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MfP Montréal Live
Live Your Music at Concordia
Community Music
Community music
Coeur des sciences - Conference


Live Session - May 26-28, 2023

Creating spontaneous music with others is uplifting, energizing, and inspiring. You CAN learn to improvise!


MfP improvisation workshops are accessible to everyone, from complete novice to expert musician. Using the philosophy and techniques of Music for People, I aim to create a space where every combination of people and instruments can come together and make music. 


What happens at an MfP workshop?

We are given permission to drop our expectations of what we should play and return to the essence of music, silence, pulse and tone. As we do so, we enter into a state of mindful, compassionate and open listening. It is in this state that we open ourselves to experience our creative, musical and human potential. We also have a lot of fun! 


Community music has always been a part of every single world culture. Music has a place in our lives that goes far beyond that of the entertainment and cultural industry. Come and discover what that means.

Bill of Musical Rights (David Darling) 

Workshops are accessible to adults (16+) of all ages, and can be designed to meet the following goals:

  • Combat isolation and anxiety

  • Team building

  • Promote inspired leadership

  • Community building

  • Develop musicianship and ensemble skills

  • Develop creative teaching strategies

  • Experience a relaxing sound bath

  • Create a sound Garden by making music to meditate with

Players can bring their own instruments. Workshop package(s) can also include high quality drums and percussion instruments made by Remo Drums, Rav Vast, and Rhythm Band Instruments.

Workshop packages (please inquire about pricing)

- Basic - Facilitator(s) and no instruments (vocal improvisation or your organization and/or players supply instruments)

- Color and Sound - Boomwhackers, bells, and shakers

- Drum circle with melodic percussion

- Sound Bath or Sound Garden: specially chosen instruments including singing bowls, chimes, bells, Rav Vast hand pans, Ocean drums, table drum, shruti box, etc. 

I have already given workshops in the following settings and for the following groups:

  • Music faculties and music schools 

  • University and CEGEP

  • Conferences

  • Amateur or professional choirs, choruses

  • Rock bands and singer-songwriters

  • Music educators and general educators

  • Singers and musicians of all levels

  • Corporate settings

  • Senior citizens' residences and groups

  • Community and business leadership training

Groups can also be mixed. Individuals from all of the above categories have simultaneously partaken at a single workshop, and have had an amazing learning experience. 

Recommended minimum age is 16 yrs old. 


Simple & Daring by James Oshinsky

Forward by Irene Feher

Life is an improvisation. We do not have a score to follow, and we are not told when to support someone or when to speak our mind. We figure it out as we go. We learn literacy only after we establish a basis of social communication that begins with one or two sounds. For language, we learn to listen and respond. Why not teach the foundations of music in this way? Through social conversations, spontaneous interactions, starting simply and daring to dive in.


First and foremost, music teachers are musicians. This book empowers us to impart the subject we love through active engagement in what we love. I use improvisation in voice lessons to help my students become compassionate, accepting and open lifelong learners who trust in their abilities to problem-solve and work with others. I want them to value themselves and the experiences that make them who they are. I want their music to tell a story worth telling, and I want them to have the musical skills to listen, create and collaborate. Improvisation is the way.


I was fortunate enough to have Mary Knysh and Jim Oshinsky as my mentors as I went through Music for People’s Musicianship and Leadership Program.  Mary embodies improvisational flow in her facilitation; Jim articulates and documents these elusive processes with precision and insight. In this volume, we hear from the witness, the facilitator and the students/players. We are introduced to the main improvisation forms, the facilitator’s mindset and the experiences of the learners as they engage. We are treated to a rare behind the scenes view, with examples of artful sequences and transitions, illustrating how the facilitator/teacher drops into a state of flow while guiding the learning process. Through the act of music improvisation students learn how to listen, adapt and integrate themselves in novel situations with others as they become more comfortable taking on the roles of supporter and leader as needed.  Teachers of improvisation are emboldened to listen, adapt and integrate their accumulated fund of musical experience with their sensitivity to provide lessons at the student’s growing edges.Counselors can benefit from the way this Social Music Improvisation approach painlessly offers opportunities for social interaction and personal discovery.


In a supportive environment without fear of “wrong notes” and expectations, we can allow ourselves to return to the state of childlike wonderment and curiosity that brought us to music in the first place.  We can plunge into the same processes as the author, and immerse ourselves in playing and teaching in ways we might once have feared. It is a fine thing to read and write about music, but deep learning best happens when you are daring enough to jump in and do it!


Music for People Retreat Weekend

For pricing and registration information - Contact Irene at


Mary Knysh, a world-renowned music educator, performer and recording artist, and Dr. Irene Feher, who teaches classical and contemporary voice at Concordia, will lead this experience of creative exploration, musical mindfulness, personal renewal and community building that encompasses a range of traditions and styles—from folk, blues and jazz to classical and world music.

Friday to Sunday

Friday 6pm - 9:30pm, Saturday 9:00am - 9:30pm, Sunday 9:00am - 12:00pm 


Location: CAMMAC
85 Chem. Cammac, Harrington, QC J8G 2T2

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On Friday and Saturday, People of all ages and abilities are invited to attend and explore bold, "new" approaches to singing, drumming, and instrumental playing. No instrument? No problem. And you don’t have to know how to improvise. All you need is your voice—and the desire to express yourself. We’ll do the rest. Whether you are a professional, a student or an amateur, Live Your Music in Quebec will expand your musical vocabulary.

On Sunday, musicians interested in learning more about MfP’s signature approach to improvisation and group facilitation, particularly in educational and therapeutic settings, are encouraged to register for an additional workshop.

Everyone who registers for the workshop is invited to play Sunday from 11:00am-12:00pm for  pm for an improvised concert with members of Music for People’s international community. 

More Details

Housing: Rooms and Meals are included in Registration

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