Art of Improv - AOI

Led by David Darling

with Dr. David Rudge, Mary Knysh, Julie Weber, Dr. Eric Miller, and Lynn Miller

July 29 - August 3 , 2012 at SUNY, Fredonia

On scenic Lake Erie, one hour from Niagara Falls


Join Music for People and an extraordinary group of advanced and professional musicians as you explore the Art of Improvisation with the kind of commitment, nuance, and profundity found in fine classical ensemble playing and the best jazz, rock and world music combos. In an energetic, humorous and open-minded environment, discover how to move beyond the inhibitions of musical training while playing at the peak of your technical and expressive ability in your preferred musical style.

World class cellist, improviser, recording artist and Grammy Award winning David Darling and the Music for People faculty  (see below) join forces in this unique approach to music improvisation, using techniques drawn from around the world - from Bach to Boogie-Woogie and Brazilian to BeBop.

Art of Improvisation is for musicians and vocalists experienced in any musical tradition, including classical, jazz, theater, rock, ethnic, avant-garde, etc.; and all instruments including acoustic, electric, ethnic drums and percussion, and even homemade. Prior experience in improvisation is not necessary, as this workshop is based on the concept that there are no "wrong notes." This in-depth workshop is intensive, yet always fun and rewarding. The AOI workshop includes free time for jamming, as well as impromptu showcases, providing participants with the opportunity to improvise in front of each other while their performances are professionally recorded.


Free Improvisation opens doors of creativity for both performers and teachers. This workshop will inspire teachers to take Improvisation, one of the National Educational Standards, into their classrooms.


Vocal Track with Lynn Miller
Inquire about these unique workshop sessions specifically designed for vocalists.

Recording Studio Track with Eric Miller
This hands-on workshop, led by musician and recording engineer Eric Miller, is an opportunity to be in on the recording end of some of the best improv music you'll ever hear, while working with state of the art recording equipment. AND.. pick and choose what parts of the regular AOI you would like to participate in as well!

Learn how to record a live ensemble and have it sound great! Have creative input in the production of the MfP 2007 AOI Sampler. Learn the basics of a recording studio setup, or "What do you do with all of these wires?" Set up a live-to-two-track stereo mix, learn microphone placement to get the best sound, experience CD duplication.

Music for People Faculty:

David Darling - Co-founder and Artistic Director of Music for People, World-class cellist, Grammy Winner, classical and improvisational cellist, singer, recording artist, educator, conductor and composer.
David Rudge - Director of Orchestras at SUNY Fredonia, teaches one of the country’s few non-jazz improvisation courses.  As violinist, he has performed with some of the world’s foremost improvisers.
Mary Knysh - Innovative workshop and Drum Circle facilitator, multi -instrumentalist, recording artist, educator, Orff Schulwerk clinician, professional development training, MLP leadership training.
Julie Weber -  Educator, avant-garde composer, piano innovations, Chairperson of Music for People's Musicianship and Leadership training program. 
Lynn Miller - Vocalist, guitarist, recording artist, music therapist, dancer and visual artist.
Eric Miller MfP Executive Director, Mandolin, Recording Engineer, Biofeedback/Music Therapist, psychotherapist, consultant, published author.  



Located in beautiful Chautauqua County, Fredonia State University of NY is the westernmost campus in the SUNY system. The region, home to the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History, is less than an hour from Niagara Falls and is a vacation destination for many interested in arts, culture, and all-season recreation.

Lodging: Fredonia offers dorm lodging at very reasonable rates. Single and double rooms are available in an air conditioned building.

Directions: Click here for directions on the SUNY Fredonia site.

Meals: A meal plan is included with the lodging. Commuters can purchase in individual meals at the cafeteria or purchase a meal pass for all 15 meals from Music for People.


CANCELLATIONS / REFUNDS: Full refund minus $50 administrative fee, will be given up to 2 weeks prior to the weekend. There will be no refunds thereafter; however, payment may be applied as credit for an upcoming workshop.

Workshop Tuition:

Early Bird $425 by July 1st, $475 after July 1st.

Full Time Student Rate / Senior Rate is $325.

SUNY Fredonia Student Rate: $100.

Daily Rate of $100/day available for up to 3 days.

Housing with meals: $410- for the week in a single dorm room/shared bath and all meals from Sunday dinner through Friday lunch at the SUNY Fredonia campus cafeteria. OR $380 - for the week in a double shared dorm room/shared bath and all meals from Sunday dinner through Friday lunch at the SUNY Fredonia campus cafeteria.

Arrival/Departure Information: Onsite check-in starts at 4:30 PM on Sunday, July 29  and the first workshop session is on Sunday evening at 7:30 PM. The workshop ends around noon on Friday, August 3.

CEU Credits

Continuing Education credits available via Expressive Therapy Concepts for music therapists and counselors. Additional fee applies. Please coordinate in advance by e-mail to

College Credit

Graduate Credit Information

Register for College Credit through the SUNY Webite

For workshop registration information, please contact:

Music for People

Phone: 860-491-3763

"We have fallen into a place where everything is music."
-- Rumi



Sunday, July 29, 2012 - 6:00am - Friday, August 3, 2012 - 12:00pm
Summer week-long
SUNY Fredonia, NY
Early Bird: $425