Workshop Outline

I. Community Building, Warm-Up 

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Participants are invited to participate in a set of body-awakening, mind-opening, community-building activities in preparation for intense communal creative work.

II. Active Listening Sessions

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While I play the violin, participants are prompted to listen in three different ways:

1) listening with the whole body
2) listening for feelings and colors
3) listening for stories and their elements

During each stage of listening, participants are encouraged to use a mixture of art supplies and modes of expression to make their listening experience visible to their fellow listeners and the performer. The art-making and writing destination is one very large banner of paper, affixed to the floor or the wall. After each stage of listening/art-making, participants are invited to discuss their experiences in small and large groups.

III. Culminating Performance 

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After a quick, magical transformation, the banner will come to life as a cranky: the banner, rolled into a scroll, is spooled across a frame from one rotating dowel to another, thus turning the banner into a mechanical moving picture. This moving picture becomes an essential, influential part of the final musical performance, which includes a free choice time for listeners to wander among writing, art-making, and dance, and meditation, or linger on their favorite of those modes of active listening.

IV. Discussion and Reflective Writing

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Supported by frameworks of Visible Thinking, participants will spend time discussing and writing about their listening, art-making, and community-building experiences during the workshop, and brainstorming other ways to listen together and foster each others’ capacities as creative, expressive listeners.

Where & When?

Photo credits: First and last photos, Ana Paula Lanz @ Habla Teacher Institute, in Mérida, Mexico. Second and third photos, Ealain McMullin @ Newport String Project, in Newport, RI.

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