Workshops and Retreats
Laura Inserra is a multi-instrumentalist, sound therapist, composer, teacher, and mentor.
After more than two decades of studies and practice of music and various wisdom lineages, she has developed a self-care and healing practice called Resonant Healing Therapy. She facilitates group workshops and retreats using this approach to guide people into
Inner Resonance Explorations. In these settings she uses sound and body awareness as a tool for facilitating personal transformation, healing, and self-awareness.
She leads workshops at Esalen and other private group retreats. Read more...
A more creativity based workshop is her Creative Explorations Lab, designed to help you connect to your source of creativity and unique manifestation of beauty.
Creativity, structure, and improvisation are ways to discover our natural balance and harmonize our life. Through music, body movement, voice, interaction, observation, imitation, improvisation, reflection, composition, and other tools, you will have the opportunity to explore your creative potential, your visions, and your individual artistic manifestations. This is an invitation and an opportunity to draw from your source of creativity and to express your unique artistry. Read more...
Private Lessons of Music, Improv,
Percussion, Hang, Didgeridoo, and More...
“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time. This expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it.” - Martha Graham
My way of teaching is based on working with each individual’s specific ability. Each person has a different way to learn and, once that the process is clear, knowledge and mastery grow quickly and exponentially.
I have been teaching music with various instruments for more than 25 years, (the Hang since 2003). Along the way, I have developed a method called Structured Improvisation, which allows to learn the language of music and develop the ability to express the uniqueness of the individual. This method is based in learning the instruments through curious active listening and guided discipline. Rather than teach a specific style, I love to teach how to build the musician’s mind through the language of music, structure, and improvisation. In a way while you learn you already play music, and as you improvise you simultaneously compose.
One of the features of my teachings is to use the memory of the body as a learning tool. We can quickly collect tons of information in our mind but, in time, we often forget the majority of it. Whereas if we impress our body’s memory, then we will rarely forget because we create habits. Plus, time is in the body and not in the mind. By keeping the groove in the body, the mind is free to perceive and reveal through music the flow of the invisible. That's what it means for me, as a musician, to be 'in the zone’.
In my approach I use the force of gravity, the touch of all the fingers, natural spiral movements, gestures instead of single muscles movements, and so forth. This allows to play fast with naturalness, to keep the groove with enjoyment, to feel free, and to release tensions while playing.
I see music as a metaphor of life because, moreover, music speaks the language of emotions through the use of sounds, pulsations, melodic patterns, harmonies, dynamics, rhythms, dissonance, and so forth. But this is another conversation all together.
More needs to be said, however, a lot is understood only by being in each other’s presence. I hope that one day our paths will cross.
Enjoy your precious time!
For more information or to ask questions click here.
For Hang and Handpan lessons click here.
For Resonant Healing Therapy sessions click here.
For Creativity Coaching click here.
For Inner Resonance Explorations click here.
A little story about my background:
When I was a child my older brother brought home a guitar. One day I sneaked into his room where the guitar was. I took a pen and bounced it on the strings over the guitar's sound hole. I remember I listened for so long to the different ways of producing sounds, the dissonances and harmonies of the result patterns, the different pulsations of the bouncing pen, the harmonics and the strings which I let them fade out till disappear… and then tapping again.
I consider that moment as my first impression of sound. The first time I could see the vibrations and touch the sound. That’s probably why for me music is visual and experiential, rather than just acoustic.
Since I was 12, I had the privilege to learn to play different instruments by jamming with older musicians from various musical genres. When I moved to Rome in 1993, I specialized in ethnic/tribal instruments and cultural anthropology. By age 21, I began to teach percussion, didgeridoo, and improvisation. As a self-taught musician, after teaching for few years, I felt the need to study music deeper and I attended the Classical Music Conservatory in L'Aquila, where I studied classical orchestral percussions. Those years were very formative because they allowed me to develop my own personal musical style.
Since very young I have been composing and performing music for dance performances, theater, installations, and soundtracks for movies. In 2003 I discover the Hang, and I specialized in this instrument until the point that, when I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2007, I was considered 'the Hang player’. Then I started to produce different Hang Gatherings with Hang players from all over the world.
I have taught to people of all ages and backgrounds and what I enjoy most is to see and engage with all the different ways of learning. I am immensely and deeply grateful to my students because thanks to them I had to slow down what I was spontaneously doing while playing and learn to teach them that natural and practical way to approach music. From that my whole teaching and music style was conceived. It is for my students that I keep improving and refine my technique and my musical skills.
"Laura Inserra is a rare example of power, mastery, and grace in the human form. Her work is unlike anything I have experienced before in my career or life. Through transformational sound and vibration she enables individuals and groups to transcend the rational mind and access deeper layers of knowing. She invites participants into an experience that unleashes creativity, emotion, connection and possibility. Part musician, shaman, intuitive, and teacher, Laura will take you on a journey between worlds that you will never forget. Run swiftly towards this work if you are looking for deeper meaning and new answers to old questions. Laura is an extraordinary treasure that is a privilege to invite into your life or organization."- Catherine Gray, The Trium Group
"Laura is able to use live music and sound to create a field of connection among a group that opens them up to go deeper with one another and with the subject at hand. It's a tremendous thing to experience and witness! I'm so grateful she was able to work with us at a recent retreat. Her work is part performance, part facilitation, and part healer. What impressed me the most is not only is Laura a supremely talented musician-- playing so many unique instruments and all with great skill - she's also an insightful and empathetic facilitator who made an effort to understand our overall program and then suggest the best way her offering could augment and help serve the overall mission of the gathering. She added a layer of depth and clarity of facilitation that was appreciated and she really knows how to read a room. It was a joy to work with her!" - Jess Rimington, The Rules
"The work on meditation, music, and transformation was excellent. The leaders resonated very well with the group. It was informative, rejuvenating, and one of the best yet. Esalen continues to grow and change. This hopefully can keep us current. I have been coming since about 1977 and need meditation and joy (the drumming and dancing was like the old days at Esalen.) This positive feedback is from both for my husband and I. We were definitely the oldest in the group and were honored for that." - Esalen 2019 workshop attendie.
"Laura is a fantastic musician and a skilled teacher. She is able to meet me right where I am, and give me music to practice that is both satisfying and challenging." - Debbie Fier (Musician, Musical Educator, Piano Tuner)
"Laura Inserra is a dream of a music teacher. She is both classically trained and a gifted improviser. Laura is attuned to the needs and capabilities of her students. She know how to teach to their level, inspire confidence, and encourage excellence. She knows when to support and when to push to the next level of accomplishment. Laura teaches the disciplines of musicianship in an atmosphere of playful acceptance. She creates a safe place in which to learn, an inspiring place to gain competence, and grow in the language of music and expression. The lessons are fun and deep, beautiful paced, and build on one another. Laura is generous with her knowledge and her heart." - Ahbi Vernon (Psychologist and Mental Heath Therapist)
“I call her a ‘music-smith’, like a wordsmith or blacksmith because of the way in which she embodies music and sound. She is a truly gifted musician, composer, and teacher. She is incredibly skilled at teaching the complexities of the Hang: technique, sound, resonance, melody, incorporating the different voices and harmonies. My lessons are so inspiring and healing on multitude levels. What I am learning translates to many areas of my life and spiritual practice. Our lessons are not only about playing the Hang, but about breathing, relaxing the body, being present, and, from this place, one can open to the magic, joy, essence of the Hang. She is incredibly skilled at teaching this amazing and unique instrument. ... I have immense gratitude and respect for Laura’s instruction and wisdom, talent and experience, and most of all, for the beauty and integrity of her relationship with the Hang.” Deb Grant (Expressive Art Therapist).
"Laura Inserra is a delightfully talented musician as well as an insightful teacher. These combined attributes made my lessons with her a productive and inspiring experience. I feel very fortunate to have crossed paths with Laura and I hope to have many more opportunities to learn all that she has to teach". Camille Solyagua, (Photographer)