undefinedTwo Violins

The course explores the practice of improvisation ranging from Renaissance and Baroque embellishment through folk and jazz genres to free contemporary improvisation. Open to any instrumentalists and singers of upper intermediate and advanced standard.


Resident: £453 Non-Resident: £345 (25% off for under 27s) Code: 21/R30

Booking for Members opens at 9am on Monday 12 April 2021. 

Non-Member and online booking opens at 9am on Monday 10 May 2021. 

For details on how to become a Member to take advantage of early booking, see here.

What is the course about?

This course, open to any instrumentalists or singers of Grade 6 standard and above, explores the art of improvisation in a diversity of styles encompassing baroque, classical and contemporary, jazz, folk and beyond. Improvising can be a liberating experience that develops many all-round musical skills - aural and listening, creating, interacting with other musicians - facilitating more spontaneous approaches to interpretation and music making in general. It is not essential to have previous experience in improvisation and the course is designed to work from the individual’s own level in a challenging, but encouraging and supportive, environment. Come and dare to do something different! It promises to be an exciting journey of musical self-discovery.

What will we cover?

Renaissance and Baroque embellishment practices; improvisation in the Classical period; traditional blues and jazz (harmonic structures and melodic improvisation); improvisation in contemporary classical contexts (including ‘intuitive music’)

What will we accomplish? By the end of this course you will be able to…

To arrive at a point where you have the confidence to dispense with the written score and give flight to the imagination; to enhance your aural skills, necessary in being able to hear internally what you are going to play/sing before you play/sing it, and also in response to what others are playing/ singing.              

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

No previous experience in improvising required.

How will the course be taught, and will any preparation be required?

Taught as a group, but also with individual one-to-one work with the tutor. The class will be split into smaller groups (duos and trios) for some of the assignments. Tutor feedback (encouragement) given at every stage.

Will music be provided in advance of the course?

No, provided by the tutor during the course.  

Is there anything I need to bring?

Instrument(s) - you may bring more than one.

What previous participants said about this course…

“Challenging but very rewarding. Extremely varied.”

“It's a must if you want to get away from the written notes. There is no need to be fearful. You will not be made to feel inadequate.”

“It was a very small group and our abilities were very well matched.” 

“David Sutton-Anderson has clearly put an immense amount of work into the preparation of the course.”

“I learnt such a lot and thoroughly enjoyed it…we were a marvellous bled of instruments and a good team together, which was lovely.”

“The tutor was knowledgeable, patient, encouraging and inspirational.”