Music Improv Workshops with Rick & Laura Hall


 

Have you ever wanted to learn how to improvise songs like we do on Whose Line is it Anyway? Then one of our Music Improv Workshops will be perfect for you. My husband, Rick Hall, (The Second City, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Factory) and I create a supportive, playful environment where you can grow, explore and move out of your comfort zone, starting with games and warmups to ease into singing. We especially like helping people discover that music improv is really fun and something they can do joyfully & successfully. And we just love teaching together.

    

We've taught Music Improv all over the U.S. and Canada (see a partial list below). Even if you've never done song improv before, you'll build vocal confidence and learn to listen to each other and the accompaniment.  And if you're already experienced with song improv, we'll stretch your skills and help you explore all sorts of fun new ways to use music. Before you know it, you'll be belting out your own great improvised songs!

   

We customize each workshop to the theater or school we're working with. If the are many students, we often do a Beginning and Advanced. Sometimes we perform with the Advanced class, or lead a Jam, integrating their new skills into the show. We love coaching existing teams who want to integrate music into their shows, or to refine their skills if they're already doing music. I teach specialized workshops for Musical Directors, or can coach MDs within the context of a regular workshop. We can completely customize our workshops for your needs.

 

 Teaching at HSU   

 


 “A fantastic workshop for anyone who would like to stop worrying so much about

when it's okay to sing a song and just let 'er rip!”- Cara M, Champaign, IL


     

Here's some of the material we cover:

1. Warming up and why it’s important; the care and use of your voice.

2. Building vocal confidence: exploring melody, rhythm, discovering your natural voice, ways to help if you’re not an experienced singer. 

3. The different roles of a lead singer and a background singer.

4. Finding your own way of approaching a musical accompaniment, and your own take on the subject matter.

5. Music improv as a natural extension of scenic work: exploring character, location, story, etc. to create rich and interesting songs.

6. Ensemble singing: Listening, watching, taking turns, coming to a chorus, intro to harmony singing.

7. Rhyming exercises and games such as Irish Drinking Song and Hoedown.

 

If a group is more advanced, we go on to:  

1. Advanced ensemble singing: Counter melodies, call & response, duets, trios and big cast numbers, advanced harmony.

2. Song structure and some musical theory (and why it’s important).

3. Movement: improvising group choreography. Working with different musical styles and genres.

4. Digging deep into location and character work to bring your songs to life.

5. Integrating music into longer forms: Musicals, Harold, Armando, etc.   

   


“You created such an accepting environment! You are both talented teachers and

everyone left the workshop with smiles on their faces!” - Laura P, Indianapolis, IN


 

Rick and I have lead workshops in improv festivals, theaters, colleges and clubs. 

Here are just some of the places we've taught:

Annoyance Theater (Chicago, IL)

Arcade Comedy Theater (Pittsburgh, PA)

Baltimore Improv Group (Baltimore, MD)

Boston Comedy Arts Festival (Cambridge, MA)

Brewery Arts Center (Carson City, NV)

Brigham Young University (Rexburg, ID)

Chicago Improv Festival (Chicago, IL)

Columbia College (Tarzana, CA)

Comedy Shrine (Aurora, IL)

Compass Improv Festival (St. Louis, MO)

Cornell College (Mt. Vernon, IA)

Crown Point Community Theater (Crown Point, IN)

Hardin-Simmons University (Abilene, TX)

Idyllwild Family Camp (Idyllwild, CA)

ImprovBoston (Cambridge, MA)

Improv Broadway (Provo, UT)

Improv Shop (St. Louis, MO)

Lincoln Land Community College (Springfield, IL)

Los Improviachis (Chicago, IL)

Monterey Improv (Monterey, CA)

SAG AFTRA NextGen Series (Los Angeles, CA)

Sacramento Comedy Spot (Sacramento, CA)

SAK Comedy Lab (Orlando, FL)

San Francisco Improv Fest (San Francisco, CA)

San Francisco School of the Arts (San Francisco, CA)

Shut the Front Door (London, ON)

Tahoe Improv Players (South Lake Tahoe, CA)

Texas State University (San Marcos, TX)

The Second City Training Center (Chicago, IL)

The Second City Training Centre (Toronto, ON)

Toastmasters (Culver City, CA)

Unscrewed Theater (Tuscon, AZ)

Un-Scripted Theater Company (San Fransisco, CA)

Zoo Improv (Champaign, IL)

 


"What a great teaching team! Within the first two hours we learned how to

advance scenes with song; we built confidence and had fun…lots of it.” 

– Gerry Orton, Monterey, CA


       

Music Improv Workshop with Rick & Laura Hall Music Improv Workshop with Rick & Laura Hall

 


  “I was blown away by how supportive and encouraging you both were. You've made me feel better about myself as an improvisor as a whole, not just musical improv.”

- Heather D, Toronto, ON


 

Check out my calendar for upcoming workshops in your area.

  

Contact Laura to find out more or schedule a workshop.

    


“I had a fantastic time and learned a bunch at the same time. You and Rick quickly put

 the class at ease and whamm-o we were singing like champs!” - Andy R, Aurora, IL