As you may know, the creative sessions at each Pro Corda course – be they improvisation, composition, or studio based – are a central part to what we all do together artistically; and, we have always believed, a central part of making a great chamber musician!

So each week, as part of Pro Corda@home we will be uploading some backing tracks and activities to enable you to enjoy improvising and developing your creative flair in the comfort of your own home.

Simply click on the link relating to your course level, and we have included an additional one each week for pianists. If you missed an earlier week, they are also included below.

Let’s get creating!

Week 6:

Creative: Preparatory

“Short Answer Ping Pong” – See if you can “answer back” musically to quick fire phrases. Like the previous musical ping pong, but this time you really need to be on your guard for the entries!

Creative: Primary and Junior

“Time to Tango.” Improvise along to a tango backing this week and see if you can capture the rhythmic identity in your improvisation.

Creative: Intermediate and Senior

“Plainchant”. Time to enter into the spirit of Leiston Abbey with an instrumental plainchant improvisation!

Creative: Pianists

This week is all about 5ths, exploring their sonority in a modal improvisation you can play along to.

We hope you have great fun creating. If you would like to record and send us your creative results, or photos of you working with these tracks we would love to hear and see them.

Please fill in the short form and attach your recordings/photos here directly!

Week 5:

Creative: Preparatory

“The Abbey Field Mice Waltz”: Those Abbey mice return this week, and this time they are in party mood! See if you can dance along with them ever so gracefully, and in A minor!

Creative: Primary and Junior

“Time to get chromatic”: Explore the many different sonorities you can get by improvising chromatically to the backing track. Experiment with using fragments of chromatic harmony rather than whole scales

Creative: Intermediate and Senior

“7/8 and 9/8 alternations”: Experiment with the intriguing rhythmic juxtapositions 7/8 and 9/8 give by being alternated each bar against a backing track in Eb minor

Creative: Pianists

“Octave sonority”: Explore octaves and scale practice in a COMPLETELY new way!

Week 4:

Creative: Preparatory

Subito dynamics. Match suddenly changing dynamics to C major backing track

Creative: Primary and Junior

Roald Dahl Character improvisations! Choose a character and backing track from the story of Charlie and the Chocolate character and try to create a musical sketch based on that character using the appropriate backing track. Choose from: Oompa Loompas / Willy Wonka / Charlie Bucket entering the chocolate room / Grandpa Jo getting out of bed for first time in 20 years

Creative: Intermediate and Senior

4th and 5th sonority. Based on Debussy’s exploration of these intervals in the Piano etudes, create a piece just using 4ths and 5ths to given backing.

Creative: Pianists

Staccato improvisation. 2 backing tracks – one A minor the other black keys. Both using 123/12/12 rhythm. Explore your staccato sonority and use of finger staccato and wrist.

Week 3:

Creative: Preparatory

Musical Ping-Pong!

Creative: Primary and Junior

Theme and variation based on Mozart C major

Creative: Intermediate and Senior

Pentatonic landscape impro

Creative: Pianists

Chord sonority – voicing notes within clusters to make melodies and boost voicing technique for young pianists.

Week 2:

Creative: Preparatory

“The Abbey field mouse” –
a dynamic contrast based improvisation task

Creative: Primary and Junior

“The field beyond” –
programmatic improvising task in A minor

Creative: Intermediate and Senior

“Minuet and Trio” –
how to create your own classical style Minuet and Trio in 5 minutes

Creative: Pianists

“Pentatonic madness” –
create your own pentatonic piece that is guaranteed to sound different from anything you’ve improvised before

Week 1:

Pro Corda@home
Pro Corda@home:Practical
Pro Corda@home:Study