Alex Conwell Teaching Artist


Alex lives in Red Lake Falls.

Alex Conwell is a contemporary violinist, folk fiddler, and actor hailing from Red Lake Falls, Minnesota. With a love of storytelling and imagined worlds, Alex’s music attempts to evoke feelings of adventure, mystery, and exploration.

Heavily utilizing an electronic device called a looping pedal, Alex’s original pieces weave interlocking harmonies with semi-improvised melodies built live with a single violin. Alex offers residencies that teach the theory and practice of looping, as well as the core of improvisation, which can be useful for any instrument in any setting.

Alex’s history with music is life-long, starting with family singing before bed, getting into musical theatre at nine years old, learning fiddle at thirteen, then finding a passion for contemporary violin music. Influenced by genres such as folk, new age, rock, classical, jazz, and film scores, Alex’s compositions vary in style, and this translates to their lessons and workshops, which are designed to provide any artist tools to pursue their own unique interests.

Alex also has a passion for acting, podcasting, and improvisational storytelling, particularly relating to tabletop roleplaying games.

Alex graduated from Oberlin College with a Bachelor’s degree in Cinema Studies in 2019. Much of what Alex learned about the structure of film they now apply to roleplaying games and music. Much of their creativity utilizes structured improvisation.

Alex aims to work with students of highschool age and beyond, though younger students ready to make use of improvisational techniques are welcome.

Alex offers residencies and lessons relating to folk fiddle tunes, improvisation (both on and off an instrument), and electronic looping.

Title of Residency:  Improvisation and Collective Composition for Small Groups

Brief overview of the residency: An introduction to both solo and group musical improvisation, utilizing the pentatonic scale, basic accompaniment, and small group interaction

Age/Grade Level of Participants:  High School/Adult

Length of Residency:  5 hours

Number of Sessions:  5

Title/content of Sessions:

1. Intro to the Pentatonic Scale

2. Harmony and Accompaniment

3. Group Dynamics and Modifying Covers

4. Collective Composition

5. Stage Presence and Polish

Supply List:

1. Scale Charts

2. Chord reminder sheets for prepicked songs

3. Ideally, semi-private practice rooms

4. Staff Paper, pencils

End Product:  A final concert, presenting performances. This could be in tandem with a school concert or a separate event

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