Summer Institute : Music : Curriculum

Core Curriculum

  • Lessons
  • Jazz Improvisation
  • Small Group Lessons
  • Small and Large Ensemble Rehearsals
  • Workshops in: Music Composition + Songwriting,
  • Maximizing Practice Time

After a brief orientation on the first day of classes, you will go directly into small ensemble rehearsals. Your taped audition will determine your placement in small ensembles, big bands, and large ensembles. There may be a need for a short sight-reading audition at the beginning of large ensembles. This will determine the final placement in big band. Schedules and music will be provided upon placement in your various ensembles, detailing both time and room assignments.

You will receive one-on-one sessions with University faculty. Teachers work with you on style, technique, improvisation, reading, and your own areas of interest.

Small classes specific to drummers, vocalists and other instruments, each class will work on jazz vocabulary, rhythm and ear training, as well as some elements of jazz theory. This class is designed to aid you in an overall understanding of jazz performance.

All students meet with a special guest artist, including a performance and lecture by the guest. You will also have the opportunity to perform for the artist and be critiqued by him.

These ensembles of various musical styles will be comprised of approximately four to six students. With the help of an experienced coach, you will work on interpreting and harmonizing melodies, improvising and group interplay. This will culminate in a performance at the end of the first week. Then, each ensemble will receive a new coach for the second week and perform again.

All students will also have some form of a large ensemble, which may include big band, advanced small group, jazz singers, a Latin percussion ensemble, or a guitar ensemble. All of these groups will perform in a final concert on the last day of the program.

Much like a group lesson, departmental workshops are instrumental/vocal-specific meetings with a working professional. You will be broken into groups by instrument to discuss topics from the heritage of the instrument to ensemble playing and career development.

This is an opportunity for a faculty member to sit down with students and share a bit of their professional journey.  This time may involve life lessons, anecdotes from a gigs, and insights into how develop as a professional.  Students are encouraged to ask questions, which each faculty member will offer their own unique perspective.

Watch videos of past performances:

Information below is for the 2014 program. Information for the 2015 program coming soon.

You will receive an individualized schedule determined by your instrument and level of proficiency. All students are required to attend mandatory classes from 9 am – 7:30 pm Monday through Friday, with scheduled breaks for lunch and dinner. You are also expected to attend field trips and guest performances on Saturdays. Commuters, please note that classes/performances are required until 7:30 pm and on Saturdays.

  Monday  Tuesday  Wednesday  Thursday  Friday  Saturday  Sunday 
8 am - 9am       Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Brunch Brunch
9 am Department Workshop Department Workshop Master Class Department Workshop Department Workshop    
10am Small Ensemble Rehearsal Small Ensemble Rehearsal Small Ensemble Rehearsal Small Ensemble Rehearsal Small Ensemble Rehearsal Field Trip to Local Professional Performance Bus trip to Wildwood (optional)
11am Practice Private Lesson Practice Private Lesson Practice    
12 pm - 1pm    Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch    
1pm Large Ensemble or Big Band Large Ensemble or Big Band Large Ensemble or Big Band Large Ensemble or Big Band Large Ensemble or Big Band    
3pm Improvisation Improvisation Improvisation Improvisation Improvisation    
4pm -
Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner Activities with CA's
7 pm - 9pm   Jam Session   Jam Session     Activities with CA's