Five-Day Workshops in Vienna

Composition • Movement • Improvisation


Compose music? Where do I start? 

The most challenging step for novice composers is knowing where to start and where to take inspiration from. This workshop will take students through various improvisational drills and dialogues to get them thinking about just what kind of piece they might like to write. 

Whereas at advanced levels your teachers might encourage you to write what you hear, at earlier stages some constructive 'messing around' at the keyboard will encourage you to listen for new sounds and generate your own ideas.

Over the five days of the course, faculty will guide you through developing these ideas into your own composition for piano. You will learn skills including: finding inspiration; generating and developing melodies, harmonies, and rhythms; structuring your ideas into a form; editing and polishing your music, including using software. There is no expectation for any specific kind of composition - it's a wide open field! You will have fun and be amazed listening to your own project unfold and those of others!

Already a composer? Our faculty will provide optional challenge exercises and tips so that you can take your writing to the next level. 

You will walk away from this course with a complete piece and you may choose to feature it in the end-of-week performance.

'40 moving fingers, 8 moving feet'  ~with Anastasia Kaminskagia

Just as the composition workshop involves collaborative play, this workshop provides students with more opportunity to develop important ensemble skills, experience the independence of their bodies while playing, stabilize the sense of rhythm, and acquire  improvising proficiency. Piano playing can be interactive and made into a fun game between friends/classmates with activities, such as improvising with Blues scales and Balkan folk tunes, and the musical chairs game "The Beatletrain". Through such games students will build a strong sense of rhythm and learn to accompany. View some samples from Kaminskagia's "Piano Comics" below!

Experiencing More Freedom and Ease at the Piano   ~with Kathryn Woodard

Most students will agree that playing the piano is one of the most complex activities they do any given day. This kind of activity deserves rigorous, detailed training of movement so that students can improve skills, play with more ease, and enhance their own musicality. 

Each day of the course Kathryn Woodard will lead students in a series of activities to heighten their awareness of movement at the piano. She will address common misconceptions of piano technique that limit a student's progress and musicality. She will also relate sensory training to her own creative process at the piano and describe how she works with students in the beginning stages of improvising and composing.