Variations on a Theme


Velvet Duke’s Variations on a Theme musical workshop series centers the joy of singing songs, while building your confidence in improvisation. We will foster your “Shower Swagger” — embracing everyone’s musicality rather than reinforcing shame or a need for perfection.

2021 COVID-19 considerations: This series is conducted online. You will need the ability to connect to updated Zoom software, to use your microphone and headphones.

Beginner and Intermediate workshops are 2 hours long; Advanced workshops are 2.5 hours long. Participation is expected in each session. We will use musical backing tracks to minimize workshop costs.

Start Singing Before You're Ready - Variations on a Theme - musical improv workshop series with Velvet Duke

Start Singing Before You’re Ready

Level: Anxious improvisers or complete beginners

In this introductory workshop, Velvet will patiently guide you past anxiety and uncertainty to voice your Shower Swagger. Sharing mirroring, timing and vocalizing tactics, Velvet will help stay present in future improvised musical moments

Singing in Zoomison - Variations on a Theme - musical improv workshop series with Velvet Duke

Singing in Zoomison

Level: Intermediate

Musical improv doesn’t have to be a solo adventure. Like a good karaoke night, Velvet will lead you through exercises and scenes to help you make and support everyone’s musical offers. We will share songs in groups of twos, threes, and maybe more!

Singing at the Top of Your Emotion - Variations on a Theme - musical improv workshop series with Velvet Duke

Singing at the Top of Your Emotion

Level: Intermediate

What do you do when you’re in a connecting (or disconnecting) moment with your scene partner, and feelings well up? Velvet will share tactics to help you use strong emotions as the foundation for your song. You’ll lean into your Shower Swagger as you explore nuanced emotions in your verses and add layers to your duets by exchanging emotions with your partners

Singing to the Chorus!

Level: Advanced

The chorus is the heart of the song, catchy and repeatable. This workshop will focus on solo improvised songs, personalizing any suggestion into a great chorus that gives you and your group greater leverage in your improvised verses

Swinging on Bridges!

Level: Advanced

You’re comfortable improvising verses and you know how to come up with a great hook for your chorus. This workshop will add a bridge to solo improvised songs as a new choice to explore, a palate cleanse from what went before, and as a way to stay invested in your improvised creation

Sensational Songs from the Void - Variations on a Theme - musical improv workshop series with Velvet Duke

Sensational Songs from the Void

Level: Advanced

You’re on the backline of a show when suddenly you are gifted the Zoom spotlight to create a hit song. But you didn’t hear the suggestion, or there wasn’t a suggestion, and the music is playing and… what comes next? This workshop will deconstruct the Tony Moment game as a way to create improvised solo songs.

Love songs and other Sweet Nuthins - Variations on a Theme - musical improv workshop series with Velvet Duke

Love songs and other Sweet Nuthins

Level: Advanced

Infuse sweet nuthins into your lyrics, even as you’re singing about something you hate. You will explore singing with specificity and simile to serenade your audience

Variations on a Theme: Request

Don’t see a date listed for a session you wish to join? Let’s talk

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