Building Communities Through Music Improvisation

The Modern Improvisational Music Association (MIMA) is a global initiative which has been promoting the innovative creation of music for more than ten years. MIMA’s musical network is represented in Brazil, Argentina, China, Cyprus, France, England, Germany, Spain, Jamaica and the United States, pursuing the common goal of building and celebrating a sense of community by inspiring the transforming people through music. To achieve this, MIMA offers free music-based workshops in communities around the world, where young people are trained to lead similar workshops in their home communities.

MIMA was started in the year 2000 by four Princeton University students who initiated a college social movement using improvised music to bring university students together. Adam Nemett and Christoph Geiseler, who are both current MIMA trustees, led the Princeton student group by organizing DJ events and jam sessions. Between 2004 and 2010 MIMA worked with institutions like Princeton University, the Google Foundation and the US State Department, to host thirty outreach programs in fifteen cities on four continents, in which 700 students participated. The teaching methodology which was developed by MIMA includes leadership training based on musical improvisation, interactive group musical exercises and a repertoire of original songs and recordings.

The four basic steps of the MIMA Method are to inspire, transform, create and celebrate, with the intention of unlocking the creative potential of participants, while celebrating their global heritage. The MIMA Method is focused on music classes, but the principles can be applied to other creative group activities. The record of success in classes around the world confirms that MIMA has a winning formula with its approach of using improvisation to build individual powers of expression, creative ability, courage and ‘spirit of play’, while building collective esprit de corps, or morale and connectedness.

During June 2012, MIMA produced 21 videos in 21 days while touring England, Germany and Spain as part of a US State Department sponsored project. Acting as ‘Arts Envoys’ for the United States MIMA hosted songwriting workshops for teenagers and adults, with the objective of promoting music improvisation and enriching communities. For more information visit the MIMA Website –