Intermediate Division

2017 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.

The 2018 SMA Electives will be announced in late 2017.

Electives are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, typically starting towards the end of May or 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.

Elective Schedule 

Elective Period 1 Elective Period 2
Beginning Conducting Techniques Beginning Conducting Techniques
Improvisation for All Jazz History & Improvisation
Introduction to the Guitar Introduction to the Guitar
Introduction to the Piano * Introduction to the Piano *
The Collaborative Studio Recording Experience The Collaborative Studio Recording Experience
Music Theory Fundamentals Music Theory Fundamentals
Introduction to Acting * Introduction to Composition
Juggling for Musicians Introduction to Partner Acrobatics
Practice Time Practice Time

* : Some restrictions apply, see below

Elective Descriptions


Beginning Conducting Techniques

Students will learn conducting basics in a supportive environment, led by experienced music education pedagogues. Instructors - Chris Neske, Matthew Sadowski


Jazz History and Improvisation

Students will be introduced to the defining elements of jazz music through learning about its history and listening to great artists. Students will learn to play at least one jazz tune on their instrument/voice and learn the beginning steps of how improvise in a jazz style. No previous jazz or improvisation is experience is required.. Instructor - Mike Treat


Introduction to the Piano *

Students who have limited experience playing the piano will have the opportunity to learn the basics. Open to band and orchestra students only.  Instructors - Jennifer Pham, Mary Holzhauer


Music Theory Fundamentals

A course designed to teach the basic fundamentals of music theory, with a brief introduction to sight-singing. Instructors - Jennifer Pham, Patrick O’Connell


Improvisation for All

A course which will foster musical creativity and improvisation that is open to all instrument areas. Instructor - Dan Shaut


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 - Peter Guarino


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. Open to band and orchestra students only. Instructor - Jennifer Herzog


The Collaborative Studio Recording Experience

Instrumentalists and vocalists will collaborate to produce and record a song by the end of the week. Students will follow a predetermined song form developed by the instructor and be given the opportunity to contribute artistically throughout the recording process. The final recorded product will be presented at the final concert on Saturday afternoon. Instructors - Justin Chervony


Introduction to Composition

Students will be introduced to the world of composition by freely creating projects to be performed by themselves. They will work in the classroom and will be guided to create short pieces that will help to develop their transcription ability as well as their musicality.  Instructor - Jacob Walsh


Juggling for Musicians

Juggling has been proven to improve dexterity, executive function, and hand eye coordination.  For total newbies or experienced jugglers, this class will ensure that you develop your skills and get to work on new patterns and props. Each session will include fun and helpful hand and arm warm ups that are easily translated to musicianship as well as an investigation of Site Swap - a notation created for jugglers to push the boundaries of what is possible within juggling pattern creation.   Instructor - Circus Culture


Introduction to Partner Acrobatics

Learn the fundamentals of partner acrobatic pyramids. Class will start with a cardio warm up and active flexibility exercises to ensure you feel safe accessing your range of motion. We will focus on learning base and flyer shapes through games and drills, and then take them to the air and learn various partner and group pyramids. Class will be rooted in learning techniques and tricks, and then translating those skills into to be creative acrobatic choreography. Safety and progressions are the top priority in this class, which will allow you to see the world from a new and different perspective.  Instructor - Circus Culture

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