Mary Knysh Teaching BlockThe Musicianship and Leadership Program (MLP) from Music for People is a three-year program offering unique training in music improvisation and workshop facilitation skills. Our programs focus on various aspects of musical development with attention given to each participant’s individual development.

Our programs are woven into our yearly calendar of Adventures in Improvisation workshops, with weekend events in early October, early February and early May, as well as a week-long Art of Improvisation event in the summer (typically starting at the end of July).

Each workshop has a mix of large and small group sessions:

  • large group sessions with all participants
  • teaching block sessions focusing on specific Music for People techniques
  • small groups led by participants in the Musicianship and Leadership Program
  • facilitator training session with other members of the training program

Through our experiential-based program, you will have the opportunity to be in large and small improvising ensembles throughout the workshop.

Membership in Music for People is required to participate in the MLP Program (dues paid annually) in order to help support the administration of the organization.

During the Improvisor Level, you will get acquainted with the MfP techniques used in our workshops and use these techniques along with your own practices to go deeper into your personal musical process. It is a year for working on your own musicianship, starting to develop your leadership style and getting acquainted with and integrated into the MfP community.

We expect that someone who completes this level will be able to provide a basic level of musicianship, improvisation, performance and facilitation of groups of improvisors. This would include “homeplay” recordings, informal improvised performances and community music-making experiences.

Improvisor Requirements:

  1. Demonstrate basic proficiency in utilizing MfP activities/structures in their playing.
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in leading basic MfP activities for small groups, informal gatherings and/or with private students.
  3. Deliver one informal MfP gathering and/or performance.
  4. Complete the Homeplay assignments for each module:
      Module 1: Core MfP Skills
      Module 2: Rhythmic Explorations
      Module 3: Melodic Explorations
Choose a Track: MfP Community Workshop Facilitator or MfP Musicianship

Level 2 provides an in-depth experience of facilitation and musicianship. With a choice of tracks, participants hone and improve their skills, and prepare to take their work out into the world in their preferred area of interest.

MfP Community Workshop Facilitator Track Requirements:

  1. Demonstrates success in utilizing MfP activities/structures in their playing.
  2. Demonstrates success in leading MfP activities.
  3. Demonstrates ability to create an effective workshop flow, weaving standard MfP practices with their own creative facilitation.
  4. Demonstrates the ability to organize and deliver a public workshop using MfP-provided model or their own.
  5. Deliver 15 hours of facilitating workshops in public.
  6. Complete the Homeplay assignments for each module.
  7. Attend The Art of Improvisation (AOI).

MfP Musicianship Track Requirements:

  1. Demonstrate success in utilizing MFP activities/structures in their playing.
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in leading basic MFP activities.
  3. Deliver one public improvised performance, of any length, which includes some audience engagement (solo or ensemble).
  4. Provide 15 hours of musicianship mentoring for MfP Improvisors.
  5. Complete Homeplay assignments.
  6. Attend The Art of Improvisation (AOI).
Choose a Track: MfP Artist Facilitator or Engaged Performer: MfP on Stage

Level 3 provides an opportunity for participants to focus their leadership/musicianship training in a particular area of personal or professional interest. This could include community music making, mental health, corporate training, education, etc. Any specialization would be recognized in their certification. We would expect that someone who earns this certification could provide facilitation for a certified MfP satellite workshop.

Artist Facilitator Track Requirements:

  1. Demonstrates mastery of MfP activities/structures in their playing.
  2. Demonstrates success in applying MfP-inspired practices to their chosen field.
  3. Demonstrates the ability to deliver inspired sessions modeled on MfP techniques or their own innovative ideas.
  4. Demonstrates ability to organize a successful workshop with an effective flow, weaving standard MfP practices within their own style of delivery, and in their chosen field. (Performance, Therapy, Education, etc.)
  5. Has delivered an additional 25 hours of MfP Facilitation in the their chosen field (With individuals, groups, or whatever MfP applications they have chosen.)
  6. Attend The Art of Improvisation.

Engaged Performer Track Requirements:

  1. Demonstrate mastery of MfP activities/structures in their playing.
  2. Demonstrate success in leading MfP-inspired activities in public.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to deliver inspired solo and ensemble performances, modeled on MfP techniques and/or their own innovative ideas.
  4. Demonstrate mastery in engaging the audience in their improvised performances.
  5. Record at least 60 minutes of quality improvisations.
  6. Deliver 25 hours of improvisation training and/or mentoring to private students, friends, MfP participants, etc.
  7. Attend The Art of Improvisation.