Beginning Piano 

This course teaches piano performance and music reading from the very beginning and is intended for students with no musical experience. Students learn basic finger patterns along with the elements of musical notation, working through a method book to develop facility, and skill at the keyboard. Students will leave the course able to read music in treble and bass clefs and play major scales and rudimentary songs with both hands.

Intermediate Piano 

Intended for students who have already mastered music reading and the basics of piano playing, this class is individualized to meet students at their ability level with individual lesson plans designed to move students ahead in piano literature and technique. Students should be able to play pieces from the Anna Magdalena Bach notebook or pieces of similar (or greater) difficulty to be eligible for this class. Each student will receive assignments in piano technique, piano etudes beginning with Hanon, and piano literature from all the major style periods.

 

Advanced Piano 

Prerequisite: completion of Intermediate Piano curriculum, five or more years of private piano study, or permission of the instructor  

Students should be able to play Bach Inventions, Clementi Sonatinas, or pieces of similar (or greater) difficulty to be eligible for this class. Advanced Piano class offers individualized instruction in piano technique and performance; assignments include all major and minor scales forms, five forms of arpeggios, etudes beginning with Czerny, and advanced piano literature form all the major style periods.

 

Band  

This course is open to intermediate or advanced wind and percussion players who can read music and know the fingerings and embouchure for their particular instrument. This is not a class for beginning instrumentalists, as there are numerous performance responsibilities scheduled throughout the year, including public concerts, exchange concerts, and festival trips, at which attendance is required. Members are also eligible to audition for regional and state honors music festivals including Allstate, Jazz Allstate, and The Kennebec Valley festival. 

 

TASK (Full Year) 

A year-long class offering instruction in Theory, Aural Skills, and Keyboard, the TASK class is a graduation requirement for students choosing a music pathway, and it prepares the serious music student for success in a collegiate music environment. Students will start with basic music reading but progress quickly through the study of scales and harmony, along with experiences in music composition and form. Ear-training exercises build from basic rhythmic notation through melodic and harmonic dictation, while the keyboard portion of the class teaches rudimentary keyboard technique and reinforces note-reading concepts.

 

Rhythm and Percussion Lab 1  

This is an intro and beginner-level course (no experience required) for drummers, mallet percussionists, and all other instrumentalists. Rhythm does not only pertain to the drummer! It is important that every musician has a strong sense of rhythm. Students in this class will be expected to develop the following skills:

  • practice and learn 12 drum rudiments and 8 major scales

  • become comfortable with quarter note, eighth note, eighth note triplet, and sixteenth note rhythms

  • learn to read, hear and play simple rhythms and or melodies

  • begin to dictate simple rhythm and melody

  • learn how to keep very simple rock and swing beats on the drum set  

 

Rhythm and Percussion Lab 2  

This intermediate-level class is for drummers, mallet percussionists, and all other instrumentalists. Rhythm does not only pertain to percussionists! This course requires a basic knowledge of reading rhythms and pitches as well as show an interest in advancing their musical skills. Students in this class will be expected to develop the following skills:

  • practice and learn 18 American drum rudiments, and all 12 major scales

  • become comfortable with the quarter note triplet and the concept of 2 against 3

  • dictate more complex rhythms and melodies 

  • practice and learn syncopated, African, American, and Latin rhythms (Claves, Polyrhythms)

 

Rhythm and Percussion Lab 3  

This advanced class is open to drummers, mallet percussionists, and all other instrumentalists. Rhythm does not only pertain to percussionists! The course requires a strong understanding of the fundamentals and ability or interest to improvise. Students in this class will be expected to develop the following skills: 

  • perform all 26 American drum rudiments with a bossa nova ostinato in the feet (The Rudimental Ritual by Alan Dawson) 

  • perform many 4 way coordination exercises based on page 37 of Ted Reed’s Syncopation

  • focus on songs in odd meters like 3, 5, 7, and 12 

  • learn to improvise over basic blues, and 32 bar song forms

 

Jazz Ensemble

This class is open to all instrumentalists and vocalists. We will be learning about the great tradition of this American Classical music called jazz and blues. The music of Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Thelonious Monk, among others, will be rehearsed and performed. One must have some basic reading and ear-training skills for this class, as well as an understanding of major, dominant 7th, and minor scales and chords.  

 

Electronic Music Ensemble

Electronic music comes in all sounds, colors, and textures. This electronic music ensemble deals with composition and improvisation utilizing both acoustic and electric instruments. One must demonstrate strong music theory skills for this class.  

 

Beginning Strings 

Students in Beginning Strings do not need to demonstrate any prior knowledge of music in order to qualify for the class. The only prerequisite for Beginning Strings is interest and ability to follow directions. Students in this class will be expected to develop the following skills:

  • how to hold and generally handle their instrument

  • how their instrument is tuned, and how to tune it

  • how to hold the bow and play up and down bow strokes

  • how to learn music by ear

  • how to read and play basic rhythms (whole, half, quarter, and eighth notes and rests)

  • how to read and play the notes of the staff

  • basic understanding of tempo and time feel

  • how to play the notes on their instrument in tune

  • know the instruments of the string family and how they are tuned

  • basic understanding of music theory (octaves, major and minor, scales, and arpeggios)

 

Intermediate Strings

Students in Intermediate Strings will need to demonstrate a working knowledge of the musical skills outlined in Beginning Strings, as well as evidence of active engagement with music and interest in advancing their musical skills. Students in this class will be expected to develop the following skills:

  • how to play arco with basic vibrato, and understand more complex bowing patterns

  • how to read music and learn to play it relatively quickly

  • how to read and play more complex rhythms (triplets and triplet rests, sixteenth notes and rests, and dotted notes and rest) 

  • basic understanding of transcription and some evidence of very basic ability to transcribe

  • good understanding of basic music theory and demonstrable application (triads, flats and sharps, diminished, and dominant seventh chords)

  • how to play music with a basic time feel and decent intonation

  • how to begin to listen to music critically and place music in context (instrumentation, time period, style, and geography)

Advanced Strings

Students in Advanced Strings will need to demonstrate a working knowledge of the musical skills outlined in Intermediate Strings, as well as evidence of a recurrent practice regimen and a strong interest in music.  Students in this class will be expected to develop the following skills:

  • how to play arco with vibrato and navigate complex bowing pattern 

  • how to sight read music 

  • how to read and play different combinations of complex rhythms

  • how to do basic transcription music by ear

  • detailed understanding of basic music theory and tools to begin to understand more complex music theory (finding notes by their scale degree number and orchestrating basic harmony)

  • how to play music with a good time feel and good intonation

  • how to play with an ensemble (communicating, blending, and dynamics)

  • how to listen to music critically and place music in cultural and historical context (note: this is a general skill and by no means implies a comprehensive knowledge of music, but an ability to pick apart what one is hearing and use what one knows to make educated guesses about the music and its origins)

 

Chamber Music Ensemble  

Students in Ensemble will need to demonstrate proficiency on their instrument, ability to focus intently on musical content for extended periods of time, and an interest in being exposed to different kinds of music and styles of playing, particularly music that incorporates improvisation. Students in this class will be expected to develop the following skills:

  • how to arrange musical material (forms, beginnings and endings, and orchestration)

  • how to improvise

  • how to sight read music and interpret it relatively quickly

  • how to think about sound creatively (making original parts to songs and exploring new sounds on their instrument)

  • basic understanding of some different kinds of 20th century experimental music (jazz, ambient, electronic, etc.)

  • how to work together as an ensemble (rehearsing, playing together, working out musical detail individually and as a group, and coming to rehearsals prepared) 

 

Vocal Anatomy and Singing Technique  

With vocal styles changing drastically in today’s society and the sound coming from singers more intense, it is important, now more than ever, for singers, actors, and anyone using their voice for their chosen career to understand the full workings of their vocal mechanism. Vocal anatomy takes a deep look into the muscles needed to support the voice, the larynx, and the vocal folds. Vocal Anatomy and Singing Technique is focused on building a vocal instrumentalists knowledge of technique and vocal awareness so as to make the right decisions when you use their voice in whichever medium they choose. 

 

Chorus 

Open Chorus is for everyone who wishes to sing. This is a non-auditioned group that works together to understand the basic concepts of pitch, tone, blend, choral music reading, and much more. Vocal musicians will sing classic and contemporary pieces while learning about their vocal mechanism and how to use it properly as a singer. 

 

Honors Chamber Choir

Honors Chamber Choir is an auditioned choir that takes only the most serious vocal instrumentalists of mixed gender voices. Vocal instrumentalists in HCC are required to have taken or currently are taking TASK and band,  and play an instrument or are learning an instrument. HCC members must also be an active member of Chorus. Members of HCC show diligence in all classrooms and are required to be on teacher pace in all subjects. HCC instrumentalists perform for the public and around other schools while singing advanced choir pieces. 

 

Honors Treble Choir 

Honors Treble Choir is an auditioned choir of all treble voices consisting of female and AFAB voices. Vocal instrumentalists in HCC are required to have taken or currently are taking sight reading for singers, are in a theory class, or play an instrument. HTC members must also be an active member of Chorus. Members of HCC show diligence in all classrooms and are required to be on teacher pace in all subjects. HCC instrumentalists perform in the public and around other schools and sing advanced choir pieces. 

 

Show Choir / Musical Theater 

Show choir is a performance group that mixes pop music with musical theatre performance and production quality. Students will work in a fast-paced environment to learn music and choreography in order to compete in show choir festivals across the state. Show choir is an up-beat, fun, and exciting new take on how a choir performs and how it sounds during a performance. Show choir is not auditioned, but all students must be at teacher pace in order to participate in any show choir performances. 

 

Lyric Writing

Lyric Writing is a fun class that allows students to open up as artists to find new ways of creating lyrics and songs. Artists in this class will learn the basics of song structure, poetic terms, generes, and tools to become a stronger, more fluent writer, all in an environment that encourages success through failures. 

 

Musical Theater History 

Musical Theater History allows students an in-depth look at all genres of storytelling through music. Students will learn about the beginnings of musical theater and how it has evolved through the decades. We will study composers and lyricists such as Rogers and Hammerstien, Stephen Sondhem, Maltby and Shire, Leonard Bernstein, and much more. Musical Theater history is a strong class for students interested in lyric writing and musical theater creation. 

 

Sight Reading for Singers 

Sight reading for singers is a theory-based class for singers focusing on solfege and ear-training skills.