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Monday, May 23, 2011 - We Invite You to "Camp" at MTD

Summer is here and the building and parking lots are much quieter than usual, but there is still music in the air. In addition to the university’s summer semester classes, the department is offering a variety of summer camps and intensives designed to help young people and adults improve technique and performance in the discipline they are passionate about.

The camps started early. In April Bret Hoag led the first ever Guitar Day, and in May renowned jazz violinist and OU alum Regina Carter joined OU faculty, including jazz program coordinator Miles Brown, and the OU Jazz Quartet in two days of combo rehearsals, listening classes and more at the Jazz Workshop. The camp concluded with a free concert.
 
And there is much more to come. From June 20 through June 24, OU’s strings faculty and Music Prep Division will offer a Summer Strings Camp filled with chamber music rehearsals, theory classes, performance opportunities, and workshops, covering such areas as improvisation and active listening. The camp is especially designed for middle and high school students, ages 12-17, with an intermediate to early advanced skill level.

Music Prep director Bibienne Yu says, “I think the big benefit for students participating in this camp is that they will be able to get new perspectives and new inspirations at their instruments during the less busy summer months. With improvisation and international strings explorations, we are sure to ignite the students' love of creativity. These elements will enhance the musicianship they'll be gaining from our faculty members on a daily basis, through chamber group and strings orchestra rehearsals. And students will have a valuable experience of college life for that one week.”

Next up will be the annual Great Lakes Dance Festival, held this year from July 11 through July 22. Classes will be offered in ballet, jazz, contemporary technique, and yoga, and students will have opportunities to work with gifted choreographers on dances from their current repertory. This year’s guest teachers include Jay Kim, who had a fourteen-year international dance career before turning to teaching in 2004; Matthew Farmer, who is currently the Co-Artistic Director of RusticGroove Dance Co. and the Head of Dance at Anderson University in Indiana University; and OU Dance alum Alexis DeCapua who is the Captain and Choreographer of the Detroit Pistons’ “Automation” Dance Team.
 
The festival offers an unparalleled opportunity for teachers, professional dancers, and students over the age of sixteen not only to improve their skills but to experience college life. Dancers may stay on-campus if they choose, allowing out-of-town and even out-of-state students to attend and participate.

Music Prep is offering two workshops in July. From July 18 through 22, students ages 12 -18 may enroll in Musicianship Workshop: Theory, Piano, and Composition. Each day attendees will spend the first hour developing their musical ears through sight-singing and notation experiences, the second hour on building basic piano skills, and the third hour working on a composition. Each student will compose a theme and up to two variations of that theme, written in the style of Mozart for one or two instruments. Knowledge of music notation is required, and a basic understanding of music theory concepts will be helpful.

Creative Computer Music Composition will be offered from July 25 to 29. No previous knowledge of music software programs is necessary, although some understanding of basic music theory concepts will be helpful. Students ages 12 -18 will explore computer music composition using a variety of computer software programs, such as Garageband. Students will be introduced to concepts such as composing with the computer, editing a composition, sequencing sounds, and recording live music. Students will create their own musical composition and since many of the programs learned in the workshop are free web-based tools, students will be able to continue working with these programs at home.

These two composition workshops will be taught be Jenine Brown, who plays violin and piano, and sings alto in her church choir. However, Jenine is primarily a music theorist and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in music theory at the Eastman School of Music. She says her dissertation, “discusses my cognition experiments, which investigate how we learn and remember unfamiliar melodies.”

In the workshop Theory, Piano, and Composition, Jenine will teach "model composition." She explains, “Music theory teaches us about the musical language of the major composers. My training at Eastman helped me learn how to write compositions that imitate the music of Bach, Mozart, Schumann, and Chopin, for example. When we create compositions using these composers as our models, we also learn about music theory concepts. For many students, this is a fun and rewarding way to learn. Once we've learned about the musical language of individual composers, students are encouraged to compose in their own unique style.”

In Creative Computer Music Composition Jenine says all genres of music will be considered. “We may create pieces that sound more like pop music rather than classical pieces. It will be more of an exploratory class into composing with the computer, and students may compose in a variety of musical styles.”

Registration is still open for all these camps. Contact stapleto@oakland.edu for information or read more here.