The Program

Game Symphony Workshop is a group improvisation experience that generates creativity, confidence, and community. 

 

The workshop is for middle school, high school, college, and professional ensembles (mixed and non-standard, too).

GSW is a re-implementable model for learning improvisation, and can be taught as part of core musicianship. The workshop activities are available for free.

For a more intensive workshop experience, schools and ensembles can hire a trained facilitator to conduct 60-90 minute sessions, weekend retreats, recurring workshops, and more.

GSW Activities

  • Musical adaptations of theater games
  • Soundpainting
  • 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

Benefits

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.

Watch Steve lead the improv game "Guess the Animal" with a group of instrumentalists and vocalists at the 2017 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival:

 
 

Hear what musicians and educators are saying about the program (scroll down below the video).