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Class Descriptions

Music Appreciation:
Music appreciation classes will involve a good deal of reading (at the high school level) and a lot of listening (at all levels).

Music History – A History of the 20th Century Through Music and Literature:
This high-school level course offers a survey of major world events in the 20th century, as well as exposure to 20th century literature (fiction and non-fiction) and musical trends (popular and classical).  The goal of the course is to offer a broad view of both the historical and cultural markers of the 20th century.  There will be a heavy emphasis on reading, listening, and writing.  Mid-term and Final exams will be administered.  For high school level students only.

Intro to the Orchestra:
In this class, students will learn about the different instrument families and how each type of instrument produces its sound. Students will listen to a few important orchestral and band pieces that show off the different instruments. In addition, students will learn how to listen to classical music. This class is especially good for students who are interested in learning an instrument, but have not yet decided on one. Limited to 10 students.

Move to Music:
These classes, designed for preschool through grade 2, are full of finger plays,children’s songs, rhythm instruments, and movement activities to help young children become acquainted with music. In addition, students will be introduced to reading notes and rhythms.Move to Music I is for children ages 2-4, and Move to Music II is for children ages 4-7. Classes may be combined if enrollment is low.

Music Theory
Music theory explains how and why music works.

Music Theory I:
In this class, students will learn the basics of music theory, getting a good foundation in reading notes and rhythms. From there, students will learn intervals, the circle of 5ths, major and minor scales, and triads. This class is suitable for beginning students and students who have had no prior theory background. Learning to play an instrument is not necessary, but helpful for taking this class. Open to students in 7th grade and up or bypermission of the instructor.

Music Theory AP Test Prep:
This very fast-paced course covers the harmonic concepts of tonal, traditional, functional harmony of the Western tradition in both written form and ear-training. This is NOT an AP-sanctioned course, but does cover the material tested in the AP Music Theory test, which is now offered locally in Rhode Island. Concepts covered will include a review of all material from Music Theory I and, in addition, will cover chords, inversions, figured bass, modulation, non-chord tones, secondary (non-diatonic) chords, cadences, basic music analysis, part-writing, chord progressions, and how to harmonize a melody. Ear training will include melodic and rhythmic dictation, chord analysis (quality, inversions, cadences, and progressions) through listening. Students will also be learning to sight-sing melodies.  Prerequisite: Passing Music Theory I, recommendation of a music instructor, or passing a pre-test. For high schoolers only.

Church Musicianship:
This class is designed for students who desire to learn how to lead a congregation in worship. Those who play chordal instruments will learn how to analyze the chord structure of hymns and then use those chords to play the hymns on their various instruments using a variety of accompaniment techniques. Students on other instruments will learn how to accompany using techniques specific to their instruments. Students will learn how to choose music, put songs together in medleys, and lead a congregation from one song to another. Pre-requisite: Students must have at least one year experience on their instrumentand have taken Music Theory I OR by recommendation of the instructor.

Group Instrumental and Vocal Instruction:
Group instrumental instruction provides beginning instruction on various instruments in a group setting. These classes are recommended for students age 8 and up. Interested younger students must undergo a readiness assessment with the teacher.

Beginning Orchestral Strings:
This group class is designed for students have no prior experience on orchestral strings: violin, viola, cello, or double bass. Students will learn how to read music, and learn to play notes in basic positions. Students will also learn basic bowing techniques. Limited to 8 students.

Beginning Orchestral Winds/Percussion:
This group class is designed for students who have no prior experience on an orchestral wind or percussion instrument. Students will learn basic techniques and how to read music. Limited to 10 students.

Beginning Guitar:
This group class is designed for students who have no prior experience on guitar. Students will learn the notes and fingerings in basic positions. They will learn how to read music and basic rhythms. They will also learn basic chords. This class will prepare them for any style of guitar playing, including classical. Limited to 8 students.

Vocal Workshop:
This class is designed for students who wish to develop better singing technique but who are not taking private lessons. The workshop class offers more direct instruction in singing than choir alone. Limited to 10 students.

Intermediate Strings:
This class is designed for students who have prior experience on an orchestral string instrument but are not yet ready to join the orchestra. Students will play pieces with different parts and learn how to play together as an ensemble.

Large Ensembles/Classes
Large ensembles give students the opportunity to sing and play in a large group and work under a conductor/director.

Elementary Choir:
This class is for students in grades 1-6 and will cover beginning singing techniques as well as basic theory. Students will sing pieces in one or two parts and will have opportunity for active learning through various games and musical activities. Additionally, they work on ear-training, including solfege, sight-singing, and dictation. Students will sing from memory at the end-of-year concert. No audition is required.

Teen Choir:
This class is for students ages 13 and up. Students will sing pieces in 3 or 4 parts, including challenging pieces which will prepare interested students for RI All-State auditions. Students will also learn solfege and ear training and will practice sight-singing and dictation. No audition is required.

String Orchestra*:
This ensemble will be for orchestral strings only. Students must have the background on their instruments to be able to handle the advanced key signatures, rhythms, and techniques that this class requires, and will need to be able to learn and play a part independently as part of a large group. An audition is required.

Concert Band*:
This ensemble will consist of woodwind, brass, and percussion. Students must have the background on their instruments to be able to handle the advanced key signatures, rhythms, and techniques that this class requires, and will need to be able to learn and play a part independently as part of a large group. An audition is required.

*Ideally, advanced students from both groups will be able to learn one additional song to play together as a full orchestra. We are splitting the groups into two because of the number of students and instrumentation.

Handbells:
In this ensemble, students will use individual handbells and learn to coordinate as a group in order to execute the pieces. Handbells are provided by New Era and are used only during class. No audition is required.

Chamber Ensembles
Advanced students who wish to play in a chamber ensemble are encouraged to form a group with other students who desire the challenge. They will then need to seek permission from the overseeing New Era teacher who is a registered RIMEA member who can guide them. Students will need to choose, procure, and learn their own pieces and schedule their own practice time (New Era has a limited amount of sheet music that can be loaned.) The ensemble will meet up only occasionally with the supervising teacher. They will need to play their piece in early April for the supervising teacher to gain approval before performing at the New Era Chamber Ensembles concert or participating in the RIMEA solo/ensemble festival. Christy Reynolds will be supervising vocal ensembles. Heather Savage will be supervising instrumental ensembles.

Private Lessons
Private lessons are available in piano, guitar, voice, clarinet, saxophone, violin, viola, and cello. Please inquire if private lessons are desired on another instrument.
Private lesson rates and times are set by each individual teacher.
Please speak to Christy, Heather, John or Jeanne individually if you are interested in private lessons.

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