AUGUST 12 - 19, 2018



Introduction to Improvisation

This Course, held concurrently with Adult & Family Week at Timber Ridge, is designed and led by Eden MacAdam-Somer.

Discover your inner improvisational voice and how to express that voice through your instrument. In this class, singers and instrumentalists will explore rhythmic, melodic, and simple harmonic improvisation using techniques common to aural traditions throughout the world. This class is great for musicians who are new to improvising, but will also benefit experienced improvisers. Participants should be comfortable getting around their instrument enough to play/sing simple tunes. Everyone will do a fair amount of singing in addition to playing your other instrument (full-time singers are very welcome of course). Percussionists should be prepared to do melodic and harmonic work in addition to playing rhythm. You do not need to know anything about reading music or music theory - we'll discuss theory as it comes up but the focus will always be on the music.

During the week, we will spend time:

  • learning folk tunes and blues by ear
  • playing/singing in every key
  • playing/singing harmony (chords) and backup parts (rhythm)
  • taking solos, improvising, and have fun doing it
  • writing our own class tune

You are encouraged to bring a recording device and a notebook.

The Course meets for two hours each day. For the rest of the day, participants can choose from among the activities available at the host week. See the week's full schedule for details.


This course is limited to 8 participants to ensure plenty of opportunity for active participation. Participants should be comfortable getting around their instrument (including voice) enough to play/sing simple tunes. If the class is oversubscribed on March 13, there will be a lottery, with preference given to instrumental balance, musical goals, and to applicants supported by their local community. Strong indicators for CDSS are our Group Priority and Matching Scholarship processes, where a CDSS affiliate vouches for a participant and may offer some scholarship, asking CDSS to match that amount ( This is a statement by people who know the individual, that the person is deserving of assistance and would benefit the local community by attending camp. That can count highly in this and in our scholarship considerations.

Please clearly indicate if you would like to attend Adult & Family Week at Timber Ridge, if you did not get a space in the Course.

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