With the Cape Youth Orchestra, I had the opportunity to work with a group of youth musicians on free improvisation. The classes began with an exercise in communicating with one another by playing only a single note on our instrument. We explored various elements of music for expressing emotions and capturing a mood. We continued to add notes until we had the full complement of notes to use on our respective instruments. Then, we began the conversation around the various roles we play to support one another's creative ideas during live improvisation. Our work culminated in a series of live improvisations for an audience in which they were invited to write down nouns, colors, emotions, etc. on small pieces of paper. We would then draw two pieces of paper on stage and create a new composition, using the two words as a source of inspiration.
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