Workshop Biography

Recent Workshops

Excellence In Performance

The Natural Listener

NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming)

Deep Listening




The Key To Creativity

Excellence In Performance(NLP)

The Three Thunderbolts

The Language Maze

Deep Listening

Stage Fright


Custom Designed Workshops




A group participation workshop for performers and presenters. (3 hours)

Exercise: Walk-Ons. For a group of up to 50 people in a large room with unfixed seating, large enough for 50 people to move freely.

Two-thirds of the workshop is an exercise for each individual in front of the group, where each participant learns a quick practical technique for walking on stage with comfort and ease.

The remainder of the time is a movement exercise in non-verbal communication. (3 hours.) Equipment: high quality sound system for playing CDs, black- or whiteboard.

Object: to manage your mental state for performances, interviews, auditions, or any kind of public presentation.

(Chapter nine in My Lessons with Kumi)



A workshop for actors, musicians and dancers. (3 hours)
3 group exercises:

1) Acting: In groups, individuals practice “as if” techniques for altering their state of mind. Object: to understand how an actor creates a character.

2) Composing: the group creates and performs a piece of vocal music using graphic notation on a black- or whiteboard.

3) Dancing: the group dances to three different types of music, given simple moves that automatically work with each style -- classical, modern atonal and Rock

Equipment: Black- or whiteboard, large open space suitable for movement. High quality sound system for playing CDs.

Object: to experience the creative process from three perspectives.



For music educators. A lecture for teachers on how to teach children to create music. (2 hours).

Exercise: participants create and perform a piece of vocal music, then review the steps used so they can teach children to compose music using the same system. Includes a 10-page handout on the method.

Participants also discuss three questions:
1) Why don’t we teach children to composer music?
2) What is the best way to educate a music educator?
3) What could be done to make music a required course that could not be cut, like math, science, history and language?
Equipment: CD and DVD players, black- or whiteboard.

Object: to demonstrate a process for teaching children how to create music.



A workshop for music lovers Techniques for listening to various styles of music in new ways. Maximum 50 people. (3hrs.)

Exercises: Listening to a piece of music under hypnosis. Improvising physical movements to different styles of music to understand these styles “in the muscle.” Creating and performing a piece of music as a group using graphic notation to understand the musical creative process.

Equipment: large open space with moveable seating, CD player, black- or whiteboard.

Object: To learn new and enjoyable ways to appreciate music without having any formal musical knowledge.



A lecture demonstration with volunteers. For a large, diverse audience. (1 & 1/2 hours)

Equipment: Power Point technology, screen and laser pointer.

Object: to learn practical, easy-to-apply techniques for dealing with stage fright.

(Various techniques from my book, My Lessons with Kumi)



A Workshop for Creating Your Future. For entrepreneurs in any profession.

Participants go through an exercise based on the ideas of NLP developer Robert Dilts to give them a broad overview of their future and show them how to integrate their life with their work. (2 hours)

Exercise: The Circle of Excellence, and the Life levels Alignment. Equipment: Power Point technology and screen, large open space.

Object: to understand how to organize and align the six majors levels of your life -- environment, activity, capabilities, values, identity and the spiritual – into a practical and functioning whole.

(Chapters 17-18 from My Lessons with Kumi)



A workshop on how to use language to persuade and influence (one full day)

For teachers, trainers, organizers, therapists, politicians, litigation lawyers, or anyone for whom communication and the elicitation of information is critical.

The Language Maze ™ is my version of the Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Meta Model created by John Grinder and Richard Bandler. This model analyzes the verbal techniques of leading communicators and organizes these into language forms that people typically use to limit or expand their beliefs.

Exercise: Working in pairs. Participants go through The Language Maze ™ script as if they were actors in a play, exchanging dialogue and enacting situations where words change a belief or alter a situation.

Object: to learn how to use language to clarify thinking, elicit a high level of information, and create new behaviors.



Developing the Creative Demon. A lecture on three key experiences that re-directed my life. (1 to 1 & 1/2 hours)

Thunderbolt One: first inspiration -- to be a musician.
Thunderbolt Two: second inspiration – to compose music.
Thunderbolt Three: third inspiration – an incident on West 57th Street that re-directed me from performing to writing music for a living.

Lessons learned from these three inspirational events:

-- Developing your personal creativity is the most important thing you can do for the health of your mind and body.

-- To create you must favor your Dreamer, but you also need to develop your Realist and Critic to make the Dream work.

-- The biggest creative act is building a life, of which you are the sole designer and for which you alone are responsible.



For 4-10 people of any profession who request a workshop designed for their special needs. (One full day)

Exercises: Working in alternating pairs, participants learn techniques to:

-- Self-teach and coach yourself from multiple standpoints
-- Present to audiences and groups with comfort and ease
-- Maintain concentration for extended periods under pressure
-- Communicate non-verbally
-- Feel good in a difficult situation

Equipment: a large room with moveable seating, CD player.

Object: to create a workshop that satisfies the special needs of a particular group or profession, i.e., performers, middle managers, therapists, teachers/trainers, public presenters.

(Various techniques from My Lessons with Kumi)

Reference Reading

My Lessons with Kumi, a book by Michael Colgrass on performance and creativity, Real People Press. (

The Structure of Magic, a book about language and therapy, by John Grinder and Richard Bandler. Science and Behavior books, Inc., 1975. Palo Alto, California 94306.

From Coach to Awakener, by Robert Dilts. Meta Publications, 2003.

“The Kids Were Great – But Oh That Music.” An article by Stephen Budiansky. Washington Post, 30 January 2005, P. B 03.

“Composers and Children: A New Creative Force?” An article by Michael Colgrass, Music Educators Journal, September 2004. (Under Writings, on

“The Key to Creativity: Think Like a Kid.” An article by Michael Colgrass. (Under Writings, on