Online Summer Music Academy Electives

What To Expect:

Even though we can't meet in-person, we know that we're all missing being in contact with one-another. In order to approximate an in-person class, students and the instructor in each elective will meet as a group online during class time.

Participants should have access to an internet-enabled device to access these materials. Additional equipment may be required for specific electives (ie. Introduction to the Piano).


Registration is limited. Most sections are only able to have 20 participants. Register early to make sure you get in your preferred electives!

Elective 1:
(1:00 - 1:50 PM ET)

Elective 2:
(2:00 - 2:50 PM ET)

Elective 3:
(3:00 - 3:50 PM ET)

The Sounds You See: How Music is Used in Films (John White)

New Developments in Modern Music (Peter Silberman)

Introduction to the Piano (Mary Holzhauer)

Exploring World Music (David Earll)

The Anatomy & Physiology of the Vocal Instrument (Ivy Walz)

Introduction to Choral Arranging (John White)

Diction for Singers (Mary Holzhauer)

FULL: Preparing for a Career in Music (Aaron Witek)

Beginning Music Theory (Emily Ickes)

Intermediate Music Theory (Emily Ickes)


Online HS Division Descriptions:

Elective 1 (1:00-1:50 PM ET)

The Sounds You See: How Music is Used in Films (John White)

Instructor: John White. 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 make 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!) 

Exploring World Music (David Earll)

Instructor: David Earll. This class explores the wide variety of music practices from around the globe. Throughout "Introduction to World Music" we will learn about some of the musical traditions of: Sub-Saharan Africa, Northern Africa and the Middle East, Central Asia, India, & Eastern Asia. We will discuss some of the fundamentals of Ethnomusicology, which studies the relationships between cultures and musical activity, and will help prepare you to discuss unfamiliar music and traditions in a respectful manner. This class allows you to take a musical journey across the world! 

Diction for Singers (Mary Holzhauer)

Instructor: Mary Holzhuaer. Learn about the sounds of singing, the symbols we use to describe them including the International Phonetic Alphabet, and how to communicate through song in English and other languages (Italian, French, and German). No prior knowledge of languages other than English required.  For voice students. 

Intermediate Music Theory (Emily Ickes)

Instructor: Emily Ickes. Students will explore music theory more deeply, reviewing and expanding fundamental concepts.  Students will draw upon their previous knowledge and delve further into more complex intervals, scales, chords, rhythms, and meter signatures.  We will apply these concepts to musical analysis of melody, harmony, and meter, and will integrate sight-singing into the study of written music.  This section is best suited for students with some music theory experience who feel comfortable with concepts like: reading treble and bass clefs, building major and minor scales, writing major and minor triads, and performing meter signatures with something other than "4" in the denominator such as 6/8.

Elective 2 (2:00-2:50 PM ET)

New Developments in Modern Music (Peter Silberman)
Hear from the instructor about what to expect!
Instructor: Peter Silberman. Which new ideas have composers come up with over the past century? Which sorts of new sounds are musicians using today, and how do they notate them? In this elective we will answer these questions by doing lots of listening, examining musical scores, and perhaps composing some music of our own. If you’ve ever heard something and thought “why does it sound like that?” this elective is for you! Get ready to open your ears and open your minds! 

The Anatomy & Physiology of the Vocal Instrument (Ivy Walz)

Instructor: Ivy Walz. In this course we will learn about the anatomy of the vocal instrument through hands-on and visual resources. As we learn what the instrument looks like, we will also explore how the anatomy works together to produce sound. Topics covered include vocal health, breathing for singers, making sound and resonance. 

FULL: Preparing for a Career in Music (Aaron Witek)

Instructor: Aaron Witek. This course will explore the practical aspects of selecting and preparing for a career in music. Upon completion of the course students will be familiar with practice techniques, time management, goal setting, cultivating a positive mental attitude, overcoming performance anxiety, audition preparation, proper etiquette for working with other musicians, and resume writing. Sample topics covered: Deciding on a career in music; How to motivate yourself to practice; Time management/goal setting ; Developing a practice routine; Identifying skills to improve upon; Cultivating a positive mental attitude; Overcoming performance anxiety; Music apps to help in your practice sessions; Audition preparation; Proper etiquette for working with other musicians; Resume writing.

Elective 3 (3:00-3:50 PM ET)

Introduction to the Piano (Mary Holzhauer)

Instructor: Mary Holzhauer. Students who have limited experience playing the piano will have the opportunity to learn the basics. A piano or keyboard is required for this class. 

Introduction to Music Theory (Emily Ickes)

Instructor: Emily Ickes. Students will delve into the fundamental building blocks of music theory and will solidify their understanding of note reading, notation, clefs, meter signatures, key signatures, scales, intervals--and beyond! An introduction to sight-singing will also be included. Students will strengthen their understanding of the foundational elements of music theory and will enhance essential music reading and comprehension skills. This section is best suited for students who do not feel fully comfortable with concepts like: reading bass and treble clef, building major and minor scales, identifying key signatures, and performing meter signatures with something other than "4" in the denominator. 

Introduction to Choral Arranging (John White)

Instructor: John White. Students will explore various textural relationships, rhythmic designs, and harmonic progressions and will put them to work arranging music for 4-part choir.  Along the way we'll learn techniques for harmonizing melodies, procedures for writing in two to four parts, and how to write idiomatically for the human voice.  This elective will culminate in a group arrangement for choir that will be performed and recorded in this year's Summer Music Academy video.