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Creativity Triggers Is an Amazon Bestseller!

POSTED ON June 17, 2017   |   Post A Comment

Creativity Triggers for Musicians went live in the Kindle store last week and hit #1 in a three music categories!


You can download the pdf for free here, and it’s free to share. Thanks for reading and spreading the word!

– ST

Summer Game Symphony Workshop at SPU

POSTED ON June 13, 2017   |   Post A Comment

Game Symphony Workshop

Unlocking musical creativity through group improvisation.

August 12-13, 2017 • 10:00am – 5:00pm • Seattle Pacific University

“My ears blossomed, my head exploded, and my creativity soared.”


Announcing the Game Symphony Workshop at SPU, an intensive 2-day workshop culminating in a concert of original works.

Designed for classically-trained musicians age 18 and up, Game Symphony Workshop is a collaborative music experience that generates the skills, confidence, and community to unlock musical creativity.
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Play Your Best Under Pressure

POSTED ON May 30, 2017   |   One Comment

Learn how to beat performance anxiety and perform your very best on stage.

This is the tagline for Dr. Noa Kageyama’s Beyond Practicing course. The class delivers on this promise and is unequivocally the most powerful music performance class I have taken. (FYI, this article is not a paid endorsement or advertisement.)

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Registration Open for the Game Symphony Workshop

POSTED ON May 10, 2017   |   Post A Comment

Join us for a two-day improvisation workshop on the campus of Seattle Pacific University.

Last year, our inaugural adult workshop brought together a group of professional musicians, serious amateur players, and educators. Through prompts, games, and experimentation, we crafted a compelling 70 minute set of original music. I’m thrilled to lead the workshop with composer, vocalist, and Seattle Symphony Teaching Artist, Kaley Lane Eaton.

Registration is now open, and we only have room for 20 participants.

GSW is a mind-blowing improvisation experience. I left that weekend having made new friends and feeling so inspired! As a music educator, I was able to take GSW activities into my high school and college classrooms and see big results! I was practically knocking down Steve’s door to find out when the workshop was happening again. This workshop is so beneficial for classical musicians who are fearful of sounding bad and making mistakes during improvisation. My ears blossomed, my head exploded, and my creativity soared.

– Sarah Bost, M.A. Music Ed.
Flute and saxophone

 

Kaley leading the group last summer

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“It Actually Works”

POSTED ON April 27, 2017   |   Post A Comment

I had the privilege of presenting six improvisation workshops at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Moscow, Idaho in February. The Lewiston Tribune reported on my “How to Practice Creativity” workshop.

Jazz – it’s about learning to improvise

Musicians take part in workshop during Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival
By CHELSEA EMBREE of the Tribune  Feb 25, 2017

Tribune/Barry Kough
Saxophonist and educator Steve Treseler of Seattle (background, left) listens to students work on his ideas for improvising jazz during a workshop Friday at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival at the University of Idaho

MOSCOW – Drew Lyall knew he had to do something.

The 18-year-old from Kimberley, British Columbia, approached the piano at the front of the crowded room in the University of Idaho’s Teaching and Learning Center. He had been instructed to improvise a tune using only the piano’s A notes.

Lyall admitted later that there was “a bit of fear” involved, but he played anyway.

The experiment was part of a Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival workshop on practicing creativity Friday morning. Steve Treseler, a professional saxophonist and teacher at Seattle Pacific University, led the workshop, where he encouraged students to take creative risks and explore new ways of making music.

Lyall was grateful for the experience.

“I’m always keen to jump into a situation like that,” he said. “It’s just a little bit more experience of being in a situation that you aren’t well prepared for. The more often you do that, then the better you are when you’re in situations like that that really matter.”

Treseler focused on three creative practices Friday morning – experimentation, play and limitations.

Artists experiment in much the same way as scientists, learning as much from hypotheses that prove false as those that prove true, Treseler said.

“This might not work, but I’m going to try it anyway,” he said. “Having that kind of mindset is huge.”

Play, he said, refers to a childlike perspective of the task at hand. The goal is not to improve or to be the best.

“The goal of play is to just keep playing,” Treseler said.

Though counterintuitive, Treseler said limitations can inspire creativity. He passed out “creativity menus” to the musician-packed audience, including limitations like Lyall’s to play only one note.

There was one trio that was ready for the challenge. Trombonist Jay Panchal, 16, saxophonist Peter Lee, 16, and drummer Nivedan Kaushal, 17, came forward and promptly put themselves at the mercy of the crowd to pick two limitations from the menu.

The audience implored them to play in constant vibrato and in an 11/4 time meter.

Panchal told Kaushal that they could keep up that tempo if Kaushal could – and the trio from Nanaimo, British Columbia, played.

“That puts you out of your comfort zone,” Treseler said as they finished. “… This is the right kind of experimental mindset.”

Kaushal told the audience he had to “really focus” as he drummed. Afterward, he added that it was “cool” to be able to try anything he wanted.

“It’s one of the fears to get over, actually, just getting up front,” Kaushal said. “Let’s be honest – you’re never going to see anyone here again. Why not completely mess up if it means learning something?”

The trio was most excited, though, when pianist Lyall joined them for another improvisation game. The newly formed quartet played their music in a call-and-response format, with each instrument using only three pitches.

“I really enjoy playing with people I’ve never played with before,” Panchal said. “… Being thrown up there and seeing what happens when you mix different groups together was so cool.”

“The cool thing is it actually works,” Lee added. “It just works out.”

Embree may be contacted at email hidden; JavaScript is required or (208) 669-1298. Follow her on Twitter @chelseaembree.

© Copyright 2017 Lewiston Morning Tribune, TPC Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

Dissolve the Fear of Improvisation (Video)

POSTED ON March 27, 2017   |   Post A Comment

Fear and anxiety are the biggest roadblocks to creative music making. The good news is the right strategies can ease the most profound phobias.

“Portrait of Dizzy Gillespie” by William Gottlieb. Courtesy of The Library of Congress

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New Podcast Interview

POSTED ON March 03, 2017   |   Post A Comment
I had the pleasure of sitting down with my friend Karl Benitez and his co-host Trevor Pogue for an interview on their new podcast, Anxiety Club. These guys are really entertaining, and we discussed a host of topics:

  • The creative process
  • Why most classical musicians don’t improvise (although they used to)
  • My summer job painting fire hydrants
  • Who to take criticism from (spoiler alert: not many people)
  • Fear and leaning into discomfort
  • Earning a living as an artist
  • When to take a non-paying gig
  • Why I embrace a generous business model

(Warning, there are a few swears. And I was a bit over-caffeinated, so I was talking much faster than usual.)

Listen on SoundCloud or iTunes.

They even turned me into a couple infographics (achievement unlocked):
The sentence about quantity and quality is almost a direct quote from Adam Grant’s book Originals, so I can’t take credit.

Enjoy!

Listen on SoundCloud or iTunes.

– ST

Download a free copy of my new book, Creativity Triggers for Musicians. Join the Facebook group.

Creativity Triggers Facebook Group

POSTED ON February 19, 2017   |   Post A Comment

I created a Creativity Triggers for Musicians Facebook group to connect readers and creative musicians all over the world.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/creativitytriggers/

Of course, our most important connections are playing music together in real life. The value of a digital community is that we can:

– Connect with musicians across the globe
– Share music
– Ask and answer questions
– Find collaborators
– Share insight and resources

To create and perform great music, we need to connect with other people. Our creative practices are often stuffed into a practice room, isolating us from our peers. If we can break out of that sense of isolation, we can create more and connect with wider audiences.

– Kaley Lane Eaton, composer, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist

Download a free digital copy of my new book Creativity Triggers for Musicians. See you in the Facebook group.

– ST

 

Creativity Triggers for Musicians is Here!

POSTED ON February 03, 2017   |   Post A Comment

Download a free digital copy of my new book Creativity Triggers for Musicians.

The Big Idea

Creativity isn’t a mysterious or magical gift. It’s a practice.

The Promise

Creativity Triggers for Musicians will help you express your unused creativity, break through barriers, and create an abundance of original music.

The Content

– Eight creative practices that underpin idea generation in any creative discipline.

– Creativity Triggers: frameworks for improvisation that draw from creative practices. These are similar to improv theater games and creative writing prompts.

  1. Eight Creative Practices
  2. Creative Limitations
  3. Inner Hearing
  4. Drones
  5. Variations on a Theme
  6. Text Setting

Download the book + free bonuses.

Enjoy!
– ST

Phil Parisot’s Lingo: Out Today on OA2 Records

POSTED ON November 19, 2016   |   Post A Comment

I had the privilege of recording with drummer extraordinaire Phil Parisot this Spring. The quartet record Lingo is out today on OA2 Records. Listen to clips and order at Amazon or OA2 records. CD release show on December 26th at Tula’s in Seattle.

 

About the record:

For Seattle-based drummer/composer Phil Parisot, playing music is about coming home. With “Lingo,” he introduces a new quartet comprised of musicians he’s known for 20 years. The result is a dark and atmospheric sound that draws upon an array of influences, including Afro-Cuban, fusion, and symphonic, all molded seamlessly into a cohesive modern jazz package. In addition to presenting a number of original compositions, “Lingo” is enhanced by references to Hugh Masekela, Aaron Copland, Duke Ellington, and more. Joining Parisot is Steve Treseler on tenor and soprano saxophone, Dan Kramlich on piano and Fender Rhodes, and Michael Glynn on acoustic bass.

– ST

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