RESIDENCIES are geared to elementary grades through high school, and vary in length from 3 to 90 days. They typically include two or more of the following elements :

An Introductory Concert by Purly for the entire school population, or just the participating grades;
“Core Group” Workshops to make instruments, write a collective song or learn multi-track recording; Core groups work best as small groups (15 students or less) and may focus on one or two grade levels. Full-classes are appropriate for songwriting and a limited choice of simple/quick instruments. Core Groups typically meet daily during the Residency, and involve a more in-depth project than 1-time, roaming classroom visits afford.
• Roaming Visits to Individual Classrooms to sing curriculum-related—or other—songs, demo various
instruments, perhaps with hands on some instruments, engage in movement activities or make a very quick, simple musical instrument. Activities are always age-appropriate.
• Teacher In-Service/ Staff Development Workshops on Using Songs in the Classroom, Songs for
Spare Moments, Instrument Making in the Classroom or Multi-track Recording—to motivate students and enrich your curriculum.
A Culminating Event, often called a “Sharing Session”, which can be a partial- or an all-school assembly &/or an evening Community Event. This is the time when the students share what they have learned/made/written during the residency.
Each pK-6 gr. residency is tailored specifically to fit the needs of the school or venue.
Please contact Purly for more information and specific fee quotes.


Instrument making works best in groups of 15 children or less, and can take place in a classroom or any quiet space such as a studio space, library or office. It is best to designate one room for the workshops and bring the students to that room. We will be noisy at times, and messy, ie, we might make some sawdust. We need several large tables, chairs and perhaps multiple AC outlets and extension cords. Purly brings all tools and materials if she drives to the location.
Sessions can run from 30-120 minutes, depending on age-level and the specific project(s) undertaken.

Some projects may require multiple sessions to complete. Many of the possible projects are tuneable, and can be played ensemble. All are way cool and very fun!

Some possible projects include drums (bongos bucket and frame), thumb pianos (aka “m’bira”), pan pipes, one-string jug banjos, washtub or bucket bass, rainsticks, marimbas, cuicas, stamping tubes and ear harps. Another option is to create a permanent – or moveable – musical installation, as a residency project.

Materials used to make the instruments are scavenged/natural, recycled, donated or bought. We might use cardboard tubes, bamboo, garden hose, wood, fishing line, deli containers, etc. Project and materials are determined by age-level, time and budget. Grades 2-12.

WORKSHOPS can be booked as stand-alone, partial- or full-day programs. Group size may be limited. You do not need to schedule a residency in order to book workshops, but there may be a minimum number of workshops required. Workshops may also be booked in conjunction with concerts, which can result in a lower workshop fees. Scroll down for more info on fees.

BANJO MAKING WORKSHOPS                                       

Thumb Pianos

Bongo Drum


Bucket Drums

Brazilian Cuica


This workshop combines music, poetry, script-writing, production techniques and excitement to create a short Radio Play or Podcast, using an iPad and imagination. Depending on time-frame and teacher involvement, students may write a song, a poem, dialog or pseudo-commercials for ‘voice actors’; they may research material for ‘Joke Time’, and practice public speaking—as well as learning a few tricks for sound effects while discovering what the amazing world of Multi-track Recording & Editing can do.
Several classes may collaborate on a single project. Usually single-class or small group only per session, which can run 45min. -2 hrs for 1-5+ days.     

Here’s an excerpt from the Radio Play made at Mtn.View Elem/Elko, NV (3-day) residency:


Using iPads (provided by school, venue or participants) with the Garage Band app already installed, students are guided step-by-step to create a multi-track composition.No musical experience necessary! Students are taught how to create their own recordings of original stories and poems—which provides excellent motivation for creative writing AND offers feedback for read-aloud and public speaking skills. Additionally, participants may create a musical “backing track” or sound effects track to fit their content. Small group only. Workshops range from 1-3 hours over 1-5 days. Appropriate for grades 4 and up.

With little more than a chalkboard or large paper-pad, a professional quality recorder (which I provide) and a group of enthusiastic young folks—we can (1) create a “recycled” song (old melody with new, original lyrics) or (2) write a totally original song with original music and lyrics.
The workshop may run for 1-5 days, with 45-50 minute sessions, depending on which approach is taken, budget, time, age-level, etc. This workshop works well with grades 2-5, but 4th grade is the preferred age for songwriting. (Limited to single-class or smaller ‘core’ groups.)
Possible goals are to:
-write a song about a theme or topic from the curriculum;
-write a school song;
-write a song about bullying, self-esteem or a topic chosen by the students themselves;
-write a song about a community member (perhaps an elder) to honor that person.
Note: Usually we record the song(s) on the last day of the residency. A digital copy will be left with the school. (This is typically done as part of a residency program.)

OTHER WORKSHOPS (for those who dare)
Purly is also available to teach strange and unusual skills such as:
•How to Play a Mouth Trumpet &/or Nose Flute
•Percussion for the Musically-Challenged
•How to Spin the Flat Loop
•The Fine Art of Playing the Washtub Bass
•Accordion Appreciation and other Semi-Extinct Behavior
•How to Have Fun with a Bucket
Purly also teaches Beginner & Intermediate Guitar, Ukulele, Accordion and Electric Bass. These workshops are offered to ages 8-80.

Residencies generally start at $400/day; Concerts, staff-training, materials, travel & lodging are extra;
Residencies are limited to 5, 45-minute sessions/day with single-class or core-groups only;
Minimum residency length is 3 days. Fees for stand-alone workshops start at $125/hour.
Staff-training workshops generally start at $200/hr.
Student Workshop fees vary, depending on how many, length, group size and if a concert is also booked. Cost of materials & prep-time are additional charges; travel and lodging may be charged (depending on distance from home base); 

CONTACT PURLY for a specific fee quote:


“Purly, it was terrific having you here at Mtn. View Elementary. Our students and staff thoroughly enjoyed your time here. You are terrific with the studentsand this made for a terrific Cowboy Poetry Week.” ~ Mr. Foss, Principal

“Another wonderful four days with you. You do amazing things with children – thank you SO MUCH for everything!” – Lynda Tallarico, Head Teacher, N. Walpole (NH) Elem

“Great job Purly, thanks lots! We all had a lot of fun, we learned a lot and I have a bunch of new projects that I can do with my kids.” Andrew Raeside, Art/Music Teacher/ Residency Coordinator,
Spaulding Youth Center, Tilton, NH

“Great reviews from the boys! The kids really enjoyed the workshop and have been playing their instruments at every opportunity. Thanks so very much for the workshop – Let us know when you are back in the area and perhaps we can have that drum workshop….”~Janice Kennemer,
Hill Country CMHMR Center, Kerrville, TX/ Texas Heritage Music Foundation Summer Arts Program

“…..The kids showed a strong interest in making the instruments and playing them. Since they were so simple, the kids weren’t overwhelmed yet they didn’t get bored. All the instruments were very creative and I was interested to learn about some of (them) like the cuica and the pan pipes. Thank you for your time and patience.” ~Jason Rigollet, CIT, Kearsarge, NH Summer Camp

Thank you again for such a fun time at our school. The kids are still buzzing about the instruments they made,and Mr. Flagg (the principal) really enjoyed his instruments too. He is actually quite good at them!” ~Karen Meredith, Boscawen Elementary, NH
”Her easy, open manner and knowledge of her art just naturally draw kids in to participate.”
~teacher, Main Dunstable Elem. School , Nashua, NH
Click here for info on staff training workshop.

More comments on Residen-cies are in the Media folder, under Testimonials.