Mike Descoteaux is the mastermind creator behind the Musical Improv Program at The Second City training center in Chicago. He currently serves as the Artistic Director at ImprovBoston.
ADVANCED MUSIC IMPROV – THE GAME OF THE SONG
LENGTH: 6 Hours
LEVEL: Intermediate, Advanced, Professional
CATEGORY: Dynamics, Music
Discover the simple joy and comedic power of ImprovBoston-style game-driven songs.
Using two fundamental structures, participants will explore the ridiculous fun that comes through effortlessly heightening the lyrical, emotional, physical, situational and musical patterns that present themselves in the scene leading up to a song.
We’ll play with the emotional and reactive scenic building blocks that lead to the best improvised songs. Experience how the success of the song is virtually guaranteed before the first note is even sung (the secret is in the scene).
PLEASE NOTE: Students should have a minimum of 1 year formal improv training OR minimum 1 year of music improv experience + 6 months of formal music improv training
SING IT! – BETTER IMPROV THROUGH MUSIC
LENGTH: 3 Hours
LEVEL: Beginner, Intermediate
CATEGORY: Character, Dynamics, Music
Sing it! introduces students to the fundamentals of how to improvise songs that sound as if they had been written. Explore rhyming (and effective alternatives to rhyming), common song structures that lend themselves to improvising, creating memorable hooks, and how to convincingly get into songs from an improvised scene.
Discover the many connections between traditional improv and “singprov,” allowing students to heighten emotion, strengthen relationships, and access new characters instantaneously.
By the end of the day, students will be singing off the cuff with confidence and joy.
Take this workshop and unlock a new, deeply rewarding approach to improvisation. No previous singing experience required.
REINVENTING SHORT FORM
LENGTH: 3 Hours
LEVEL: Intermediate, Advanced
CATEGORY: Scenic, Character, Structure
Every decent improviser knows shortform, right? Not so fast! If you think shortform is easy, a hack, or gimmicky, you’re not doing it right.
Discover how to connect with an audience, attack the stage, and find the game within the game. Geek out on structures, comedic angles and ever-elusive hosting techniques. Gain valuable scenic, collaborative, character, audience interaction and fast-play skills that you can apply to almost any other style of improv.
One thing’s for sure: after this workshop; you will never look at shortform the same way again.
Mike Descoteaux is the Artistic Director of ImprovBoston. Before ImprovBoston, Mike served as head and creator of the Music Program at The Second City Training Center and music director of the Second City Etc stage in Chicago. Named one of the top young songwriters in the country by the Johnny Mercer/AMTP association, he has had the privilege of working with Tony Award-winning artists such as Jason Robert Brown, William Finn, Mark Hollmann and James LaPine.
He has “composed” and “conducted” over 1,000 completely improvised musicals with Baby Wants Candy, Musical! the musical, I Eat Pandas, BLANK! The Musical Off-Broadway and many others. In addition to teaching at institutions like the Second City, ImprovBoston, Northwestern University, and Columbia College, Mike has lead workshops in music improv around the world.