World Singing, Clown Camp, Telling Stories, Social Media plus Scones & Spongecake,

close-up-of-chocolateThere’s a bundle of fabulous learning and experiencing just waiting to happen in Auckland over November and the summer months.
There’s a heap of workshops I don’t know about OR I’m not going to profile – these ones just happen to connect with me somehow so here goes. In chronological order…

The Power of Storytelling with Evelyn Davis – For ECE teachers, parents, grandparents, playcentre-ites – Tuesday 5 November 9.30am – 3.30pm – Kohia Education Centre, ACE, Mt Eden – $295

Stories  are  powerful  tools  for  supporting  children’s  cognitive,  social  and  emotional  development.  As  storytellers,  teachers  can  integrate  stories  seamlessly  into  the  art  area,  sandpit,  family  corner,  into  literacy  and  numeracy  experiences  and  mat  time.  Storytelling  supports  problem  solving  skills  as  well  as  social  justice  awareness.  It  can  also  enrich  different  festivals,  seasons  and  celebrations.
During  this  interactive  course  participants  will  explore  how  to  tell  and  co-create  stories  with  children,  using  a  variety  of  artistic  mediums,  provocations  and  resources  (including  puppets).  Owning  our  storytelling  voices  and  playfully  weaving  them  into  our  practice  can  empower  teachers  and  children  alike.
Contact Evelyn:027 42 52 886 Evelyn’sWebsite:

I met Evelyn on a recent storytelling workshop with Pennie Brownlee. We sat next to each other which meant we were audience to each other’s processing and storytelling during the moving day on Ohauiti Hill. I found Evelyn to be a very creative and articulate neighbour, whose intelligence and sense of the ridiculous during storytelling, induced laughter.

Devonport World Song Choir with Bert van Dijk – For all who wanna make some sound – Wednesday evenings 7.30pm – 9pm – St Augustine’s Church Hall, 95 Calliope Rd, Devonport – $75/$60 for 8 sessions or $12/$8 per session

Come along with your friends, family, neighbours and colleagues to reap the benefits and joy of singing together at our weekly choir sessions in the ancient At Augustine’s Church Hall (behind the brick church).  Singing delivers a host of physical and emotional benefits, including increased aerobic fitness, improved breathing, a better posture, a positive mindset, enhanced confidence and a higher sense of self-esteem! Researchers at the University of Gothenborg, Sweden, found that choristers’ heartbeats synchronise when they sing together, bringing about a calming effect that is as beneficial to our health as yoga. While singing alone is good, singing with others is even better! Over the years conductor Bert van Dijk has developed an exciting repertoire of wonderful and arousing polyphonic (more part) songs from around the world, each capturing a unique rhythm and mood.
Contact Bert: 021 1857956 Bert’s Website:

Bert taught me physical theatre many years ago. I loved his voice work and warm ups which always encompassed world song and I felt my whole being open up. I did a weekend workshop with him a few years ago in Auckland and loved meeting with such a large circle of voices, but also adored singing songs from all corners of the world with their unique sounds, emotions, magic to move and rhythms. I hope one day to invite Bert to workshop in Tauranga, meanwhile I’d like to share him with those who can be in Auckland on a Wednesday evening.

Social Media Training with MOSH Social Media Marketing – For beginners, middle-people and experts wanting to learn more about social media – Check their calendar for the next workshop – Level 1, 20 Beaumont St, St Marys Bay

MOSH offer one-on-one lessons, 2 hour specific modules e.g. Pinterest for Business, Facebook for Business, Social Media 101, and full-day courses. The next scheduled 1-day workshop is ‘Optimising Social Media for Business’ on Thursday 14 November. At MOSH we’ve been specialising in social media for business since 2009. We’ve helped some of New Zealand’s most prominent brands understand, thrive and grow sales using social media. We want to share our experience with New Zealand small businesses so they can compete on the world stage. It’s time to get social media working for your business.
Contact MOSH: +64 (09) 525 7020 MOSH Website

MOSH is run by 3 friends from schooldays. Jon, Julian and Jeremy. I know them all – to differing degrees (inside joke). They have whacky senses of humour, are creative, intelligent and ask very interesting questions. These guys know their stuff.

Clown Camp with Lisa Brickell and Zack McCracken – for new and old clowns – 24-27 January 2014 – Aio Wira Retreat Centre, Bethells Beach, Auckland – $495 (if paid by 10 Jan), $545 (full price). Fee includes tuition, accommodation, food and full use of the Centre’s facilities including sauna and spa.

The search for and exploration of one’s clown is a never ending journey. As we grow, change and have new experiences so too does our clown, giving us endless potential for fun and laughter. Come join us at the beautiful Aio Wira Retreat Centre to rejuvenate yourself through a weekend of hilarity and absurdity.  Lisa Brickell (BA; DipDrama; DipPhysTheatre – Lecoq, Paris) and Zack McCracken (BA Drama; Dip Creative Writing; DipPhysTheatre – Lecoq, Paris) have taught and performed extensively throughout NZ, Asia and Europe. “The clown doesn’t exist aside from the actor performing  him. We are all clowns, we all think we are beautiful, clever and strong, whereas we all have our weaknesses, our ridiculous side, which can make people laugh when we allow it to express itself.” Jacques Lecoq
Contact Zack: (09) 3728170 Email Zack: Link to clown: the-dress-up-box-with-a-red-nose

Lisa was my first clown teacher. She is a truly gifted teacher. Her sense of fun, gentle naughtiness, and warmth alongside her amazing treasure-trunk of skills and experience make for an inspired workshopee experience. Go go go.

1378703_401672816625084_152814239_nScones and Spongecake with Maggie Thompson from Florabunda & Cake – for those wanting to eat and bake – Saturday 30 November 1pm – 4pm – Ponsonby, Auckland

Maggie makes the most exquisite cakes – they look and taste like something from your dreams. Her first food venture was The Little Cake Kitchen and she is now blossoming Florabunda & Cake which specialises in sugar flowers and terrificent cakes for celebrations. Come join us in her Ponsonby garden bursting with colour, perfume and her designer cat to watch and learn and do. We will make an old fashioned sponge, scones of varying varieties, and something to wow the sunglasses off your gluten free friends.
Contact Emily: 021 662 852 Email:

I have known Maggie my whole life. She is a young spirited, joyful woman and an extraordinary cook, baker and tender of flowers.

Write to me if you know of something wonderful on the learning, eating, arting or celebrating front. Emily: or leave a comment (I feel encouraged to hear from readers).

I love reading your comments, kia ora for taking the time to share your thoughts

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