• July 23, 2023
    6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  • July 24, 2023
    9:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • July 25, 2023
    9:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • July 26, 2023
    9:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • July 27, 2023
    9:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • July 28, 2023
    9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Art of Improvisation 2023


Join MUSIC FOR PEOPLE in our ANNUAL DEEP DIVE into musical renewal, mindfulness, and creativity. For musicians and vocalists experienced in any musical tradition – classical, jazz, theater, rock, ethnic, avant-garde, et al. In an energetic, humorous and open-minded environment, discover how to move beyond the limits of musical training while playing at the peak of your technical and expressive ability. All instruments welcome – acoustic, electric, winds, strings, hand drums, percussion and home-made innovations. For beginners and professionals alike. Prior experience in improvisation is not necessary.

Learn More About AOI

Led by Mary Knysh, Irene Feher and David Rudge – with help from members and graduates of Music for People’s Musicianship and Leadership Program, you can:

  • Discover skill and confidence. Release your musical inhibitions.
  • Jam with other creative participants in large and small groups in unique combinations.
  • Experience why listening and imitation are the most fundamental musical skills. In this approach, there are “no wrong notes.”
  • Create music “in the moment” by playing through your heart.
  • Record with other workshop participants.
  • Choose from sessions on:
    • Developing and practicing group facilitation skills.
    • Exploring vocal expression.
    • Deepening your musicianship with improvisation.

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Starting with an opening banquet provided by the University of South Carolina at 5:30 pm on Sunday, the workshop will run through Friday morning on July 28th.


The workshop will be held at USC’s wonderful School of Music with housing a short walk to Green Quad.

For flights, you can fly into the Columbia, SC airport which is a short distance from the campus.


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Housing will be in USC’s apartment-style Green Quad. Each apartment has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen (refrigerator, stove, table, & chairs), common space, and wifi. The following linens are provided: 1 pillow, 1 pillowcase, 1 flat sheet, 1 fitted sheet, 2 towels, and 1 washcloth. You are not required to do so, but on the USC housing site, you may indicate up to 3 preferred apartment mates. However, preferred apartment-mate assignment is not guaranteed.

Food Options

The opening Sunday night dinner is provided by USC. For other meals, you can:

  • Bring/cook your own food. Note: You will need to bring your own cooking AND eating utensils.
  • Go out to a nearby restaurant/cafe. (There are several places within 2-5 blocks – Nearby Food Options.)
  • Order food from a food delivery app (Uber Eats, Door Dash, etc.) and have it delivered to the School of Music where there will be an eating area for the community.

Optional Pre-Workshop Concert

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The Music for People Improv Collective will offer a free concert on Saturday, July 22nd at 7 pm if your travel plans allow you to arrive a day early. Come and get ready for the fun week ahead!

To Register:

  • Workshop Tuition: Pay through this site by choosing your Tuition option below.
  • Donation Option: Make an optional donation to the scholarship fund if you would like to help another person attend the workshop.
  • Housing: Housing at USC is now closed.

Refunds: If you are unable to attend the workshop for some reason, your payment will be credited towards an upcoming Music for People event.

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Venue Website:

Columbia, South Carolina, 29208, United States