Musicians of all ages and abilities who want to expand their creative vocabulary are invited to participate in two days of workshops at Immaculata University, near Philadelphia.
Music for People (MfP)—a global leader in the art of improvisational music, where all voices and instruments are welcomed—will offer “Free Improvisation for All,” on Saturday, Feb. 8, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Immaculata’s Music Department (1145 West King Rd., Immaculata, Pennsylvania). The workshop will provide musicians with the tools and techniques to improvise in all genres, including classical, jazz, blues, folk and world music.
Musicians interested in learning more about MfP’s signature approach to improvisation and group facilitation, particularly in educational and therapeutic settings, are encouraged to register for a bonus workshop on Sunday, Feb. 9, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Immaculata.
Both workshops are designed for professional and aspiring music educators, performers, arts therapists and wellness practitioners, and involve drumming, instrumental playing, dance and movement.
The public may register for either or both days. For more information, visit www.musicforpeople.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Rudge, an MfP facilitator and teacher-trainer, will oversee both workshops. “Anybody is able to tell a musical story. We’ll teach you some fun games and techniques that you can utilize on your own or share with others—at home, in the classroom, or throughout the community,” says Rudge, a nationally renowned conductor, violinist and music teacher.
Rudge is associate professor of music at SUNY Fredonia, where he directs the college symphony, the chamber orchestra and the opera orchestra. The New York native also is music director of the Rock Hill Symphony Orchestra in Charlotte, South Carolina.
He says each seven-hour workshop is “loaded with opportunities” for artistic self-discovery—from warming up one’s body and instrument; to playing in large and small groups; to exploring scales, intervals and rhythmic patterns.
MfP Board President Todd Rogers concurs, saying that MfP encourages “deep listening,” so musicians can connect with their “authentic selves.” “MfP takes a mindful approach to music making. We start by creating ‘One Quality Sound’—a note or tone that expresses how we feel in the moment,” says the Brooklyn-based fiddler and drum-circle facilitator.
Since Grammy Award-winning cellist David Darling co-founded MfP in 1986, the organization’s humanistic approach has struck a chord with musicians of all stripes.
Workshop attendees run the gamut—from those who cannot read music to others who are classically trained but want to learn how to solo in other genres. “As David Darling writes, ‘There are no wrong notes,’” says Rogers, noting MfP’s popularity among composers, singer/songwriters, and private and classroom music teachers.
Registration is open to singers; string, woodwind and brass players; percussionists; and those who play experimental or multicultural instruments. “We will provide a large assortment of instruments, including mbiras, hand-pans, pianos and various djembe drums. There’s something for everyone,” Rogers adds.
Early-bird registration (on or before Friday, Jan. 24) is $99 for each day. Late registration (on or after Saturday, Jan. 25) is $137.50 per day. The weekend rate for people in MfP’s Musicianship & Leadership Program (MLP) is $275. The weekend rate for MLP graduates is $265. MLP graduates registering on or before Jan. 25 receive a 25-percent discount. Prices do not include food and lodging.