The Program

Game Symphony is a group improvisation workshop that can transform musicians into confident, creative, and expressive improvisers. The workshop is for middle school, high school, college, and professional ensembles (mixed and non-standard, too).

The workshop teaches improvisation through community-building games and activities. These games introduce the creative practices of experimentation, play, limitations, and reflection in a fun and dynamic environment. This foundation of trust, camaraderie, and improvisational skills allows for an easy pivot to jazz improvisation, group composition, and beyond. 

GSW founder Steve Treseler has used these activities to launch successful high school jazz combo programs and help groups of classically-trained musicians create original works. Starting in 2018, Game Symphony will be part of the core music curriculum at Seattle Pacific University.

Treseler and other facilitators lead 60-90 minute workshops, weekend retreats, guest artist performances, and more.

Download some of the games and activities for free.

GSW Activities

  • Musical adaptations of improv theater games
  • Soundpainting
  • Orignial graphic scores
  • Creative Prompts from Creativity Triggers for Musicians
  • Improvisation with drones
  • Collaborative composition
  • Variations on a theme
  • Multi-media pieces
  • Intro to jazz improvisation
  • Culminating performance


The workshop may enhance your program if you want:

  • To empower independent, creative, and collaborative musicians
  • To build camaraderie and trust in your ensembles
  • To mix things up in rehearsals
  • Your students to volunteer to take solos
  • Your students to develop and express their musical personalities
  • Your students to thrive in diverse musical environments

Why Does it Work?

Traditional music education equips students with technique and ensemble skills, but many students aren't exposed to the process of creating original music.

Many classically-trained musicians have anxiety about improvisation. Rather than putting musicians on the spot as soloists, the Game Symphony Workshop introduces creative music through group games and exercises. Aligning improvisation with community-building activities eases fears—and once musicians build trust and confidence in the process, the creative possibilities are endless.

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