Through a longstanding partnership with MECA, we organize 3 creative music workshops, open to the public that anyone—of any age, ability, or experience—can join.
A forward-thinking music education & social-emotional learning initiative through which we collaborate with nearly 200 young people each week. Through improvisation and group dialog, our team of Artist-Facilitators provides a safe, inclusive space for creative work, knowledge transfer, therapy, and play in Greater Houston homeless shelters, refugee communities, community centers, and public schools.
Fall Classes begin September 11th, 2021.
All classes held at MECA in room 205.
Participants may join at any time. All classes are free of charge. A flat $30 registration fee is required by MECA.
Masks are required. Singers or horn players may remove masks if vaccinated. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if this is the case.
When contacted in advance, accessibility resources are made available to workshop participants with disabilities. Contact Program Coordinator Jason Jackson at email@example.com with all accessibility needs.
Since the late 90s, Nameless Sound has been helping to foster the creative growth of artists and amateurs alike through weekly, improvisation-centered workshops at MECA, a vibrant community center in Houston’s historic Sixth Ward.
Each of our three workshop ensembles works, in different ways, to provide a space for the development of self-identity, group-identity, and mindful listening through collective experimentation and play. All of the ensembles present performances from time to time, but participation in public concerts is completely optional.
You can join any of these groups at any time– no experience required!
Nameless Sound Ensemble
Creative improvisation workshop for adolescents and adults.
Saturdays, 3-5pm, Room 205, MECA
Facilitated by David Dove
This workshop focuses on creative music through processes of improvisation. All musical backgrounds and degrees of experience are welcome. All instruments and voices are welcome. Non-musician performers of any artistic discipline are encouraged to attend as well. This workshop’s early development sewed the seeds for much of Nameless Sound’s community work today, and has helped foster a generation of locally, nationally, and internationally active creative musicians.
Creative Kids Ensemble
ages 12 and under
Mondays, 5-6pm, Room 205, MECA
facilitated by Jason Jackson
The Creative Kids Ensemble explores the joy of music making in a fun, positive, and affirming environment. Sound, rhythm, singing, drumming, and musical story-telling are used to explore coordination, listening, leadership, creativity, group-awareness, and self-awareness. Instruments are provided. Children are encouraged to bring their own instruments as well.
Special Needs Ensemble
Schedule by appointment. Contact Jason Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 832-596-0598
facilitated by Jason Jackson
Nameless Sound’s Special Needs Ensemble seeks to engage people with physical and neurological differences and disabilities through music. In an encouraging and structured environment, participants engage in musical exercises that emphasize listening, coordination, peer support, self-expression, self-empowerment, and non-verbal communication. Instruments are provided, though participants may also bring their own.
Creative Music Communities is a year-round project through which a team of Nameless Sound Artist-Facilitators facilitate weekly, tuition-free music workshops for economically and socially marginalized youth throughout Greater Houston. We collaborate with nearly 200 young people every week. Our adaptive, improvisation-centric approach enables us to work collaboratively with a wide array of community partners ranging from early childhood education providers to a day shelter for homeless young adults.
Our Facilitators, who typically work in teams of two, arrive on-site at one of our community partners’ facilities with a set of easy-to-play instruments like hand drums, tuned percussion, keyboards, and microphones. They sit in a circle with a group of participants, guide a social-emotional check-in or warm-up, and then often dive directly into the work of making music together. Through the process of improvisation, all participants in Creative Music Communities workshops can begin meaningfully expressing themselves through sound during their very first session with Nameless Sound. Whether in a homeless shelter with children who have never made music of their own or in a refugee community with youth who are still learning to speak English, each member of our Facilitator team employs their own diverse creative practices to engage their student-collaborators in an empathic and inclusive way. They employ a mix of guided improvisation, mindful listening exercises, and carefully facilitated dialog that is tailored--in real time--to the wants, needs, and abilities of the community with which they’re working.From this deceptively simple starting point, each of our 21 weekly, on-site workshops can grow and unfold in a surprising variety of ways. From learning music theory fundamentals to developing oracy and self-advocacy skills to providing a forum for young people to grow as leaders and organizers among their peers, this work goes well beyond traditional musical “enrichment.”
A Trauma-Informed Intervention
Almost all of the participants in our workshop are recovering from traumatic wounding of some kind. Many have survived domestic violence, homelessness, and other forms of abuse and marginalization. Oftentimes, our weekly sessions represent one of the only opportunities these young people have to process and heal from their wounds in community with their peers.As such, we are constantly developing training and professional development opportunities for our Facilitator team. We want them to have an expansive toolkit of resources which they can use to respond effectively to their students social-emotional needs. Currently, our staff receives ongoing, on and off-site training in trauma-informed interventions and Restorative Justice practices. The tools these trainings provide, when employed in conjunction with collective improvised music-making, enable our Facilitators to create truly inclusive spaces for their young collaborators as they work together to make themselves heard in new ways.
Collaborate with Nameless Sound
All of Nameless Sound’s work is rooted in a collaborative ethic. Our workshops are made possible by a long list of community partners who provide space for our work to happen, organize the communities in which we’re engaged, and provide invaluable support to our team of Artist-Facilitators.
If you are a teacher looking to enrich your classroom with creative music-making, an afterschool program coordinator who wants to build an inclusive community through mindful listening, an artist interested in the intersection of experimental music, improvisation, and pedagogy, or just eager to learn more about how we work--please get in touch with us.
If you are interested in scheduling a workshop at your site, please contact Jason Jackson at email@example.com or 832-596-0598 for information.
Star of Hope Cornerstone Community
The Alliance for Multicultural Community Services
Culture of Health - Advancing Together (CHAT)
The Salvation Army’s Young Adult Resource Center (YARC)
SEARCH’s House of Tiny Treasures
Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Houston Area Women’s Center
AAMA’s Sanchez Charter School
Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement
Southside Community Center
YES Prep Northbrook High School
We believe that all young musicians deserve the opportunity to develop their own unique voices as artists and to build new connections to their instruments and their peers through improvisation. That’s where our Artists-in-Residence come in.
View our Team Page