ELECTIVE CLASS BLOCKS — 1–1:50 p.m. and 2–2:50 p.m. Eastern Time
Each SEMINAR student will select two elective classes which meet daily from 1 to 1:50 p.m. and 2 to 2:50 p.m. You will fill out an online form to indicate your first, second, and third choice elective. The classes will be filled based on seniority (the number of years you have attended SEMINAR). You will want to study the class descriptions before completing the online form. Here are the SEMINAR 2021 elective classes.
Computers and Music – Dr. Ken Smith, Instructor
Modern technology has revolutionized the way music is written and performed. This class will cover the basics of music technology. Students will have the opportunity to explore the technology available to today’s musicians. Among the topics to be addressed are setting up a studio or portable workstation, recording and editing digital audio, and composing with notation software or digital audio workstations. Students will also have the opportunity to complete a musical project of their choice.
Conducting Techniques – Dr. Scott Boerma, Instructor
A good introductory opportunity for those with little or no conducting experience, the class will cover basic beat patterns and baton technique, explore the musical language used by composers, and discuss the process of interpretation of music through gesture. Students will encounter the basic skills necessary to conduct a musical ensemble and learn how to read and prepare a musical score. NOTE: Students who select this class will be playing instruments using face masks (with slits) and bell covers, and be socially distanced 6 feet apart. The School of Music will supply the slit masks and bell covers. Students will need to use their own instruments.
Introduction to Music Therapy – Prof. Deanna Bush, Instructor
Definition: Music Therapy is the systematic application of music-based experiences, as directed by the trained music therapist, to bring about desirable changes in behavior and assist every individual in reaching his or her fullest potential. Have you ever heard of music therapy? Are you curious about it? If so, this class should offer you information to help you determine if you might want to pursue this interesting career possibility.
Music Traditions in a Changing World – Dr. Maria Cristina Fava, Instructor
In this course, we will look at a variety of musical traditions through the lens of culture. We will address specific themes including music’s place in daily life, migration, memory, worship, identity, and politics. The objectives of the course are to learn to identify stylistic traits of music traditions from around the world while exploring the social nature of music. Our goals will be to understand how music mirrors, and perhaps even helps create, culture in a modern world where conventional geographic boundaries are no longer confining music practices.
Improvisation for Classical Musicians – Mr. Chance Trottman-Huiet, Instructor
In this course students will learn to play without notated music in a safe, supportive musical environment. In addition to improvising using their major instruments, students will also sing and play basic percussion instruments. We will start with highly structured improvisational projects and assignments, so that improvising is not overwhelming at first. As the class progresses the assignments will be freer with fewer fixed parameters, including improvised scores to short silent films. The class will incorporate an historical approach to non-jazz improvisation, giving students the opportunity to experiment and improvise in a variety of historical and stylistic periods. NOTE: Students who select this class will be playing instruments using face masks (with slits) and bell covers, and be socially distanced 6 feet apart. The School of Music will supply the slit masks and bell covers. Students will need to use their own instruments.
Recording Studio Techniques – Mr. Rob Lindsay, Instructor
This class will include an introduction to audio engineering, the recording studio, its components and language. Using the Western Sound Studios, participants will encounter microphones, signal processors, and digital recording (ProTools HD). This introductory experience will culminate with a demo recording of student produced sounds and manipulations, and each participant will receive a CD copy of the concluding project. A maximum of 10 students will be selected based on SEMINAR seniority and the music theory placement test.
The Beatles: Their Style Development and Impact on Music and Society – Dr. Dan Jacobson, Instructor
This is a video/audio-based survey of the monumental impact of The Beatles, from their forming as a schoolboy band in Liverpool, England in the late 1950s, to their struggles to find professional gigs in England, their apprenticeship in Germany, their breakthrough in London in 1963 and America in 1964, and their rapid, daring and massively-influential changes in style over the next six years until their breakup in 1970.
So, You Want to Be a Music Teacher? – Dr. Mary Land, Instructor
This class will be an introduction into the incredible life of a music education major. We will start from the beginning by discussing how to apply to college, preparing for auditions, and scholarship opportunities. A sample music education schedule will be provided including all benchmark steps towards graduation. We will conclude with the all important “How to become employed” step by step instructions. We will be joined by several current WMU music education majors as they share some of their experiences.
Exploring Diversity of Composers – Professor Michael Duffy, Instructor
Students will work together to create an online guide to information available online and locally about a group of composers that they select from the Composer Diversity Database, which endeavors to represent composers from traditionally underrepresented groups. By engaging with available information about underrepresented composers, participants will have the opportunity to learn about musical expressions that they might not otherwise know about.
Let’s Go to the Symphony! – Dr. Henning Schröder, Instructor
We will experience different aspects of symphonic music in this crash course, which is filled with audio and video as well as scholarly resources for us to engage with. We will explore history and form as well as tackle cultural and social issues around the symphony, while also discussing the role music plays in our individual lives: When and how do we consume what types of music and how does our exploration of symphonic music fit into that picture?
MUSICIANSHIP CLASS BLOCK – 3–3:50 p.m. Eastern Time
All students will take a music theory placement test online. The results of this test will place students in Musicianship I, Musicianship II, or Advanced Musicianship. Musicianship I and II include written music theory material. Advanced Musicianship will offer a choice of three experiences for those who make virtually no mistakes on the placement test. Here are the classes in the SEMINAR 2021 Musicianship Block.
Musicianship I – Mrs. Shannon Scoles, Instructor
This class will address the fundamental “ABCs” of music for the benefit of students who have not had the opportunity to learn this critical material. Understanding the keyboard will start your journey into the world of intervals, key signatures, major and minor scales, and the study of pitch patterns. A thorough explanation of time signatures – simple and compound – will open the door to a new appreciation of patterns in time. Students will also begin to work on developing basic skills in the areas of sight-reading and ear training.
Musicianship II – Dr. Henning Schröder, Instructor
After a review of the fundamentals outlined in Musicianship I above, this class will be introduced to the circle of fifths. More work on intervals, scales and chords (diatonic, that is, in inversions!) may lead to harmonizing a simple melody or two. This class will divide its time between aural skills (sight-singing and ear training) and written theory. Be ready to test your musical memory with rhythm and pitch games.
Advanced Musicianship: Creativity in Music – Mr. Rob Lindsay, Instructor
This course will focus on approaches to creativity in music, and is heavily inspired by various movements from the 20th and 21st centuries. Students will learn different ways to approach the creative process in music, and will be introduced to a wide array of aesthetic ideals that can greatly influence how we generate and interpret music.
Advanced Musicianship: Jazz Arranging/Composition – Mr. Eddie Codrington, Instructor
An introduction to jazz theory, arranging, and composition exploring chord nomenclature, jazz scales, chord/scale relationships, instrument ranges, sound potential, common voicing practices, and styles.
Advanced Musicianship: An Introduction to Musical Forms – Dr. Dan Jacobson, Instructor
Students will learn to understand and identify several musical designs that have been used by composers since 1700 (song form, binary, ternary, ritornello, theme & variations, minuet & trio, scherzo & trio, rondo, arch, sonata form, and the 4-movement “Classical” design). A basic knowledge of the major scale and major key signatures is helpful but not required.