Prerequisite: None
Grade Level: 9-12
Course Description

The ECA Large Jazz Ensemble rehearses, studies, and performs historically significant compositions of the jazz repertoire, with emphasis on the development of individual skills in ensemble playing, an understanding of the jazz language, and facility in improvisation.  Students gain experience in sight-reading and learning parts specifically created for their instruments, and in becoming familiar with the stylistic elements of the jazz language. Jazz theory — rhythmic, harmonic and melodic — is introduced through discussion, exercises and analysis.  Repertoire includes historic works of jazz composers, such as Ellington, Monk, Parker and Coltrane, as well as standards from the Great American and Latin/jazz songbooks and new music created especially for the ensemble.
Prerequisite: None
Grade Level: 9-12
Course Description

A course whose main goal is to improve ensemble and performance skills of instrumentalists, working in the context of a large, generally conducted, ensemble.   Students will learn to participate in an orchestral ensemble, developing such skills as: following a conductor; adjusting pitch, articulation, and dynamics appropriately; annotating parts to inform performance; and learning to play in the foreground as well as accompany. Much of the repertoire will be performed in concerts for the department, school, or general public. Coursework is directly related to the preparation of students' parts in repertoire being studied, with explorations of musical terminology and theoretical and historical issues as they are revealed in the music.  Considerable class time is also devoted to sight-reading, both to improve skills in this area and to expose students to the widest possible variety of literature. Composers in recent years include Bach, Bartok, Beethoven, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Smetana, Purcell, Glass, Reich, and Rziewski, Stravinsky.  Commissioned composers have included Istvan Peter B’Racz, Trevor Gureckis, Neely Bruce, Ray Kaczynski, Omar Surillo, & Padma Newsome.
Prerequisite: None
Grade level: 9-12
Course Description

ECA Voices is a SATB vocal ensemble comprised of all ECA vocal majors.  This course offers students the opportunity to advance their skills in choral singing through a rigorous and comprehensive performance based class.  Students perform a varied repertoire of choral literature, in performances at ECA and in the larger community. Coursework allows students to develop proficiency in aural skills, reading a choral score, ensemble singing, vocal technique, literacy skills, and performance practice. Students must synthesize course content to evaluate vocal performances and analyze musical challenges so that they can reflect on and advance their individual artistic development.  Daily vocal exercises are used to develop vocal technique with a focus on controlled breathing, placement, tone production, diction, flexibility, agility and freedom. 

The curriculum for this ensemble course includes the study and performance of choral music from various time periods and styles, including jazz, folk, musical theater, contemporary a cappella, & classical art music from the Renaissance through present day, including new works commissioned for the ensemble. The study of this range of choral works exposes students to the diversity of choral literature, allows them develop a wide range of vocal skills, including overtone singing, improvisation, & flexible use of tone, and to construct an understanding of universal artistic processes that transcend cultural and historical differences. In recent years the ensemble has studied pieces by Palestrina, Victoria, Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Brahms, Bruckner, Bernstein, Barber, Randall Thompson, Ola Gjeilo, Eric Whitacre, Moses Hogan, Z. Randall Stroope, & Christopher Tin. Commissioned composers have included Robert Convery, Gwyneth Walker, Brian Robinson, & Michael Gilbertson.
Prerequisite: Placement in small ensembles is by faculty recommendation. Course offering is contingent upon enrollment and appropriate instrumentation.
Grade Level: 9-12
Course Description

In these courses, music students work together in small, generally non-conducted ensembles, (Chamber Music groups,) studying, rehearsing, and performing specialized repertoire appropriate to the skills of the participants and type of ensemble.  The course is designed to elevate and refine students’ skills in technique, rehearsal and performance. Class time is devoted to listening and inter-ensemble communication, establishing and controlling tempo, interpretation, style, leading and following, starting and stopping. Students will strive to improve general instrumental and vocal skills, while also practicing adjusting pitch, articulation and dynamics as a group.

Examples of small ensembles include: Jazz Collective, Chamber Jazz Ensemble, String Quartet, Saxophone Quartet, Woodwind Quintet, Mariachi ensemble, Klezmer Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Baroque Ensemble, New Music Ensemble, Early Music, Dramatic Music, Musical Theater “pit orchestra,” Little Big Band, and Ragtime Ensemble.
Prerequisite: Placement by Audition
Grades: 10-12
Course Description

Studio Singers is a small, advanced vocal ensemble that works at a fast rehearsal pace. Students are required to use and develop strong sight-reading skills, work effectively with others to create a cohesive and vibrant ensemble, and take ownership of their work through individual preparation of repertoire and score study.  Students perform a varied repertoire of choral literature, in numerous performances at ECA and in the larger community.  Students are expected to demonstrate advanced skills in performing, ensemble singing, vocal technique, aural skills, and literacy skills, as well as synthesize course content to evaluate vocal performances and analyze musical challenges in ways that guide and advance their individual artistic development. Outcomes of this work include many school, community, and festival performance opportunities.
Prerequisite: none
Grade Level: 9-12
Course Description

This course is designed to help students improve their vocal or instrumental technique in small group settings. All students work with an instrument/voice specific coach to create an individualized learning plan that helps students become more proficient in areas including tone, embouchure, bowing technique, proper posture, articulation, breath support, diction, dynamics, phrasing, expression, and technical skill.  Coursework includes technical exercises, scales and arpeggios, etudes, and solo repertoire, as well as the development of practice strategies.  Students demonstrate growth through the SDA (Skill Development Assessment) process, which includes several solo performances per year for a jury of faculty and an audience of peers. Growth is also achieved through the development of personal responsibility toward time management, practice strategies, and problem solving.

Music Theory & Musicianship Courses

Music Theory acquaints students with the language of music, including both notational devices and tonal structure.  With increased skill in analyzing and manipulating sound and its visual representation, musicians can improve their ability to perform with understanding, communicate with one another, and create original music.

Prerequisite: All students are assigned to a Musicianship Class based on their aural skills as demonstrated in a placement test given at the beginning of school year.
Grade level: 9-12
Course Description

This course is designed to strengthen students’ sight-reading and aural skills. Students will engage in daily exercises to build musicianship skills, including sight reading with solfege syllables, counting rhythms, identifying intervals & chords, notating melodic and rhythmic patterns, analyzing bass lines, and identifying the structure of traditional forms (AA’BA’, rondo, binary, ternary, sonata. In order to perform, create, and respond to music with understanding, students must be able to read a notated score for accuracy, yet also for much more than pitch and rhythm. Musicianship is defined by a person’s ability to interpret a score with understanding of phrase structure, cadence, harmonic relationships, and motivic devices, and how those should/could inform performance. Musicianship is also defined by a person’s ability to understand, through listening to music, how the elements of music are being used to express an idea; how a beat is subdivided, what the basic harmonic progression of a song is and how it is being changed/used, what the texture/timbre of a piece is and the impact that has on the atmosphere it creates, and the interplay and relationships between melody, harmony, and rhythm.
Prerequisite: Placement based on results of Theory Placement Exams.
Grade level: 9-12
Course Description

Theory and Musicianship is a mandatory course for all ECA students majoring in music.  The curriculum provides an opportunity for all students to establish a basic level of musicianship, necessary to thrive in subsequent ECA music theory, composition, and performance based courses.  In order to perform, create, and respond to music with understanding, students must be able to read a notated score, understand and be able to accurately use music terminology, aurally discern meter, pitch level, intervals and basic harmonic progressions, evaluate a performance for intonation, accuracy, timbre, and expression, explore basic concepts of improvisation and composition, and begin to make connections between music and other disciplines.  Upon completion of this course students will be prepared to move quickly through the ECA Music Theory curriculum, participate in ensemble work with strong literacy skills, possess a fundamental understanding of music history and the development of compositional styles, and have had the opportunity to develop questions that will serve to guide and inspire their continued musical development as part of a community of learners.  Students will have the opportunity to practice the application of written theory in class activities and assignments, including individual time in the music technology lab each week as part of their skill development.  Students may place out of this pre-requisite class through successful completion of the Theory and Musicianship Exit Exam, administered to all in-coming students.
Prerequisite: Placement based on results of Theory Placement Exams.
Grade level: 9-12
Course Description

Music Theory 2 provides an opportunity for students to develop fluency in the identification, analysis, and application of fundamental signs, symbols, structures, & concepts. This fluency is necessary to thrive in subsequent ECA music theory, composition, and performance based courses.  In order to perform, create, and respond to music with understanding, students must be able to read a notated score, understand and be able to accurately use music terminology, aurally discern meter, pitch level, intervals and basic harmonic progressions, evaluate a performance for intonation, accuracy, timbre, and expression, explore basic concepts of improvisation and composition, and begin to make connections between music and other disciplines.  Upon completion of this course students will be prepared to move quickly through the ECA Music Theory curriculum, participate in ensemble work with strong literacy skills, possess a fundamental understanding of music history and the development of compositional styles, and have had the opportunity to develop questions that will serve to guide and inspire their continued musical development as part of a community of learners.  Students will have the opportunity to practice the application of written theory in class activities and assignments, including individual time in the music technology lab each week as part of their skill development. 
Prerequisite: Placement based on results of Theory Placement Exams.
Grade Level: 9-12
Course Description

This course is designed to help students master the fundamental concepts of music and develop aural and written skills.  After attaining fluency with basic theoretical concepts, students expand their understanding of music theory in this course by studying minor scales, all simple & compound meters, Major, minor, augmented, and diminished intervals, triads, seventh chords, chord inversions, modes, cadences, rondo and variation forms, transposition, and musical texture, setting the stage to begin basic harmonic analysis.  Students apply and reinforce their understanding of these topics through performing, listening, analyzing, notating, and dictating all concepts. 
Prerequisite: Placement based on results of Theory Placement Exams.
Grade level: 9-12
Course Description

In this course, students will develop an understanding of how the basic materials of music, such as pitch, melody, harmony, meter, rhythm, form, expressive elements, etc., are combined, juxtaposed, and manipulated to create compelling musical works. Through this course, students will attain fluency with basic theoretical concepts through the identification, analysis, and application of these concepts in creative exercises. Topics include first and second species counterpoint, major and minor key areas, scales, simple and compound meters, intervals, triads and seventh chords, chord inversions, counterpoint, figured bass, harmonic analysis, cadences, non-harmonic tones, and aural skills. In addition, students will listen to and analyze major musical works to develop an understanding of how these concepts are used in various styles. Student work will include creative projects, tests and quizzes, and in-class analyses and exercises.
Prerequisite: Placement based on results of Theory Placement Exams.
Grade level: 9-12
Course Description

AP Music Theory focuses on voice-leading and advanced topics in tonal harmony.  These include score analysis, harmonic progression, cadences, phrase structure, first species two-voice counterpoint, and figured bass analysis with triads and seventh chords.  Students will delve into the principles of voice leading in four-part chorale texture, dissecting the art of linear structure and development.  This will include approaching and resolving dissonance, non-chord tones, and the treatment of seventh chords, as well as melodic and rhythmic figuration.  More advanced topics in harmony will include applied dominants and leading-tone seventh chords, tonicization and modulation, as well as mode mixture, Neapolitan and augmented sixth chords.  Regular ear training will be stressed; students are expected to aurally identify and internalize concepts covered in class through keyboard exercises, sight singing, and complex dictations.
Prerequisite: Placement based on results of Theory Placement Exams.
Grade Level: 10-12
Course Description

Music Process and Design focuses on exploring the creative process and how music theory, transcription, and analysis play an important role in the creation of new music. Students transcribe and analyze music to identify musical concepts and apply them to an original composition or arrangement. Students write and present an analysis of their work and describe their creative process. Class work includes research, discussion, and analysis. Students transcribe music and perform ear-training exercises regularly to develop an aural understanding of concepts and improve speed and efficiency in aural identification and analysis.
Prerequisite: Placement based on results of Theory Placement Exams.
Grade Level: 10-12
Course Description

This course will focus on understanding the usage and sounds of the jazz and popular music language (melodic, harmonic and rhythmic); analysis of jazz techniques, compositions and improvisations; advanced ear training, including in-class aural drills and transcription of recorded examples. Short-term assignments, exercises, performance assessments and written quizzes will be given as homework and in class on a regular basis.

Applied Music Courses

The following music elective courses are offered on a rotating basis, and provide students with opportunities to diversify their curricular experiences.
 

Many of our applied music courses are Music Composition courses.  These allow students to utilize the language of music, applying theoretical concepts and understandings of musical structures and forms to create original works that reflect their unique perspective as burgeoning artists.  In these courses students make connections between ensemble work, individual technique, music theory, and their experiences as listeners, synthesizing and applying content knowledge in ways that solidify understanding, illuminate ideas, and elicit questions that guide student learning.  Students will be afforded the opportunity to compose for ECA Small and Large Ensembles, their composition classes, and for visiting artists.  There will be many opportunities for public performance, including formal and informal recitals, competitions and large-scale concerts.

Pre-requisite: Fundamentals of Music Theory
Grade Level: 9-12
Course Description

In this course, students will build basic compositional skills with the aim of discovering their individual compositional voices. Students will learn about fundamental musical parameters—the basic building blocks of any composition—and how to manipulate these parameters to create engaging musical ideas. Through the study and in-class discussion of musical works across a variety of genres and time periods, students will begin to be able to discern musical and conceptual innovations that they may incorporate into their own pieces. Students frequently use class time as a workshop, where they can work on new compositions individually in a safe, supportive, and creative space. Specific topics covered in this course include motive, melody, texture, extra-musical associations, modes and scales, and basic formal devices. Coursework includes short composition exercises, longer pieces, quizzes, musical analyses, class discussions, and the rehearsal and performance of student compositions. The class is also designed to serve as a forum for students to practice discussing and critiquing their own work and the work of their colleagues, placing an emphasis on developing the linguistic skills necessary to talk about music at a sophisticated level.
Prerequisite: None
Grades: 9-12
Course Description

This course offers students a basic introduction to composition and recording software.  Students will create sound designs, create basic recording templates, learn simple editing techniques, and demonstrate the ability to produce a professional sounding musical sample.  Students will discuss articles, listen to musical examples, record live performances, and learn to operate a control room as a group.  Individually, students will work on projects using Logic Pro, Garage Band, and other software, learning to record instruments directly into a computer, such as electric and bass guitars.  Using hands on tutorials, students will explore techniques discussed in class, learning to create, record, and edit sound file.
Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Music Theory & faculty recommendation.
Grade Level: 10-12
Course Description

The focus of this class is stage presence, body awareness and spatial relationships, characterization and relationship development, and connecting physical and emotional expression for stage. Students will work with music, props, costume pieces and simple set pieces to better understand the use of time and space on stage. Exercises are designed to encourage communication and expression through movement, gesture, acting objectives and stories told through music. Acting for Singers also gives ECA vocal majors the opportunity to explore traditional through contemporary musical theatre works, in order to actively interpret songs and scenes from a broad base of theatre repertoire.
Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Music Theory
Grade Level: 9-12
Course Description

Student composers are given the opportunity to compose original music in various jazz styles and forms, for performance by themselves and other students in public recitals and concerts. Discussion, work assignments, and exercises have focused on the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic language, and the theory, forms and culture of jazz. 3 – 4 projects are completed each year. Each project emphasizes one key stylistic element from the jazz language. Project phases include: composition and harmonization of the main melody; notation of rhythm section parts; creation of solo choruses, background parts; score and part extraction; rehearsal and performance. Students are participating in the Composing With Laptops program, thanks to a grant from ACES Enterprise, using MacBooks and two leading music software programs, Finale and Sibelius. Feedback is periodically collected for a comparison study between the two music notation programs.
Prerequisite: None
Grade Level: 9-12
Course Description

When performing music if a student misses a pitched note they may sound bad for a moment, when they miss a rhythm they end up in the wrong spot in the music and can have trouble finding their way back.  The ECA applied Rhythm Class is designed to strengthen students’ skill in rhythm to help avoid this common mistake.  Students will engage in daily exercises that will build skills by identifying rhythmic note names, understanding the duration of notes, identifying rhythmic patterns by sight and sound, and performing rhythms.  Students will perform exercises and ensemble pieces by singing, clapping, playing boom-whackers, bucket drums and other various percussion instruments.  This class is designed to develop the students’ rhythm in hands on fun and exciting ways.