Creative Ensembles

What is Creative Ensembles?

Creative Ensembles is Pro Corda’s brand new programme, exclusively for schools, which introduces and develops the magic and universal educational powers of chamber music in music departments and classrooms nationwide.

For some schools, it may be that fantastic chamber ensembles are up and running. Here, a Creative Ensembles half day or day can boost spontaneity in a small ensemble, get a group stage ready for a performance, and encourage groups to explore new areas of sonority, group colour, expressive range and communication.

For other schools it might be that there isn’t yet chamber music in a music department to join the many other fantastic areas of group music making going on – such as orchestras, bands and choirs. Chamber music offers a unique experience for students alongside these larger ensembles. The very fact of having no conductor means students are having to think on their feet, be instantly creative, and listen to each other in a particularly intense way. These are, of course, generic musicianship skills that can develop the soloist, ensemble player, and orchestral / band player alike.

The skills go further than just musicianship itself. Chamber music instils life skills. Each player having complete and unique ownership of their part inspires skills of negotiation, responsible leadership, social understanding, and individual confidence.

So the Creative Ensembles workshops can be used to “kick start” new ensembles with ANY instrumental combination and NO prior experience needed.

We’ve really enjoyed Andrew’s workshops because he manages that balancing act of making everybody feel comfortable with the creative task while ensuring everybody in the room has a say and is challenged at the right level.
His own creativity at the piano is inspiring, and It’s a lot of fun!”
Dr Jonathan James, Director, Bristol Pre-Conservatoire

How do we do it?

The key is improvisation – whether Creative Ensembles is being used to develop existing or advanced groups or “kick starting” new groups. Young musicians come together with Pro Corda’s specialists and explore a chamber ensemble from the inside out. The nuts and bolts of what makes small ensemble performance work, and what makes it such an exciting medium, are explored via textural layered improvisations that then turn into mini compositions by the end of the session. These are then presented in a collaborative informal performance. For more advanced groups, interpretational ideas around repertoire is built in.

The emphasis is on having an exciting day, breaking barriers, and exploring this form of musical performance without the draw back of music stands and the printed page.

Creative Ensembles can be booked as half day or full day events.

“Our students are liberated and think entirely differently after a Creative Ensembles day.
It has invigorated performance and excited imaginations.”
Director of Music, Coventry and Leeds Schools.

Creative Ensembles can be booked throughout the school year

Pro Corda is already delivering Creative Ensembles each month from Exeter to Leeds, and Creative Ensembles schools have used the workshops not just for all the performance skills that come with this work, but also for GCSE and A-level COMPOSITION course work.

How do I book?

Pro Corda Creative Ensembles workshops start at just £250 and can be booked by filling in a few details here. One of the team will then get in contact with you to book your session.

We look forward to meeting you!

“First class! Andrew’s expertise and musicianship were highly apparent not only in the quality of what he helped advanced students to create, but also in drawing out an unexpected realisation of potential from the less experienced. Improvisation is myth-busted and I am beginning to see it emerging in our Music Service! “
Kieran Lynch, Upper Strings Teacher for Kingston upon Hull Music Service.
Leiston Abbey
Pro Corda Festival
Meet the team