In this workshop, vocalists and instrumentalists develop and perfect the skills necessary for live performance. They explore the concept that good performances involve not only excellent musicianship but also a high level of stage presence and audience interaction. Students explore the different kinds of stage performance techniques that are appropriate in different settings. They investigate concepts of musical and artistic interaction with the audience, and explore different kinds of audiences. They also explore performance as communication. They evaluate strategies to communicate musically through their music and their body. Additionally, students synthesize concepts of acting and persona creation that are part of every performance. In-class performances will be recorded and critiqued for effectiveness in movement, presentation, and overall performance. Students learn skills and strategies for microphone and rehearsal techniques, lead sheet preparation, stage presence, programming, audience interaction, persona development, and more. Students also learn strategies for effective auditioning. Students will give special consideration to the technical aspects of performance (e.g. acoustics, achieving an appropriate mix for the venue, and recording live performances). At the end of the semester, the class will hold a recital.
Through this course, advanced instrumentalists and vocalists learn effective teaching and clinical skills. Students learn to analyze group and individual skills; structure lessons, clinics, and rehearsals; and assess student progress. Students also model teaching scenarios with peers and engage in active professor-moderated feedback. As they apply models of music instruction, students explore educational philosophies, objectives and methods. Students master principles of educational psychology, models of music pedagogy, and various teaching techniques, with special emphasis on jazz pedagogy (jazz harmony, improvisation, jazz styles, etc.). Throughout the course, students explore motivational concepts, lesson planning, technology-based instruction, administrative organization, the student/instructor relationship, and mentorship. Students also learn strategies for working with diverse groups. This course is highly recommended for students who would like to transfer their performance skills into applied teaching knowledge using basic pedagogy principles.
In this hands-on seminar, students enrich their musical vocabulary by exploring alternatives to traditional improvisational techniques (i.e., playing inside the changes). Through analysis and performance exercises, students learn to improvise a free melodic line over structured harmonic continuity. Instruction focuses on the triad—major, minor, augmented, and diminished—as the building block for fluid, nonrepetitive chromatic lines. Students also learn to transcribe improvisations in an extended tonal context.
In this continuation of PS-633, students advance their musical vocabulary by exploring alternatives to traditional improvisational techniques. Building on their skills with major and minor triads, students move on to augmented and diminished triads to create fluid, nonrepetitive chromatic lines. Students combine all forms of triads to practice increasingly advanced methods of improvisation as well as advanced transcription skills.
This course enables students to deepen their knowledge of rhythm, focusing on the study and practice of rhythms from different world cultures, while also analyzing their essence and synthesizing them within their own musical vocabulary for performance and composition. Working under the direction of a senior faculty member, students enhance their sense of rhythm, interpretative skills, and improvisational skills in a practical environment that involves composition, transcription, listening, improvisation, and playing music. Through listening, transcribing and analysing different rhythmic cells, students will be able to expand their musical language and creative skills by developing their ability to understand complex rhythms and apply them to their own music. Students learn to maintain stylistic integrity by developing their domain over rhythmic practices which involve the coordination of body and mind to integrate rhythm in a much deeper way.
PS-640 continues the learning that began in PS-540 Masters Performance Forum: Global Jazz. In this performance workshop, students continue to learn interdisciplinary approaches to music-making. They explore various concepts of aesthetics, with a focus on developing their own aesthetic philosophy as they critique each other. The course provides a platform for students in the contemporary performance master’s program to launch the execution phase of their culminating experience project. The course also provides a framework for project management, including planned milestones, visiting artists, and material strategies to incorporate students’ projects into tangible career opportunities. Additionally, students complete weekly directed studies with artists-in-residence, focusing especially on their own artistic projects.
Working in close consultation with their advisor throughout the academic year, students develop a unique project. This may be an artistic production or performance or a project that involves research. Research is understood here in its broadest sense, involving also artistic research. Artistic research may take many different forms, such as exploring the capabilities of an instrument in order to introduce it to unfamiliar audiences; joining different musical styles to create a new musical fusion; developing interdisciplinary performance projects that bring together literature, visual arts, sciences, poetry, jazz and/or folk; or exploring connections between language and music. Students are encouraged to be as creative and as collaborative as possible in the design of their projects. In addition, students must have a performance based outcome, such as a recording or recital. This could be accompanied with video recordings and booklet projects. Students projects will also require various supporting materials. Those supporting materials may take a variety of forms: a student might build a website to promote a recording, for example, or draft a grant proposal for a public performance of his/her music, using a recording project to supplement the grant proposal application. Students are expected to meet with their advisors on a weekly basis to assess their progress. The final project must be defended before a faculty committee chaired by the student’s advisor.
This course will engage students in the musical and lyrical analysis in the varied styles of Kenny ""Babyface"" Edmonds. Students will be required to write lead sheets of their analysis identifying characteristics of hit songs such as melody harmonic chord relationships rhythmic motifs and lyrical content. Select student compositions as well as music of the artist will be chosen to be performed each week in class. Some research and compositional writings that relate to the historical documentation of the artist as a singer/songwriter/producer as well as exposure to and knowledge of his vast catalog will be included as part of the required research.
This course will study all aspects of professional-level concert production. Classes are held in various formats: lectures, production meetings, music sequencing classes, and live performance rehearsals. This course provides a focused study of development and presentation of a thematic concert. It also addresses the roles of the stage manager, the musical director, and technology in contemporary concert production.
Application of scales, modes, arpeggios, and passing tones to improvisation on the bass. Study of repertoire and recordings is utilized to discuss and analyze major bass styles and performers.
A systematic approach to forming well-defined bass lines. The topics covered include writing bass lines, outlining chord sound and approach techniques, rhythmic effects, broken time-feels, and the use of pedals. Students are required to demonstrate various topics by performing their written bass lines over given chord progressions.
A performance history of the electric bass from the 1950s to the present. This survey will include a detailed study of selected electric bass masters including Monk Montgomery, James Jamerson, Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, and Will Lee. Students will transcribe and analyze selected bass parts and present their findings.