about

This website is devoted to democratic music education models and to the collection of effective, easy-to-use free-improvisation and composition exercises/games that explore the possibilities of the creative, social, and ethical space between music and noise. It is my belief that music education can heighten individual and communal creativity, social awareness and responsibility.

It is my hope that this site can be a meeting place for interested musicians and educators from around the world. Every time my students, workshop participants and I create or are shown a new exercise/game I will, with permission, put it up on this site.  If you have any ideas for excercises/games please share them by emailing them to me. They will also be put up on this site with credit.

my bio
I’m a music educator in Toronto, Ontario.  I teach courses at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and at Wilfrid Laurier University and just start my PHD studies at the Unveristy of Toronto.  In these areas, as well as in workshops, I have searched out and explored democratic and creative models where education begins with creative listening and music making.  I’ve been an assistant to composer R. Murray Schafer and I have led improvisation, soundscape and creativity workshops internationally.  As a professional musician I’ve played with Dave Bidini (Rheostatics), John K Samson (Weakerthans) and Ron Sexsmith.

email doug.friesen (at) gmail.com

Writing
Beyond Tradition: Parallel Explorations in Contemporary Music Education + Performance, Rhubarb Magazine (www.rhubarbmag.com)
Leanne Zacharias in conversation with Doug Friesen

Canadian Music Educator, ongoing Creative Ideas for the Music Classroom column 2011-15

That Teacher Pedestal, chapter in (2009). Exploring social justice: How music education might matter.  Waterloo, ON: Canadian Music Educators’ Association.

Teaching on the Edge of Peril: A Dialogue Between Jenny Samprisi and Doug
Friesen, Matrix Magazine (www.matrixmagazine.org) Past Courses/Presentations

Past Courses/Presentations
Sound of Our Cities September 2016, Guadalajara
Listening, improvisation and composition games and exercises to explore and interact with the sounds of Toronto.  Much of this work was inspired by the writings of R. Murray Schafer as well as my own work alongside him.  Participants reflected on the sound of their own cities, homes, landscapes and how education might have a role in shaping these soundscapes.

Sound of Our Cities January 2016, Rio de Janeiro
Listening, improvisation and composition games and exercises to explore and interact with the sounds of Toronto.  Much of this work was inspired by the writings of R. Murray Schafer as well as my own work alongside him.  Participants reflected on the sound of their own cities, homes, landscapes and how education might have a role in shaping these soundscapes. 

Fladem Rio 2015 (http://www.fladembrasil.com.br) July 2015, Rio de Janeiro
This workshop looked at ways to creatively focus listening and provide a chance to think about and discuss how our daily lives may be influenced by the sounds around us (musical and not). We listened and looked at ways to compose and improvise with the sounds we hear while asking the question what role music may play in shaping our soundscape.

International Colloquy to Understand Creativity January 2015, University of Toronto, Toronto
Performance with Commentary – Use of non genre improvisation in Education: Starting with student input and creativity

Sound in the Land June 2014, Conrad Grebel University, Waterloo, Ontario
Outdoor talk and performance with Leanne Zacharias: focused listening and interactions with soundscape and sound memories
www.uwaterloo.ca/grebel/sound-land-2014

Soundscape studies and Their Application in the Classroom, FICUP 9 http://www.ficup.org March 2014, Mexico City
Taught along with R. Murray Schafer
This course looked at ways to creatively focus listening and ways to compose and improvise with the sounds of our surroundings. We listened and gathered sounds from the environment and created compositions from them.

International Society for Improvised Music 5th Conference December 2010, Ann Arbor, Michigan
www.improvisedmusic.org/2010festival.html

 

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