Home / Workshops / Creativity Festival: A celebration of creative exploration and expression

Creativity Festival: A celebration of creative exploration and expression

Why is CCM presenting a creativity day?

Creativity should be at the heart of music learning activity, and not in isolation.  Creativity is not reserved only for composing.  Opportunities for creative expression exist in performing, approaches to listening, improvising, and, crucially in teaching.  Creative music-making supports students’ motivation and participation. It can develop the confidence to take risks, to experiment, and problem-solve in a supportive musical environment.

On Saturday, January 28th, CCM is presenting an afternoon of workshops for our students to explore creativity through music.  The workshops will be age-appropriate for both our youth and adult students and will include offerings in musical storytelling, improvisation, arranging, music and movement, and more. The workshops are free for CCM students. Sign up by January 18th to reserve your spot.

The day will culminate with a talk and large group activity led by Jon Hazilla, Berklee College of Music percussion professor and author.  All CCM family members are invited to attend this final session.

Jon Hazilla Jon Hazilla

A musician, educator, author, and humanitarian, Jon Hazilla is in high demand around the globe. Jon is a professor at Berklee College of Music, Co-Founder of “Jazz on Wheels”, and has contributed to the field of music education and beyond through his published written works, mentoring, and volunteer work for a variety of organizations and causes. Jon is a performing and recording artist, featured on over 50 albums, 8 of which he produced, and has performed in Europe, Central America, and Asia. Among the honors he has received are a National Endowment Award in 1987 and The Robert Porter Memorial Advancement Award in 2002. Jon is a graduate of New England Conservatory.


  • Workshops

    Arranging: Make it Your Own
    with Michael Dinallo
    Take your favorite oldie from the folk, blues, country, or other genre and learn to rearrange it to make it your own modern creation.

    Adult instrumentalists and singers
    2:20 – 3:35 pm

    Beyond the Bow: Extended Techniques for Strings
    with Nicole Parks
    Leave convention behind, discover all the sounds your instrument can make, and push your playing and interpretation skills to a new level.

    String players, ages 9+
    12:00 – 12:45 pm

    Drum Improvisation (no instruments required)
    with Jorge Perez-Albela
    Students will learn the basic elements of rhythmic improvisation: fundamental versus harmonics, the clave (rhythmic patterns), melodic construction, “inner” and “outer” listening.

    12:00 – 12:45 pm for kids (9 – 12)
    1:10 – 2:10 pm for teens/adults/parents

    Environmental Storytelling
    with Holly Jennings & Nicole Parks
    Strengthen your perception of sound and how it can impact storytelling by borrowing sounds from your environment. CCM’s “Music & Water” program will be used to exemplify how nature sounds influence musical storytelling.

    Instrumentalists and singers, ages 9-12
    1:10 – 2:10 pm

    Environmental Storytelling: The Mitten
    with Holly Jennings
    This workshop is all about promoting freedom of expression and risk-taking. We’ll use instruments and the sounds from our surroundings to tell the story of “The Mitten” and share our experiment with improvised sounds at the end of the workshop with parents.

    Instrumentalists and singers, ages 5-8
    12:00 – 1:00 pm

    Folk Music Theory – the Nashville Number System
    with Max Anderson
    Learn to communicate musically in the folk and jam styles with an immersion into the language of Folk Music Theory. Participants must know major scales and a few open chords, if applicable, on your instrument.

    Teen & adult instrumentalists and singers
    2:20 – 3:35 pm

    Matrix Composition
    with Kitty Cheung-Evans
    With little or no musical background, discover that you can compose music using the Matrix method. Participants will be introduced to the basic building blocks of music and receive guidance to create their own matrix and music.

    No instrument or experience is required, ages 16 – Adult/Parent
    12:00 – 1:00 pm

    Musical Conversations Using Improvisation
    with Melissa Tucker
    Create a musical dialogue through piano improvisation and learn how to use and improve your basic expressive playing tools.

    Pianists, ages 7-10
    1:10 – 2:10 pm

    Ocean Adventure: Ensemble Improvisation through Music & Movement
    With Weronika Balewski
    Bring your imagination! Together we will create a musical story about an ocean adventure. We’ll tell our story through movement, connect the movement to sound, and play shakers, bells, and xylophones to tell our story through instruments. We’ll end with a two-minute performance for families/caregivers at the end of the workshop.

    No instruments required, ages 4-6
    1:10 – 1:55 pm

    Ocean Adventure: Ensemble Improvisation through Music & Movement
    With Weronika Balewski
    Bring your imagination and your instrument! Together we will create a musical story about an ocean adventure, using movement and sound improvisation to express our ideas. Students can play their private lesson instrument or a metallophone. Pianos or other keyboard-based instruments will be available for pianists. We’ll end with a two-minute performance for families/caregivers at the end of the workshop.

    Instrumentalists and singers, ages 7-10
    12:00 – 1:00pm

    The Songwriting Toolbox for Teens
    With Bjorn Wennas
    Bring your original tune or idea for a song to this workshop and receive individualized guidance on making your song creation a reality. We’ll perform your piece at the conclusion of the workshop.

    Teen instrumentalists and singers
    2:20 – 3:35 pm

    Sound Painting for Kids
    with Tsuyoshi Honjo
    Take part in creating a “painting” made of sound through varied vocalizations and body gestures in this interactive workshop. No instruments are necessary.

    No instruments required, ages 5-8
    1:10-1:55 pm

    Sound Painting for Teens & Adults
    with Tsuyoshi Honjo
    No prior improvisation experience is necessary to be part of this unconventional ensemble. You will create music on your instrument through “sound painting,” a dialogue of hand signs and gestures with their corresponding sounds.

    Teen & adult instrumentalists
    2:20 – 3:20 pm

    Visual Representation
    with Aaron Meyers & Nicole Parks
    Musical notation comes in many forms. You will explore all the possibilities of visually representing sound to convey musical contour, texture, and volume, opening your mind and your ears.

    Adults, parents of students
    2:20-3:35 pm

    What a Fine Pairing: Music and Poetry Improvisation
    with Sherry Sinift
    Poetry and music are an excellent pairing in any time and in any season. We’ll choose one or two poems at the start of this workshop, then use our instruments to create a group improvisation that expresses, enhances, illustrates, or otherwise gives further life to the poems.

    12:00 – 1:00 pm for teen instrumentalists
    1:10 – 2:10 pm for instrumentalists ages 9-12 with a minimum of 2 years of study

  • Schedule

    Creativity Festival

    Everyone welcome for Jon Hazilla’s presentation at 2:30 pm.

  • How to sign up

    Sign-up for the CCM Festival of Creativity

    Practice tapping into your own creative potential with these free workshops in storytelling, improvisation, arranging, movement, and composition, designed for both youth and adult students. Parents, there are opportunities for you, too, whether or not you have any musical background!

    The day will culminate in an interactive presentation by special guest musician Jon Hazilla, percussionist, faculty at Berklee College of Music, and author of “Music as Therapy,” along with refreshments at 2:30 pm.

    Select your 1st and 2nd choices from the workshop opportunities listed below for your age and instrument, if applicable. We’ll do our best to place you in your 1st choice workshop and will confirm after the deadline.

    Deadline to sign up is January 18th.

    For questions, contact akechley@concordconservatory.org