufi leaders, Kabbalistic Rabbis, leading Neuroscientists and scholars of the mysticism of Christianity.

This seminar is experiential, and will NOT be lecture-based. Its focus is to provide a deep spiritual experience through walking meditation, sacred movement from Zen, Hebrew and Sufi sources, ecstatic chanting meditations, storytelling, poetry, and live Oud music by Yuval Ron.

Sacred Ecstasy in Sufi and Hassidic Traditions

An experiential seminar on the inner workings of the ecstatic Hassidic music & dance, and the Sufi practice of moving prayer-meditation. How one may transcend the limits of reality to reach the state of Unity, and which musical modes, rhythms and sacred movements may be used in the mystical practices of Hasidic-Jewish tradition and in the Mystical Islamic Sufi path.

Muslim, Jewish and Christian Harmony in The Golden Age of Spain

A musical evening with Yuval Ron
The fascinating journey of the Oud (Middle Eastern Lute) from Baghdad, Iraq to Andalusia, Spain. The story of the master musician who brought the Oud to Spain and changed the music of Europe. Exploration of the Jewish and Arabic music originated from Andalusia and the 600 years of Muslim role in Spain, as well as the mutual influences between these traditions and the Christian music tradition of Spain.

The Mysticism of Sound

Composer, record producer, performer and teacher Yuval Ron shares sacred Sufi (Islamic) chants and ancient Hebrew prayers as he discusses the history of the music and the ways in which these two traditions create a devotional trance. Participants discover how to use sound to side step the brain and to use the heart for the experience of sound meditation and prayer of Unity and Oneness.

“My Heart is in the East” – Sacred Hebrew Music of the Middle East

How this ancient music connects the Jewish people to their roots as a Middle Eastern tribe, where it originated and why it is important today for Jewish identity and peace with the Arab world. Lecture-demo with live music.

Sound Meditation as a Way for Healing and Peace

Music meditations based on the mystical teaching of Sufism and Hinduism. These sound meditations are designed to improve cognitive functioning while lowering stress, anxiety, irritability and depression. Experiencing live sound meditations often leads to the expansion of the mind nurturing a peaceful being. Such introspective self work have been proven in clinical trials to improve test scores, memory, and emotional regulation. With live music by Yuval Ron.

From Coltrane to Nusrat: The Mystery of Music and Spirituality

Why is it such that many of the top improvising musicians have been also spiritual people ? From John Coltrane to Nusrat Ali Fatah Khan we find the same peculiar phenomenon. What is the connection between improvising and the mystical experience. Exploration of the concept of being a vessel, being an instrument.

Kleizmer & Gypsy Music Connection

Why does East-European Gypsy music asounds Jewish ? A discussion of the origin of Kleizmer, a Jewish East-European music style and the history of the Gypsies, their music and the point of meeting and mutual influence of the two. Musical samples will be played from various recordings.

Role of Music in the Life and Rituals of the Hebrew Tribes

A workshop/lecture-demo/key note address, that includes story-telling and music, musical demonstrations and singing along. Entertaining experiential presentation rather than dry academic talk. Issues discussed are the restrictions on the use of musical instruments in Jewish communities over the last 2000 years, the use of music for sacred ritual, pilgrimage, Harvest festivals, military, therapy/healing and celebrations in the lives of the ancient Israelites tribes, and the extraordinary focus the Hebrew tribes had on music in the Temple and the role of the Levites tribe in context of the 12 tribes of Israel

Bedouin music and Israeli Folk Dance

How did Bedouin melodies ended up in Israeli folk dances ? A lecture – demonstration on the traditional music of the Nomads people of the Middle Eastern deserts. Yuval will share field recordings done in the desert dunes, and stories of travels with the Bedouins, insights into their relationship with women, nature and the Israelis and Egyptians who have controlled their tribal land.

The Art of the Mawal

A demonstration the Middle Eastern improvisational vocal style called Mawal, which has a close relation to Jewish cantorial vocal style. Participants will learn about Middle Eastern vocal technique and study sacred and folk songs from Lebanon, Egypt, Syria and Iraq.

Learn Arabic Popular Songs

Learn to sing folk songs from Egypt, Turkey and Lebanon while becoming familiar with the meaning of the songs lyrics and through it with the cultures of the Middle East.

Between Jews and Sufis: Celebrating Peace in Fez

A Lecture by Yuval Ron
An engaging talk with slides and live music on the Yuval Ron Ensemble tour to Morocco.
In June ’09 The Yuval Ron Ensemble completed its first peace mission tour to a Muslim country—Morocco, bringing to tears both Muslim and Jewish audiences. Hear the story from musical director Yuval Ron who will share slides and music from the musical meetings with the tribal Sufi musicians and dancers of Morocco, and the search for the disappearing Jewish life in Todra, Marrakech and Fez.

The Yuval Ron Ensemble became a media sensation at the Sacred Music Festival in Fez, Morocco. CNN, National Geographic, Mundomix.com and French TV Channel 5 all focused their stories about the Fez Festival on the Yuval Ron Ensemble.
See the CNN special report.

Rumi – The Mystical Poet of Sufism

A lecture-demo of devotional Sufi music, poetry, whirling and teaching stories from the tradition of the Sufi Mevlavi Order. An insight into the spirit of Sufism, the life of the great mystic poet Jalaladin Rumi and his teacher Shams of Tibriz. A chance for an intimate meditative introspective event with joyful ecstatic celebration.

Music, Spirituality, and the Brain

(with Mark Robert Waldman – Associate Fellow, Center of Spirituality and the Mind, University of Pennsylvania).
Sacred music can change the structure and functioning of our brain in ways that improve physical, emotional, and cognitive health. In this workshop participants will take part in meditative listening exercises as they learn about the latest scientific findings exploring the effects of devotional music and prayer on the brain.

Vocal Master Class

An introduction to the soulful singing styles of the Middle East. Learn folk and sacred songs in Arabic and explore the scales system, rhythms and ornamentations, that are typical in the cultures of the Middle East.

Rhythms of the Middle East

A demonstration of the various rhythms used in Middle Eastern music and the unique drums being used in the area. Participants will learn trance rhythms from Iran and how to count ‘exotic’ beats like 7/8, 10/8, 9/8 and to play them on their own drum.

The Magic of Armenian Woodwinds

A presentation of traditional Armenian shepherd mountain music and Armenian Church chants, adapted to the unique Armenian woodwind instruments Shvi (flute) and duduk. Participants will learn to play several tunes on their own instruments and discuss the history of this ancient musical tradition.

Central Asia: A musical Journey through Iraq, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Armenia

A lecture and demonstration of instrumentation, rhythmic patterns, harmonic implications, singing/playing techniques, as well as the influence of these cultures on each other’s music.

Landscape and Sound – Middle Eastern Music: The Fruit of the Desert

A lecture and demonstration of Bedouin music and its relationship with the desert environment.

Middle Eastern Styles and Improvisation

A group master-class in Middle Eastern music styles and expressive improvisational techniques.
Participants will be encouraged to participate in accompaniment and improvisation along with the ensemble members.

Sounds of the Myth-Creating Music Based on Creation Myths

A workshop, using myths as a starting point, participants will create a “soundtrack” for the narrative story of the myth. Participants need to bring their instruments and need to be able to improvise. Possible movement work as well.

Islam and the Middle East: A Journey in Music

A lecture and demonstration of Bedouin music, Turkish-Sufi music tradition, Iraqi folklore and Hebrew folk dance songs.

Cultures, Religions & Politics of the Middle East

A lecture and demonstration of Jewish, Arabic and Armenian musical traditions and cultures, within the context of the politics and of the Middle East region.

Music as a Bridge: Bringing People Together with Music

A talk with live music exploring ways to teach unity and tolerance, using music as a platform for meeting your opponent, your neighbor and the other. In addition, a discussion of the path of Music as a way to connect to the reality beyond all realities.

Music, Women, and Peace-Building

A lecture and demonstration of women’s role in music of the Middle East, and how they can be peace-makers as women musicians.

Music & Zen-Buddhism, Sound & Architecture

A discussion of the creation of music based on Zen Buddhist esthetic and philosophical principle using the on going collaboration of Yuval Ron with Zen Buddhist priest Hirokazo Kosaka and post modern Butho dancer Oguri as a model.

Middle Eastern Dance Styles for all Dancers, from Inexperienced to Advanced

Discussion of the dance styles of the Middle East and the collaborative process between musicians and dancers. Participants will learn basic movement styles including, Israeli folk dance, tribal trance dance, sacred dance, belly dance and more.

For Kids and Family

1. Learn to Dance: Andalusian Moroccan Dance
2. Learn to Dance: Turkish Andalusian Folklore Dance
3. Learn to Dance: Israeli Folk Dances
4. Learn to Drum: The Trance Drum (Daf) from Iran (limit to 8)
5. Learn to Clap Andalusian Rhythms from Spain & Turkey (limit to 20)

The World Through Music

World music record producer and Oscar winning composer Yuval Ron shares sounds, music instruments and stories from various cultures around the world. From the Talking drum of Africa, to the trance rhythms of Morocco, to the mystical sounds of India, Israel and Persia, this course involves the children in dancing, music making and role playing. In addition to the historical background of the music, Yuval introduces the kids to concepts of compassion, oneness, social activism, care of the environment and the responsibility to each others well- being. No music or dance experience is necessary. No need to bring any instruments – Yuval will provide a wide variety of instruments from his world music instruments collection.

The Healing Power of Sound

Lecture demonstration with experiential phases exploring the impact of sound on well-being and health. We will experience the healing sounds of Qigong, attunement to the musical modes (Ragas) of India, a tantalizing Gong immersion meditation, and contemplative plucked strings music therapy of the ancient Near East. A unique experience of the ancient sound healing wisdom of the East, plus informative presentation of some of the latest studies in neuroscience and music therapy which confirms the observations of the mystics of the East. with Yuval Ron – Oud, master Bansuri flute player Radha Prasad, and Gong master Kenneth Goff.

The Yuval Ron Ensemble has appeared as a guest lecturer in the following courses:

Music and the Natural Environment
Music and Globalization
History of Christianity
Introduction to World Religions
Christianity, Judaism and Islam
International Relations and Current Problems in the Middle East
Introduction to World Music
History of Minorities in the USA
Religion, Culture, Arts and Education: Can We Bridge Our Deepest Divides
Extending Peace Through the Performing Arts: A Trans-Cultural Summit-Conversation
Modern Dance Classes

Go to list of past venues for lectures, demonstrations, workshops and master-classes