Group Classes

Group Classes

Group classes in the Community Music School allow students to brush up on fundamentals, explore new topics and fine tune their technical skills in group settings with their peers. Discounts for group piano classes are available for students enrolled in full semester private lesson plans.

Group Piano for Young Beginners

Mondays, January 29 to May 14, 2018
1st Graders (ages 6-7) 4:305:30 p.m.
2nd Graders (ages 7-8) 5:30–6:30 p.m.
16 total classes
Cost: $400 ($200 for students enrolled in full semester private lesson plans)
Instructor: Alek Wasserman

These courses meet one hour per week and each section is limited to 8 students. Required materials: keyboard or piano at home, textbook as assigned by faculty, staff paper, pencil, eraser.

Classes meet in the Keyboard Lab at UNCSA. Parking is available behind the Gray Building in spots marked "guest/visitor" or beside the Welcome Center. (See the Campus Map.)

Topics are listed below and do not reflect weekly progress. Actual progress depends on class composition. A topic must be accomplished before moving on the next one.

  1. Hand position, proper posture. Basic one-finger exercises for engaged fingertip and moving wrist. Fundamentals of note reading. Textbook – must line up with CMS theory.
  2. Transition from one-note to two-note motion on different finger pairs. Note reading uses middle C as a connector between two clefs. Every element played is also sung (foundations of ear/hand, ear/eye coordination.
  3. Transition to three, four and five-note patterns. Clapping short-long (two-to-one) rhythms, singing unstable/stable pairings (C, D-C, F-E, A-G, b-c; also in harm. Minor). Singing pentascales up and down, playing the same, transposing to include black keys to F, D, A, E.
  4. Engaging both hands: alternating pentascales, alternating notes with connective wrist motion leading from hand to hand AND staccato. Playing RH pentascales on a held bass, transposing the same. Singing major and minor pairings and pentascales.
  5. Continuing the same, transposing to more keys, increasing the familiarity with black keys.
  6. Scales: one hand, single octave, correct fingering. Introducing the B Major scale first as Th – 2-3 – Th – 2-3-4 (clusters on black keys as aid to learning). Singing the scale up and down. Introducing half-steps and whole-steps in scale context.
  7. Introducing three-to-two-to-one rhythmic constructs. At this point methods like the Mikrokosmos can be used, separate hands first.
  8. Sharp major scales, in this order: E, A, D, G. separate hands. Eventually, two octaves.

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Group Piano for Adult Beginners

Tuesdays, January 30 to May 15, 2018
5:30
6:30 p.m.
16 total classes
Cost: $400 ($200 for students enrolled in full semester private lesson plans)
Instructor: Alek Wasserman

It is recommended that students in group piano have prior study at the Community Music School to include our Music Theory I class.

This course meets one hour per week and is limited to 8 students. Required materials: keyboard or piano at home, textbook as assigned by faculty, staff paper, pencil, eraser.

Classes meet in the Keyboard Lab at UNCSA. Parking is available behind the Gray Building in spots marked "guest/visitor" or beside the Welcome Center. (See the Campus Map.)

Topics:

  1. Hand position, proper posture. Basic one-finger exercises for engaged fingertip and moving wrist. Transition from one-note to two-note motion on different finger pairs.
  2. Transition to three, four and five-note patterns. Singing unstable/stable pairings (C, D-C, F-E, A-G, b-c; also in harm. Minor). Singing pentascales up and down, playing the same, transposing to include black keys to F, D, A, E.
  3. Engaging both hands: alternating pentascales, alternating notes with connective wrist motion leading from hand to hand AND staccato. Playing RH pentascales on a held bass, transposing the same. Singing major and minor pairings and pentascales.
  4. Continuing the same, transposing to more keys. Scales: one hand, single octave, correct fingering. Introducing the B Major scale first as Th – 2-3 – Th – 2-3-4 (clusters on black keys as aid to learning). Singing the scale up and down.
  5. Sharp major scales, in this order: E, A, D, G. separate hands. Eventually, two octaves, hands together. Pieces at the level of Mikrok. Book 1, 1-10.
  6. Chords: triads and inversions, major and minor, all keys
  7. Melodies with held LH tones, fifths, triads. Scale degree, harmonizing melodies with I and V, transposing.
  8. Pieces at the level of Mikrok. Book 1, 11-20.

Music Theory and Ear Training for Grade 7 to Adult

Instructor: Bruce Tippette
Theory and Ear Training I - 
10:45–11:25 a.m. in the 4th Floor Recital Hall
Theory and Ear Training II - 11:30 a.m.–12:10 p.m. in the 4th Floor Recital Hall

Theory and Ear Training I and II classes occur on alternating Saturdays, beginning Jan. 20, 2018.

Listening to music is one of the most inclusive activities, whether listening to recordings, attending live concerts, or creating the music individually with your voice or musical instrument. However, being able to understand the construction of music will only enhance that experience, both as a listener and a performer.

This course will progressively teach musical topics including elements of pitch and rhythm, triadic harmony, diatonic chords in major and minor keys, voice leading, part-writing, harmonic progression, cadences, pitch and interval recognition, transposition, and many other fundamentals of music.

Ear Training/Aural Skills
Any effective music theory course must be supplemented by a comprehensive ear training/aural skills class. Ear Training at the Community Music School will be aligned with the subjects taught during the Music Theory courses, providing the necessary tools for any well-rounded musician. This course will help musicians to correctly identify and recognize musical concepts including, but not limited to:

  • Simple/compound time signatures (and rhythms within)
  • Major/minor scales and their scale degrees
    Intervals
  • Triads/Seventh Chords
  • Sight-Singing and rhythmic and harmonic/melodic dictation

These skills will also be used to help students process aural concepts within existing pieces of music, whether for their private lessons, or while hearing something for the first time.

Text: 
Author: Jennifer Sterling Snodgrass 
Contemporary Musicianship
“Analysis and the Artist”

“Contemporary Musicianship presents traditional music theory and analysis in an innovative way for popular music, jazz, and music business/industry students. The text introduces students to the basic principles of music theory using the great works of classical performers and popular artists. Through creative projects and composition opportunities, Contemporary Musicianship shows the two-semester Musicianship or Introduction to Music Theory student that music theory is more than just notes and math; it is a musical experience that evolves throughout the life of an artist.”

Students should self-select for either the Theory and Ear Training I or II class based on their own knowledge level, but are encouraged to attend classes in either level that align with their own learning objectives.

Choral Ensemble for Young Musicians 

Saturdays, January 20 to May 12, 2018
10–10:40 a.m. in the 4th Floor Recital Hall 
16 total classes
Cost: $150 (Free for students enrolled in private lessons)
Instructor: Bruce Tippette

This class is perfect for young people who love to sing, but whose voices are not developed to an appropriate level for private lessons. It is designed to serve as an introductory musicianship class, and as a predecessor to the Music Theory and Ear Training classes offered to older students. Class focus is on ear training, with an emphasis on ensemble singing. Students taking private lessons at the Community Music School receive this class at no additional charge.  Regardless of what instrumental (or voice!) lessons the student currently takes at the Community Music School or elsewhere, it is highly recommended that all young musicians partake in this course as a means to better their musicianship.

A musician with a strong ear and an ability to sing one's part will strongly benefit in private lessons. Concepts will include, but not be limited to:

  • Repeating and dictating simple rhythms and melodies
    Recognition of simple intervals
  • Singing in a group—either in unison (one part) or in harmony (2 or more parts)
  • Proper vowel shapes used in singing (which can benefit all musicians, especially wind/brass players)

Students may be asked to perform as an ensemble at recital hours or other CMS performances.