CMS 2.0


The board of directors and co-founders of the Creative Music Studio, Karl Berger and Ingrid Sertso, have embraced a succession plan for new leadership to take the Creative Music Studio™ forward to the next generation of musicians and listeners with the goal to spark, inspire and nurture musical spirit.

Beginning with its 2018 season, the new CMS™ team, led by associate artistic directors Steven Bernstein, Billy Martin and Peter Apfelbaum along with CMS’ longtime executive director Rob Saffer, will ensure that the organization adheres to the core principles that have guided CMS for nearly 50 years, ensuring the legacy of CMS and its co-founders Karl Berger, Ingrid Sertso and Ornette Coleman.  With Karl’s and Ingrid’s guidance and support through this transition and with their ongoing active involvement, these principles will continue to be at the core of CMS programming:

  • GaMaLaTaki – basic rhythm practice
  • Body Awareness for musicians
  • Vocal practice/dynamic tuning
  • Deep listening - sharpening one’s focus and sensitivity to sound and silence
  • Beat-for-beat attention as players and listeners
  • Engaging with and learning music that transcends boundaries, is not stylistically bound, and that demonstrates the universality of music without borders
  • Performing and learning in an inclusive non-competitive environment, where all skill levels are welcome and all participants are respected and learn from one another
  • Learning from and engaging with a broad range of Guiding Artists from diverse traditions, cultural perspectives, performance practices, ages, and nationalities
  • Live/spontaneous composition by groups and individuals and guided improvisation using a variety of gesture-based approaches
  • Supporting each participant to find their own personal “voice” and to discover and express their own musical vocabulary
  • Broadening music skill development to encourage participants to transfer and apply the CMS philosophy and practice to other areas of their lives

"Ingrid and I are deeply moved and thankful to see the spirit of CMS move on in such an explicit and decisive way. We are particular heartened as It is clear that this spirit is now more needed than ever.

Times and conditions change. And so do the outer forms and styles of music. But the inner elements of music remain the same, as the principles of our human existence remain the same. Music allows us to experience the fundamentals of life in endless details of uniqueness and togetherness. Going there day-by- day makes us better players and better listeners, in music and in the endless applications of musical principles in our lives, alone and together.

What would be more needed now than listening to and tuning with each other, finding harmony and rhythm together, growing in our sensitivity and empathy? These fundamentals of all music are the fundamentals of life. As we go deeper, we find that we have much more in common than what divides us. And we find endless space to develop our personal forms of expression and communication.

So lets tune into that in detail. It is very practical. No big philosophies or belief systems needed. The good news is: we’ll discover that we all are endowed with amazing reservoirs of talent. We just need to stay with it. Our minds are more than ready to explore, to expand, and to connect with others."

Karl Berger
Ingrid Sertso