Workshop Activities

“Andrew Robb’s skills as a jazz musician versatile in the vernaculars of a variety of musical styles mean he’s uniquely well placed to bring that knowledge to his wonderful workshops. Appropriate for all ages his improvisation workshops transform students interested in delving deeper into what music has to offer as players and human beings.”
— Sahana Gero MBE, Artistic Director of The World Heart Beat Music Academy

Here are some examples of suggested Workshop activities that could be covered. Workshops can be tailored depending on ensemble sizes and student numbers and can last from one hour, to a full 6 hour day. 

2-hour "Ensemble is the way" Workshop

A workshop which focusses on developing the individual and collective playing skills of an ensemble. Student led activities can include clapping games, phrasing exercises, and story visualisation for phrasing and dynamics. 


2-Hours "Ears without The tears" Workshop

A learning experience that will help improve the connection between aural and theoretical skills of students in an ensemble. Students will learn a simple composition aurally (by ear without music). By improvising with the building blocks of composition and musical structure, they can then translate this knowledge into their ensemble playing.

2-Hour "Anything you can do I can do Better" Workshop

This workshop is ideal for chamber music ensembles (quartets/trios etc.). It utilises material that they are already working on as a starting place to create their own improvisations within the music. Aside from improving their improvisation and compositional awareness, it helps to develop students' understanding of harmony and explains why this is a crucial area of knowledge when it comes to performance. 

1-Hour "Icebreaker" Introduction to Improvisation

An introduction to what improvising is in music. It features games and activities away from instruments, how they can help your practice and performances. This can include simple call and response improvising around words, melody and rhythm. This is suitable for any students, particularly those who have never done improvising before, and ensembles who need guidance on how to play together.

1-Hour "Masterclass"Session

Ideal for students who play music that features some improvisation (such as a big band or small jazz ensemble). There is a specific focus on improving their improvising through exploration of harmony and rhythm, as well as the ensemble playing through listening games and exercises.  


1-Hour "Teamwork Makes the Dream work" Workshop

This workshop is well suited to ensembles and groups who need a short session covering ensemble cohesiveness. Playing passages with eyes closed or not facing one another are some of the games used to get an ensemble playing like a well-oiled machine.

3-Hour "The Immersive IMprovising Ensemble" Workshop

A extended session that focusses on bringing ensembles (or an ensemble), together musically. Using current repertoire that the ensemble are working, as well as thought provoking exercises on phrasing,  this workshop will delve deep into the musical potential both individually and collectively of the students. 


3-Hour "How to PLay anything with Confidence" Workshop

The ultimate confidence boost for students. Students will develop a toolkit to help them learn anything as efficiently and effectively as possible.  This workshop can cover topics such as how to practise effectively for optimum performance, how to deal with nerves, rehearsing techniques, and self-motivational goals.

3-Hour "Total Jazz Masterclass"

An in-depth jazz-specific workshop that can cover all elements of improvising in jazz. It can involve free improvisation, specific exercises to deal with harmony on a composition, rhythmic challenges, how to play with greater clarity, dynamic control and how to approach playing melodically.