Sera Smollen Calling all Teachers

Posted on Apr 29, 2016


Calling All Teachers! Calling all students!

Dr. Sera Smolen will be in Seattle to introduce us to

Creative Ability Development (CAD) on May 28.

CAD provides a simple framework by which you and your students can easily improvise.

WATCH THIS VIDEO of the students performing!

You and your students DESERVE this information and training

~ imagine this for your studio!

Improvisation Workshop!!

The Philosophy and Method of Creative Ability Development

Developed by Alice Kay Kanack, Dr Suzuki called her “The mother of Mozart”
Presented by Sera Smolen

~30 years teaching CAD~

“All children are born creative; creativity is nurtured in the environment”

For Violin—Viola—Cello– String Bass – Piano – Flute

Sera will teach:

¨ A simple framework by which you & your students can easily improvise

¨ Learn to improvise in every key

¨ Learn to improvise in styles of various composers


¨ Student Workshops for:

  • Beginners, age 4 and up
  • Intermediate students
  • Quartet & ensemble improvisation for advanced students


Includes teacher observation of

Student Workshops:




Sign up today – Save the date

May 28, 2016

Teachers: 9:30-4:30pm (lunch included) Cost: $110 through April 30, then $120

Students: $15/ 1 hour session

Location: 19408 SE 322nd St, Kent WA 98042

Registration limited to 18! Don’t delay!

Contact Anita: / 206.326-0658



11:00-11:45         Younger beginners  (age 4-8)

12:45-1:45           Older beginners (age 8+)

1:45 -2:45             Intermediate students

2:45-4:00              Advanced students – Improvising Ensembles

Tuition: $15 per student



Workshop: 9:30-4:30 (lunch provided for teachers only)

Tuition: $110 through April 30, then $120



Mail this form and the tuition (checks payable to Anita Knight) to:

19408 SE 322nd St, Kent WA 98042

Or call Anita to pay by credit card: 206.326-0658 Fees are non-refundable



Classes for teachers or studios available on Tuesday, May 31 or Wed, June 1 contact Anita)

        Name ______________________________________________________________ Age_______
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      • Name ______________________________________________________________ Age_______
      • Parent name: ______________________Mobile________________Email_____________________ Teacher _____________­­­_______________Current piece __________________
      • Name ­­­­­­­­­­______________________________________________________________________
      • Address ______________________________________________
      •  City ______________________________________ State __________________ Zip __________
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Alice Kanack’s books, edited by Sera Smolen

    • Improvising Music with Children: for pre-twinklers
    • Fun Improvisation for . . . (Violin, Viola, Cello, Piano, Flute): for Suzuki Books 1-2
    • Improvising String Quartets: for improvising in simultaneous parts
    • Bass Lines and Fantasies: for improvising in every key

Additional workshop topics

  • Stages of creative development
  • Recent brain research
  • Convergent & divergent thinking and effect on creativity
  • How CAD parallels and supports Suzuki lessons and classes

The Rule:  The Premise is that all children are born with creative ability. Any child’s innate creative ability can be developed through the disciplined practice of creative exercises which allow the child complete freedom of choice. Great creative ability is the art of making choices.  Creative Ability Development is a philosophy and method based on the idea that inspiration can be taught through the disciplined practice of a creative thought process. The method was developed through a scientific analysis of the writings of great creative geniuses in all fields.Why study this? Concert artists are performance geniuses. They combine technical proficiency with a deeply personal style and understanding. When a student creates his own music, he develops a personal expressive style as well as a deeper understanding of where music comes from. He then becomes more sensitive to other composers and is better able to deeply express himself in different musical languages. This is commonly called musicality.

Essential Facts

  • Philosophical goals of CAD: I believe, as many have before me, that great creative ability is born of the search for truth and beauty. In our search to understand our world, and in our need to create a better one, lie the roots of all genius and all of the growth and development of mankind. Creative Ability Development, through its method of constant creative activity and expression, helps to guide the student in his own personal search for truth and beauty. It is the ultimate goal of Creative Ability Development, that this search becomes a part of every student’s way of life within and outside the field of music. Who may be interested in CAD? Creative Ability Development is designed to be taught by parents and/or teachers. Since it is based on aural understanding rather than theoretical knowledge, very little musical training is required of the instructor. The student may begin as young as age two or whenever he begins his musical study. Creative Ability Development is organized in a direct relationship with Book 1 by Suzuki so that it may be easily studied along with the Suzuki method.
  • Sera has been working closely with Alice Kanack, who developed CAD, since the 1980s. Sera has edited Creative Ability books with Kanack, and has taught teachers around Europe and Canada ways to incorporate this easily into their studio and school programs. Plan on attending the workshop for both teachers and students on May 28th!

Read more for better understanding:

  • The rule always is: “There is no such thing as a mistake!” That definitely applies to teachers too!
  • Creativity is the art of choice.
  • Disciplined practice of the art of choice develops creative ability.
  • The freedom of choice necessary for creative development is achieved through the removal of criticism in the creative environment.
  • Rule #1 in CAD class and practice is “There’s No Such Thing As a Mistake.”
  • Recent studies have shown that the act of improvisation uses the medial prefrontal cortex of the brain–the part we use to describe ourselves. Therefore, the study of improvisation teaches us to tap into our own musical voice, developing a unique musicality in the process.
  • Inspiration is the third step in the creative process, following conscious work on a creative problem and a period of conscious rest wherein the subconscious takes over.
  • Inspiration can be defined as the point at which the subconscious communicates with the conscious.