Encouraging teen musicians to improvise

Posted on: March 23, 2016

On Monday (3/21) at radio station SCPR.org (Pasadena, CA), Elizabeth Nonemaker reports that violinist and educator Daniel Bernard Roumain “is trying to address what he considers a failing of classical music education…. ‘Classical music students are told to do just about every aspect of their lives and careers … what to play, when the concert is, what to wear, where to sit. They don’t have a lot of control, really.’ Roumain was one of the master teachers at YoungArts Los Angeles, a recent and intense week-long workshop.… Roumain wanted his students to produce something way outside their standard recital paradigm…. Roumain had his students improvise the show’s finale just hours before the performance. [17-year-old violinist] Aubree Oliverson reported that she and her peers were ‘kind of worried. We didn’t know what was going to happen. So Daniel decided to lead us using … only two chords, on an arrangement of ‘Amazing Grace.’ … It actually sounds pretty good.’ ” Says Roumain, “When they graduate, they’ll have to make all their choices themselves. Hopefully, they’re getting a good sense of what’s waiting for them, [after] their academic careers.”

Posted March 23, 2016

Photo of Daniel Bernard Roumain by Julietta Cervantes