Directed Improvisation Workshop is a workshop designed to musicians and music students, with different paths and levels, promoted by Escola do Rock Paredes de Coura.

It takes place in an informal musical learning context, in order to stimulate motivation, and active, creative and intuitive involvement in the student’s musical process.

Target Audience

Musicians and music students, combining musicians with different academic backgrounds and trajectories, as well as musicians with different degrees of experience. It’s not necessary being a student from Escola do Rock Paredes de Coura.


  • Transformation of the musical power / experience accumulated by each of the participants in a collective musical torrent whose experience reverberates indelibly to their personal or group experience in other contexts;
  • Rapport with the educational community of the places where it develops, patented both at the family level and in respect for the basic musical training of the students, experiencing great empathy for the personal effort of the participants or attention to their personal expectations deposited in participation in the process. This integration enhances the appearance or reinforcement of synergies between institutions and people present in the territories;
  • Development of valuable individual capacities applicable to multiple areas of human activity, once this initiative takes place in a context of informal musical learning, in order to stimulate intrinsic motivation, and active, intuitive and creative involvement in the musical process;
  • This workshop aims, through collaborative methods, to develop a set of creative processes such as improvisation and musical composition / creation, where collaboration and interaction between the group is emphasized, and where communication plays a central role in the development of musical creativity.

Skills to be improved

  • Creativity;
  • Music composition;
  • Intuitive and creative involvement;
  • Motivation;
  • Communication;
  • Collaboration;
  • Interaction between students.

Training Team

Created by musician, and Escola do Rock teacher, Samuel Martins Coelho-, this workshop involves one or two music teachers.

Description and workplan

The structuring of the workshop is simple but very effective. It follows this order:

  • It always starts with round exercises, which aims to make each participant to be introduced to the group so that everyone knows each other and, from then on, start to build and steght group trust;
  • Develop the rhythmic, concentration, choices, action, reaction exercises, so the trainer understand how the group works, and what are its weaknesses, and potentialities, so that throughout the workshop find the best solutions to resolve issues and assign tasks of leadership;
  • Division of the group into small groups with specific tasks with an objective- to understand how the group behaves and how they interact in order to fulfill the objectives;
  • After this division, each small group presents its material;
  • Using Soundpainting Comunication tools, improvisation exercises are performed so that an indication is given and the receiver has to make a decision based on that signal;
    • What is soundpainting?

It’s a sign language created by New York composer Walter Thompson for musicians, actors, dancers, poets and visual artists. The language consists of more than 1200 gestures that are indicated by the composer known as Soundpainter. This is what indicates the type of material that they want to be done by the performers. The direction of the composition is defined by the signaling given by the composer. Here are some examples of signs to register:

    • Pointed indicator: Touch (PLAY);
    • Clenched Fist: Stop (STOP);
    • Left hand opening and closing, and indicator: Create the wave effect (FLASHING)- Only touch when the indicator is in the field of view. When the indicator does not point at anyone, it is not touched;
    • Left hand in V: Play too loud. (HIGH);
    • Two fingers pointing to the eyes: Pay attention and prepare for the next indication (ATTENTION);
    • Secure by hand: Free composition. They are currently the most important musicians in the group (SOLO);
  • With the material developed by the different groups, the trainer asks for the interaction of the participants to start creating a possible structure, always making it clear that this structure is always changeable, so the participants can never lose focus because they are not used to a defined form;
  • Enhance the qualities of the participants both in technical or creative and leadership issues;
  • At the end of the workshop the participants have a good and relevant experience and know tools which are useful for their own projects;

The result of this workshop is shown in a concert during the Escola do Rock Residency, in Paredes de Coura.

Duration proposed

This is a one-day workshop, during the Escola do Rock Residency, in Paredes de Coura, and lasts for three hours.

Promoting Organisation

Escola do Rock Paredes de Coura.

Starting Year


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