The workshop model that we adopt has a lecture, individual classes, ensemble coaching, and a public recital/concert as the final activity – in which students and faculty perform the chosen and studied repertory. Timewise, we think that a three-day workshop is ideal for when longer residencies are not possible. We usually start on a Wednesday morning and have the public concert on Friday evening.
In our workshops, we teach very short individual classes, always working towards the collective and public event (i.e., the concert). In the morning of the first day we introduce students to the history of the genre (chamamé, tango, etc.) and go over the main aspects of the style that we will be focusing on. Then we assign parts (actually sent in advance) to each individual student and spend the first day mentoring students individually. If the number of students permit, we spend 20 minutes with each one at first, and then revisit them throughout the day to monitor their progress with their assigned parts. Depending on the type of ensembles (duos versus quintets, sextets, or bigger ensembles) the morning of the second day can be a polishing-up series of sessions with each individual student, or we start already working as ensemble(s).
By the end of the second day everyone should have a solid feeling for what the ensemble playing will require from them and a deep individual knowledge of the style in question.
The morning of the third day is dedicated to tighten ensemble playing and the concert is presented in the evening.
The focus of the workshops varies, but we have worked with musicians interested in the traditional chamamé, in Scofano’s New Chamamé, in Tango, in learning how to play those
genres but by ear, and on how to perform communicating complex emotions.