THINK LIKE A COMPOSER (50 minutes)
Michael Kelsey helps students understand the nature of music and the keys to songwriting. He breaks down the process of turning sounds into compositions. With his "on the spot" recording equipment he can quickly construct sound sculptures using elements in the room. He presents an interactive demonstration of how the elements of music work together. Students offer word ideas for lyrics and found objects for instruments to contribute to the performance. Students come away knowing more about how they can make music part of everyday life.
"Considered a guitar aficionado, but also a natural teacher, Kelsey used analogies that teenagers could understand to get his points across. “Songs start from some place very simple, kind of like jeans and a t-shirt,” he told the crowd, playing a simple melody while he explained. “Then, you can accessorize. I’m thinking about adding an earring.” With that, he introduced a plucking note to the sound sculpture.
Kelsey conveyed to the audience the benefits of improvisation, and demonstrated the technique by creating off-the-cuff songs about everyday items members handed him from their seats. One student’s polka dotted coin purse became the focus of a pop song about new worlds waiting to be explored that are just one zip away. A teacher ‘s oversized coffee mug, inspired a head-banging heavy metal song called Over-Caffeinated.
When asked if he can sing in different languages, Kelsey purred a romantic Spanish ballad that soon morphed into a matador’s trouncing, foot stomping go ’round in a bullfight." - Lisa Thornton, CLICK HERE for full article.
BRINGING SONGS TO LIFE (3-5 days)
Students get a hands-on lesson in creating and producing music from scratch using their own ideas for songs. This program can be
designed for a large or small group and can run from a one-day intensive to a week-long, two-hour per day residency based upon
your needs. The group will bring a song or songs to life by experiencing the creative process of writing and structuring songs as well
as the arrangement of the musical production that goes on around a song idea. As a residency the group will play an active part in
bringing the song to life in a recording. In the end, the group will have a CD in recorded format and will have the option to perform live
for family and friends.
participants examine the nature of music, inspire one another and nurture the music maker within. He shares his ideas about the power
of music and demonstrates his approach to guitar, songwriting and performing. Ideal for an arts outreach activity, or middle or high
school workshop. This is an excellent way to introduce patrons, parents, teachers and students to a deeper understanding of music
and is accessible to all levels of ability. No instruments required.
ADVANCED GUITAR TECHNIQUES In this very popular workshop Michael shares some of the more advanced acoustic guitar techniques
he has developed with guitarists who consider themselves intermediate level or above. Techniques covered include alternate tunings, two
handed tapping, and percussive playing. This workshop is highly popular with young people exploring music as a profession or just for pleasure. Michael answers their questions about career building and performing as a profession as well as encouraging all as musicians.
What do educators think?
Community Outreach and Education Director
Clark State Community College Performing Arts Center
“Michael is a rock star: he inspires students with his passion and virtuosity. What he puts on stage is a celebration of creativity and the joy of music-making. He inspires students to go home and write a song themselves, and that is the definition of an excellent in-school artist: a great performer who inspires young people to be creators themselves.”
Luke Dennis, Executive Director
The Muse Machine -Dayton, Ohio
Michael Kelsey has performed at our school many times. He holds the rapt attention of his student audience as he demonstrates how music can be found anywhere with any object. From the most expensive musical instrument to an ordinary inanimate object like a book bag Michael shows the kids how to create and appreciate music.
John Layton, Principal
Tecumseh MS – Lafayette IN
“Our students love his performances and respect his talent so much that they beg us to book him year after year. His show is a perfect combination of art and technology. Michael is among the few showmen I can guarantee will leave the audience cheering, and thanking you for bringing him in!”
Tom Clark, Muse Machine advisor
Carroll HS - Dayton, Ohio
“Michael's performance was engaging and stimulating. Our students were spellbound!
Lou Ann Wilson
Northmont MS - Northmont, OH
“The students loved his interaction with them. He was creative and dynamic to watch and listen to. We would love to have him back again and perform for our students.”
Weisenborn MS - Huber Heights, OH
“The kids thought Michael was amazing! He was able to make songs up off the top of his head! One of the Best Muse In-School programs we have had in the 20 years of Muse Machine. It rates right up there in the top 10.”
Chamberlain MS-Carlisle, OH
“He performed for nearly 1000 students; a feat that he seemingly took in stride. He commanded the audience, keeping them involved and entertained.
Baker MS -Fairborn, OH
Contact: Laura Clavio 765-426-4519