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Violin High Energy
Violin Beyond Limits
Violin Vortex

  Free Improvisation   

Wherever it is helpful I like to find opportunities for my students to stretch their imagination, explore the furthest reaches of the sound their instrument is capable of making, to take their music up to their perceived limits and then go beyond.


For many classically trained musicians improvisation seems like a whole world away from them.  It feels like completely foreign territory.

TED Talk

Sir Ken Robinson




There is so much safety in having 'the dots' in front of you. Even if you have a good musical memory and can memorise music it seems so scarey to step away from the expected notes.


And yet, and yet...   There is so much reward if you are prepared to let go of the well-trodden path. Experimenting, pushing the boundaries and ultimately freeing up your playing await you just beyond the limited horizon of the notes on the page. It is your access to creativity, play and ultimately the true expression of your own sound.


Improvisation is a very important concept to come to terms with. It may seem impossible that exquisite and coherent music can be made in the present moment without any previously agreed plan or structure - as if by magic.   In free improvisation there are no wrong notes, no agreed plans just the sounds combining in the moment so anyone at any level of ability can do it. 


But why do something so strange?  Check out the list below. Some of the ideas might intrigue you.

Group free improvisation offers you the opportunity to learn how to:


  • Work confidently with the unexpected

  • Respond ‘rationally’ to the ‘irrational’

  • Make good choices in difficult situations

  • Develop and deepen intuition both as an individual and part of a group

  • Learn how to process and work with the unforeseen

  • Make sense of the unfamiliar  

  • Discover how individuals can be heard, valued and respected in the group dynamic 

  • Learn the value of ‘mistakes’ and how they can be accepted and worked with as potentially interesting material

  • Develop and encourage reciprocity (give-and-take) between individuals in a group situation

  • Learn how to make brilliance possible without the burden of 'always having to get it right'

  • Deepen and extend the experience of listening and hearing

  • Learn about yourself and others without language

  • Work with paradox and contradiction

  • Enhance and deepen positive group and individual intention

  • Creatively handle conflicting ideas

  • Discover new meanings for individuality in a group setting

  • Develop creativity and learn how to encourage it

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