Private Lessons

Leanne teaches all levels of classical viola and beginning/intermediate violin, as well as coaching chamber music. Her teaching style brings traditional classical technique with a focus on body awareness and development of musical creativity.

Students can opt for traditional in person lessons, or virtual lessons which come with a series of technique and practice videos.

Contact Leanne for more information


Buffalo Creative Music Group

What We're About

Buffalo Creative Music Group is a group lead by Leanne Darling dedicated to exploring improvised music as a form of self expression,  creating community through music. Using activities inspired by the organization Music for People. 

We explore melody, rhythmic feel, ensemble playing and exploration of styles and harmonies using simple fun exercises and forms.

It is open to experienced musicians wanting a new creative outlet, inexperienced musicians exploring their own music for the first time, and everyone in between.

Music is an art that intimidates everyone, that  you have to be an "expert" to be any good at it. Anyone can create art (draw, paint, recite poetry etc.) but somehow not sing a song, pound out a rhythm.

We don't believe this to be true. We are doing ourselves a great disservice to deny ourselves access to music, when it can be a really fun means to express ourselves and connect to one another. We provide a safe space to be free of judgement, to enjoy making sounds and  truly explore.

 We meet monthly at Summer House at 289 Summer St. Check out our meetup page and the events page for the date and time ofour next meeting.


Improvising Chamber Music for String Players

String students experience music beyond the written note with this dynamic workshop. Using a vocal/body warmup and many improvisational games including musical “telephone” and “simon sez” Leanne shows how easy it is to start creating your own music. From there she delves directly into ensemble playing, showing how one can use improvisation to develop ensemble skills such as deep listening, rhythmic pulse, and musical awareness within the group. Skills covered include non-verbal communication such as cue-ing, use of dynamics and exploration of rhythms, textures and timbres. Suitable for intermediate through professional players, ages 8 and up. Running time one 1 to 2 hours per session.


For students of all ages and string players

Bowed strings are an integral part of Classical Arabic music, a rich musical tradition based in the Levant region of the middle east from Lebanon to Northern Egypt. 

This expressive lyrical music brings together unique scales, vibrant rhythmic patterns and colorful ornamentation. 

This workshop can have two parts, done separately or together as a residency.

1. A lecture demonstration where Leanne and her ensemble will perform various pieces from the classical Arabic repertoire, demonstrate the instruments, talk about the rhythms and scales as well as the stories behind the music. 

The performance will include audience participation and musical games.

No instruments required and suitable for all ages – running time 30 to 60 minutes. Designed for school assemblies

2. A lecture demonstration where Leanne guides a string class through the fundamentals of this music: the tonal system, the scales, ornamentation, the rhythms and the forms. 

Students will learn a scale exercise, a couple of rhythmic patterns, ornamentation and improvisation techniques, and a simple piece. 

Suitable for intermediate to professional players, ages 12 and up – running time 90 minutes to 2 hours.


A Workshop for Everyone

Whether you are a singer-songwriter, a table drummer, a shower singer, a trained musician, or someone who just loves music, come discover the fun and joy of improvised music! 

No experience in improvisation? No problem. Bring your instruments, including interesting sound makers, voice and body percussion! 

Participants are given permission to drop expectations of what they should play and return to the essence of music, silence, pulse and tone. 

Through simple exercises using percussion instruments, the body and the voice as well as their own chosen instrument they enter into a state of mindful, compassionate and open listening. 

It is in this state that we open ourselves to experience our creative, musical and human potential while having fun! Running time 60 minutes to 2 hours