2018 Electives

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, typically starting towards the beginning of June. Registration information will be sent via email to all parents before enrollment opens. 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
Conquering Performance Anxiety Conquering Performance Anxiety Meditation for Musicians
Covering the Covers - Exploring the Styles of Pop and Rock Through Cover Remakes The Road to College Preparedness The Sounds You See - How Music is Used in Film
Electronics for Acoustic Musicians Basic Synthesizer Programming Introduction to Composition
Introduction to Sound Recording Technology Introduction to Sound Recording Technology West African Drumming & Dance
Introduction to the Piano Introduction to Pop Piano Styles Introduction to the Guitar
Jazz Improvisation & Standards I The Musicals of Andrew Lloyd Webber Jazz Improvisation & Standards II
Intermediate Conducting Techniques Beginning Conducting Techniques (Choral or Instrumental) Introduction to Acting
Practice Time Introduction to Singing* Practice Time
--- Practice Time ---

* : Some restrictions apply, see below

Elective Descriptions

Conquering Performance Anxiety

Using concepts from Don Greene’s text Performance Success, students will learn about how fear interacts with us and what we can do to alter our responses to it. Students will be asked to perform a selection of their choosing throughout this elective so they can test out these concepts for themselves. This is a mature subject that requires openness and support. No level of experience with these concepts is necessary! Instructor – Justin Chervony

Covering the Covers - Exploring the Styles of Pop and Rock Through Cover Remakes

What is a cover tune? (For that matter, what is a cover band?) How did the practice of “covering tunes” come to exist and how did it impact the creation and marketing of popular music? How does the practice operate today? How do musicians manipulate a multitude of stylistic features in covering—or even recomposing—pre-existing hit tunes? In this course, 10-15 covers will be closely examined to explore these and related issues. (Select examples include: Hound Dog, Tutti Frutti, Rock and Roll Music, Heat Wave, etc.) So, c’mon and walk this way, everyone’s waiting for you---let’s hear some of that rock ‘n’ roll music! Instructor – John White

Electronics for Acoustic Musicians

This elective covers the basics of using music-related electric equipment, aimed towards those who have absolutely no experience. The class will begin with identifying cables, using a mixer and PA system, various amplification types, and then processing the amplified sounds with guitar effects. The goal is to make the use of electronics fun and exciting, not scary, and provide significant knowledge to bring back to the band, orchestra, or choir room. Open to anyone regardless of instrument/voice. Instructor – Josh Oxford

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 the Piano

Students who have limited experience playing the piano will have the opportunity to learn the basics. Instructor – Mary Holzhauer

Jazz Improvisation & 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

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

The Road to College Preparedness

Students will learn about and discuss the many factors of the college application experience. In this course, students will learn about the basic concept of college, the structure of a university, what school might be like for a particular type of student, and the application process. Students also will learn how to manage the application process in a timely manner, how to begin filling out important documents such as the Common App, and how to cultivate essay and grant writing skills. The course will focus on the experience of future music students who would have to complete all these tasks as well as perform an audition. Instructor – Mateen Milan

Basic Synthesizer Programming

The course will teach the basic elements of subtractive “analog” synthesis — oscillators, filters, and modulators. Both hardware and software instruments will be used to demonstrate and teach the concepts. Guest performers will also come to demonstrate their equipment and answer questions. Instructor — Josh Oxford

Introduction to Pop Piano Styles

For students with prior piano experience. Learn basic skills of reading chord symbols, playing simple melodies, and becoming acquainted with basic patterns found in the popular music of today and classics of the past. Participants will be encouraged to play and sing or accompany a vocalist on a song of their choice. Instructor – Mary Holzhauer

The Musicals of Andrew Lloyd Webber

In this course, students will explore the musical output of Broadway composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and his significant contribution to the genre. From "Starlight Express" and "Jesus Christ Superstar" to more modern shows like "Sunset Boulevard" and the incomparable "The Phantom of the Opera," this elective will use video and musical examples to work through each musical by Webber with attention paid to notable musical numbers and plot synopses. Instructor – Andrew Benware

Beginning Conducting Techniques (Choral or Instrumental)

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 - Matthew Sadowski (Instrumental), Kristin Zaryski (Choral)

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. Open to non-vocalists only. Instructor – Lynn Craver

Meditation for Musicians

Curious about meditation? More and more musicians are using meditation to reduce performance anxiety, improve focus in practicing, and lower stress overall. In this class, we will practice beginning meditation techniques that help with these issues. We will also explore the concept of mindfulness, with emphasis on practical techniques to boost practice and performance. Instructor – Laura Amoriello

The Sounds You See - How Music is Used in Film

This elective examines various ways music is used in movies. Using a variety of short movie clips, we’ll look at how music is used to set a mood or provide atmosphere, reflect emotion or project underlying psychological aspects, reinforce or contrast with the action on the screen, suggest new story dimensions or provide a composer’s comment, build a sense of continuity throughout the story, and otherwise help a film memorable and marketable. Other uses will be covered as time permits. (Due to the time of day, popcorn will not be provided---sorry!) Instructor - John White

Introduction to Composition

In Introduction to Composition, students will experiment with new ways of thinking about compositional techniques, sound, and notation through looking at musical traditions that span the Baroque era to the present day. The course will also teach foundations of music notation software including Finale, Sibelius, and GarageBand, and will provide the opportunity to create a final project written for any of these programs or an acoustic instrument(s). Instructor – Jacob Walsh

West African Drumming & Dance

Students will have the opportunity to explore first-hand the exciting traditions of West African drumming and dance on authentic instruments. No prior experience in drumming or dancing required. Instructor – Baruch Whitehead

Introduction to the Guitar

This course is designed for students with little or no background in playing 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. Guitars will be provided. Instructor – Michael Caporizzo

Jazz Improvisation & 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. Instructor – Nick Weiser

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