- Open (def: scores for unspecified instrumentation)
- Found objects or art supplies
- Acoustic instruments
- 5 to 12 years of age
- 13 to 18 years of age
Catalyst Music: A music improv video series
Catalyst is an online, music improvisation learning experience. Along with three instructional videos, this guide will outline some of the key components of musical improvisation. This video series draws from the Creative Ability and Development method and music pedagogy created by Alice Kanack.
Along with three interactive videos, this accompanying video guide can be used by individuals or small groups of a wide age range and musical ability.
These instructional videos are designed to work in conjunction with an educator/workshop facilitator as a supporting activity, or stand alone for individual use.
What is Creative Ability and Development?
Creative Ability and Development (CAD) is a method created by Alice Kanack where students use musical improvisation as a mean to develop the creative side of the brain. The main goal of CAD is to teach unique self expression or musicality. When students engage in improvisation, there are three rules or intentions we abide by:
1. There Is No Such Thing As A Mistake
”Creativity Is About Making Choices”
Our first, and perhaps our most important rule, helps students to free themselves into embracing their own creativity in choosing sounds. Composing is making decisions with sound; improvisation is making those decisions in real time and executing them in the moment. Allowing ourselves to freely make musical decisions without worrying if they are right or wrong leads us on a journey to crafting a musical language that resonates with who we are.
2. Silence and Applause
Practicing Respect and Communication
Silence: Someone once told me that growing in our craft as musicians is centred around the art of listening. By actively listening to the music being created around us we are growing in our musical understanding and aptitude.
Applause: When we hear someone call out “Bravo! or Brava!” after a magnificent performance, it was not originally used to just celebrate virtuosity. When the word was first used in ancient Greece, it was used to recognize the bravery of a performer. When we applause, it may not always take place in the literal sense, but through our expressions, minds and our hearts we honour the musical experience we are hearing.
3. Never Criticize A Friend
”Because there is no such thing as a mistake”
Judging a masterpiece before it is completed is a silly idea–improvisation is a life-long journey! When we engage in improvisation we are taking part in a revolving feedback loop:We make a decision and create a sound. We hear the sound, make another decision, and the process continues… To show respect for each other’s creative journey and process, we refrain from judging someone else’s musical choices. This keeps the feedback loop clear, and fosters an encouraging supportive community for everyone to explore their creative voices.
Improvising and creating soundscapes with a loop pedal
Loop Pedal Devices & Apps:
Boss Loop Station RC-20
Boss Loop Station RC-30
Boss Loop Station RC-300
Vox VDL‑1 dynamic looper
Creating soundscapes: A Framework For Creating A Soundscape With A Looping Device
Start With The Root: Set the tempo, character and feel of your soundscape and showcase the key (this can be done by using arpeggios and other scale notes)
Build It Out: Holding long tones can help create a wash of sound and help participants to get comfortable by blending their sound into the texture.
Add Some Texture: Create a harmony or counter melody, Change the type of bow stroke you are using (for example: pizzicato, tremmello etc.)
Leave Room For ‘Play’ : Rests are part of the music, Feel free to leave some open space within the soundscape and let your melodies, breath.
About Kathryn Patricia Cobbler:
Loop pedal violist, composer, and arranger Kathryn Patricia Cobbler has crafted a singular niche in improvisation, and classical performance. She obsesses over creating uniquely arresting soundscapes, whether in solo recitals, composing for theatre, performing in site specific art installations, and more.
As an educator, Ms. Cobbler is a Creative Ability and Development method teacher and teacher-trainer. She continually seeks to expand repertoire for solo viola and loop pedal, and has engaged with the 9th Hour Theatre as a composer and performer for their production of Halo. She has also been known to collaborate with other composers, including a premiere of a piece by the Canadian cellist and composer Raphael Weinroth-Browne.
Kathryn Patricia holds degrees in viola performance from Western University (B.M.) and the University of Ottawa (M.M.). She performs on a viola by luthier, Sibylle Ruppert and a Boss RC-30 loop pedal.
https://www.kathrynpatricia.com/Read More +