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Musicianship and the Art of Interpretation:  

An approach to Classical Repertoire through Harmonic Analysis and Improvisation


This two-hour master class offers students applied theory and ear training both within the context of the repertoire they are currently working on and through an exploration of improvisation.


For many musicians, music theory is a task learned and practiced away from their instruments. This gap in music education can lead to a lack of harmonic recognition while playing.  Yet through live verbal harmonic analysis and improvisation games, we can discover both the science and the meaning of the music, the latter of which is unique to every individual. But how do we discover this meaning?


In this workshop, we will choose key areas and modulations of particular relevance in the pieces students are working on, and then together improvise between the chosen key areas. In this manner, we will discover the music’s distinguishing characteristics by articulating the emotional qualities or psychological moods per key and discussing the best way to technically achieve these ideas through the instrument. By the time we return to the repertoire the music will have transformed to a more personal level for the student, who can then play it with more confidence.  A more specific and therefore sophisticated interpretation thus emerges.

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