Founded in 1992, Berlin's Living School Workshop was based on an idea from Franz de Byl (Flöz) and patronized by the Berlin Senate and the Wilmersdorf School of Music. The two principal teachers are Mack Goldsbury (saxophones) and Ernst Bier (drums). The workshop is directed towards music students and experienced amateurs of all ages.
Requirements are the ability to play an instrument, basic understanding of music theory, and experience in improvisation. The purpose of the workshop is to play and analyze contemporary jazz compositions with in preparation for a performance.
The material ranges from little-known mainstream compositions through free improvisation. The workshop is conducted one weekend each month. On both days the ensemble rehearses from 12:00 until around 17:00. They work on a minimum of five compositions which have been chosen by the teachers.
During the rehearsal the ensemble will be coached by the teachers on the most important aspects of arrangement, rhythmic structure, improvisation, and individual creative expression. The workshop ends on the evening of the second day with a concert of the music that was worked on during the two days. The concert is open to the public.
In the 10 years of its successful existence (over 120 workshops), guest teachers have occasionally been invited to bring in their own compositions for the workshops to interpret. Among these are such well known jazz figures as:
* ED SCHULLER
* BILL BICKFORD
* LINDSEY HORNER
* BILLY BANG
* PERRY ROBINSON
* MARTIN LILLICH
* HERB ROBERTSON