Advanced Pan-American Jazz Performance
Course work will focus on the performance and development of advanced rhythmic vocabulary within the jazz idiom employing the following genre styles: Afro-Cuban; South American (Brazilian, Argentinian, Venezuelan, Peruvian); Iberian (Spanish) rhythms such as flamenco and its various palos; and Spanish folklore rhythms such as Aragonese Jota, Sevillanas, txalaparta, and its odd time signatures. Performance will include compositions by instructor as well as other composers and students. Students will participate as leaders, performers, and composers/arrangers, and will have a chance to experiment with grooves created from the vocabulary studied.
Melodic Variation Techniques in American String Traditions
Historical listening and performance class covering the tributaries of Bill Monroe's music (old-time country music, blues, and swing) and tracing the development of the styles from 1945 to the present day. Extensive transcription projects and in class performance will be emphasized.
Recital Class for Music Education Majors
A performance class for music education majors. Students prepare for solo and ensemble presentations intended to demonstrate satisfactory proficiency on their principal instrument.
Fundamentals of Improvisation for Percussion
Survey of performance techniques related to drum set solo and duet improvisation. Emphasis is placed on rhythm skill, coordination, thematic development, and style integration.
Studio Drumming Techniques and Applications
Application of drum set and percussion techniques to the studio recording environment. Analysis of today's top studio recording drummers and producers; study of drum looping and sampling techniques and their application to drum set recording; study of jingle, television, and motion picture soundtrack recording techniques. Application of skills including tuning the instrument, using a click track, drum chart reading, electronic percussion, and auxiliary percussion parts to studio performance.
Contrapuntal Jazz Improvisation for Pianists
This course offers a step-by-step approach to improvising contrapuntally in a solo piano context. Emphasis on walking bass lines through a series of rhythmic/melodic motives gives the pianist a basis for gaining the independence required to simultaneously improvise in a linear or chordal manner in the right hand. This eventually leads to multi-voice improvisation. Artists studied and transcribed include Lennie Tristano, Dave McKenna, Bill Evans, Brad Mehldau, Oscar Peterson, and Diana Krall. Weekly class performance includes repertoire of the jazz standard literature.
This class will be geared toward rhythm section players and singers, and will cover all aspects of country music. Analysis of major instrumentalists and styles of playing, including Chet Atkins, Floyd Cramer, Ricky Skaggs, Doc Watson, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. The class will also take an in-depth look at the making of country music (Nashville number system, etc.). Discussion of the styles of music as well as the different instruments (Dobro, steel guitar, lap guitar, fiddle, etc.), and the difference between singing bluegrass and singing country music (phrasing as well as timbre of the voice). Also included is an overview of the Nashville scene.
A performance-based study of the musical style originated by Motown Records, which, under the leadership of founder/president Berry Gordy, musically bridged racial lines during the highly sensitive period of the Civil Rights Movement. Analysis and performance of music by such artists as Stevie Wonder, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Temptations, and Gladys Knight and the Pips. An end-of-semester public performance is normally scheduled.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
This course is intended to provide an opportunity for students to identify, recognize, and study the great creators, performers, and pioneers of rock and popular music. This course will provide student performers and writers a better understanding of the historical, stylistic, and technical subtleties of the various pop and rock genres. Course work will culminate in an end-of-semester concert or recital performance. Assigned library listening, transcribing, and notation of individual parts will be required on a weekly basis. Creating arrangements of selected material will be optional for ensemble members. Instrumentation: male and female vocalists, mixed horns, piano, two guitars, bass, drums, and hand percussion.
Progressive Rock Performance
A study integrating performance of the progressive rock style of the '70s: repertoire, instrumentation, forms, sound, and other musical elements leading to emulation and creative reproduction of this musical genre.
The Pop/Rock Player/Vocalist
Designed for the pop/rock rhythm section player or instrumentalists, this course develops the skill of singing and playing simultaneously. All class members will be expected to sing and will learn to sing lead as well as background vocals while playing. Analysis of influential performers, including Elton John, Ray Charles, Phil Collins, Sting, and Bruce Springsteen; in-class and end-of-semester performances.
Commercial Band Workshop
Performance of music in various styles appropriate to general business jobs. Emphasis will be on learning and developing a varied repertoire (different jobs call for different music), and playing dinner music sets, dance sets, and different ceremonial music (weddings, etc.). The how-tos of handling the many different types of general business jobs: weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, proms, banquets, etc. Music for the course will include songs from the '20s through the '90s.