UB professors create E.X.C.E.L.L. to help people get creative


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Sometimes when you’re a creative, it can be easy to get stuck in a bit of a mental rut, especially during a pandemic.

News 4’s Jhas Williams is pointing us in the direction of a workshop that aims to help get those creative juices flowing in the new year.

Especially, in the winter months, the thought of doing anything besides eating and staying under the covers can be daunting. But thankfully, two UB professors are showing people how to tap into their creative sides.

The year 2019 proved to be a difficult time in Tiffany Du Mouchelle’s life. Only one month after giving birth to her son, the UB Director of Vocal Performance and Coaching found herself burying her father. But instead of withdrawing, she joined forces with longtime associate and fellow UB professor Leanne Darling to create the Expression and Creativity Experimental Learning Laboratory, otherwise known as E.X.C.E.L.L.

“E.X.C.E.L.L. offers a variety of seminars and workshops in creative expression, and now, our virtual songwriting workshop,” Du Mouchelle says. “And we’re also beginning creativity coaching for people who are feeling a little stuck in their lives. Basically, anyone who has ever said ‘I wish I could, but I can’t for some reason’ and to figure out what those ‘I can’ts’ are all about.”

Among other things, the program is hosting a virtual songwriting workshop, which will be facilitated by the two ladies. Du Mouchelle says the workshop, created in response to the tense climate we’re living in, will teach students how to utilize and learn about free options for music making online, so they can keep their creative outlets opens.

“It’s for ages high school and then up to age 25,” Du Mouchelle says. “So, we’re going to have two sections: one for high school and then one for college-aged participants from any background. So, it’s really not about writing a song to a specific genre or style. It’s about, kind of, opening up your mind and getting creative support.”

Although it’s virtual, the classes will still be limited to a small number of participants, so that each person can get the individual assistance they need to not feel cheated, due to overcrowding.

“It’s gonna happen twice a week, so Tuesday and Thursday evenings for an hour, 7-8 p.m., finishing up on February 4th, so six sessions total,” Darling says.

If you would like to sign up for a virtual songwriting class, click/tap here.

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