Professional Development

Sample Professional Development Workshops:

For Teachers:

We Go Jam: Finding the Music in the Words


Participants will unlock their musical talents through the discovery of creating music with their own words. Through readings from the book We Go Jam: Celebrating Our Music, Our Soundscapes, Our Hawaii, teachers will reflect on key themes and explore the craft of composing song and lyrics, as practiced in the tradition of Haku Mele, a selection in the book. We will examine Hawaii place names that touch us personally, and will write short verse and then expand to simple rhythm and melody. Each participant will receive a copy of We Go Jam and Musics of Hawaii, a recording resource and booklet. Prior knowledge of music or talent is not required.

For Everyone:

Unleash the Storytelling Instinct 


Gripping tales engage minds, hearts, and communities. They inspire us to action, give us courage, hope, and motivation. Whatever your audience, stories will engage them more fully.

Stories helped us share information long ago, before we had a written language. The tones of the voice and physical movements united communities since the time of human origins and they are still part of our instinctual, intrinsic makeup.

As a modern troubadour, James uses time tested techniques as well as recent brain research and his decades as a Master Teaching Artist to present a memorable and highly effective workshop.

In this workshop we will learn how to:

  • Build a story from a simple narrative to an effective tool for connecting, motivating and teaching
  • Live in the story (James shares secrets of the film actors craft to make the story not only a good tale but a gripping event)
  • Learning to differentiate and integrate your physical, facial, vocal tools and the power of the ‘psychological gesture’
  • Simple stagecraft for the storyteller

In this workshop we will explore why:

  • People respond to story
  • We engage new levels of ourselves when we tell stories
  • We perform a vital and lasting function when we connect with our storytelling instincts

Walk away with:

  • Three simple warm-ups for storytelling
  • A step by step breakdown and approach to crafting a memorable storytelling experience
  • Two tales
  • Your best next step for engaging and enacting your storytelling instinct