Each student receives four lessons on their major instrument, in voice or in composition with an acclaimed faculty member. Those who choose to enroll in a secondary study will receive three lessons or classes in their minor field. Students should bring at least three pieces of music in their major field to study: one thoroughly polished and ready to perform, one that can be prepared for performance and one that is new. A specific teacher may be requested, and every effort will be made to facilitate the request. Practice coaches are available upon request to assist students. All students are assigned practice rooms and a minimum of two practice sessions daily. All piano majors are assigned to practice rooms with Steinway grand pianos.
- Voice Students
Voice majors participate in private lessons as well as voice class/seminar, voice diction, and musical theatre (see description below). The voice faculty has extensive knowledge and background in working with high school students to develop classical vocal production as well as a healthy pop/belt technique, preparing young voices for classical as well as musical theater singing. Vocalists are required to take secondary (minor) piano or guitar lessons unless they have taken six years of private piano or
- Composition Students
Composition majors explore various composition styles in private lessons and work on their compositions for at least two hours each day, in addition to participating in composition class and composers workshop. They also have the opportunity to perform or have others perform their polished original works in recital. Composition majors are required to take secondary (minor) digital music making or piano lessons.
- Piano Students
Piano majors participate in private lessons as well as chamber ensemble, theory, piano class and piano and chamber master classes. Piano class curriculum includes a variety of topics including piano literature, collaborative piano, injury prevention and piano pedagogy.
- Guitar Students
Classical guitar majors participate in private lessons as well as chamber ensemble, guitar class and master class. Chamber ensemble includes both guitar-only ensembles (such as duos, trios and quartets) and also collaborations with voice and other instruments for advanced students. The guitar class will focus on technique, sight-reading, and musicianship, but will also explore injury prevention, Alexander Technique, guitar literature and understanding different traditions of classical guitar playing.
- String Students
String majors participate in private lessons as well as chamber ensembles, orchestra, orchestra sectionals and string and chamber master classes. Lessons focus on musicianship and technique in solo, chamber and orchestral repertoire.
- Wind, Brass, and Percussion Students
Wind, brass, and percussion majors participate in private lessons as well as chamber ensemble, wind ensemble, orchestra, and wind, brass and wind techniques master classes. Double reed majors also participate in a reed-making workshop.
- Secondary (minor) Lessons
For an additional fee, students may enroll in lessons on a secondary instrument, voice, composition, conducting, digital music making or Alexander Technique. Please note that a secondary study is required for voice and composition majors. Minor studies are encouraged for all students, especially in Alexander Technique and conducting.
Instrumental and vocal chamber groups rehearse daily, receive four or more coaching sessions, and may have the opportunity to perform in a master class or off-campus recital. Participation in chamber music at this level is an exceptionally rewarding experience for the advancing musician. Students will receive their chamber assignments well in advance of the Academy, and are required to come fully prepared with their part thoroughly learned. Chamber groups will perform in the final recitals.
All students participate in a theory class. A theory placement test will determine class placement level. All theory classes are geared towards preparing students for college theory.
All students (except composition majors,) will audition for the faculty on Monday morning, June 19. Instrumental auditions will be for seating placement in orchestra and wind ensemble. Pianists, vocalists and guitarists will audition as a preliminary hearing for the master classes and honors recital before lessons commence. (See Academy Guidebook for information regarding audition repertoire.)
MASTER CLASSES & HONORS RECITAL
The selection of students for master classes and honors recitals is by recommendation of the private instructor or coach. Auditions on June 19 will serve as a preliminary hearing for selection. Students who wish to be considered for one of these opportunities must inform their instructor during their first lesson, and demonstrate at that time that the piece they wish to perform has been sufficiently prepared. Memorization is required for piano, strings, and voice; memorization is preferred for woodwinds and brass.
With their teacher's/coach's approval, students have the opportunity to participate in performance classes throughout the session and may be eligible to perform on the Honors Chamber Recital on Wednesday, June 28 and/or Honors Solo Recital on Thursday, June 29. Performance in frequent informal classes is highly encouraged and a collaborative pianist is available for rehearsal. Final instrumental and vocal chamber music recitals, including small ensembles, take place on Saturday, July 1. The final concert takes place on Sunday, July 2, and features the choir, wind ensemble, and orchestra. All performances are held in the beautiful facilities of the Robert & Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts, Lamont School of Music.
All major ensembles are featured on the final Sunday afternoon concert.
All students participate in an hour of choir daily. Through singing, students refine musical skills such as sight-reading and phrasing, and are exposed to repertoire of many styles.
Instrumental majors participate in orchestra and perform works for both full and string orchestra. Seating is determined by audition on the first full day of the session. Composition and piano students who are skilled at playing an orchestral instrument may audition to participate as well.
- Wind Ensemble
Woodwind, brass, and percussion majors participate in wind ensemble, focusing specifically on instrumental techniques and repertoire for wind ensemble.
OTHER ENSEMBLES AND CLASSES
- Musical Theatre
Voice students (majors and minors) participate and perform in small ensembles, where they will prepare short scenes from an operetta or musical.
- Voice Class
Voice students participate in daily voice class, focusing on healthy singing techniques, vocal production, diction, dramatic movement/presentation, and vocal repertoire.
- Piano Class
Pianists participate in daily piano classes, which provide an informal atmosphere for performance and include instruction in the collaborative piano, piano literature, healthy playing, practice techniques, and memorization, among other topics.
- Guitar Class
Guitar students will focus on technique, sight-reading, and musicianship, as well as explore injury prevention, Alexander Technique, guitar literature and understanding different traditions of classical guitar playing.
- Sound Painting & Steel Drum Ensemble
Offered as an optional class to all, students will have the opportunity to explore new musical horizons in sound painting, as well as learn to play and perform on the steel drums.
- Flex Jazz Ensemble
Offered as an optional class to students with at least one year of jazz ensemble or improvisatory experience, the flex jazz ensemble is open to all instrumentation.
- New Music Ensembles
Required for composition majors and offered as an optional class for all instruments and voice, these ensembles will rehearse and perform brand new works by our very own composers.
- Stretching & Yoga Class
Offered as an optional class for all students, this class focuses on exercises to maintain a healthy, injury-free musician, both mentally and physically.
- Alexander Technique
Alexander Technique teaches how to prevent and recover from injury, alleviate the effects of nervousness in performance, increase breath capacity, prevent tension, and improve technique, ease, and sound in playing.
- Digital Music Making
In this class, students will create digital music using on of the most powerful and popular music softwares today- Ableton.
For students wanting to build their current conducting skills or to explore the option of including conducting as a component of their musical career, we offer a minor study in instrumental conducting. During the three sessions, students will learn basic movements and strategies to achieve the beginnings of an elegant and artistic approach to instrumental conducting. Philosophies and challenges for the modern conductor will be discussed as well as an introduction to rehearsal planning and score study. Previous conducting experience is helpful, but not required.