Point Reyes Music Center

    Fall 2017 - Spring 2018 Private Lessons and Classes

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This fall, we are excited to announce four new classes!

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 1. Developing Deep Rhythm in Your Music: When we play music with others, whether be classical, folk-based, or jazz, it is often the rhythm that becomes the most subtle layer that we need to work with. When we listen to the masters, we notice their attention placed on every note. This is what I describe as “deep rhythm,” being; attention placed with conviction and space toward and around each note, chord, and rhythmic gesture in alignment with the human breath and its physical language of the body. Deep rhythm is a layer of practicing often left to the “rhythm section” players, (often called, “the groove” or “the zone”), but even working on our rhythm with solo strumming a guitar or playing a melody with a certain conviction can be a deeper part of our independent practice that can offer an unending stream of joy. When the lead player or vocalist commands a sense of deep rhythm, it draws along the rest of the ensemble with its current. This class will be an exploration and practice of these aspects of solo and ensemble music-making. For individuals, pre-formed groups of all genres, or new groups forming. Please call 415-663-9176 for exact time, schedule, and fee.


2. Learning to Read Music: This class will be divided into two levels: those who are complete novices in the skills of reading music and those who wish to improve their confidence in their fundamental knowledge of music reading. Fun exercises and rhythm games will include ear training, “eyes-closed” note identification games, discussion of the beautiful system of scales we use in Western music, learning simple tunes with reading and writing, and eventual songwriting in the genre of your choice. Take a step toward opening your entire world to the literature of written music! Please call 415-663-9176 for exact time, schedule, and fee.

3. Improvising Music and Poetry from the Heart: This class is for complete novices as well as those who have sung or played instruments over the years. In the past, this class became a four-year odyssey of creative expression for people with many levels of experience. Picture an experienced piano improviser, a new person to small percussion listening for a place to make a subtle sound, and another person spotting a source of creative sound - a piece of paper to tear at the just the right second. The entire practice is about attention and sensitivity to rhythmic timing, with musical sounds as the medium. Poetry will also enter in to our pieces to add a verbal and vocal level of expression. Please call 415-663-9176 for exact time, schedule, and fee.

4. Hand Drumming: How do we express ourselves from the heart to the hand to the skin of a drum? How do we learn to play with the kind of gentleness and subtlety that will consistently bring out the deep resonance of a beautiful African-style hand drum? How do we pay attention to our own rhythm part as well as our fellow drummers to create a sound of “one drum” in musical unity? These are some of the major issues we address in this class. Authentic rhythm patterns of Senegal - experienced over 30 years by the instructor after learning them with the master drummers of the National Ballet of Senegal, West Africa - will be our palette for learning. This is an ongoing class. We welcome newcomers who will be given “easy parts” to play after a private session or two with the instructor. Please call 415-663-9176 for exact time, schedule, and fee.




Summer and Year-round Fun Music Immersion Series

Have you ever dreamed of making music or singing in a group? Have you ever wanted to know what it would be like to live your life as a full-time dedicated musician, writer, or artist? We offer 2, 3, 4, and 5 day immersions for both individuals and groups throughout the year in our beautiful zone of seashore, mountains, grazing hills, and forests. Combine walks in nature with mixed arts with our available strings, guitars, piano and keyboards, winds, and percussion. Gather with friends and family or create a quiet solo retreat with our guidance. Please call 415-663-9176 to start designing a beautiful experience of the natural world with the arts for yourself, with friends, or with family. 


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A full spectrum music and arts learning center 
that names and nurtures your unique creativity

Director, Joyce Kouffman
Composer, cellist, guitarist, drummer and percussionist, producer, educator

 Whatever your age, our mission is to work with you over a span of time to build your skills and your love of music. All the arts are utilized in this process from storytelling, to writing poetry and songs, to drawing and taking photos and video. We also dance, throw and bounce balls for hand-eye coordination, tell jokes in rhythm, and aspire to be at the heart of childhood, no matter our age, at every opportunity.

  Private lessons, Classes, and Rock, Jazz, World Music and Classical Ensembles in numerous instruments

Family and Friends Music and Arts Retreats in scenic Point Reyes, California

 Recording and Composing workshops

Joyce Kouffman is also available to perform on jazz drums and gentle percussion, cello and electric cello, and ambient solo jazz guitar at your social events


Point Reyes Music  Center Announces a new rigorous hands-on musicianship and ear training  program for all ages! This is a basic Harvard College course (and children's prep course) in music skills made available to everyone, uniquely designed for each student's goals and pleasure! 

See details under "Classes & Lessons"

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Erudite, playful, deeply intuitive, Joyce Kouffman is a 

masterful, creative teacher/facilitator who listens to you 

and follows your creative energies in a special way.

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Events Workshops & Retreats

Recordings

        • A River of Words and Music DVDPoetry readings by Jane Hirshfield, Linda Pastan, and Robert Hass, accompanied by new music compositions by Joyce Kouffman, premiered before a sold-out audience on October 5, 2007.
        • Joyce has recorded and produced four CDs.  Joyce's solo recording If Bach Were Brazilian... features Cello, Guitar, Bass, and Percussion interpretations of J. S. Bach, with a danceable Latin touch. All instrumental parts performed by Joyce. This is a 20-minute preview CD.   (1999) and  (2004) feature pianist-composer Mary Watkins and other great musicians including Cindy Brown, Ruth Davies, and Don Braden.
        • Please write for a special limited edition of Joyce's poetry and music recording "Fierce Unruly Joy," with prize winning poet, Linda Pastan, and special guest vocalist LisbethScott !