Alternative Learning Schedule
We realize that many of you are not on a traditional schedule...we understand; we're musicians after all. Whether you're homeschooling or beginning a new chapter, we have available sessions for musicians of all ages. We have lots of ideas and are always excited to facilitate group lessons (see samples below). Do you have an idea for a class that's not currently being offered? Please let us know. We will launch that group with a minimum of 3 people.
Marimba Ensemble: Students will explore the vibrant music of Africa on the marimba (a large xylophone). Musicians will learn to understand how rhythms and melodies combine to create a colorful and exciting band sound. In addition to reading standard notation (quarter, eighth and sixteenth notes/rests), players will come to recognize rhythmic and harmonic patterns, basic chord structure, poly-rhythms and group arrangement. We will discuss the cultural roots of the music and students will come to understand the rhythmic complexities of both traditional and contemporary African sounds. Musicians will utilize both duple and triple meters to create polyrhythmic textures as a marimba ensemble. They will learn to arrange pieces for performance and come to understand the finer points of cueing band-mates and communicating with one’s instrument. Our material will include two and four-phrase parts based in the centuries-old roots of music of Southern and Central Africa.
Ukulele Revival: In recent years, the ukulele (thought of as a Hawaiian instrument though originally from Portugal), has experienced an incredible resurgence in popularity. We can see why. The instrument is easy to learn, fun to play and can be taken anywhere quite easily. (Try fitting a drum set into the overhead bin!) Also, uke fundamentals can be applied to other stringed instruments like the guitar. In this class, we will learn to play chords and songs immediately. Students will come to understand basic rhythms, strumming patterns and song arrangement as part of a small ensemble. Most importantly, we will have fun exploring the basics of this international instrument. "Imagine" and "Riptide" anyone?
Guitar Group: Musicians will learn the fundamentals of guitar: rhythm and lead techniques, building chords, reading five-line staff as well as tablature and utilizing both traditional and popular songs to understand how music is structured and presented. This class offering will prepare students to perform material together as bands, small ensembles (duos, trios, etc.) and various combos (i.e. cello and guitar). Eventually, musicians will learn the skills to compose and write their own songs.
Rock Group: For students with previous musical experience and instrumental skills, we offer a group that will build on their foundation. Musicians will combine guitars, bass, drum kit, piano and auxiliary percussion to create a collaborative project of their own (even naming the band!). Students will be encouraged to write their own music and lyrics, working towards recording that music and presenting it to their community. They will also have the chance to try all rock group instrumentation.
Hand-Drumming and Percussion: The foundation of all music is rhythm and young students will learn to understand how to use a steady beat and tempo to create grooves together. We will explore rhythmic note values and how they can be combined to build a platform for group play and improvisation. Musicians will have the opportunity play several different percussion instruments: djembes, congas, bongos, bells, clave (rhythm sticks), tambourines, shakers/hosho and the cabasa. The group will learn rhythms from around the world, building a strong foundation for their future musical endeavors.
Wednesdays 2:00 - 3:00:
Rock Group For Homeschoolers
This is our longest running homeschool band! In this on-going class, students study and perform music from around the world, connecting basic concepts and fundamentals (rhythm/pitch/reading methods) to several different instruments. Musicians will work towards proficiency and ensemble performance on marimba, guitar, bass and the drum kit. We will listen to and discuss different genres (i.e. African and American music), noticing key aspects such as instrumentation, tone color, cultural/historic significance and rhythmic structure as well as melody and harmony. The ensemble learns music of all styles, from Skynyrd to Sungura.