Structure of workshop – planning, format, and delivery:
Planning – Do you think the aims and objectives were realistic? What were the key considerations for this particular session (in your opinion)?
I would definitely say the aims and objectives were realistic. The workshop was designed to fit a group whom are musical in one way or another. There was even a comment that they adapted their usual workshop to suit university music students. The workshop was planned around to fit any type or musician so it was versatile and no one felt left out.
The aim was to finish the workshop feeling that you could create a piece of music using skills learnt throughout the day. We were taught the basics of beat boxing and I think they slightly adapted parts of beat boxing so that it could be done easily by anyone, no matter their capabilities.
The one thing I felt wasn’t considered during the planning process was the idea that some of the musicians may not be as confident as others and would struggle with a spotlight being put on them which happened a few times during the warm ups and also the ‘jam’ activity. Also for some people the aim wasn’t something that was a realistic outcome for them as they didn’t feel confident performing to others and this was enhanced through the intimation they felt during the warmup.
Format – consider suitability of room, equipment, number of facilitators to participants, duration. Do you feel that it was appropriately challenging? Did it highlight or demand any particular level of skill or experience in the participants? Comment on the sequence – introduction, warm-up, group work and performance – and if you thought this was appropriate.
Room – I would say was definitely suitable for the workshop, it had a huge hall to do the whole group activities in and also small rooms coming off it for us to use to practice in. I think the 5 mics used the room to the best of its capabilities.
One downfall for me was how cold it was in the room, it was almost off putting at points as I was that cold I had to keep my coat on and never felt properly ‘warmed up’.
Equipment – The 5 mics brought more than enough mics and had their own speakers and desk meaning they didn’t have to rely on the venue, it also meant they looked effortless when using and we had no problems what so ever.
Number of facilitators to participants– The ratio was perfect. Having 5 people running the workshop meant you weren’t just hearing one voice go one for the 5 hours we were there. They also had banter between each other which we could join in, this gave of a sense of warmth and ease. This vibe from the 5 mics definitely was absorbed by us as a group.
Duration – As I mentioned in the above comments about the faciliators, because we had 5 of them and not just 1, as silly as it sounds but time didn’t become a huge factor as we were all other wised engaged and just didn’t think about it. The amount of stuff we got through you definitely needed the solid 5 hours to get through it and because we were doing different things constantly it broke up the session.
Challenging? – The workshop at first look was intimidating and the concept was scary as a lot of us has never beat boxed before or even attempted to, so I think this scared a lot of people. It was a constant learning workshop and the challenge was to create these sounds they were asking for (they were difficult sounds). I felt they pushed us because of them knowing prior that we were music students.
The challenge really fell to the people who weren’t comfortable in situations where some attention was drawn to them. This attention was drawn while doing the circle activities.
Highlight or demand a level of experience? – Not particularly, as there wasn’t any pressure to get it right or for you to be able to do it. The one skill you benefitted from was having rhythm and having experience improvising over a rhythm already set.
Comments on the sequence –
The introduction revolved around hearing what the workshop leaders (5 mics) could do. This introduction fueled excitement and also engaged and captured us. I can also see that this could come across as intimidating for some students as they beat boxed so well and they could judge us on how awful we may be.
- Warm up
The warm up was crucial, it brought us together as a group and made us bond with people we haven’t before. It settled everyone and created a humorous atmosphere. The games also made the workshop leaders seem just like one of us as they were being caught out and we got to laugh at them during it.
The Jam gave us chance to show the workshop leaders what we could do which was fun for some people but I’m not too sure that they though this part through as they were making people solo and this is such an intimidating thing for some students to do.
- Group work
The group work gave the workshop an outcome and this is why I think they did it. We got brought together with people we don’t usually work with and got to create something I think all of us seemed proud of.
This Group work gives opportunity for people to come together, share thoughts and ideas and time to create something that isn’t fully lead by the leaders.
Delivery – What aspects of the groups delivery throughout the session stood out? Single out any particular elements as being examples of good practice, and anything you felt could be altered or improved on. Explain why.
The group were really warming and had a lot of banter which for us in particular really worked. There was a common ground between all of us which I think helped; This common ground being that we all create music in some way or another and have a passion for it.
The 5 mics vibed of each other and had a laugh with each other while running the workshop, they created an informal, relaxed feel to the whole workshop.
One element was when we got split into groups and each member came over to help us out and have a good chat with us. Another time was when we were out in the small rooms practicing some of us got the chance to speak to two of them and talk about music and different things, it made us all relax just before we performed.
Conclusion – personal response and reflection
I absolutely loved the workshop, it incorporated all the things I love about doing music. The Jam circle specially was something enjoyed doing as improvisation is something that really sparks my interest.
The main thing that stood out to me was how welcoming they were and how relaxed they made people feel. It opened my eyes to how relaxed you can be during a workshop, it doesn’t have to be all about learning (this in reference to the games).
It’s made me think about incorporating games and activities that are just for fun, and how this can completely change the mood of a room. This is definitely something I will be taking into consideration when we plan our workshop.
One thing I’m taking away as a thing not to do in a workshop situation is the singling out of people. This was the downfall for people I think, a lot of people because nervous and anxious and this is not a feeling I want anywhere near our workshop.