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Archive for December, 2010

Free to be musical

In ‘Free to be Musical’ Lee Higgins and Pat Campbell have ventured where no other creative composition and improvisation publication has gone before. The use of language is welcoming and warm, creating a safe and non-judgmental space in which to make music. For example, what I have always referred to as a workshop is called the ‘Event’ in the context of this book, I like this. A workshop can mean so many things to different people; someplace to keep garden and power tools, something that business people do maximize team productivity, breakout groups during a motivational conference(Tom Cruise in Magnolia comes to mind) and of the community arts workshop. Not a negative term by any means, as it suggests that the session will be ‘hands-on’. For, me using the term ‘event’ instead is more exciting as well as less intimidating and competitive, it suggests many layers, roles and outlets for input rather then the same approach to a question/process.

The ‘Badge of Identity’ is particularly attractive and is one that I have used with groups already. This event manages to be about the individual as well as the group and touches on poetry(haiku), self-reflection, group reflection and musical composition based on the piece of ‘art’/’badge’ the individual creates. Participants create their ‘badge’ which represents them at that moment, it can consist of pictures, items from their house, books, a new painting – there is no ‘right’ way. The individual is then asked to write a haiku about their ‘badge’. The group then read their pieces and introduce their work and finally composition can occur based on each ‘badge’ with the condition that the person who owns the ‘badge’ does not take part in the musical composition for his/her piece. The piece is then performed by the group for the ‘badge’ creator. Event best describes this process, I feel.

The outcome of these events are never known to the facilitator, allowing for a true freedom to be musical.