Sutra enables Sonia Kreitzer to create private spaces where she and her students can gather online to dialogue and learn. Combining Sutra with Zoom, she weaves weekly calls into her program, creating a rich, relational experience for her students.
A singer, songwriter, and sound healer who sees music as a healing and unifying energy, Sonia Kreitzer travels the world to facilitate experiences that encourage conscious and personal growth. When she’s not traveling, she invites the world into her online home on Sutra where participants can join her vocal transformation course, Activating the Voice: A 7 Week Vocal Embodiment Journey Through the Chakras.
Voice as a tool for expression, creativity, and authenticity
In speaking about Activating the Voice, Sonia shares her intention to help people overcome trauma that has silenced them. She encourages students to anchor into the vitality of voice and to use voice as a tool for expression, creativity, and authenticity. Guiding participants with song, chant, creative writing, and honest discussion, she empowers students to claim their voice.
Students meet weekly for live Zoom meetings (which are also recorded), then connect and dialogue in Sutra spaces between those meetings. The spaces are private areas where students can explore weekly modules and ask questions, share personal writing inspired by Sonia’s prompts and shared resources, and, perhaps, bravely upload videos of themselves singing.
Within these spaces, Sonia witnesses the blossoming of participants; she sees the transformational work most tellingly in the person-to-person interactions. Sonia notes several such occasions: students witnessing themselves—or each other—speaking up for the first time; students expressing themselves in a situation in which they’d previously been silenced; students claiming their own experience as valid enough to put forward into the world. They do this in the company of one another. The shared space that Sonia creates in her Sutra course is soil for growth.
A space for everyone to feel heard
Before offering her own program on Sutra, Sonia participated in a class that her friend hosted on Sutra. In this class, Sonia had the opportunity, as a student, to experience how an online program could be spiritually engaging. Recognizing that this is not something easily translatable in the online world, she was intrigued by the idea of creating “spiritual spaces on the screen”. She immediately liked the way Sutra’s architecture offers space for meaningful conversation, and so Sutra became a home for Activating the Voice.
Of value to Sonia—in addition to providing students with a safe place to share, witness, and dialogue with one another—is the ability to offer students varied resources that support the work explored in weekly Zoom meetings. Appreciating the ease with which she can upload documents and photos, link to outside sources, and customize the look and feel of her space, she confidently curates a space that students experience as an extension of the work they’re doing with her. It’s a place to grow, together.
For participants who feel more comfortable writing than speaking, the discussion spaces offer another way to process and integrate content and personal experiences during the course of the program.
The relational experience offers everyone—regardless of where one is on the personal voice journey—the space to be heard.
A place for honest conversation
Sonia regularly receives positive feedback from students regarding the online space for Activating the Voice. There are active participants who post anywhere from once to several times a week; some participants seek the space to have specific questions answered; for those unable to attend the live Zoom calls, they can easily find the recordings posted within the course overview. A strong suit for Sonia’s students is being able to reply to one another’s threads with ease as well as share photos and videos of their own.
Tucked into the discussions and shared reflections are transformational experiences. With the support of the Sutra platform, Sonia offers her students opportunities to bear witness to each other, and especially important given the work of Activating the Voice, to bear witness to themselves.
It is this bearing of witness that was an important factor when Sonia chose to host her program on Sutra. In her own words, “…part of the work of the voice is learning to speak up or share your gifts in front of other people. And so the community space of having people actually witness you do that, and getting the experience speaking up in a safe space and being witnessed, is really, really important.” Sonia adds, “…the community’s everything.”
Whether on a Zoom call or within classroom spaces, participants are gently invited to share and to practice using their voice. While some may decline, Sonia mostly finds that participants want to share. They—we—all want to be heard.
Sonia is always looking for ways to evolve her program. Originally, she intended to run Activating the Voice just once. As of this writing, she has completed her ninth incarnation. She continually asks herself how she can bring it more to life; she says the program is growing, and she is too. Sonia is preparing for a live, retreat version of Activating the Voice, to be held in Costa Rica, December 27, 2022 – January 4, 2023. In the meantime, she’s making a record of medicine songs and continues her work as a singer and songwriter.