Workshops

Select from an extensive list of workshops created to cover a wide range of musical, music business, technique, and performance topics or we can create a custom program tailored to the needs of your students.

Nerves
Performance Jitters are a problem for almost everyone. With the focus on nerves, this class speaks in depth on descriptions, explanations both psychological and physiological, and controlled uses for them. Through game and role-playing, attendees come to understand how and why nervous energy affects people and begin to develop personal techniques to make that energy helpful and useful in performance.

Useful Vibrato
This hands-on session teaches a step-by-step approach to vibrato development. A lecture and discussion component delves into the desirability of a variable, controllable vibrato and identifies stylistic, communication, and musical benefits.

Passing on What You Know – Communication
Through lecture, demonstration, and discussion, participants learn how to identify what kinds of communication are important to a group’s survival. Attendees will be given tools to identify their own strengths and weaknesses and those of others in the band. By observing the facilitator, participants learn to develop ideas on how to “work” an audience, and techniques to get the music to the “other side of the stage.”

How Sound Works
This is a workshop designed more for the younger musician or perhaps for non-musicians. A whimsical approach is taken to explain the basics of sound generation and the function of the human ear. Participants will see and hear a soda bottle flute, a trumpet made from garden hose and kitchen funnels, a finger piano made with tongue depressors and a bread baking pan, a wastebasket drum set, and traditional instruments. The attendees will learn how to make musical instruments from everyday “found” materials. During the session, participants will form a “kitchen” band and perform a piece.

Stage Presence and You
This interactive session deals with nerves, communicating with an audience, getting the music and your personality beyond the edge of the stage, and making your own mark in the group. Attendees will hear descriptions and explanations, play games, perform, and role-play to aid in developing their own personal style and comfort levels.

Tour Logistics
The lecture-discussion Tour Logistics workshop details the many necessities involved in putting your group on the road such as management, travel arrangements, Visas and other travel documents, legal considerations operational cash, contracts, money, and equipment. You can’t get there if you don’t start here…

Creating a Show
A basic live band performance is different from a “stage show.” Participants in this workshop will be guided through the process of creating a show format as opposed to a concert or background type of entertainment. Through lecture, discussion, and improv games, the attendees will learn the ins and outs of making a show work for them and their audiences.

Promotions – Using Social Media and Websites
This workshop, executed in a lecture-discussion format, explores the online world of social media and websites in the marketing of your band. The session will deal with many aspects of an online presence from its value for your group to the process of using the internet for promotion.

Booking Gigs
Playing the job is just one part of the picture. You first have to find and secure the gig and then be sure you are treated properly. This workshop, performed in a lecture-discussion format, is designed to give participants a structured understanding of the steps needed to successfully find and maintain music performance jobs from the business end including contracts, riders, agents, promoters, venue communication, and gig follow-up.

Contracts and Riders
Through lecture and discussion, this session works with participants to understand the place that contracts and riders have in their working lives. The workshop gives step-by-step information on the necessity of, creation, legalities, and enforcement of written performance paperwork.

Creating a Brand
In this workshop, the attendees will become familiar with the concept, creation, and uses of “branding” in the business of music. The lecture-discussion will explore what a brand is, how to create and protect a unique brand, how to market and promote that brand, and the responsibilities of all members of that band to the brand.

Introduction to Arranging
Attendees learn the basics of arranging and correct voicing for a given instrumentation using scores and piano music. SATB or String Quartet will be used as an example.

Basic Improvisation
Attendees will learn the basics of improvisational skill, observe same, and demonstrate the skill(s) during the workshop session.

Cool Scales!
Participants sitting in a semi-circle configuration have the opportunity to read non-standard scales not limited to major and minor pentatonics, jazz, blues, modals and other scales which are used primarily in world, modern, and mainstream music. The scales will be written for each instrument’s specific clef in concert pitch. Guidance and instruction is provided by the facilitator who will also present histories of each of the scales being learned and give examples of where they have been used.

Pitch Singing
As performances can be “made or broken” by intonation issues, this workshop focuses on the necessity of being able to identify pitches and tune internally in an ensemble. Participants will have the opportunity to hone their skills in pitch recognition and production by working with the facilitator as individuals and as a group, mimicking notes and sounds in the correct octave, paying close attention to intonation.

Rock Grooves and Party Music
This interactive workshop will allow attendees to read complicated rhythms and play “cool” sounding riffs, grooves, and bass lines written specifically for their instrument in concert pitch. Included will be examples of well known rock and mainstream grooves. The facilitator will aid the group in learning about the genres being performed through lecture, discussion, and demonstration.

Emotion and Music
Through lecture, discussion, demonstration, and personal experimentation, participants will become aware of the visual and musical significance of being able not to just play a piece, but to PERFORM one.  Discussion of and exercises in such simple things as balance, breathing, using the body efficiently, and shortcuts for prevention of nerves and mental mistakes enhance the attendees’ understanding.  Application of the tools given and discussed apply to all instrumentation including voice.

Rhythm and Movement
In this workshop, attendees will be introduced to the functionality of the body in response to specific rhythms and subdivisions of beats to assist in properly identifying simple to complex rhythms. Given choreography to music of varying speeds and rhythms, students will mimic the facilitator, moving with the music and doing simple motions to reflect similar musical passages. Special attention will be paid to movement as a value in playing as well as creating a stage persona. This session is particularly suited to the younger or less experienced performer.

Advanced Arranging – String Techniques
Through lecture, demonstration, and discussion, this session will focus on the arranger’s use of advanced string techniques illustrated by performed and printed examples. Attendees will explore and identify skills which can be used to mimic audio examples of music for further composition and arranging.