We are pleased to announce our class offerings for homeschoolers and their families! These sessions are designed and reserved for students looking to supplement their learning with a well-rounded and multicultural musical experience.
Tuesdays 12:30 - 1:30
Marimba Ensemble (open to grades 3-5): 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 also discuss the cultural background of the material and encourage an appreciation of the African approach to art and instrumentation.
Guitar Group (open to grades 3-5): This introduction to guitar will have students reading five-line staff, tablature and chord charts while learning to play basic compositions in two-parts. Musicians will learn to perform single-note melodies as well as provide rhythmic accompaniment. We will explore both traditional and contemporary music to understand the fundamentals of fretting, chord structure and, of course, tuning and maintaining acoustic as well as electric guitars.
Marimba Ensemble (open to grades 6-8): Students will explore the vibrant music of Africa on the marimba (a large xylophone). In addition to the cultural roots of the music, 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.
Guitar Group (open to grades 6-8): 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 (open to grades 9-12): 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 (open to grades 1 and 2): 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:
General Music 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.