An ensemble/class for the performer who also composes. A survey of compositions/concepts will be introduced; weekly composition assignments will be performed by the class and critiqued by the instructor. The purpose of this course is to develop originality through experimentation over a broad stylistic base.
The repertoire of this class includes contemporary displays of funk, jazz, Afro-Cuban, and Brazilian styles. The emphasis of this course is twofold. One focus is developing the capacity to mix these styles in a contemporary setting while maintaining the integrity of the stylistic roots. The other is the creation of the original compositions that will serve to explore the joining of different styles as evidenced in the subject material. There will be a requirement of four original compositions from the students and performance and preparation of songs from eight outside composers. The original compositions can be individual or collaborative.
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.
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.
In this performance class for music education majors, students prepare for solo and ensemble presentations. These presentations enable the student to demonstrate satisfactory proficiency on his/her principal instrument. Students prepare performances from a variety of styles. They develop recital programs and program notes. Students also learn to develop rubrics to assess performances.
This course provides an introduction to stage directing, focusing on the director as a leader and collaborator during a theatrical production. This class teaches students how to manage time and personnel before and during the rehearsal process; explores topics such as script analysis, rehearsal techniques, stage blocking and usage; and explores techniques for effective communication with designers, producers, stage managers, and other theatrical personnel. The course requires engagement of analytical, spatial, and critical thinking skills, as well as writing and creative skills, to deliver effective storytelling for the stage.
Survey and application of improvisation in both solo and ensemble contexts. Categories of studies include traditional/standard forms, (AABA, blues etc.), soloing over vamps, ostinato, melodic, thematic and textural approaches, use of various rhythmic techniques including polyrhythm, metric modulation, reduction etc. Emphasis is on increasing rhythmic skills, coordination and style/vernacular integration while developing a singular, personal voice. Projects will be divided into two general categories: abstract (imagery pieces, imagination and exploration, free forms) and non-abstract (specific goals and structures, concrete forms, multiple meters, rhythm, and stylistic context).
This is a comprehensive course on studio drumming that allows students to learn and apply pertinent techniques in a studio recording environment. The course covers analysis of today’s top studio recording drummers and producers (Vinnie Colaiuta, Brian Blade, Brice Wassy, Jeff Porcaro, Daniel Lanois, etc.), tuning and miking the drum set, usage of click tracks, performing to prerecorded tracks, drum set reading and interpretation, and auxiliary percussion parts, as well as a variety of grooves and styles, from the generic to odd time signatures to electronic music.
This is a comprehensive course on becoming a self-produced drummer, designed to give students the ability to add his/her drum tracks to projects via the Internet, without ever having to be physically present in the originating studio. The student will acquire the skills to record studio quality audio tracks to sessions that have been downloaded, and then upload the newly recorded tracks to send back for insertion into the original project. The students will learn how to create an inexpensive project studio and get hands-on experience in the use of baffling and miking procedures, in preparing an accurate triggering system, in applying tuning and dampening for acoustic triggering, and creating live environments for electronic drums, midi sequencing, etc.
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.