Interdependence Day Music as Medicine and Work That Reconnects Retreat

Join us July 1-4 to reconnect to each other, to our world, and sing ourselves towards freedom and healing this INTERDEPENDENCE DAY weekend!

You are invited to a 4-day retreat of deep nourishment through community singing and Joanna Macy’s “Work that Reconnects.” Let us gather to remember our radical interconnectedness with all of life.  As we come back together from a pandemic that demanded from us either prolonged isolation or front-line engagement, we at School for The Great Turning invite you to rest and recover, and to deepen in our resiliency. In doing this, we give ourselves and our communities a precious gift – the capacity to be fully present to each other and our world, to share the load together.

Guided by Work that Reconnects facilitators and song carriers Lydia Violet Harutoonian, Jen Myzel, and assisted by Kele Nitoto, we will travel through the spiral of the Work that Reconnects – from Gratitude, to Honoring our Pain, to Perceiving in New and Ancient Ways, and Going Forth, in order to reinvigorate our energy for life at this pivotal moment. We will sing songs to move through our heartbreak, uplift our prayers, and celebrate The Great Turning.

The Work That Reconnects (WTR) is a dynamic, interactive body of work developed by beloved elder Joanna Macy, inspired by her scholarship in systems theory, deep ecology, and Buddhism as well as 50+ years of international activism. Practiced internationally, this work has helped thousands of people to engage in The Great Turning, reinvigorating our capacity for action and resilience.

Hearts opened by grief and celebration want to sing out loud – together. Singing as a circle of comrades is one of the most healthful, uplifting, and nourishing things that we can do. Together we will create space for the tending of our roots and wounds through song, giving ourselves permission to make music. This workshop is open to music-makers and music lovers of all levels.

This retreat seeks to offer a balance of connection as a group and reflection in the quietude and stillness of nature. The Seven Circles Retreat Center is located in the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, CA which is home to the world’s largest and oldest living trees.  Seven Circles is committed to providing a space where people from a diversity of communities can gather for renewal and spiritual growth.

Accomodations & Meals

There are 37 guest beds in shared rooms with up to five people. Camping is possible but limited and doesn’t change the cost, and there aren’t facilities like showers or toilets just for campers, so you would have to bring your own gear. If you camp, showering will be negotiated with fellow participants to share their showers with folks who are camping, and toilets are in the common lodge. If you are in a room, linens, blankets, pillows, and mattress are provided.


A note about our registration/application process: It is both our short and long-term intention as we start meeting in person again to cultivate spaces that are representative of the diversity of our communities.

For this retreat, we are experimenting with a new registration/application process as we are finding our way to create workshop spaces that feel welcoming to folks from marginalized communities.

If you identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color, please register here:

If you are white, please fill out this application here:

Thank you for collaborating with us as we learn to create community spaces that invite in healing and restitution for all.

Covid Protocol:

The Covid-19 pandemic is a shifting landscape, and we will do our best to navigate the variety of needs present in our communities. For this retreat, you will be asked to show either your proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test from within 72 hours of our first day, AND everyone will be antigen-rapid-tested when they arrive to the retreat center and must test negative to attend the retreat. Masks will be welcome and optional.


$800 Standard + Contribution to Scholarship Fund
$625 Standard Price

We also have partial scholarships available and you are welcome to apply here:

About Your Facilitators

Lydia Violet Harutoonian

Lydia Violet Harutoonian


Lydia Violet Farshid-Harutoonian, M.A., has studied dedicatedly with deep ecology…


elder and Buddhist scholar Joanna Macy for the past 13 years, learning how we can metabolize planetary despair, anxiety, and community traumas into energy for resilience, action, and community healing. She runs The School for The Great Turning creates access to an education that will empower humanity’s life-sustaining legacy.

Lydia is also an Iranian-Armenian-American multi-instrumentalist weaving together Southern blues, American roots, and Iranian folk music traditions. With her live band she combines fiddle, banjo, and luscious harmonies to offer a soul-folk revival experience. In the past year she has collaborated with world-renowned artists Climbing PoeTree, Rising Appalachia, and Lyla June. ♬

Jen Myzel

Jen Myzel


Jen Myzel is a facilitator of the Work that Reconnects, song catcher, educator, activist…


and children’s book author. Jen’s three musical albums and children’s book ‘Yellow Lotus Flower’ are inspired by her nine years of study with Joanna Macy, founder of the Work that Reconnects. Jen aims to inspire compassionate action on behalf of all life through her songs, stories and facilitation.

In addition to her work with School for the Great Turning, Jen is deeply engaged in creating community and change through her spiritual lineage of Judaism and she facilitates for Wilderness Torah and Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action. Jen lives in a land-based community in the occupied Miwok and Southern Pomo territory of Occidental, CA with her husband, one year old son, and six other humans aspiring to be more graceful stewards of this beautiful Earth.

Kele Nitoto

Kele Nitoto


Kele Nitoto is a second generation African-American percussionist and singer.


Born and raised in the Oakland Dance Culture, Kele Has studied with Masters of many styles, becoming proficient in West-African, Congolese, Afro-Cuban, Afro-Peruvian, and Afro-Haitian traditional musics. Over the last 25 years, Kele has performed throughout the country in dance companies, bands, and teaching workshops and classes, summer camps, spiritual and workplace retreats, and for countless ceremonies and celebrations.

Playing with such artists as Lydia Violet and the Thrive Choir, Kele has performed and recorded with the likes of MaMuse, Climbing Poetree, Rising Appalachia, Melanie DeMore, and Esperanza Spaulding. He is currently spearheading Oakland Hand Drums, an organization focused on rhythmic education and performance through a cultural and creative lens.


If you are interested in bringing this work to your area, we would love to hear from you.
Please fill out this short survey, and we will be in touch soon!


When does the course start and finish?

The course starts April 23rd, 2022 and live sessions end on June 11th , but you will have lifetime access to all recordings and practice tracks!

How long do I have access to the course?

How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like – across any and all devices you own.

What Folks are Saying About

School of the Great Turning

"Participating in this course has brought more love, meaning, and vitality into my heart. This journey felt as if I was falling in love for the first time, staying up late researching wanting more, more, more!"


“Thank you so much for this class and all of your sharing. Yesterday was an accumulation of so many emotions, but I am so happy to have shared my story. I truly believe in the Music As Medicine project and excited to see it grow.”


“I am lingering in the joy of our time together…I loved being in community with everyone y’all gathered. Thank you! With tears and solidarity in everything we are doing…”


questions about our courses?