Our offerings for younger musicians include theory and ear training courses, along with Performance Hour and the option of Vocal Ensemble. Children who are approved by the Ensemble Director to work in an ensemble also have that option.
Junior Music Theory
This course for younger students explores the rudiments of music theory: clef reading, key signatures, diatonic relationships and chords (primarily in major keys), and beginning analysis. Emphasis is placed on why the conventions of music notation (numbers of sharps and flats, enharmonics, etc.) are useful.
Prerequisites: The ability to read music in at least one clef, play an instrument and/or sing. The class works best when paired with Junior Choir. (Students also have the option of sitting in with the pre-college Ear Training I class instead.)
Junior choir is ideal for younger students, and especially those enrolled in Junior Music Theory. It is a casual place to develop an ear for pitch and harmony without the pressure of performance.
Young musicians acquire a lot of pitch skills, but are often less confident about rhythm. This course helps students learn these skills, including young composers who want to better convey their ideas on paper. Starting with simple time signatures and proceeding with more complex rhythmic ideas, emphasis is placed on clear notation and on really understanding rhythm.
Note: with interest this course can be adapted to younger children 6-8 years old.
For students new to composing, these courses provide the fundamentals of the craft. Students learn basic counterpoint, melodic construction, motivic development, and elementary instrumentation. Students typically write 2-3 short works using principles learned in class. [Junior Composition is for younger students; those in the pre-college program should enroll in Composition A.]