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Hub Lab Residency Returns | Musical Storytelling through Improvisation

Back in May, students in the Newbold Orchestra at our Josiah Quincy Elementary morning program spent five days working with members of Hub New Music learning how to improvise and use different musical elements to create short melodies. For this iteration of Hub Lab, Hub New Music's Michael Avitabile and Jesse Christeson worked with participating students to create new musical additions to “Jiaocheng Mountain”, a Chinese folk song the students are preparing for their upcoming concert on June 16.

Michael Avitabile, founder and Executive Director of Hub New Music, shares more about the process of Hub Lab and working with the students:
“Over the course of five days, we worked with students on different elements of musical composition and used improvising as a point of departure for our work. Through a series of improv exercises, the students worked together to create a short melody and accompaniment that will be played during a performance of Jiaocheng Mountain.”

Over the course of the workshop, students split into two groups where they spent time learning to improvise using different musical elements such as melody, rhythm, and scales. They also spent time exploring how pitch, rhythm, and tempo work together to change the emotion or feeling that is communicated through a musical idea. To close out the workshop, they used everything they learned to improvise on a story that they created together.

Newbold Orchestra Director Immei Wong talks about the impact that this HUB Lab workshop had on her students:
“I think they have a deeper understanding of the music they are working on and are able to explain some of the musical choices that the composer made.”
Students also shared their thoughts about the workshop:

“It was amazing because I got to make my own music”

“We learned a lot about how to compose and different kinds of composing.”

“It was fun to learn about all the scales.”

A special thanks to Hub New Music for continuing this partnership and working with our students and to the Celebrity Series of Boston Neighborhood Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts for supporting this residency!


Check out more about past collaborations between BMP students and Hub New Music: BMP launches HUB Lab Residency | Hub Lab Musical Stories

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