The string faculty at the Frost School encourage their string students to improvise during low key Improvisation Club sessions, and are improvisers themselves in string quartet settings. They often incorporate jazz, bluegrass, and American fiddling styles into their own music.
One of the highlights of the undergraduate Experiential Music Curriculum (EMC) at the Frost School of Music is its inclusion and instruction in improvisation especially geared for classical musicians. All freshman participate in weekly classical improvisation sessions taught by Dean Shelly Berg and subsequent break-out sessions with other EMC faculty members. All activities are carefully sequenced to ensure success and students practice what they learn in small chamber groups, and in their private lessons. The classes are fun, the results are proven.
Graduate string students learn to improvise in private lessons and in a graduate improvisation class for classical musicians with legendary improv teacher Vince Maggio, as well as ad hoc student ensembles. They also participate in master classes and private coaching sessions with Mark O’Connor and others. Graduate students are encouraged to explore a variety of musical genres while students at Frost, for their own musical enrichment as well as increased professional work opportunities.