Learning music and percussions through active listening, linear structures and self-expression.
I have been a multi-instrumentalist since my early teens. I have been a multi-instrumentalist since my early teens. I started with the piano, bass guitar, and percussions. Today, I play a large variety of ancient and modern instruments such as the Hang, Zapotec clay flutes, the Mongolian shamanic jaw harp, Tibetan bowls, the Laotian khen, the Australian didjeridoo, Western percussions, and gongs.
I have been collaborating with musicians worldwide, exploring the most diverse musical traditions and techniques. Since my early twenties, I have been composing and performing soundtracks and sound design for dance, theater, movies, and art installations.
It is through the combination of music performance, composition, and collaborations that I developed the Structured Improvisation Technique.
This unique method is about learning music through active listening, guided discipline, and muscle memory.
First pillar is the body. I use the body as a fundamental learning tool.
Through the mind, we can collect massive amounts of information in a short time, but we often forget the majority of it just as quickly. On the other hand, when memory gets imprinted in the body, it is not forgotten, it can become our second nature. By keeping the groove in the body, music is learned and remembered in a very natural and organic way, rather than through challenging rote learning or the tedious repetition of exercises. In a way, while you learn you already play music, while you improvise you simultaneously compose, and while you practice you release tensions.
A second pillar of my method resides in the way of using the hands.
Inspired by my Sicilian roots, I developed a unique technique based in playing with intuitive and ergonomic gestures instead of isolated muscle movements. I use swinging and rotatory movements, all fingers’ strikes, unique ways to dump the sound, and so forth. This allows me to play fast with ease, to release tensions while playing, to keep the groove with flow, and to improvise with naturalness.
A third pillar is music as the language of the emotions.
I see music as a metaphor of life. It speaks the language of emotions through the use of sounds, pulsations, melodic patterns, harmonies, resonances, dynamics, rhythms, dissonances, and so forth. Once the technique is imprinted in the body you are free to express emotions, thoughts, inspirations through the music. This is to me the experience of ‘being in the zone’, or ‘being in the flow’.
The apprenticeship and exploration of music is infinite and unique to each person. Once I meet someone, I develop organically a program adapted to the person’s predispositions, desires, and inclinations.
For those who are interested in studying the HANG and pursue music as a vocation, I release M.E.T.A. certificates (Musical Education, Training & Apprenticeship) for 3 different levels (Intermediate, Advanced, Master).
Only with one of these certificates you can be considered one of my students. Otherwise you are welcome to take an introductory music class and I will be honored to help you as needed.
CLASSES & WORKSHOPS
"Laura is a fantastic musician and a skilled teacher. She is able to meet me right where I am, and give me music to practice that is both satisfying and challenging."
- Debbie Fier (Musician, Musical Educator, Piano Tuner)
“I call her a ‘music-smith’, like a wordsmith or blacksmith because of the way in which she embodies music and sound. She is a truly gifted musician, composer, and teacher. She is incredibly skilled at teaching the complexities of the Hang: technique, sound, resonance, melody, incorporating the different voices and harmonies. My lessons are so inspiring and healing on multitude levels. What I am learning translates to many areas of my life and spiritual practice. Our lessons are not only about playing the Hang, but about breathing, relaxing the body, being present, and, from this place, one can open to the magic, joy, essence of the Hang. She is incredibly skilled at teaching this amazing and unique instrument. ... I have immense gratitude and respect for Laura’s instruction and wisdom, talent and experience, and most of all, for the beauty and integrity of her relationship with the Hang.”
- Deb Grant (Expressive Art Therapist)
"Laura Inserra is a dream of a music teacher. She is both classically trained and a gifted improviser. Laura is attuned to the needs and capabilities of her students. She know how to teach to their level, inspire confidence, and encourage excellence. She knows when to support and when to push to the next level of accomplishment. Laura teaches the disciplines of musicianship in an atmosphere of playful acceptance. She creates a safe place in which to learn, an inspiring place to gain competence, and grow in the language of music and expression. The lessons are fun and deep, beautiful paced, and build on one another. Laura is generous with her knowledge and her heart."
- Ahbi Vernon (Psychologist and Mental Heath Therapist)