And just like that, our 8-sessions at Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute have come to a close. This past Saturday we held the 8th and final 'official' workshop, which focused on readying the youth participants for our May 9th listening party, and discussion of general performance techniques.
Teaching Artists Saskia Lane and P.U.D.G.E (Reginald Sinkler) led this week's session. After a quick run-down of the listening party logistics and confirmation of performance slots, we launched straight into the creative work. Saskia, P.U.D.G.E., and the other TA's (Matt Aronoff, SpazeCraft One (Aaron Lazansky), and Charles Burchell) worked with participants in small groups to help them prepare their performances. Students that wouldn't be performing during the listening party went to work on iPads and laptops - continuing work from past weeks, or starting new tracks.
P.U.D.G.E. and Matt helped the lyricists with tips for engaging their audience through audience participation and live production aspects, like dropping out the beat to emphasize a line. Saskia and Spaze honed their performance, which will include Saskia on stand-up bass, beats by Spaze, and cello improvisation by a youth participant. Charles and a small group started work on a new song with student beats and vocals.
To wrap up the workshop, the students came back for a final share session. SpazeCraft led a feedback discussion by asking for successes during the series and areas that could be improved in the future. It was inspiring to hear how much the students had appreciated the time in the workshops. Several students mentioned that the one of the best takeaways from the series was the new friendships and collaborations they had developed with their peers and mentors. And more than one participant lamented the fact that the workshops were coming to a close - a sentiment that the TA's and admin teams all shared.
While it's sad to see the end of the instructional sessions, we can't wait for the listening party! We'll be celebrating and sharing the work students have created this spring on May 9th at Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute.