Improvising and composing your own cadenza

Course Dates: 02/12/20 - 09/12/20
Time: 19:45 - 21:15
Location: Online

Cadenzas in Baroque and Classical music are wonderful opportunities to express a musician’s unique voice and display the best of their particular technical abilities. In this online course, you will be led through a process of playful experimentation, improvisation and composition, leading up to the creation and performance of your own unique cadenza. Open to any single line instruments (sorry not keboard/guitar) who have completed at least four years of tuition, this course is suitable for a wide range of abilities.

This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.


What is the course about?

This course is about learning to create classical cadenzas and eingangs (lead-ins), mainly in Baroque and Classical period music. You will discover more about the way classical musicians used to improvise in the past, and how it is possible to do so today in a way that is stylistically appropriate. This is a practical course in which you will listen, play, improvise, develop material and ultimately create entirely unique single-line cadenzas. Tasks will be tailored to your individual experience and playing level, and everyone will be supported and given plenty of opportunity to develop.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

The history of classical improvisation
Basic harmonic principles used in cadenzas
Baroque and Classical stylistic elements including trills, articulation and rubato
Playfulness and experimentation in your musical practice
Virtuosic and expressive playing.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

Identify and experiment with the main themes of a piece of music
Transform small units of music in various ways, including transposing and altering rhythm, dynamics and articulation
Improvise passages based on scales and arpeggios
Build small units of music into longer 4, 8 and 16-bar phrases
Collect, notate and develop your improvised ideas
Improvise and compose passages that end with strong harmonic cadences
Combine the above principles to create your own unique cadenza or eingang.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

4 years of tuition is the minimum requirement, and you need to be comfortable playing scales and arpeggios in keys of up to three sharps or flats. Prior experience of improvising would be helpful but is not essential. You need to be able to read music and to write down music in some form.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

This class will be taught online, with tutor demonstration and explanation via video conferencing. We will listen to and study some music examples. You will have the chance to play along with the tutor as well as individually, and to share your notated music. There will be some presentation of history and music theory. You may be asked to practise and/or compose between the sessions/days.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You should have a movement of a Baroque or Classical piece prepared that includes at least one opportunity for an eingang or cadenza. It doesn’t need to be at performance standard, but you should have listened to the piece many times and be able to play through it. (Contact the tutor via the Music Dept if you need advice on this, and please email a PDF of your piece to the tutor in advance).
You should also have either (manuscript) paper and pencil or music notation software (such as MuseScore or Sibelius) to be able to write down your ideas. A device on which you can record your improvisations (such as a smartphone) would be helpful.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You may also be interested in improvising in classical instrumental music.
More opportunities to study improvisation may come along. This short course is a supplement to the general instrumental programme.
A follow-up course.

Tutor Biographies
Lindsey Fillingham Tutor Website

Lindsey Fillingham (flute, piano, chamber music and improvisation tutor) graduated with BMus(Hons) from the University of Cape Town in 2009 and went on to study in Stockholm (KMH), Manchester (RNCM), and privately with Kate Hill (RAM). She has played with the likes of the Hallé, the Cape Philharmonic, and Orchestra of the Swan in venues including Royal Albert Hall, Bridgewater Hall and St Martin-in-the-Fields, has performed as a soloist with the Johannesburg Philharmonic, and broadcast for BBC’s Songs of Praise and Sunday Worship. Lindsey is carrying out PhD research at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, into group classical improvisation. She has led improvisation workshops and courses at the University of Cape Town, City Lit and Barbican’s OpenFest, amongst others. Lindsey loves performing to diverse communities, and is equally at home singing in school workshops or playing in care settings. She is a member of soundSPARK wind quartet and, with the Ashdown Duo, the Musicians in Hospitals and Care scheme. Lindsey is passionate about passing on the joy of music-making, and teaches at City Lit and Kensington Prep School.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Book your place

Course Code: ME861A

Wed, eve, 02 Dec - 09 Dec '20

Duration: 2 sessions (over 2 weeks)

Full fee: £39.00
Senior fee: £39.00
Concession: £39.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2630

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.