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Steve Treseler Music

Graphic Scores by Students

POSTED ON May 07, 2016   |   Post A Comment

Collaborative graphic scores are extraordinary vehicles for teaching composition in the classroom.

Graphic Score by Cheryl Leonard, Photo courtesy of Charles Kremenak (more…)

Soundpainting: The Art of Live Composition

POSTED ON March 24, 2016   |   Post A Comment
One of the best vehicles for teaching group improvisation is Soundpainting, a sign language for live composition.

Steve Soundpainting, see video below

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The Uber Game and Sneaky Snake

POSTED ON March 04, 2016   |   Post A Comment

Viola Spolin, the creator of improvised theater games, describes a spontaneous scene as “a timeless moment when all are mutually engaged in experience. You don’t know what’s going to happen and that’s where they joy is, the everlasting spiral.”


Courtesy of Flickr/Andrew Currie

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Shortcomings of Industrial Music Education

POSTED ON February 26, 2016   |   Post A Comment

Our public school system is a product of the industrial age. The economic prosperity of the 20th century was rooted in systems, manuals, interchangeable parts, interchangeable workers, and measurable data. These values permeate music education when we train interchangeable musicians to fill slots in ensembles.

As the industrial economy crumbles around us (factories shutting down, the collapse of the music and newspaper industries, etc.), we need to expand our model of music education—especially if we seek relevance in the 21st century.

Courtesy of Flickr/David Reber
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The Biggest Mistake Jazz Educators Make

POSTED ON January 30, 2016   |   4 Comments

Why do so many students lack the confidence to improvise? The way we teach plays a huge role.

Courtesy of Flickr/Evonne

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Give Musical Permission

POSTED ON October 30, 2015   |   Post A Comment

Bringing out-of-the-box experiences to school music programs is one of the most fulfilling parts of my career as a freelancer. The kids are fearless! Experimental play, in conjunction with traditional skills-based practice, helps empower creative and independent music makers for life.

After working with a high school concert band last month, I asked the director why improvisation is valuable for his entire program. He said, “because musical permission empowers students.” The word “permission” jumped out at me. It seemed odd because the students don’t actually need our permission to play creative music. But it started to make sense in the context of how students are asked to learn in school.

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Stack Your Jazz Ensemble with Soloists

POSTED ON October 18, 2015   |   Post A Comment

If you struggle with teaching jazz improvisation in the classroom, you are not alone. It can be an enormous challenge if you have no experience playing jazz or have trouble helping students overcome their fears.

I’d like to share approaches to improvisation that I developed through years of experimentation as a clinician for middle school, high school, and university jazz programs. This material engages newcomers and has built a foundation for nationally recognized jazz soloists.

Ellington BandPortrait of Duke Ellington, William P. Gottlieb/Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Fund Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress

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How to Empower Fearless Improvisers in the Classroom

POSTED ON October 07, 2015   |   One Comment

Most adults fear public speaking more than death, so we shouldn’t be surprised when our students are afraid to improvise in front of their peers. If you feel stuck moving past this anxiety, a simple solution can transform your program.

JazzClubsNW Middle School Improv Lab playing Panorama

JazzClubsNW Middle School Improv Lab

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