Alice Kanack is an educator of true originality and inspiration, who has been at the forefront of the movement to encourage creativity through musical improvisation in young musicians. At her music school and through her training programs she encourages students of all ages to include improvisation skills in daily practice, as an organic part of one’s musical development. I’m inspired by her continuing exploration of the pedagogical potential of this movement….

Steven Doane – Professor of Cello, Eastman School of Music
Visiting Professor and Fellow, Royal Academy of Music


Participating in the 2015 CAD teacher training course was a truly transformative experience. Although I’d already been teaching CAD for some time, engaging in this immersive week of sessions helped me enormously in understanding the broader philosophical and pedagogical implications of the method. Alice’s scientifically verified discovery–that all children can develop creativity through the structured practice of musical improvisation–has profound ramifications both within and outside the field of music. If we accept that creativity defines intelligence at the highest level, we in turn recognize that the development of creativity gives our students extraordinary potential to make unique and impactful contributions throughout their lives. I adamantly encourage you to join Alice for a trip down this ‘road less traveled’ in music education! 

Zachary Preucil – Cello, Musicianship, and CAD Faculty, Music Institute of Chicago 


From what I have seen, the CAD students seem to all share certain characteristics:

  1. A love of the music, their instrument, and what they are doing
  2. Warmth, supportiveness, respect toward one another
  3. Wonderful concentration
  4. Freedom of movement and expression
  5. Sensitivity – a musical sensitivity within themselves and a sensitivity to the group and other individuals – both musically and personally
  6. Self-acceptance
  7. A comfort with performing.

Judith Fletcher – Violinist, Teacher


The CAD method develops the relationship between the player and the instrument in a very special way. In creating his or her own music, the student learns and experiments with every aspect of the instrument and technique in a fun, creative context. The instrument becomes his or her own, a vehicle for a voice. In improvising, the student, the musician, and the teacher discover — perhaps for the first time, perhaps again — that they speak the language of music.

Margaret Coote – Violist, Teacher, Performer