Welcome to The Creative Group for Musical Artists

An extension of the Southwest Florida Music Education Center with an integrative approach to music education designed for neurodivergent and neurotypical students alike, the Creative Group helps young musical artists enhance their performing, composing, arranging and improvisation skills.

What it’s NOT.

It’s not the usual classical chamber group. It’s not a chamber orchestra. It’s not a jazz group. It’s not a garage band.

What it IS.

Though we may draw from all the influences above, The Creative Group is an ensemble of musicians that creates its OWN projects. We begin each session by determining what music to arrange and perform, based on the interests and talents of the students. Through collaborative study and music direction, artists learn and practice valuable skills from music performance and music theory that help them to:

Example Projects

Examples of projects we’ve done in the past:

Amaya Moher - Soft Rain

The song is about looking at a soft rain and the experience of remembering memories of the love of friends and family.

Lexi Anand - Orange Sky

The song is about observing a sunset and wanting more of life to be about enjoying and being present in the moment.

Grason Peterson – Journey

The song is about taking a journey through life, observing it and appreciating it.

Evan Carville - IMN = It Means Nothing

This is a song with a catchy 7/8 groove that gradually gets more expansive as the piece progresses.

How to Apply for The Creative Group

Auditions are required for participation in this ensemble. Students between ages 13 and 20 with at least three years of formal study – such as private lessons, band, orchestra or choir experience – are encouraged to apply.

Audition Details

Students will audition for Music Program Director Dr. Jeff Leigh. A violinist, piano teacher and composer, Dr. Leigh previously taught music at both Wheaton College in Illinois and Hunter College in New York. He performed with Artis-Naples Philharmonic Orchestra from 2005-2018. His current work includes private studio at The Village School Performing Arts, violinist with Gypsy Jazz duo “Gypsy Sojourn,” solo performer/composer in regional recitals/concerts.

All auditions take place through Zoom. To schedule an audition, please contact Dr. Leigh at (239) 682-3384 or email jeff.s.leigh@gmail.com

The Creative Group offers two programs, beginning in fall and spring, respectively. Group 1 works on rearranging familiar Christmas tunes and composing new holiday tunes. Group 2 reimagines beloved pieces by famed composer Tchaikovsky and adapts them for dance choreography settings. All sessions take place on Tuesdays, with time varying by class.

Fall 2021 semester starts September 14th!

All sessions will be held via Zoom.


September 14 (Intro to The Creative Group), September 21, September 28, October 5, October 12, October 19, October 26, November 2, November 9, November 16, December 7, December 14 (Online recital)

Our scholarship rate costs $100 per semester. Limited spots are available, so apply today!


The Creative Group recognizes the importance of strong partnerships in supporting this community-based initiative. It’s why we gratefully acknowledge our friends at Artis-Naples, who have kindly offered their space and guidance for this endeavor.

Become a Partner

If you would like to partner with us, please fill out the form below and one of our staff members will get back to you.