Essentials of Solo and Rhythm Guitar 1
Instrumental class for the guitar principal emphasizing chord solo guitar styles, traditional guitar literature employing right-hand pick techniques, and rhythm guitar styles applicable to small group and orchestral performance.
Improvisation for Guitar 3
Continuation of PSGT-212. Symmetric scales and additional altered modes; chord scale possibilities explored through harmonic analysis. Chord voicings and comping techniques in jazz, Latin, funk, and ballad styles. Midterm and final projects: student performance of solo and comping part with prerecorded tape.
Advanced Guitar Performance
For advanced guitar principals, continuation of development of skills and techniques, with emphasis on guitar-centric group playing concepts and performing skills.
Vocal Technique and Wellness
Maintaining a balance between body, mind, and spirit is essential for any musician to be healthy. This is wellness. In this course vocalists learn techniques for keeping their instruments in top shape, reducing both vocal and overall stress, and managing real life factors like performance anxiety. This course will also present techniques and a detailed look at vocal anatomy, to support learning to sing virtually every style of music with a healthy, long-lasting approach.
Awareness Training for Musicians
This lab will explore posture, movement, and breathing as they relate to the act of musical production. Students will explore how they experience themselves making music and learn how to modify their own actions to play more efficiently with less effort. Self-awareness exercises will be used to improve the kinesthetic sense—one's sense of oneself in movement—enabling the instrumentalist to avoid injuries due to overuse and/or misuse, as well as helping to develop sensitivity, clarity, and power in musical production. Through increased awareness, students will acquire the ability to regulate or modify their actions to meet varying demands of practice and performance.
Yoga for Musicians 1
The musician's environment, with its continual pressures and workload demands, is frequently intense. Through a regular practice of yoga, you will be better able to deal with pressures and stress. Yoga means union. It is the union of mind, body, and spirit. This course will lead you through a series of breathing exercises, meditations, warm-ups, and postures that will help integrate the mind, body, and spirit of your being. Practicing yoga will enable you to be more aware and focused in all aspects of your life.
Yoga for Musicians 2
With a firm foundation of the principles of yoga learned and practiced in Yoga for Musicians 1, this course goes deeper into the practice and its benefits. Students more fully explore many techniques including meditation, breathing, and advanced postures. Students will learn about the different energy channels in the body and how to regulate them to improve a sense of well-being.
Playing in the Key of Qi: Qigong for Musicians
This course will explore the fundamentals of qigong and how students can employ these practices in both their musical and daily lives. Students will learn a variety of exercises as well as breathing and awareness techniques to increase the flow of chi throughout one's system. These exercises promote emotional balance, mental clarity, and an optimum physical state. Students will learn about the unique physiological benefits as well as how to apply these exercises to their instrument, daily activities, and creative endeavors. In addition, students will learn how qigong can act as a catalyst for healing or preventing an overuse injury and other health maladies. By the end of the course, students will be more able to conduct the inner orchestra of their mind, body, heart, and spirit through a state of relaxed awareness.
Somatic Breathwork for Vocalists
Using experiential exercises, anatomical studies, and journal processes, this course will improve students' kinesthetic awareness and conceptual understanding of the process of respiration as it relates to movement and vocal production. Through experiential explorations of breathing students learn to sense, feel, and differentiate the physical components of respiration. As they improve their kinesthetic understanding of breathing, their ability to use breathing responsively and appropriately for the vocal task will improve. Additionally, students will become better able to respond to directions about breathing from private lesson teachers. Classwork will consist of experiential Awareness Through Movement lessons with some time for discussion.
Awareness Training for Musicians 2
Continuing with the themes introduced in PSH-238, this class further explores posture, movement, and breathing as it relates to music production. With a more developed sense of self in movement, students can focus their skill toward individual needs. Half of the class will be devoted to more challenging awareness through movement lessons, with each student meeting privately with the instructor over the course of the semester. Students will design a personal program for self-improvement and maintenance of comfortable and easy movement while practicing and performing. In addition to injury prevention, the course will aid students in developing their sensitivity, clarity, and power in music production.
Body Mapping for Musicians
Whether using drumsticks, picking a guitar string, or using breath to sing, music is created by movement. Music is movement. The human body moves to create the sound waves that move through the air. We all have a picture of our bodies in our mind called a body map. This map guides every movement we make. If this picture is accurate then our movement will be free, efficient and effective. When our maps are inaccurate or unclear, movement can become labored and lead to injuries. Body mapping is a highly effective process for learning healthy, efficient, and effective physical motion. In this class you will work towards a fully realized understanding of your own physical structure so your movement will be healthy and your motion free. As a result, you will produce a better, more open, more resonant sound.
Tai Chi Chuan for Musicians: Grand Ultimate Fist
Tai Chi Chuan, or Grand Ultimate Fist, is a moving meditation/exercise/martial art that can compliment and energize one's studies, music, and all the activities and demands of a busy Berklee day. Traditionally, it is an internal yin style that develops grounding and relaxation. It is also a constantly evolving art and science that promotes physical, mental, and emotional balance, and is a useful tool for identifying playing-related tension patterns and opening constricted channels of the body, including arms, wrists, neck, back, and fingers. Tai Chi Chuan is a slow, flowing, no-sweat exercise with excellent health benefits that requires no uniforms or equipment and only a moderate amount of floor space to perform. This course will lead you through the first 20 postures of the 60 movement form developed by Grandmaster William C. C. Chen. The instructor will explain how this relates to healthier practice, performance, and endurance. Once the complete choreography is learned, this short from will be incorporated into your daily routine and would require only a few minutes to complete.