They're a potent one to four hour period where ideas are excited. Workshops are about creating "the spark" that will ignite the sustained burn of practice. In a workshop or master-class, listening to someone else play or ask a question can present a completely different way of thinking about a situation than you might come up with on your own. People who come to workshops and master-classes are serious about music, whether as a profession or for personal enrichment, and so they have the intensity of inquiry.
Fortunately, a certain bubbling of creativity has always led my life. I feel that enthusiasm, joy and exploration add to one's studies. As serious as we are, I think we can burn out if we're too serious. So I advocate treating your work as important, while not taking it or yourself too seriously. I teach to inspire a little bit of creativity and exploration, a sense of wonder, personal responsibility and curiosity.
I offer a variety of workshops and master-classes sure to inspire any musician at any level. My teaching style is about exploration and discovery and my classes are upbeat and participatory.
Here are some of my workshops:
THE BUSINESS OF MUSIC
I have been solely making a living from music since 1990. I offer my ideas of what you have to do to make music your career. We'll discuss attitudes about how to stay healthy, whole, creative and excited about music; and how not to burn out. Subjects include: scheduling, setting up a teaching studio, getting students, getting gigs, how to prepare a press packet, networking, etiquette, and business and financial planning for creative artists.
Using tone, technical exercises, extended techniques, pentatonic and blues scales, graphic notation and game structures everyone can feel the joy, rather than the fear, of creating music.
I have often come across pieces where I've had to use extended techniques. My experience with extended techniques comes from improvising: from wanting to create textures and colors and discover different sonic landscapes. I teach extended techniques with a hands-on approach, based on fingerings that you know and how you blow. Then you can push what you know into the unfamiliar, making it become familiar. I show you how to get a certain effect, or how to find the steps along the way to getting it. These include the most common flutter tongue and jet whistle, chiffy sounds and even beat boxing. I'll demonstrate and simplify basic techniques such as singing and playing, quartertones, multi-phonics, microtones, jet whistles, slap tongue and more. We will explore how these unusual sounds can help the traditional tone, expression and intonation.
CLASSICAL MASTER CLASSES
The creative process is fundamental to me, and I believe good art is a balance between skill, technique and the freedom to let your intuitive guide you. Using traditional and contemporary repertoire, we will develop skill and learn to create expression through specific objective exercises. With a fail-safe dynamic exercise and an "emotion chart" we will build the tools to express ourselves, and by creating stories we will help find the emotion in the notes. Feel the rhythm in every day life, and find the natural pulse in the music. Dance, march, skip — learn how subdivision and inner counting help us feel the phrases.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
As musicians, we all need the tools to go very far and very fast! We'll talk about ways to vary your routine and start looking forward to your warm-ups. Get ideas about practicing technical passages with varied rhythms, note couples and simple improvisations. Get clear, visual mnemonic devices that help a wind player understand theory principles and how to recognize them in music. Learn how to memorize major and minor scales and the circle of 5ths, different practice patterns and how scales are used in music. I'll discuss practice planning and how in just twenty minutes a day you'll get more done if you have a plan. Learn how to use a timer, charts, stickers and other motivational tools.
This workshop is about mental and physical conditioning for musicians. We all get nervous. Some of us thrive on the adrenaline; others fear it. What's the difference? In addition to discussing basic physical and mental responses to stress, we will play using exercises that induce stress so that we can practice overcoming the jitters. Discussing stage etiquette is helpful for concerts and competitions. How we handle ourselves on stage is as much a part of the performance as are the notes. Inspired by my work with chiropractors, yoga, Alexander Technique and Suzuki theater training, I'll also discuss breath and body conditioning, stretching, physical warm-up/cool-down, fun finger exercises, possible injuries and ways to prevent them.