One of the most joyful ways of music-making for me is by directly engaging with other musicians and musicians-to-be in a setting specifically oriented towards learning. I have experience working with university students, school groups, music and dance camps, a cappella groups, music festivals and with organizations and events geared towards musical education. I've developed several different musical workshops, music business workshops, and am experienced in rehearsal coaching and leading jams in the country, folk, and swing traditions. If you're interested in hosting me for a workshop or jam, please be in touch ~ let me know about your community's interests and needs!
Music Business Workshops:
“Artist: Making a Living and Making Life"
Creating Tech Riders and Stage Plots
Time Management for Musicians
Booking Strategies and Tour Logistics
Marketing & Branding for Musicians
Group and Harmony Singing Workshop
Whether you are a professional musician wanting to add to their repertoire or a complete beginner just wanting a way to join in at a jam, group singing is a fun and powerful way to use one's voice. In this workshop we will practice singing in a group. Using traditional American songs (gospel, folk, country & blues), we will focus on harmony singing and call-and- response singing. Jess will teach participants how to hear a chord, find a harmony line, and craft one’s voice in the style of the lead. By the end of the workshop, we’ll be singing in 3-part harmony. I've adapted this workshop for multiple lengths: 1 hour, 90-minute and multi-day.
This is an introductory washboard playing workshop, and our goal will be to get everyone the skills they need to be able to participate confidently in a jam setting. We'll go over a few basic beats, talk about jam etiquette, and learn a few pieces of percussion "vocabulary" so that each player can begin to build their own beats. We will also have a discussion about how to build your own customized washboard. By the end, we'll all be participating in an epic washboard drum circle!
There will be washboards and spoons available, but you can bring your own too! Jess's Washboards can be found at her Etsy Store.
Making a Song Your Own: Arranging 101
Participants will workshop original and cover songs, exploring ways to bring our own personal voices to the music. We’ll talk about arrangement, instrumentation, vocal phrasing, and more. Through listening and talking about recorded pieces, as well as sharing our own songs, we will come up with a wealth of new musical ideas to add to our song-creating toolbox.
This improvisation workshop is best suited for instrumentalists just beginning their journey into improvising. Using tunes from the blues and early swing traditions, we will work on embellishing melodies, thinking about chord changes, and using the blues scale. Basic competency on one's instrument is required. By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to confidently take solos over simple chord changes.
Ensembling & Riffs for Horns: Swing Music
Horn players: have you ever been on stage or in a jam and wondered what you should be playing, or whether or not you should be playing at all? While I'm not a big believer in "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts" in music, I do believe that we can learn best practices from what other great musicians do. In this workshop we'll explore the musical choices that horn players made from the swing, traditional jazz and big band traditions. What makes a good back-up line or fill? When's a good time to step back and not play at all? Is this a good spot for long tones? How do multiple players ensemble effectively. We'll explore these questions through listening and discussing recorded music, and then we'll hop on our horns and make some of our own lines.