ICE believes that new music is for everyone. The ensemble leads workshops for public school students in elementary through high school grades, focusing on group composition with image-based notation; interactive presentations with ICE's repertoire; and improvisation tutorials, culminating in performance.
The Listening Room: A New Approach to Music Education
The Listening Room, a new curriculum currently in its pilot year, places experimental music at the center of a new approach to music education. Targeting public schools with no formal music program, the curriculum draws on the rich vocabulary of experimental music—improvisation, graphic scores, team-based performances, and non-traditional instruments—to teach collaborative creative skills to students of all ages and skill levels.
The Listening Room creates an opportunity for young people with no prior musical experience to create and perform original compositions. In workshops led by ICE teaching artists, teams of students work together to develop a vocabulary of sounds, translate these sounds into visual symbols, and use those symbols to create graphic scores. Students then lead ICE musicians in collaborative performances of their work.
Our goal in building The Listening Room is to provide an opportunity for every student to experience the unique challenges of collaborative creative work—an essential growth experience that is out of reach in many schools. In the meantime, by exposing young people to the creative process through which new compositions emerge, we hope to plant the seeds for a more diverse, more engaged audience for the experimental music of tomorrow.
The Listening Room is being developed in collaboration with Baruch College Campus High School, and PS 169 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The project receives support from the Concinnity Fund, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the city council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.