it's all music
Exploring the fundamental connection between improvisation and song form. 

with master teachers
Rhiannon and Laurence Hobgood
2020 dates TBD
Leo Nani Farms

photos: jan e watson

Two internationally acclaimed artists, crossing borders and opening pathways during their forty-plus-year careers. We meet with you on the farm where everything grows, including us.
Six hours of session work each day - Sunday through Monday. 7 full days of training
Some sessions joining all of us together, some separate sessions specializing in dance or music. 
We are waiting to see who you are and what thrills you and what cracks us all open creatively.
There will be time to swim, to welcome Hawaiian guests bringing their ancient culture of hula and chant, to visit the sacred sites of Pele, and the honu (seas turtles). 
Wonderful fresh, organic food from our farm and the nearby ocean.
Performance for the local community.
All of this in the Singing Barn, Ha Lau Leo Nani, where we can see Mauna Kea and the Pacific Ocean, where the Trade Winds keep us cool and the farm vibrates in rhythm with all we are creating.

arrival | departure

Arrival: Friday
4 pm on
Welcome dinner: Sat
Closing dinner: Friday
Departure: Saturday
Morning departure
no sessions

Please note: We highly recommend you plan your travel so you will arrive during daylight hours.  

We have been getting questions from singers about whether or not to bring scores.  If “scores” means individual lead sheets, then in general, yes.  Laurence recommends this: make the distinction between obvious and rare (or specific to you). Bringing a boilerplate lead sheet for “My Funny Valentine” or “Embraceable You” is totally unnecessary; on the other hand, singers generally need to develop an awareness of a given tune’s possible obscurity — for example, if you want to sing “Passion Flower” by Billy Strayhorn or “The Last Time I Saw Paris” by Jerome Kern, bring a chart! You may also want to bring your own charts so you can jot notes on your personal score. In particular circumstances, Laurence may choose to offer an improvised opportunity with a specific singer. But in general, Laurence and Rhiannon have designed lessons they will discuss with the group. We cannot promise Laurence can be available to accompany every individual singer in an improvised setting.


Singers will stay together in groups of two to five, in lovely rental homes.  One home (Mahana House) has four single suites with private bathrooms and one twin bedroom; Mahana House can accommodate six guests, and can often support early arrivals and late departures. This is a first come-first served opportunity.  Other homes will be located in Hilo near the water and close to the airport. (It is about a 20-30 minute ride to the farm from town)  Singers who stay in Hilo will have easy access to shopping, restaurants, the airport, and swimming.

Tuition includes private rooms, but if you prefer, there are a few double occupancy rooms available for a $250 discount.
Please contact Margie Farmer if you would like to share a room.

We will provide beautiful farm lunches with local organic ingredients as well as two dinners prepared by local chefs.  Breakfast and 6 dinners will be on your own.  A day trip to the volcano, swimming at a local beach as well as visits from Hawaiian artists and cultural practitioners will open our senses to feel where we are and the power of the natural elements on this Big Island of Hawaii.

Singers should stop at the market on the way in for groceries for breakfast.  The six dinners beyond the welcome dinner and closing dinner, will be the choice of each singer.  Some people prefer to eat at home (all houses have full kitchen options) and some prefer to go out to local restaurants and enjoy local cuisine.  We offer these option to reduce your overall cost. 

Ground transportation on your own 
We recommend John (Rhiannon's neighbor) who can pick you up at the airport and deliver your rental car to you)

Additional travel info