Penny's expanded bio:
CLASSICAL PIANO and MUSIC THEORY to the end of Royal Conservatory Grade Ten was a big part of music in my childhood.
SINGING hundreds of folk, rock, musical theatre, and Hebrew liturgical songs with my brother was a daily joy in my early teens.
PERFORMING and singing in prairie home-town MUSICAL THEATRE as well as singing in an international award-winning girls CHOIR, was sweet musical fun.
ACTING in high school drama festivals, I received several trophies for best actress. In summer theatre school at the BANFF CENTRE for the ARTS, I fell in love for the first time, both with a boy and with PERFORMANCE ART, believing that the only meaningful thing to be done with my life was communicating the truth of the human spirit on stage.
BACHELOR OF FINE ARTS at York University in THEATRE and DANCE, taught me much about the craft, the art, and the biz. At York, I received the golden gift of studying TAI CHI with MASTER, dancer / choreographer Al Huang. I Established a PRACTICE of MOVING MEDITATION that has sustained me over more than 3 decades.
My personal psychotherapy, when I was in search of another calling, led to PSYCHODRAMA – that delicious combination of healing and theatre that has such power to unfold the soul. After seven years of training at the Toronto Centre for Psychodrama and Sociometry, I'd had the privilege of directing 100's of dramas for people from many walks of life, and became a CERTIFIED PSYCHODRAMA DIRECTOR.
SPONTE, an IMPROVISATIONAL THEATRE collective, did 10 years of putting audience members’ personal stories on stage, spawning lots of laughs and tears. We used one of my first ORIGINAL CHANTS as a signature song.
CHILD CARE WORK on the front lines, then SUPERVISION of homes for teens without adequate families, was a large education, with thanks to the fortuitous mentoring of Penny Harold, an elder/mother in the unsung field of child-care.
UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH gave me a MASTERS DEGREE in COUPLE and FAMILY THERAPY, and the pleasure of studying with Claude Guldner, the best Teacher and Grandfather-figure in Canadian Family and Sex Therapy.
For several years I worked in community agencies as a FAMILY COUNSELLOR, as I was also becoming a wife and mother. SCARBOROUGH YOUTH SERVICES was one of these agencies, where I worked with many families over 4 years to facilitate COMMUNICATION between PARENTS AND TEENS, and trained 14 social work students in the methods of FAMILY SYSTEMS THERAPY.
INTENSIVE GROUP COUNSELLING in private practice filled some 12 years, as I guided people individually and in groups through the healing of deep shadow material. I wrote a few SONGS and CHANTS for ritual celebrations in this community.
INDIVIDUAL COUNSELLING, bringing all of my experience, intuition, skills, and 'heart-wisdom' to people learning to create more joy and less pain in their lives, continues to be a mainstay of the service that I offer in my private practice.
FLUID BOND, a collaboration with my long-time husband and partner, Earl Winestock, provided WORKSHOPS and PRIVATE SESSIONS for COUPLES to deepen, heal, and transform their marriages and to blossom their own souls.
BUDDHIST MEDITATION PRACTICE and STUDY has been another mainstay of my soul work. The Ven. Namgyal Rinpoche bestowed many healing empowerments over 4 years, including a 'Yidam', or personal archetype.
ARRANGING MUSIC and CONDUCTING the CHOIR for 7 years at Shir Libeynu, a downtown Toronto alternative synagogue, involved combining traditional chants and prayers with modern poetry, popular music, and the fusion of multi-ethnic prayers.
CHEROKEE SHAMAN, Ai Gvhdi Waya (Eileen Nauman), invited me to train and be initiated at her centre in Arizona, an invitation I gladly accepted. From this tradition, I offer SOUL RECOVERY AND EXTRACTION JOURNEYS to further my clients' healing. New doors opened on a decade of learning from the unique and expansive guidance that came from this gift.
TANTRIC FIRE, a healing project with my partner, tantricyogi Lorne Gould, provides WORKSHOPS and RETREATS for people to explore the connections between sexuality and spirituality.
THE HEALING DIVAS was a joyful, dress-up collective of WOMEN HEALERS and ARTISTS with whom I sang my heart out for 7 years. In the beginning, one of them put a drum in my hands and I discovered that I'm a DRUMMER.
Leadership of CHANTING workshops enabled me to create a fusion of secular and sacred chants to enhance and expand the meditative effects of Jewish HIGH HOLIDAY celebrations.
DRUMMING in PERFORMANCE on bongos, djembe, mahdal, dumbek, frame drum, and the occasional kitchen utensil, has been enormous fun. My collaborators have included: Gary Diggins (percussion, trumpet, multiple world instruments, community healing), Yuri Gorbachow (percussion), Paul Corby (guitar, radio hosting), Matt Dennington (jazz piano), Aviva Chernick (vocals, songwriting, cantorial solos), Daniela Gezuntheit (cantorial solos, vocals), Matt Campitelli (blues guitar), Lorne Gould (saxaphone, flute, wind controller), Sheila White (piano, vocals), Anne Segal (vocals, songwriting), Taivi Lobu (piano, guitar, vocals, songwriting), Cynthia Long (songwriting, vocals), Xenia Splawinski (vocals, songwriting), Reena Katz (violin) and friends (clarinet, trumpet, 2nd. violin in the all-women Klezmer band 'Pomegranate Squad'), Suliman WarWar (dumbek master)