ISTA present...

Geneva Studio - Sounds like devising

November 8, 2019

Booking Closed

Artistic information

Sounds like devising

There is a certain magic that can happen when you bring the music out of the orchestra pit and speakers and onto the stage itself. When the music is an integral, organic part of the action, it opens up new possibilities. We will explore that relationship, between live on-stage music and sound, and devising. Bring instruments, bring piano-playing hands and bring your voices!

Learning outcomes
1. To boost confidence at bringing live music and sound into devising.
2. To discover new ways into devising using words, sounds, body-percussion and objects.
3. To learn about using the voice as a flexible resource for devising, spanning traditional and more abstract approaches.
4. To develop instrumental improvisation skills and ways into composing within a devising framework.
5. To explore and play with the dynamic relationship between sound/music and movement/drama.
6. To explore the audio potential of mobile phones on the stage.

For those teachers who are not so confident with music, you will acquire a toolkit to begin incorporating more live sound and music into your work. For those teachers who already enjoy working in this way, you will gain tips and tricks to freshen up and extend devising with live sound and music.

Students will discover ways to incorporate their musical skills, whether they be basic or advanced, into their theatre work.

Both students and teachers will come away with a richer devising palette and fresh ideas that will enhance their theatre work. It may also inspire or enhance collaborative work with music students and teachers.

Target audience
HS Theatre teachers and students

About your workshop leader
Matt Douglas was Head of Music at a specialist performing arts school in Cornwall for 14 years, often collaborating with the Drama department and working with other organisations, such as the Royal Opera House, Miracle Theatre, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and EMI Music Sound Foundation. For 8 of those years he was also a Music Advanced Skills Teacher, supporting music across Cornwall in a number of ways, such as leading INSET/NQT sessions, embedding music in schemes of work and facilitating cross-curricular practices.

He is now self-employed and works with many schools across Cornwall – singing, directing, composing, devising – and with organisations such as the Cornwall Music Education Hub, Kernow Education Arts Partnership and the Eden Project. Recent projects have included ‘Words and Music’ sessions at ‘The Writers’ Block’, a creative space designed to encourage and inspire reluctant young writers. He is also a composer/arranger, writing for Cornwall County Choirs, Male Voice Choirs, joint schools projects and more. Matt has worked with ISTA for 10 years, as Student Ensemble Leader, Artist in Residence and Artistic Director.

Session outline
Session #1
The music of sound
Using voices, words, sounds and objects as the stimulus and fuel for devising.

Session #2
Instruments out!
Exploring dynamic relationships between music, text and movement. Developing musical improvisation skills, musical clichés, exploring diegetic/non-diegetic music and a little leit-motif. (If you do not play an instrument you can use your voice or borrow a tuned percussion instrument.)

Session #3
Musical ensemble
Combining sounds, combining instruments, creating harmony and discord, soundscaping, soundtracking and some musical games. And what can mobile phones bring to the stage?

Session #4
Sounds like devising
Combining and building on the work done so far and diving deeper into devising with live music and sound.

Important information

School address
Institut le Rosey
Route Le Rosey
1180 Mont-sur-Rolle

School website

The event starts at 8:45am Friday 8th November 2019
The event finishes at 4:45pm Friday 8th November 2019

Event Coordinator
Sophie Galton

For participants
Registration is now open.
Registration closes Friday 1st November 2019.
Places are limited, so please register early.
Participants should plan to attend the workshop in its entirety.
If travelling from outside the host city, please organise travel and accommodation accordingly.



Registration fees
ISTA members – GBP £175.
Non ISTA members – GBP £192.50.

Please note
Registration fees include lunch and tea/coffee breaks.
Any bookings or amendments taken in the six weeks prior to the event will incur an additional GBP £50 late booking/amendment surcharge, subject to availability.

Travel and visas

For participants
Local participants will travel daily.
Overseas participants will need to organise international and daily travel accordingly.
Overseas participants will need to ensure they have the correct visa to enter Switzerland.


For participants
Overseas participants will be responsible for booking any accommodation required to attend this workshop. We advise booking accommodation close to the workshop venue.


For participants
Lunch will be provided on the day of the workshop; along with coffee/tea breaks throughout the day.
Breakfast and dinner are not provided.

For artists
ISTA will cover all meals for the duration of the workshop.

Download & Forms

Please find below the relevant documentation for you to download:


Starts on Friday 08 November at 08:45
Finishes on Friday 08 November at 16:45


Institut Le Rosey
Château du Rosey
1180 Rolle


• Allison Bryan
• Amanda Linden
• Daniel Dugard
• Julia McKelvey
• L.-C. Berube
• Laura Challoner
• Luke Champion
• Marek Chojecki
• Nuria Prazak
• Rachel Gray
• Robert Richardson