The Musical Improv Program

Under the instruction and music direction of iO’s music director and veteran teacher Dave Asher, this program gives iO’s unique perspective on the skills and creation of Musical Improv.  Beginning with the basics of singing out and following the music, the program moves quickly into applying the tenets of long form improv made famous by iO to the performance of musical improv.  Every level in the Musical Improv program includes performances on Mondays at 10:30pm.

Musical Improv Level 1

In this opening level, students of all experiences and backgrounds can find common ground in covering the basics of music improv through the lens of long form improv comedy.  How can you sing your best?  How can you find and support original choruses (both rhyming and non-rhyming) that indicate a brand and structure for a song?  We push past traditional genres and into original themes, emotional games, and points of view.  How can you create opening numbers that introduce a theme that can be explored in a way unique to a piece, pushing past traditional one act or narrative structures.

Musical Improv Level 2

In this intermediate level, we build towards performing a Musical Harold (io’s signature piece).  Complete with detailed instruction on long form scene work and moves, this level breaks down and builds up the ingredients to perform a fully improvised musical.  This is a piece that is fueled by strong long form improv, focusing on relationships and themes which are then celebrated through song.  Inspired by iO’s house team form The Del Tones (directed by the instructor), Music 2 illuminates the experience of a group mind through music.

If you’ve taken our Music Improv 1, performed in MINT, or have completed the music program at Second City, then you are eligible to sign up for Level 2.

Musical Improv Level 3

This is the advanced level.  Once you are proficient at the musical Harold form covered in Music 2, it’s time to create your own form and do a run of that form at iO.  Starting with a purely organic approach, that you don’t need a form to create organic musical improv, we find the best way to showcase our own voice and decide on a half hour structure original to the class and audiences.  We will experiment with many different moves and ideas, getting to choose from many flavors for our final masterpiece.

There will be a 4 week run of shows on Mondays at 10:30pm upon completion of Level 3.

Musical Improv Levels 1 and 2 will have a shared 4 week run of shows on Mondays at 10:30pm during weeks, 5, 6, 7, and 8 of class.

The cost of each level of our Muical Improv Program is $280

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