Comprising a group of professional music teachers and performers, Porky's Groove Machine is as passionate about education as they are about syncopation. Through performance workshops that are interactive, humorous, and inclusive, Porky's helps students make connections between the fundamentals they are working on and the music they love. Having all been recipients of traditional music educations, they hope to inspire students to think outside the box about what it means to be a musician.

The Workshop

In our hour long performance workshop, students will use their hands, voices, and instruments to engage with fundamentals like tuning, grooving, and improvising, all within the context of a high energy funk show. At the nexus of traditional band repertoire, jazz, and hip-hop, funk is the perfect musical lens through which to discover dynamic relationships between the music students are learning in class to the music they are listening to outside of it. By first entertaining and then engaging students, our workshops push participants to learn actively, without them even realizing it.

To the students, the workshop will seem like a cross between a concert and a day in band class. Instruments in hands, we will ask them to be a part of our performance through a variety of call-and-response methods. Clapping simple rhythms will turn into singing pentatonic riffs, and before they know it, students will be out of their chairs and improvising to a new (pentatonic) scale they just learned by ear. Our charismatic and energetic stage presence, honed during years of performances in front of crowds of all ages and sizes, along with a heavy dose of humor, will get students excited about their instruments and working on their fundamentals.

Experience

Whether performing to a sold out audience at the Majestic theater in Madison, WI, conducting middle school orchestra, or designing and teaching middle school classes on the Beatles, the members of Porky’s Groove Machine are always blurring the lines between traditional roles, boundaries, and expectations. As members of Appleton, WI’s groundbreaking Mile of Music festival Music Education team, they have helped break down the boundaries between performers and audience, helping all festival attendees find their inner musician. Our members have experience teaching:

  • Middle and high school band and orchestra
  • Group didjeridu classes
  • Private teaching on band, orchestral, and rock band instruments
  • College lectures of Ghanean dance and rhythm
  • College lectures of Afro-Cuban performance and musicology
  • Group songwriting workshops
  • Brass band repertoire and performance
  • …and much more!