Keyboard Lab – Smart Reading
Utilizing the latest technologies in Berklee's web-based learning environment, this online piano lab is designed to develop reading and comping skills to support the role of the piano in the rhythm section. The focus is on strengthening the student's ability to read and interpret notation and chord symbols. Through the use of tunes that include a diverse range of styles and rhythmic feels, exercises to develop stylistically appropriate voicings, video clips to help students gain an understanding of the role of the pianist in the rhythm section, historical information on the development of styles over the 20th century and beyond, and listening assignments that expose the students to some of the most influential pianists, students will be better prepared to interpret and perform music at sight in ensembles and in other musical settings.
Upper Structure Triads 2: the Linear Approach
This course involves the in-depth study of upper structure triads (USTs) for the use of melodic material for improvisation. All chord types and triad combinations are analyzed for the purpose of linear and harmonic improvisation. The recordings of Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans, James Williams, and Chick Corea are played and analyzed as examples of USTs in linear and harmonic contexts. Emphasis is placed on UST combinations to voice lead through chord progressions in a linear fashion. USTs are applied as a technique for harmonizing melodies in solo piano and trio formats. The use of USTs as a compositional element is also explored.
Jazz Harmonic Applications 2
The course offers an organized approach to develop a thorough knowledge of common harmonic vocabulary used in contemporary jazz established in ILPN-271, ILPN-272, and ILPN-273 (Jazz Harmonic Techniques for Piano 1, Jazz Harmonic Techniques for Piano 2, and Jazz Harmonic Applications) as applied to one-handed and two-handed voicings through construction and supportive exercises. Designed for pianists and other instrumentalists who want to further develop keyboard skills.
Danilo Perez Performance Lab
An advanced elective lab that will meet for five three-hour sessions per semester. The meetings will be scheduled at the beginning of each semester by the instructor. The lab will focus on creativity and finding your own voice, technique, improvisation, and ensemble playing. See chair for schedule. The class will present a recital as a final project.
Recital Workshop for Performance Majors
Required for all fifth-semester performance majors. Each student will perform three times during the semester. Students will critique one another's performances. Topics to be discussed will include repertoire, stage presence, constructive criticism, and mental preparation.
String Reading Lab
This class will teach string players how to be fluent and expressive readers of standard music notation. It involves learning how to process both the quantitative aspects (pitch, rhythm, and form) and the qualitative properties (phrasing, dynamics, articulation, etc.) of written music. Using a variety of styles, students in this class will work on recognizing common pitch patterns, rhythmic motives, and road maps (repeats, da capos, codas, parallel and contrast phrase structures, and typical harmonic progressions). Ear training skills will be emphasized to develop the strong inner hearing crucial for good reading. Upon completion of this course students will have improved their ability to read standard music notation fluently and musically in a variety of styles.
Jazz Violin Lab
Advanced improvisational concepts and their application in strings. Reading charts with jazz phrasing, higher-level bowing, and left-hand development. Instrumentation: violin, viola.
Sound Reinforcement Techniques for Strings
This course provides an understanding of the technology available for effective performances in nonacoustic situations. Topics covered include pickups, microphones, electric instruments, amplifiers, effects, stage sound/monitors, mixers, recording acoustic instruments, recording electric instruments, and how to take care of your acoustic instrument.
Recording Techniques for String Players
This is an interdivisional course that offers students in the String Department, Professional Writing Division, and Music Production and Engineering Department insight into how to operate most efficiently in the recording studio. The course will be divided into three or four sections of three weeks each. In each section, all participants will meet in the recording studio to record one or more works written by a writing division student for strings, or strings with other tracks previously recorded.
Vocal Sight-Reading Techniques 1
Introductory lab for singers to further develop listening skills, reading notation, concepts of rhythm, intervals, chord changes, time-feels, and grooves applied to singing lyrics and pitches simultaneously; sight-reading will include lead sheets, sheet music, and specific vocal arrangements.
Musical Independence Skills for Singers
Introductory lab for singers focusing on skills necessary for repertoire development. These include finding the right key for a song, transposition, development of lead sheets, and basic self-accompanying skills necessary to learn songs independently. The goal of the course is to develop self-sufficiency for vocalists in learning new material.
Vocal Pop/Rock/Country Styles Lab
Introductory pop/rock/country performance lab for voice principals designed to prepare students for solo performance in ensembles and other performing venues within a specific song style. Vocalists will learn how to count off tempos of songs, microphone technique, song style and groove, communication with the accompanist, and lead sheet preparation.