Arco Session

Summer Workshop
creative string players

violin, viola, cello, bass

Registration is now closed for 2019.

Come to the Midsummer Jam - July 23

and the Summer Final - Aug 15

Join multi-style cellist and improviser Daniel Delaney, along with other creative string players like you, for the Arco Session Summer Workshop in Fort Collins, Colorado!  

Enjoy an exciting summer of creative music-making with other string players! 

Six rich sessions walk you through new skills, build vocabulary for groove playing and improvisation, take you through the process of creating group arrangements, and more.

The Summer Workshop culminates in an intimate performance in Old Town Fort Collins at the end of the summer. 

This is for YOU:


For players of bowed-stringed instruments who want to play outside the box and explore free and creative playing on their own and in a group. For players of “intermediate” to “advanced” and “professional” skill levels.

  • Do you play a stringed instrument like violin, viola, cello, or bass?  

  • Do you want to be able to play in a variety of musical styles? 

  • Do you want to grow your skills in improvisation?

  • Do you already know some and want to learn more?

  • Do you want to spend time making music with other players who want the same things?


as a participant:

  • Build your skills as an ensemble player

  • Learn groove playing for styles like bluegrass/old time, swing, rock, latin and more

  • Build improvisation skills in these styles

  • Learn harmonic, rhythmic, and melodic theory behind these styles

  • Learn accompaniment styles like chords, chop, strum bowing, bass lines and more

  • Learn to build complete arrangements with a band of other string players

Then this is for you.


high school sessions & adult/pro sessions

High schools students scheduled together for afternoon sessions.

College, adults, and professionals scheduled together for evening sessions.


Players are grouped into small combos of a few or several players to maximize quality time and streamline teaching and rehearsal.

Scheduled to allow for practice

This Summer Workshop, spread across the summer in these six exciting sessions

(call these "classes" or "rehearsals" or "jam sessions",) gives you the unique opportunity to play a session, take away key points and practice for a few weeks in between before coming together for the next session.


Helpful guides, materials, reference videos, and assignments assist you to learn new concepts and prepare for each new group session. 


The Midsummer Jam: This is a cross between an open rehearsal and a traditional jam session. Players from the community are invited to "sit in" with the Summer Workshop participants, play some tunes with us, and talk about creative music-making. We'll reflect together on what we've been learning, where we've been challenged, and where we've seen growth. Plenty of playing together, plenty of discussion, and some Q&A with our guests. 


The final session of the Summer Workshop includes a warmup rehearsal and performance with all participants in a low-stress and intimate listening-room setting. Plus faculty performance. Friends and family welcome!

2019 Summer Schedule & Descriptions
1. June 6th (Thursday)
high school 3-5:30p | adults 7-9:30p
2. June 20th (Thursday)
high school 3-5:30p | adults 7-9:30p
3. July 2nd (Tuesday)
high school 3-5:30p | adults 7-9:30p
4. July 23rd (Tuesday)
Midsummer Jam - all 7p
5. Aug 1st (Thursday)
high school 3-5:30p | adults 7-9:30p
6. Aug 15th (Thursday)
all 5p rehearsal | (dinner break) | 7:30p performance
Session 1
Introductions & Tunes
In Session 1 we’ll get to know one another, listen to our tunes, play our tunes together, and discuss the nature and mechanics or improvisation. Assignment will relate to learning our tunes in preparation for Session 2 plus assigned listening/transcribing.
Session 2
Arranging & Jamming
In Session 2 we’ll focus more on creating arrangements and how to jam well. Exploration of harmonic and rhythmic theory/conventions appropriate to the genre of the tune. Jamming. Assignment will relate to genre/style and internalizing harmonic/rhythmic language, plus assigned listening/transcribing.
Session 3
Practicing & Advanced Improvisation
In Session 3 we’ll rehearse our arrangements and deepen our improvisation vocabulary. Ensemble-building with free and guided group improvisation. Practice technique for maturing improv skills. Assignment will include specific harmonic and modal exploration, plus assigned listening/transcribing.
Session 4
Midsummer Jam (open to public)
Session 4 is the Midsummer Jam! This is an open/public jam session that can include players of other instruments, family and friends, and other pros from the community. Arco Session participants are encouraged to mingle and welcome guests/visitors. We will play our tunes, try on some new tunes, invite questions of guests and ask questions of other visiting musicians. A great casual evening of jamming and sharing!
Session 5
Rehearsing, Accompanying, Going deeper
Session 5 is our last chance to dig deep together, rehearsing, taking risks, expanding and improving our arrangements and stylistic skills. Assignment will relate to critical assigned listening, transcribing, study/analysis, and practice.
Session 6
Rehearsal, Performance, Faculty Performance, Reception
Session 6 is in two parts. We will meet all together (all participants regardless of age/group) for a brief rehearsal and jam. Dinner break. Then our final intimate performance for invited guests.

By the way...

What is creative music-making?

Creative music-making is not about reproducing or copying.  It's not about sounding just like someone else. Creative music-making is about something that's new. It's about the process of exploring, listening, responding, expressing, and building. It's about encouraging, uplifting, discovering, and expressing honest and empathetic humanity.

Kinda cool, right?

It often looks like improvisation, song-writing, questioning, spontaneity, irreverence, experimentation, and... fun!

Arco Session

Summer Workshop

for creative string players

Registration is now closed for 2019.

Come to the Midsummer Jam - July 23

and the Summer Final - Aug 15

© 2019 Daniel Delaney Music