The Second City Music Improv Program is a five-term program that covers all the areas of musical improv, from short form games to the long form narrative musical, and everything in between. The Music Improv Program helping students explore comedy’s unique relationship to music through improvisation. Every level of the Music Improv Program is taught by two co-teachers: an improv teacher and a music director. Each level has a performance at the end of the term, with the final level culminating in a run of shows.
An audition is required for entrance into the Music Improv program. Eligible students will need to have finished a year-long improv program (Improv Levels A-E, Improv for Actors 2 or equivalent) or the Music Improv Fundamentals class. Conservatory students and graduates are also invited to audition. Interested auditioners who have not completed prerequisites at The Second City should first submit their training information via this submission form. The approval to audition will be confirmed by a staff member or else another program will be recommended. Auditioners who have not taken classes with us are also recommended to create a student profile when applying. Check out our Audition Guide for helpful information!
August 10, October 12, December 7
Commitment – Music is a big part of not only The Second City but in the improv scene as a whole. If an improviser wants to be taken seriously as a performer they have to look and sound competent and comfortable performing an improvised song.
In Music Improv 1, students learn to hear and respond to the music director, and to commit and embrace the magic of musical improvisation. Through exercises and short-form games, the students start to build up their musical and improvisational skills, as well as beginning to create together musically as an ensemble.
Music Improv 1 meets once a week for three hours over an eight week term. Bring a notebook and clothes in which you can move freely. A sound recording app or device is also recommended. There will be one public performance at the end of the term.
Truth – Music Improv 2 focuses on truth and honesty as a fundamental building block of compelling musical comedy. Students will dive deeper into song structure and rhyme as tools of character expression in song, and will learn and perform some basic long form music improv.
Music Improv 2 meets once a week for three hours over an eight week term. There will be one public performance at the end of the term. Students will audition again with their class group at the end of the term to continue into Music Improv 3.
Choice – In Music Improv 3, students will start to expand their musical and ensemble skills through the use of the long form narrative musical. Students will develop their knowledge of musical theater forms and structures and the skill to choose between them as they build to the creation of the improvised one-act musical.
Music Improv 3 meets once a week for three hours over an eight week term. There is one public performance after Music Improv 3.
Collaboration – Now that students can perform a long form musical, in Music Improv 4 they will tackle different genres and styles. They will collaborate together to explore existing performance genres, and start to push the boundaries to discover their own voice as an ensemble.
Music Improv 4 meets once a week for three hours over an eight week term. There is one public performance after Music Improv 4.
Process – Students will take all their knowledge from the past four terms and, guided by their teacher, will create an individual improvised musical form that they will be able to debut during a final run of improvised performances.
Music Improv 5 meets once a week for three hours over an eight week term. The class will perform their own original Second City-style revue in a 7-week run, including three previews and four shows.
Music Improv 6 is for students to employ the skills and experiences they’ve learned throughout the Music Improv program – not only in class but in performance as well. Music Improv 6 is a direct correlation to what is done on resident stages at The Second City and the assortment of theatrical projects put on by the theater.
The focus of this class the process of creating a revue-styled sketch show written by and performed by the class themselves. Building on the material created in level 5, this class shifts the focus from material generation to performance.
Working towards a musical sketch comedy revue with a director and musical director, students continue to pitch, write and improvise material for performance. In those performances they will continue to edit, rewrite, and streamline, the basis of the Second City process for creating a revue.
Music Improv 6 meets once a week for three hours over an eight week term. The class will perform their own original Second City-style revue in a 7-week run, including three previews and four shows.
Explore the process of writing and reciting rhymes, as well as rap’s several styles, for the purpose of using in scenes as well as creating songs.
Rap 101 is open to students who have completed Improv Level C or equivalent. It meets once a week for three hours over an eight…