High School Division

2014 Electives


2015 Electives will be posted soon. Below are the electives for 2014.

The Summer Music Academy is unique in offering an extensive list of music and non-music electives. For students considering a career in music, these electives offer an array of experiences that will hone interests and provide new musical experiences typically not available in most summer music programs.

Electives are filled on a first-come, first-served basis beginning June 14. Posted electives subject to change depending upon interest and enrollment. Students must choose "practice time" for at least one elective period.

Elective Schedule:

Elective Period 1 Elective Period 2 Elective Period 3
Introduction to Singing Introduction to the Guitar  Introduction to the Piano 
Introduction to Jazz History Jazz Improvisation and Standards I  Jazz Improvisation and Standards II
The Great American Songbook The Musicals of Stephen Sondheim Vocal Improvisation and Performance Technique
Top Ten "Big Bang" Moments in Music History Survey and History of Rock Styles Introduction to World Music
Be Your Own Best Teacher  Dictation/Ear Training Through Pop Music Analyzing Pop and Rock Tunes
Introduction to Acting Steel Band for Beginners Introduction to Sound Recording Technology 
Beginning Hand Drum Skills  Reaching Out to Audiences Introduction to Cartooning
Introduction to Italian Introduction to Modern Dance Beginning Conducting Techniques
Yoga for Musicians Beginning Conducting Techniques Yoga for Musicians 
Intermediate Conducting Techniques Practice Time Introduction to Composition 
Practice Time   Practice Time

 Elective Descriptions

  • Introduction to Singing – A class designed to explore the art of singing through the study and performance of vocal literature.  Students will work on basic functional vocal technique through attention to posture, breathing, tonal onset, vowel purity, reduction of inhibitory physical tensions, and body coordination.  Course content is designed for the beginner singer. – Instructor: Lynn Craver


  • Introduction to Jazz History – This course will outline important musical and social events, periods, and musicians that have shaped the creating and evolution of jazz music.  The course will span pre-jazz through current musicians and trends. This course will give students the necessary aural tools to begin their own investigation into a large chunk of music that is "jazz."  Students will learn to identify connections between the social/musical world of jazz and their present day social/musical environment. – Instructor: Greg Evans


  • The Great American Songbook – In this fun, sing-along class, you’ll sight-sing (as a group) a wide variety of classic musical theatre songs. Each day we’ll sing through and become familiar with some of the greatest hits of the greatest songwriters of the early and mid-20th century, including George M. Cohan, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, Rodgers and Hart, Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Duke Ellington, Harry Warren and others.  – Instructor: Joel Gelpe


  • Top Ten “Big Bang” Moments in Music History - This class is an exciting introduction to ten crucial moments in music history from Mozart, Wagner, Stravinsky to John Cage. - Instructor: Sara Haefeli


  • Analyzing Pop and Rock Tunes - This course delves into the materials and structures used in well known pop and rock tunes. Avenues of investigation include song forms, pitch resources, metric and rhythmic designs, and text setting. Styles covered range from Rhythm & Blues through Funk to Progressive and Alternative rock. Artists covered include Chuck Berry, The Beatles, Heart, Dave Matthews, and many others. In-class activities will help students cultivate perceptive, active listening skills. – Instructor: John White


  • Beginning Hand Drum Skills for Musicians – All participants will learn to play hand drums and explore the culture and music of drumming from around the world.  – Instructor: Conrad Alexander


  • Introduction to Italian - Students will learn the basics of the Italian language, including the alphabet, numbers, colors, weather, food, etc.  This interactive class will also focus on common phrases, as well as developing a better understanding of the common Italian musical terms.- Instructor:  Sylvia Abbiati


  • Introduction to Acting –Introduction to Acting will focus on developing beginning acting skills through theatre games, ensemble exercises, improvisation and open scene work. No previous experience necessary.– Instructor: Holly Adams


  • Introduction to Composition – Students will be instructed in the most fundamental aspects of music composition and later on they will work collaboratively developing a group project. The final result will be a theme and variations in which each student will provide a short variation on a given theme. The course intends to stimulate the student's musical and compositional intuition. – Instructor: Felipe Nieto


  • Introduction to the Guitar - Students will obtain a functional understanding of the guitar, as well as tools for the continued exploration of the instrument beyond the scope of the class. Emphasis will be placed on right and left hand technique, basic chord shapes, and reading skills. – Instructor: Michael Caporizzo


  • Jazz Improvisation and Standards I - Students will learn the basic elements of how to improvise and compose an effective jazz solo. No previous experience in jazz or improvisation required. - Instructors: Nikola Tomić, Alejandro Bernard-Papachryssanthou


  • Jazz Improvisation and Standards II - Students will learn more advanced techniques of how to improvise and compose an effective jazz solo, such as playing over more challenging harmonies and more difficult songs. For students with previous jazz and/or improvisation experience. - Instructors: Nikola Tomić


  • The Musicals of Stephen Sondheim – Generally regarded as the most talented and influential composer/lyricist of the 20th century, Stephen Sondheim’s musicals have consistently been groundbreaking, challenging, innovative works of art. Through the use of video, audio, live performance and musical/lyrical analysis, we will explore Sondheim’s many and varied shows, including West Side Story, Gypsy, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, Follies, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, and Into the Woods. We’ll also touch base with some of his lesser known shows like Do I Hear a Waltz?, Anyone Can Whistle, Pacific Overtures and others as time allows. – Instructor: Joel Gelpe


  • Survey and History of Rock Styles – This class provides a chronological study of the antecedents and developments in Rock music from a historical and stylistic perspective.  The survey begins with the earliest Rock-and-Roll and discusses styles and movements such as (but not limited to) the British Invasion, Psychedelic Rock, Hard Rock, New Wave, Progressive Rock, Punk, and Alternative Rock. – Instructor: David Sommerville


  • Dictation/Ear Training Through Pop Music – Designed for students with a proficient understanding of harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic analysis and dictation, this course aims to equip students with skills and techniques necessary to bridge the gap between vernacular and art music, and to shine light on the application of theory through contemporary popular music. The list of artists to be discussed includes Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake, The Beatles, Katy Perry, Beyonce, Outkast, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Radiohead, Fela Kuti, and more – Instructor: Emily Pecoraro


  • Steel Band for Beginners – All participants will learn to play the drums and explore the culture and music of the Caribbean.  – Instructor: Conrad Alexander


  • Reaching Out to Audiences - We will explore your own inner creativity to help you connect with audiences for classical (and other types) of music.  Topics will include discussing your interactions with audiences, why community involvement is important , and how to add visual elements to your performances (props, lights, video, etc.) Finding an intention for yourself in music will be a winding thread throughout the course. – Instructor: Paige Morgan


  • Introduction to Modern Dance - Students will be introduced to the basic fundamentals of Modern Dance through technique in the modern style and improvisational movement. No previous experience necessary. Come ready to move! - Instructor: Shelley Attadgie


  • Beginning Conducting Techniques - This course is designed to equip the student with the fundamental skills of conducting, including baton position, left hand technique, score reading and preparation, transposition and rehearsal procedure. Members of the class will also function as the ensemble and each person will have the opportunity to conduct the ensemble.  Instructors: Tony Pinelli, Matthew Sadowski, Jennifer Sengin


  • Intermediate Conducting Techniques - Designed for students who succeeded in last year's Basic Conducting Techniques class. Students will review the fundamental skills of conducting, including baton position, left hand technique, score reading and preparation, transposition and rehearsal procedure while learning more advanced conducting pedagogy. Members of the class will also function as the ensemble and each person will have the opportunity to conduct the ensemble. This course is available to only students who took the beginning course last summer. – Instructor: Andrew Benware


  • Introduction to the Piano - Students who have limited experience playing the piano will have the opportunity to learn the basics. - Instructor: Jennifer Pham


  • Vocal Improvisation and Performance Technique - A fun workshop for vocal institute students with or without experience in improvisation. The elective will explore spontaneous physical, dramatic, and musical improvisation through daily structured activities. Dramatic activities will include games, story telling, and building a character. Musical activities will include combining movement with sound and improvising short vocal compositions. There will be a final improvised performance on the last day of the class. Prerequisites: this course is available to vocal students only. - Instructor: Patrice Pastore


  • Introduction to World Music – This elective introduces some of the fundamental concepts central to the study of the relationship between music and social context in various world cultures.  Projects include the creation of musical instruments from local material sources and invention of social contexts for that instrument. – Instructor: David Sommerville


  • Be Your Own Best Teacher - This course will seek to empower its students to discover their own individual paths toward faster and more profound learning and skill acquisition.  Each course meeting will include at least two student performances, which will be treated as coached practice sessions.  Comments from the instructor and other students will form the basis for a class discussion of ways to approach problem solving and strategic practicing, based on challenges the students encounter.  Several short readings will be distributed, each brief enough to be read and discussed during class time. – Instructor: Nikola Tomić


  • Introduction to Sound Recording Technology - Students will learn basic recording concepts that will include cable and connector identification, interconnecting of audio equipment, microphone technology, live sound, and remote recording techniques. - Instructor: Michael Caporizzo


  • Introduction to Cartooning - Introduction to Cartooning will teach the basics of drawing through the medium of cartoons.  Each class will begin with a short technical exercise and tutorial followed by relaxed practice.  For complete beginners and more advanced students alike. – Instructor: Jared Adams


  • Yoga for Musicians - An exploration into the integration of yoga philosophy and music pedagogy, in order to develop a more efficient approach to practicing and performance. This course will explore basic yoga postures, breath work, and concepts of yoga philosophy. Come prepared to lie down, move around, and find some peace and quiet. No previous experience is necessary! - Instructor: Allison Adams


  • Practice Time. Students are required to choose a practice time for at least one of their three elective periods. Practicing will take place in our newly remodeled individual practice rooms. Counselors will be available to supervise practicing and offer guidance as needed.




School of Music  ·  3322 Whalen Center  ·  Ithaca College  ·  Ithaca, NY 14850  ·  (607) 274-3171  ·  Full Directory Listing