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Playing with Music: Improvising through the Ages (Advanced, Adults)

20 September 2021 23 September 2021

Explore the practice of improvisation ranging from Renaissance and Baroque embellishment through folk and jazz genres to free contemporary improvisation. 

What is the course about?

This course explores the art of improvisation in a diversity of styles encompassing baroque, classical and contemporary, jazz, folk and beyond. Improvising can be a liberating experience that develops many all-round musical skills – aural and listening, creating, interacting with other musicians – facilitating more spontaneous approaches to interpretation and music making in general. It is not essential to have previous experience in improvisation and the course is designed to work from the individual’s own level in a challenging, but encouraging and supportive, environment. Come and dare to do something different! It promises to be an exciting journey of musical self-discovery.

What will we cover?

Renaissance and Baroque embellishment practices; improvisation in the Classical period; traditional blues and jazz (harmonic structures and melodic improvisation); improvisation in contemporary classical contexts (including ‘intuitive music’)

What will we accomplish? By the end of this course you will be able to…

To arrive at a point where you have the confidence to dispense with the written score and give flight to the imagination; to enhance your aural skills, necessary in being able to hear internally what you are going to play/sing before you play/sing it, and also in response to what others are playing/ singing.              

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

No previous experience in improvising required.

How will the course be taught, and will any preparation be required?

Taught as a group, but also with individual one-to-one work with the tutor. The class will be split into smaller groups (duos and trios) for some of the assignments. Tutor feedback (encouragement) given at every stage.


RESIDENT: £453 (including room

NON-RESIDENT: £345 (25% off for under 27s)

The fee for this residential course includes: Standard single accommodation (with hand basin and shared bathroom facilities), tuition, use of relevant facilities and full board (including any hot beverages, biscuits and cakes which might be served at break times). 

Supplemental charges are payable for an en-suite room and for single occupancy of a double room. We offer a discount for clients sharing a standard twin/double bedroom. Please visit Terms and Conditions for current rates.

A non-residential fee includes all of the above less accommodation and breakfast.

Benslow Music

Benslow Lane
Hitchin, Hertfordshire, SG4 9RB
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