Educational Activities

- Human Residency
- Music Workshops, Lecture/Demonstrations, Clinics and Master Classes
- Children (K-5) and Family Program Outline
- High School / Middle School Performance/Workshop Outline

The String Trio of New York offers a vast array of innovative educational activities. They bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and insight to the realm of education, demonstrating an innate ability to connect with students of all ages in a friendly, welcoming and inspiring way. S3NY offers college and university level residency programs, lecture-demonstrations, clinics and master classes as well as programs for elementary (K-5), middle school, high school and family audiences.

S3NY has conducted lecture/demonstrations, workshops, clinics, master classes and residency programs in conjunction with concert performances at the following locations (selected list):

- Stanford U.
- Dartmouth College
- Penn State
- North Carolina State
- Washington U.
- Quad Cities Visiting Artists Program
- Evergreen State
- U. of Vermont
- Rutgers U.
- Valparaiso College
- George Mason U.
- SUNY Stonybrook
- U. C. San Diego
- SUNY Buffalo
- U. of Oregon
- U. of Nebraska
- U. of New Mexico
- U. of Arizona
- U. of Tennessee
- U. of North Carolina
- Babson College
- Buena Vista College
- Ohio U.
- Eastern Michigan U.

 

 

The Human Residency

Jazz, Mathematics, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Literature, Business, Movement, Art

Activities for students of all ages.

"Mensa meets the East Village." - The Washington Post

The activities and workshops which comprise The Human Residency were developed by the String Trio of New York to highlight the natural links between music and a variety of subjects such as philosophy, mathematics, art, etc. Through participation and interaction with the Trio, students of all ages and majors explore the universal language of music and its ability to express the widest range of emotions and ideas. Activities can be scheduled individually or as a group over a period of several days. With an extended residency, the opportunity exists for the Trio to return to a group of students for a follow-up, or to participate in an assignment given by the instructor after the initial visit. Activities are designed to be either team-taught, with participation of the instructor, or by the Trio alone. Each residency concludes with a full public performance which draws upon the enthusiasm and support of many of those who came in contact with the ensemble during their stay. The experience leaves students with a more complete understanding of the potential the arts have to be a powerful source of connections and ideas in a variety of disciplines.

The Human Residency has been presented by, among others, Stanford University, Eastern Michigan U., Babson College, Ohio University and Ferris St. University. The innovative residency program has also been presented in the cities of Houston, TX and Selma, AL.

Human Residency Program Descriptions

    1. Jazz and the Duality of the Human Experience Suggested Discipline: Philosophy Topics discussed include Nietzsche's observations of Apollonian vs. Dionysian behavior from The Birth of Tragedy; those concepts applied to music creation and concepts; dualities in music and life. Number of Participants: 5-75 Possible Repertoire: Cobalt Blue - James Emery, Depth - John Lindberg
    2. The Mathematics of Jazz Suggested Disciplines: Mathematics Students will be introduced to number systems in music and the ways math and number systems are utilized in the fundamental elements of music - melody, rhythm, harmony and form. The Trio will demonstrate various usages of the mathematical concepts found in music. Number of Participants: max. of 25 (additional students may observe) Possible Repertoire: 26-2 - John Coltrane, Offspring - James Emery
    3. Movement & Improvised Music Suggested Disciplines: Music, Dance, Phys Ed. Number of Participants: max. of 25 Possible Repertoire: Trio performs original notated and improvised music that connects to movement and dance in a variety of creative ways.
    4. Jazz and Art: Creating a Work, Common Artistic Grounds Suggested Disciplines: Art Topics discussed include the common themes, methods, processes and textures found in visual art and music. Artists are invited to paint and draw the musicians (as well as the music!) in various ways. Number of Participants: max. of 50 students Possible Repertoire: In So Many Worlds - Dave Douglas, Cobalt Blue - James Emery
    5. The Page and the Stage Suggested Disciplines: Creative Writing/Literature Topics discussed include expression of colors, moods, and views of life. Interactive writing, poetry and music events explore rhythmic connections, repetition, unity and cohesion. Number of Participants: 15-50 Possible Repertoire: The Anticipator - John Lindberg, Caravan - Tizol, Ellington
    6. Improvisation and the Human Psyche Suggested Disciplines: Psychology, Sociology Topics discussed include stage fright, self-expression, risk-taking, interpersonal relations. Number of Participants: 5-50 Possible Repertoire: The Pursuit of Happiness-James Emery, Pithecanthropus Erectus-Charles Mingus

    7. Breaking Barriers: A Necessity for Progress in Music & Society Suggested Disciplines: Sociology In this lecture demonstration/open discussion the Trio will take an in-depth look at the labeling and stereotyping in our society and in particular, in the arts. Also, the importance of education in discovering and experiencing ideas and art which lie outside the mass media will be discussed. Number of Participants: max. of 50 Possible Repertoire: Peace - Ornette Coleman, Frozen Ropes - John Lindberg
    8. The Business of Collective Initiative Suggested Disciplines: Business, Economics Topics discussed include setting up a non-profit, cooperative management. Number of Participants: 5-75 Possible Repertoire: Nature, Time, Patience - John Lindberg, Heaven - Ellington

 

 

Music Workshops, Lecture/Demonstrations, Clinics and Master Classes
    1. The Art of Improvisation The Art of Improvisation covers historical approaches to improvising and its development up to the present day. Illustrated through the performance of various works by the trio members and others. Collective Improvisation will also be discussed.
    2. String Trio of New York: Chamber Jazz A general discussion of the String Trio of New York's history, repertoire development, roles and functions of each instrument; includes performances of diverse compositions demonstrating various facets of their repertoire.
    3. History of Jazz Through Strings A chronological demonstration of the growth of jazz in the 20th century. Performances of works by Duke Ellington, Bud Powell, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus and Muhal Richard Abrams trace the development of music to the present time.
    4. Jazz Clinic/Master Class Members of the trio listen to student ensembles and / or soloists and offer observations, critique and advice. The Trio performs and discusses their approaches to various styles of jazz.
    5. Composition Clinic All three members of the String Trio of New York are award winning composers. Hear insights into development of new repertoire, commissioning, and recording new works. Explore the technical and emotional side of jazz composition.

 

 

Children (K-5) and Family Program Outline

Program Length: approx. 50 minutes - 1 hour

Program events:
    Flintstones Theme followed by a brief discussion of the nature of improvisation.
    Introduction to the instruments and musicians: violin, string bass & guitar and introduction of the members of the Trio.
    Each member individually demonstrates one of the three main facets of music (harmony, rhythm, melody) by playing their own respective part, a cappella, of an original blues-based piece by James Emery titled Cobalt Blue. Then the 3 Trio members play their parts together and play a short improvisation. The children learn the basic building blocks of music and can hear each facet by itself (via the solo playing) and then in the context of group playing, where all 3 parts are heard simultaneously.
    Each member gives a short demonstration of some of the primary characteristics of his/her own instrument. For example, to demonstrate arco playing (playing with the bow) on the bass, the bassist plays the theme from JAWS.
    Interaction event: the students are asked to clap and snap their fingers along with Straight No Chaser by Thelonious Monk. They are asked to do this using "dynamics" - playing softly and loudly. They also learn to clap and snap on the "2" and the "4" of the beat, thus producing a syncopated or swinging rhythm.
    Question & Answer Session

 

 

High School / Middle School Performance/Workshop Outline

Program Length: approx. 50 minutes - 1 hour

 

Program events:
    Performance of 26-2 by John Coltrane followed by a brief discussion of the nature of improvisation.
    As in the K-5 program, each member then individually demonstrates one of the three main facets of music (harmony, rhythm, melody) by playing their own respective part, a cappella, of an original blues-based piece by James Emery titled Cobalt Blue. Then the 3 Trio members play their parts together and play a short improvisation. The students learn the basic building blocks of music and can hear each facet by itself (via the solo playing) and then in the context of group playing, where all 3 parts are heard simultaneously.
    Performance continues with various accessible works from the Trio's repertoire along with discussion of how each musician got his/her start. Typically, middle and high school students are very interested in career beginnings and development.
    Question & Answer Session
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