SU-CASA: Application

Application for SU-CASA Program:

SPECIAL MOMENTS AND STORIES: Filmmaking and Our living Soundtrack.


The Result is a film of ‘Special Moments and Stories’. The Soundtrack will be created mostly from the filmed ‘warm-up’ sessions and music Doctor Kaufman creates in response to them.

Each day begins with ‘warm up’ activities, including creative rhythm games and singing. This leads to storytelling and, ultimately, the sharing of special moments.

These ‘moments’ are a combination of capturing what we create together in the various sessions which I capture as we go, and stories of participants lives which they may wish to share.


The Rhythm Game warm up energizes participation and connects senses.

We begin with the beating ‘ones’, i.e. the first beat of measures. Then anticipating the beat (the 4 pulse) and then ‘Inhabiting the beats’. We use hand-held percussion instruments which are part of my kit. In this simple way we get to a steady rhythmic pulse which can lead to making ‘rhythm machines’. I am responsive to those who might have physical difficulty and give them the simplest beat, or who might be able to do more advanced rhythms.

Sharon Burch

Then we progress to song. For this, I use Native American Music: a song called ‘Mother Earth’, by Sharon Burch and an authentic Hopi lullaby. Two songs which bridge cultures. We sing and accompany with the rhythms I taught them from the first exercise.

This is the first part of the filmmaking workshop and forms the basis of the musical score for the resultant film. We’ll have films of participants playing music, the sounds of the music, and capturing a few ‘special moments’ along the way which are beyond planning.

We then progress to the Storytelling Phase.


I begin this phase by showing short films (30 seconds to a minute in duration). They are of wide variety, from jumping kittens to abstract images. I show the miniflix without music, then with music, demonstrating how music affects their experience of a movie. They are participating actively, answering questions and making comments. This part of the program is fun and entertaining as well as acting as a transition to the final and most important part of the program.


This is the central most important part of the program, i.e. the sharing and filming of the participant’s own stories. These can be of wide variety; personal stories from childhood, something that happened yesterday with other participants or family members, or the story of what is happening right now. Participants can choose not to share a story and I’d make use of their ‘special moments’ for the film. I’ve found that, once warmed up with the preceding activities, just about everyone wants to share something. Some are verbose, some have few words. Through my movie making talents and music, I can express/create a meaningful story from hand gestures and facial expressions if needed.

Again, the music we create and film and record in the earlier phases is the basis for the music score for the film. With my extensive experience as a composer and sound designer, I look forward to doing an exceptional job in this area of the resultant film.

NOTE: About half-way through the program, I’ll take part of a couple sessions and bring in my young talented students to perform for the participants. The participants love this, and it is good experience for the young people.

These performances can rejuvenate the process, ignite new special moments, demonstrate connectedness and, most importantly, stir memories. They also demonstrate connectedness and emphasize that we are all just US, at whatever age we find ourselves when we awaken each day.


This would take place right at the center so all can see it.

We will recreate our program for the audience.
We begin with a session of creative drumming, audience members will be welcomed to join us. I’ll teach the audience one of the songs (with words streaming on screen) and we can all sing it together. The group can then perform the other song by ourselves.

Then we show the film: ‘Special Moments and Stories’.

I would love to to do two programs simultaneously. My only limitation is I must accomplish the sessions by 2PM, so I can be home when my young daughter arrives from school. In the afternoon, evenings, I teach music lessons.


Doctor Kaufman has extensive experience as a teaching artist. He has been a teaching artist in a wide variety of forums.

As member of The Southern Tier Institute he toured schools in the region of upstate New York. For this work and that of his work as a concert presenter and composer, he received the individual Artist award from the Community Arts Partnership, Ithaca, NY.

When he was the music department of the Alternative Community School, he often brought his music groups to Senior Centers around the environs of Ithaca, NY and performed for them. They looked forward very much to his visits.

Kaufman earned his D.M.A. in Music Composition and pedagogy in 1991 (Cornell University) and has worked independently as a teaching artist since that time. He has developed workshops in film music, environmental music, storytelling, music teaching and on and spent years working with challenged youth in one-on-one settings.

Doctor Kaufman presents a concert series for people of all ages titled The Phantastic Theater. In these events he creates full length music plays and films. IN these projects he creates the story (screenplay), does all the filming work in Final Cut Pro, and also composes and realizes the film score and sound design with the Logic Program and a full range of professional orchestral and sound libraries.

In his professional home studio he can fulfill the parameters of this project with ease and artistic integrity. Kaufman has scored independent films and commercials as well as much fine arts work.

“I look forward to capturing the special moments and stories of my workshop participants and creating a meaningful film for them and others to enjoy for years to come.”

Link to Composer Brochure

Link to Composer/Teacher Resumé