•  Cello masterclasses

•  Cello technique/fix it classes

•  Suzuki philosophy

•  Embracing the Paradoxes of Play and Practice

A workshop for all levels of player, and parents of young students

       with Michael Blackwell

       and Erica Sipes          

•  Celtic Cello

•  Improvisation/How To Teach Improvisation

•  How to teach the cello

•  With New River Ensemble:

Composing Silent Film Scores (1 class period)

For any age group, in large assemblies or classrooms.

This flexible workshop or assembly program combines performance and audience discussion to explore the ways that music and film interact to create narrative structure and meaning. A short film clip is played several times, each time accompanied by different music. Audience and performers discuss the way the different musical interpretations affect the way we understand the film clip. The process is then reversed, with different film clips played over the same piece of music. Discussion ensues.

Playing Silent Film Scores (2+days)

For instrumental groups with some degree of fluency with notation.

In this workshop participants learn to play a score to a short silent film. Scores are custom- designed for each group (with the option of compositional input from the group). This is an exciting project which draws on a wide variety of skills from reading to improvisation. Guaranteed to keep participants on their toes!

Book 1 (1-2 class periods)

K-12 (can be adapted for college)

This performative, interactive concert disassembles and re-imagines iconic pieces from the young music student’s repertoire. Through humorous discussion the trio proceeds to construct elaborate variations on these simple melodies, stretching them into unexpected musical dimensions. Each piece becomes a lesson in a different musical concept: harmony, orchestration, texture, meter, swing, harmony, reharmonization, mode, form (fugue, sonata form), etc. The band quibbles on stage over the best creative solution to each piece and the audience gets to chime in. Since each piece addresses a different concept this program is flexible and can be adjusted to various ages and blocks of time.

Universal Narrative Shape (1 to 2 class periods)

For Middle School, High School, College, especially schools with few musical resources

A flexible/adaptable workshop that combines concepts of musical form with form in story, speech, art, and life. Through listening, interactive seminars, participatory music-making workshops, and a culminating performance New River guides participants in an exploration of the organization of sound.

Anatomy of a Piece of Music (1 class period)

For 6th through 12 Grade Music Classes

This workshop explores the structure and thematic material of one movement of a larger work (say a movement of the Brahms clarinet trio). Through discussion, diagram and listening the NRE takes a class into the inner mechanisms of the piece.

Musician Master Classes (1 to 2 class periods)

Middle School, High School, College

The New River Ensemble offers Master Classes in piano technique, cello performance, woodwind performance, jazz improvisation, composition, and choral and instrumental ensemble playing.

For trailers, recordings and full workshop descriptions see