'I wanted to broaden my horizon'Jenifer's website
- Graduate stories
From an early age, Jenifer developed a passion for creating things from scratch and engaging in playful and creative performances, which led her to specialise in comedy, improvisational theatre, and improvisation in music. She received her Bachelor degree in Classical Piano in Salamanca (Spain) and then graduated from the Master´s programme "New Audiences and Innovative Practices" in Groningen in 2016, researching the benefits of Improv for classical musicians and developing "Improv-e your playing!", a module she is currently lecturer of at Prince Claus Conservatoire.
Jenifer runs "Creatio Ex Improv", an international company whose core is to connect individuals through the art of improv and creative workshops. Additionally, she was a speaker at TEDx Groningen in 2018 where she talked about the importance of embracing mistakes, and she can be found on stage as an actress and pianist with the Improv comedy group "Stranger Things Have Happened".
I was looking for opportunities to broaden my horizon, and trying to find ways to combine music and theatre. I came across the NAIP programme and it offered enough freedom to build my own study route. One of the things I liked most about the programme was having the chance to work with musicians who had taken complete different directions than mine. I made me realize the wide range of professional possibilities we have as musicians, that are not strictly related to performing. When choosing this Master you should realize that it requires a very clear goal from the beginning of the programme. If this is not the case you might miss out on opportunities, like taking courses connected to your subject in different schools. I think this is the best advice I can give to prospective students.
My research focused on the Improv principles (theatre) and how those could benefit classical musicians' professional development. Being a classical musician, I've been training on a set of skills throughout my career: playing as perfect as possible, keeping in mind the restrictions of the score and avoiding mistakes. Applying the principles of theatrical Improv to my music made me experience freedom and a great sense of satisfaction when something completely unexpected comes up. I worked on a method for teaching these skills to classical music students.
The outcome of my research and the experience I gained during the time of my studies gave me the opportunity to develop the module "Improv-e your playing" which I started teaching at Prince Claus Conservatoire right after I graduated. Students learn how to create music on the spot in a playful way, working on the necessary skills through Improv theatre games. It helps them to open up and think outside the box. And as of September 2019 I will start teaching another module within the Master's programme which is called "Music as an Actor".
I run my own company as an Improv trainer and creative workshop leader for various target groups and one of the most exciting things I ever did was giving a TEDTalk on the importance of embracing mistakes at TEDxGroningen in 2018. I'm regularly involved in projects connected to both music and theatre, so basically doing this Master really opened up opportunities for me.
I am continuously learning and improving with all available tools to enhance my communication professionalism.
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