2019 Elective Choices

2019 Electives will be available for review approximately three weeks prior to the launch of the program. For reference, the list of 2018 electives is provided below. Each class meets once. Please complete the online form below to indicate your elective and instructor preferences. Faculty information can be found here.

Claude Debussy
Claude Debussy was one of the most original composers in music history. His piano music imagines a new way of thinking of piano sound and represents one of the most interesting and important repertoires for our instrument. In this seminar, we will explore his overall output for the piano, focusing on several important works from each period in his compositional career along the way.

Voicings for jazz/pop/rock accompaniment.
Begin learning basic chord voicings to use when improvising accompaniment patterns in jazz, pop, or rock music. Learn to apply these patterns when reading a lead sheet. If you already know a bit, you’ll learn more!

Recording Your Instrument
Everyone needs to record themselves. What you think you hear when you are playing is not necessarily what the audience hears. Use the technology available today to make high quality recordings for lesson prep, audition tapes, and friends and family.

The History of the “Modern” Piano
Find out how the "Modern Piano" came into being. What instruments did the composers play and write for? How are they the same and different.

Playing the Harpsichord and Organ
What should I know before I accept an invitation to play the harpsichord or organ? Which of my piano technique skills will transfer over, and which ones won’t? What are some of the outstanding characteristics of each instrument?

College Preparation and Life As a College Piano Major
I think I’d like to be a piano major in college. How should I prepare? What will the audition be like? When do I need to decide? What can I do with a major in music? If you are asking these questions, this class is for you!

Beginning Improvisation
Learn essential basics of improvising like as how to develop ideas, play over chord patterns, and using new scales. More advanced topics may include improvising formal designs, modulation schemes, and using more sophisticated harmonies. All activities will be designed to apply to many styles of music---classical, pop, jazz, etc.

The Teacher-Entrepreneur
Interested in making money passing along your art? Learn how to run a business teaching piano: finding students, setting tuition rates, and creating effective policies. If you think you might open your own piano studio someday, this class is for you.

Smooth Sailing: Play Your Best
Are you a perfectionist? Worried about wrong notes and memory slips? Give yourself a break! This class will offer strategies for alleviating the pressures of performing.

The Choral Pianist
This elective will look at the attributes and skills necessary to be an effective choral pianist. Skills addressed will include accompanying skills, open score reading, vocal warm-ups, transposition and arranging.

Russian Piano Music
Almost all pianists enjoy learning music by Kabalevsky, Khatchaturian, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich during their early years of piano study. Learn about some of the most beautiful and powerful music by Russian composers - from the nationalism of the Mighty Handful, through Stravinsky’s revolutionary Rite of Spring, to Shostakovich’s dazzling piano concertos, Rachmaninoff’s most popular compositions, and Prokofiev’s magnificent output.

Orchestral Arrangements – How Do I Play All Those Notes???
This elective will focus on how to wrestle with those pesky orchestral arrangements that include everything but the kitchen sink and pose real challenges for pianists, who only have ten fingers! Determining what is essential to play and how to play it will be the focus of the class.

Please read the class descriptions above and rate your choices according to the 1-2-3 scale below. We will offer the most popular choices multiple times so you can sign up for the ones that interest you the most once you get here.