SongShine's Response to the Health Crisis

Whether you are still on lock-down or out and about, SongShine continues to unlock the potential of your voice!

Please view the tab above labelled 
or Click Here to be directed to that page.

Here you will see three ways that you can strengthen your voice while staying safe at home!

Click here to check out Ruthanna's TV interview with Joe Smith, host of Palm Springs Today
on KMIR (the NBC affiliate in Palm Springs)

Want to give voice back to the voiceless through a gift to SongShine?
Click the Donate button to be taken to a safe, secure site for germ-free giving.
Thank you for your support!


Strengthening Voices. Inspiring Possibility.


Welcome to SongShine, vocal music and creative drama-based classes designed for those who have communication issues due to Parkinson's, stroke, other neurological challenges, or aging. Our goal is to help you communicate more easily and clearly. SongShine harnesses the power of brain, breath, and emotion to reclaim voices. It creates community, camaraderie, and confidence...AND IT'S FUN!

SongShine is not intended to replace scientifically-based traditional medicine, regular visits to your primary care physician, your otolaryngologist, neurologist, or your speech therapist. We are not speech therapy, we are not music therapy, and we are not drama therapy. We are SongShine: an integrative vocal arts program.

A Program that is Both Heart and Science.

SongShine is designed around the leading edge science of neuroplasticity – the human brain’s ability to reorganize itself and change by simulating alternative brain pathways from the creative right side of the brain. Think of it as heart and science.

SongShine combines elements from two art forms: vocal arts and dramatic arts. These art forms harness the power of brain, breath, and emotion for the purpose of building voices. SongShine's singing techniques are based on Dr. Metzgar's use of the Bel canto methods of Matilda Marchesi and Estelle Liebling which include diaphragmatic / costal breathing, a free, natural, well-focused tone, relaxed jaw, body awareness, and additional methods learned from excellent voice teachers and the University of Michigan and the University of Washington. Peter Harris, twenty-year professional actor, has full understanding of the beauty and power of the spoken voice, breath, diction, articulation, tongue exercises, body awareness, emotional engagement, role play, spontaneity, creative imagination, story building, and more, learned from his years of study at the Julliard School - Drama Division - and as a student of Edith Skinner, and whose textbook, Speak with Distinction, continues to guide our work. Other techniques are taken from Kristin Linklatter's work, Freeing the Natural Voice. Additionally, the work of Shelly Carson, Ph.D., author of Your Creative Brain, has shaped our development of SongShine's curriculum. We are indebted to these and many others who have helped us create a unique Arts In Healthcare program.

Because speech is the cornerstone of communication, SongShine is committed to improving the lives of people with neurologically-compromised speech. We train instructors using singing, diaphragmatic / costal breathing, diction, articulation, and many creative techniques to strengthen voices. Whether you are a prospective instructor, have Parkinson's disease, stroke, other neurological disorders, or simply have an aging voice, we WELCOME you.
Dr. Ruthanna Metzgar
Mr. Peter Harris

Want a SongShine group in your area? Contact us!

Want to train as a SongShine instructor? Contact us!

Want to give voice back to the voiceless through a gift to SongShine?

Thank you for your support!


See for yourself! 

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"We are forever grateful for this program."
Cherie Young, caregiver to Steve Young
Cathedral City, California
Click here to view a video testimonial by Cherie and Steve, 
including an inspiring audio clip of Steve 
before and after his participation in the SongShine program.

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Watch the video of the SongShine Flagship class in Palm Springs / Coachella Valley by clicking here!

Check out great photos of the action on our Facebook page!

Looking for another, easy way to support SongShine?
You shop. Amazon gives.
When you shop through Amazon Smile, a donation will be made to SongShine.
Click here to make your shopping give back.

"Before taking SongShine classes, my voice was so soft I could barely hear myself."
Harry Hulson
Palm Springs, California
[ Harry is now able to speak on the phone, carry on conversations with people for extended time and resume activities 
that require the use of his voice. Harry has made an excellent solo CD and has sung in karaoke settings. 
He made his solo singing debut with the SongShine Singers in February 2008. 
Prior to developing Parkinson's, Mr. Hulson was an accountant; after SongShine, music has become a new passion. ]

"As my Parkinson's has progressed, I have been fearful that I would have to quit singing 
and that my speaking voice would just get softer and softer. Now I know that won't happen. 
You [SongShine] have changed my life forever."
Joyce Olson
Portland, Oregon

"SongShine helped me recover my ability to speak again."
Bill Parry
Covenant Village of Turlock, California

"Four years ago, I noticed a tremor in my right hand. My voice was getting weaker. I have Parkinson's. 
Then three years ago, I discovered SongShine. I'm not as sad as I used to be. 
Now I'm happier and my voice is coming back -- I sing every day -- I have many new friends. 
SongShine has changed my life."
Myron Thielman
Palm Desert, California

From Isolated and Afraid to Stimulated and Participating:
Making a Difference in People's Voices and Lives
Click Here to Read More

Keep Up with Ruthanna!

Click here for the latest on Ruthanna's hiking adventures, including her most recent trek to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.


Click here to watch the news story that aired on September 6 and to see the Kelowna group in action.

On August 1,
H.N. & Frances C. Berger Foundation surprises SongShine Foundation with $10,000. Click here to watch the video that aired on KESQ.

Click here for more information about this exciting news!

What's Coming Up:

Many of the SongShine Chapters have posted new 2020 classes that are open for registration. Click here for more information.

SongShine In The News:

KMIR - NBC FEATURES SONGSHINE IN ACTION! Check out the video of the SongShine Flagship class in Palm Springs / Coachella Valley by clicking here!

The North Vancouver SongShine group is featured in an article written for North Shore News. Click here to read the article and see some great photos of the class in action!

The Nainamo News Bulletin has a great article featuring the Vancouver Island SongShine group. Click here to read the article.

The Vancouver Island SongShine class was featured in the Parksville Qualicum Beach News. Click here to read the article and to learn more about this brand new SongShine satellite group.

The Evansville, IN SongShine class was featured on WNIN, the regional public radio affiliate. Journalist Paola Marizan visited the class, interviewed volunteers, and wrote a wonderful piece. Click here to read the article and listen to the radio broadcast. 

The first ever SongShine Conference in Cannon Beach was a huge success. Aside from being well-attended, the feedback from the participants has been over-the-top positive! Click here to see a video / slideshow that was put together by Judi Spencer.

The Kelowna, BC SongShine class is featured on the Go! Okanagan program on Shaw TV. Click here to view the news segment.

Evansville SongShine is featured in Maturity Journal. Click here to read the article.

Coachella Valley / Palm Desert join forces with Pegasus Foundation to bring cheer to children and create a Flash Mob surprise for all present. Click here to watch the video!

Palm Desert / Coachella Valley SongShine is featured in The Desert Health News! Click here to read the article.

Evansville SongShine class is featured in the Evansville Courier and Press Newspaper!  Click here to read the article.

Evansville SongShine class is featured on Channel 14 news!  Click here for the video, photo, and article.

Video - "I'm Still Me" at SongShine Celebration Concert