Neighborhood workshops

Each month of our third season, Palaver is partnering with an organization in the community where we're performing to lead musical workshops. Our projects range from chamber music coaching, to yoga, to songwriting! If your organization is interested in partnering with Palaver in the future, email us at

September - El Sistema Somerville

In September, we are thrilled to be working closely with El Sistema Somerville! Through the course of two weeks, Palaver musicians will coach students on building chamber music skills. Playing an instrument is difficult, but being able to listen to others simultaneously while playing your own part is even more challenging. Through chamber music, students will work on how to listen and communicate with others while playing their own part, lead musical entrances nonverbally, and rehearse effectively - independent from their instructor.

Their progress will culminate in a performance on September 30 at 8:00 pm at Palaver Strings’ first concert of Season 3!

October - Our Place

Our Place is a daycare center for homeless children. It helps families break the cycle of homelessness and attain self-sufficiency by providing a program that meets the educational, emotional, and spiritual needs of each family member. While their children are enrolled in Our Place, parents have the opportunity to work, seek permanent housing, attend school, receive counseling, volunteer in the center or attend Parent Workshops.

Palaver Strings will provide a kid friendly concert for the children of Our Place. Introducing instrument names and their capabilities. The objective of this concert is to expose classical music to children who may have never had the opportunity to see live classical music before. Along with the concert a nutritious snack will be provided by Forage, a Cambridge based restaurant whose menu is driven by seasonally and locally sourced ingredients.

November - Thomas Crane Public Library

Featuring Quincy composer Delvyn Case’s Lighthouse Keeper and Benjamin Britten’s Simple Symphony, Palaver Strings brings Quincy a concert at the Thomas Crane Public Library for families with young children. Lighthouse Keeper tells, through music and narration, the story of Abbie Burgess Grant, the 19th century teenager who tended a lighthouse off the coast of Maine during a Great Nor'easter, saving the lives of countless sailors. Britten’s Simple Symphony is a piece of dynamic and contrasting movements, built on themes Britten composed when he himself was a young child.

December - Vinfen

In December Palaver will be partnering with Vinfen, an organization that  provides community-based services to people with psychiatric conditions, intellectual and developmental disabilities, brain injuries, and behavioral health challenges.  From singing and breathing to drumming and dancing, movement is a critical part of the musical experience. Palaver will perform a workshop for Vinfen members centered around the different ways listeners interact with live music.

January - Boston Medical Center

In January, Palaver Strings will complete their second Lullaby Project in collaboration with Carnegie Hall and Boston Medical Center ArtsLab.  The group will work with five young and expecting mothers at BMC, targeting patients from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, to write and record personal lullabies for their babies.  Our goal is to create an honest musical statement together that deepens the loving bond between parent and child.  We will invite students from the Boston University College of Fine Arts to observe the process and will help these same students lead their own Lullaby project, named Lullaby Project 2, later in the spring.  Palaver will focus on collecting stories and background on each participant as part of the process and in addition will invite each participant to share and perform their songs as part of the group’s resident concerts at BMC.  Listen to last year's Lullaby Project songs here.  

February - LGBT Aging project

In February, Palaver Strings will work with members of the LGBT Aging Project of Fenway Health to write and compose a song that will reflect their life and journey. Each participant will be asked to write a brief letter addressed to their younger self. Palaver will then work with them to write lyrics taken from their letters  which will then be paired with music. Finally, Palaver musicians  and participants will  gather together to record their individual songs at Emmanuel Church in Boston.

March - Watertown Public Schools

In March, Palaver will be partnering with Watertown Public Schools’ Special Education Department to present an interactive musical workshop for the students and their families. That evening, they will also give a free musical performance for the Watertown community at Perkins School for the Blind.

Musical Workshop: Feeling Sound

As part of our neighborhood residency, Palaver musicians will lead an afternoon workshop for WPS Special Education students, with a learning focus on non-verbal musical communication. This workshop will include interactive activities and opportunities for both students and musicians to present and perform.

April - yoga @ Bay Chamber Concerts

Would you ever expect to do yoga inside a concert hall?  Well, that’s probably because you haven’t been to a Palaver Strings show before! Join Palaver and Bay Chamber Concerts for a fully integrated yoga and classical music experience. Classes will be free and appropriate for kids and grown ups alike! Through sound, movement, and meditation, we will connect with our bodies, quiet our minds, and find some peace together in a crazy world. See the event here!

Simple gifts tour - community workshops

June - anchor house of artists

As part of Palaver Strings' East Coast tour "Simple Gifts," we will present an interactive workshop at Anchor House of Artists in collaboration with local artists from the Pioneer Valley.  We will explore the relationships between music and visual art using paint, silent film, improvisation, and light projection. Join us for an engaging, participatory experience: we will move through space and sounds and create some art together. June 11, 12:00-2:00pm($10 suggested donation). RSVP here!