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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.

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.
For several years, Michael served as a principal performer in the Clark Community College Jericho Project which received national recognition from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as one of the best outreach programs in the country for at-risk students.  These videos display some of those extended workshops.

Song Samples

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