This summer, Harker debuted two brand new music programs to enhance their music offerings. The two new classes, Music Creativity and Improvisation Workshop and Summer Music Workshop, sought to improve students’ technical abilities as well as nurture their creative processes.
The Creativity and Improvisation Workshop was taught by Leslie Hart. The workshop was targeted at students who were beginning to refine their musical abilities, grades 3 to 5, in order to broaden the horizon of their musical development. The workshops were composed of daily, three-hour intensive sessions at the lower school campus in the mornings (8:30-11:30) for two weeks, from June 20 to July 1.
The workshop trained students in a number of essential music skills, including: learning repertoire by ear in different tonalities; learning common music forms by ear; performing, reading and composing rhythm and tonal patterns as well as progressions; improvising in many tonalities, meters and styles; transcribing and analyzing improvisations; and composing and arranging pieces in a structure set by the instructor. After learning and practicing these challenging skills, the students performed a concert for their parents at the end of each week.
The second new program offered this summer was the Summer Music Workshop. This workshop, which ran until July 15, was offered to students in grades 2-6 and, according to Kelly Espinosa, the Harker summer programs director, presented the students an “opportunity to explore music-making and understanding, through exposure to music theory and composition, ear training and singing as well as working in ensembles and full orchestras.” The workshop was taught by instructors Louis Hoffman and Toni Woodruff.
This workshop emphasized key skills for any aspiring musician, such as: developing strong warmup and practice techniques; studying music theory and composition, with a final joint composition to be performed at the end of the camp; ear training and group singing. Additionally, all students played together in groups to develop their abilities to work within an orchestra. Children also composed an original piece and performed it at the concert.
An open rehearsal was conducted at the end of the first week to see the students’ ongoing progress, with another concert performed at the end of the second week.