One of the most important things we can do as dancers is to become really familiar with our music- so that you recognize the songs, train your ear, know what to expect as far as musical changes, and are not thrown by hearing different versions of the same song.

Back by popular demand, Debbie Smith will once again bring her extensive musical and cultural knowledge to us in a second series of workshops focusing on the new Project Band music library for 2023-2024. Covering 30 songs in 30 weeks, she will hold two one-hour workshops each month, each one focusing on two songs.

The aim of these workshops is to provide a deeper look into some of the Egyptian and Lebanese songs that we work with as dancers, and to be a point of departure for your own further explorations. You will learn something about the cultural context of these songs (the composer, singer, and the time and place that they came from), as well as looking at the structure and characteristics of the song from a dancer’s point of view, and the song’s lyrics, using translation and transliteration.

Last year this workshop series was only offered to the participants in Karen’s 12-month Project Band performance improvisation program, but they turned out to be so valuable that this year we are opening these workshops to anyone else who wants to join. Whether you are developing or rekindling your relationship to performing with live music, or you just want to learn more about the songs you love, these workshops are for you- no matter what level of dancer you are or how long you have been dancing.

Workshops take place on zoom, and if you can’t join live, you can view each workshop recording later. In addition to having access to the recording, you will receive supporting documents and a carefully curated YouTube playlist for each song. If you don’t already know Debbie, you can check out her background and qualifications by clicking here.

Zoom workshop series

30 Songs in 30 Weeks:

register for entire workshop series here

the power of knowing your music

register by month here

View music library here

"I so appreciate you taking your time to research the composers, singers and songs...I really enjoyed learning from you and hearing about the history of the composers/singers/songs. Even though I knew I wouldn't remember all the details in real time, I could go back to the resources and take advantage of all the information, which was super beneficial.
I went back and printed out the words and was able to dive into your YouTube list to listen to all the different versions.
Your knowledge of Arabic language I'm sure allows you to find some obscure versions that I couldn't have found on my own." - JWS

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