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Group Classes & Ensembles

Explore musical styles, strengthen instrumental or vocal technique, and learn to play music in a community. Classes and ensembles offer a supportive environment to learn among peers under the instruction of our expert faculty.

 

Winter Quarter is enrolling through February 9.

Immerse yourself in chamber music and develop your collaborative ensemble playing this summer! Participants will play in supportive small ensembles, coached by expert CMC faculty specializing in chamber music. The two-weekend workshop includes master classes, listening skills, ensemble skills, and rehearsal time for instrumentalists, culminating in a friendly salon concert where you can share your work with one another and invited guests. Pre-formed groups as well as individuals are encouraged to apply. Individuals will be placed in an ensemble based on skill level and instrumentation available. Groups will be finalized and music sent out one month prior to our start date. Ages: Adults, older teens (high school students) Instruments: Piano, strings, woodwinds, brass Styles of music studied: Classical Prerequisites: Minimum three years of private lessons on the instrument you plan to play. As part of the application, you will need to submit a pre-recorded audition in which you perform two contrasting pieces: one slow and one fast; and a two-octave scale in the key of your choice. Workshop size: A maximum of 20 students working in small ensembles Location, Day and Time: Mission District Branch; August 2–4 and August 9–11; Fridays from 6:30–9:00pm, Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00am–2:00pm Faculty: Erik Andersen, Director; additional faculty TBA Tuition: $495 early bird pricing before February 15, 2024; or $525 after February 15, 2024. Tuition includes both weekends and a $150 non-refundable deposit. Tuition Assistance is available. Additional Information:How to enroll: Fill out the Chamber Workshop Questionnaire to submit your registration information and follow the links to pay your deposit and schedule your audition. The Camp Director will contact you to confirm you've scheduled your in-person or zoom audition for acceptance and ensemble placement. Please schedule your audition quickly to ensure availability..Payment: A $150 non-refundable deposit is due with your application to hold your spot and request an audition. In the event that your child is not accepted into camp, a full refund including the deposit will be made. For students who are accepted to camp, this deposit is non-refundable If you do not pay for the entire camp tuition at registration, the remainder of your fee will be due by May 6, 2024. Outstanding balances will be automatically charged on May 6, 2024 to the stored account added during registration. If you wish to pay using a different payment method, please make the payment before the pay-in-full date. If you would like to change your payment method, please contact us. Registrations not paid in full by May 6, 2024 may be canceled and the spot opened to our waitlist. Registrations after May 6, 2024 must be paid in full at the time of registration and are nonrefundable. If you would like to inquire about tuition assistance, please make an appointment with a registrar or email registrars@sfcmc.org. The application deadline is May 6, 2024 for all CMC camps, but we recommend applying early to ensure placement. Because camp is designed around the exact number of campers attending, we are unable to issue refunds after May 6, 2024. Prior to the May 6 deadline, please send refund requests to ssherman@sfcmc.org.
Explore a standard jazz repertoire in a dynamic, participatory setting. The beginning level focuses on improvisation concepts, improving solos, and developing ensemble skills. The intermediate and advanced ensembles play the music of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Freddie Hubbard, and others; with emphasis on communicating as an ensemble, improvising, phrasing, groove, and dynamics to make the music come alive. There will be a culminating performance at Community Music Center at the end of each quarter. Ages: Adults, older teens (high school students) Instruments: Brass, woodwinds, strings and rhythm section (piano, guitar, bass and drums) Musical Styles: Jazz standards, be-bop, blues, Latin jazz Prerequisites: Proficiency on an instrument, mastery of scales, and prior experience in improvisation. Admission with instructor's consent. New students will be asked to audition. Instructor: Charlie Gurke Students enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive a 50% discount on this class tuition.Online signup for this class is unavailable. Submit a Prerequisite Form to get started!
Beginning Vocal Ensemble Join this fun and supportive environment to learn basic vocal and breathing technique, how to support your tone, beginning note reading skills, simple harmonies, and rounds. This beginning singing class is designed for singers with little to no experience. It is focused on group singing, but also incorporates individual singing. Ages: Adults, older teens (high school students) Instrument: Voices of all ranges Musical Styles: Folk, popular, jazz Instructor: Ellen Robinson Students enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive 50% discount. Please read CMC's registration policies before enrolling.
Intermediate/Advanced Vocal Ensemble For vocalists who love to harmonize in a wide variety of musical styles such as jazz, Broadway, pop and R&B. Enjoy interacting with other singers in this lively chorus while continuing to develop your vocal technique, music reading skills, blending with other voices and your stage presence. Ages: Adults, older teens (high school students) Instrument: Voices of all ranges, especially baritone and tenor Musical Styles: Jazz, Broadway, a cappella, pop Prerequisites: Some music reading skills. The ability to sing in tune and hold your own while singing in three and four part harmony. Previous choral experience is a plus. Audition with the instructor is required. Instructor: Ellen Robinson Students enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive a 50% discount on this class tuition. Online signup for this class is unavailable. Submit a Prerequisite Form to get started!
The Beginning Jazz Ensemble focuses on building standard repertoire, improvisation concepts, and developing ensemble skills. Ages: Adults, older teens (high school students) Instruments: Brass, woodwinds, strings and rhythm section (piano, guitar, bass and drums) Musical Styles: Jazz standards, be-bop, blues, Latin jazz Prerequisites: Proficiency on an instrument, knowledge of scales, and some experience in improvisation. Instructors: Erik Peralta, Charlie Gurke Students enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive a 50% discount on this class tuition. Online signup for this class is unavailable. Submit a Prerequisite Form to get started!
Learn beginning vocal technique and interpretive skills in a fun group setting. You'll gain experience learning to sing in healthy ways by focusing on body alignment, breath management, and vowel formation. This class will support a student's process in stylistically interpreting a piece of music through additional research and study. Topics and activities for classes include exploring the singing apparatus, vocalizing with exercises using scales and arpeggios, interpreting music and text, developing stage presence, and working with a collaborative pianist. Ages: Adults, older teens (high school students) Musical Styles: All styles are welcome Prerequisites: Students must be prepared to learn and memorize music and text Instructor: Michael Mohammed Students enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive a 50% discount. Please read CMC's registration policies before enrolling.
This class covers American Music derived from the blues, starting with a deep understanding of the blues and its many variations. This class teaches musicians how to play together in a cohesive way that builds instinct, diplomacy, and a sense of community sharing: the true foundation of ensemble music. In this ensemble class students will learn the various roles of each instrument in the various styles covered and approaches to music arrangement. Students will learn music by region: New Orleans (The Meters), Memphis sound (Stax record artists), Chicago sound (Chess record artists), NY, New Jersey, Texas, Ohio, West coast and the Detroit (Motown) sounds and their unique qualities that has made America the Music Mecca of the world. Ages: Adults, Older teens (high school students) Instrument: Piano, Bass, Drums, Winds, Brass, Strings Musical Styles: Blues, Funk, Soul, R&B & Gospel Prerequisites: Openness and teachable spirit. Knowledge of major, minor, and basic blues. Music readers are welcome, Instructors: Co-Directed and accompanied by Maestro Curtis and Nola Curtis Students enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive a 50% discount on this class tuition. Online signup for this class is unavailable. Submit a Prerequisite Form to get started!
Explore "Old Time" traditional American music, focusing on tunes from Appalachia: songs that crossed the pond from Ireland and Scotland that mixed with African American influences to become the American traditional music known as Old Time. We will also dive into how to play bluegrass interpretations, solos and backup. Singers, mandolin and bass are also welcome! We'll be working on tunes from Appalachia, Irish and Scottish folk tunes, and African American traditional music. We will be focusing on Old Time tunes that are also part of the Bluegrass repertory, from standards to rarely played tunes, versions, and regional interpretations. Printed music will be provided. Ages: Adults and older teens (high school students) Instruments: fiddle, mandolin, banjo, guitar, ukulele, voice, bass (upright preferred) Musical Styles: Old Time and Bluegrass Prerequisites: an intermediate level of playing (especially on the fiddle). Basic reading of chord charts and fiddle notation Instructors: Erik Pearson and Tregar Otton. Instructors will alternate weeks and sometimes teach together. Students enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive a 50% discount on this class tuition.Online signup for this class is unavailable. Submit a Prerequisite Form to get started!
This is a workshop class in which students learn songs written by Burt Bacharach and his lyric collaborators. The instructor will share vocal technique and include information on stage presence and appropriate song keys. Students are welcome to bring their favorite Bacharach songs (recordings, sheet music, lyrics) in addition to the songs suggested. Students will have the opportunity to sing solo and/or to do background vocals. This class typically performs at quarter end recitals. Ages: Adults, older teens (high school students) Instrument: Voices of all ranges Prerequisites: The ability to read music or play an instrument is not necessary, but students should have the ability to sing a melody and sing in an ensemble. Instructor: Clif Payne Students enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive a 50% discount. Please read Community Music Center's registration policies before enrolling. Sample of Resource Materials: Burt Bacharach: Never Be Afraid Of Something You Can Whistle Here I Am: Ronald Isley Meets Burt Bacharach (2003 album) The Dionne Warwick Collection: Her All-Time Greatest (1989 album - She is the greatest interpreter of his songs.) His numerous songs are classics and are easily found online. "Never, ever feel embarrassed or discomforted by a melody that people can remember or whistle." French composer Darius Milhaud to the young student Burt Bacharach at Music of the West, Santa Barbara, CA.
Whether you are an advanced beginner or an accomplished amateur musician, CMC's chamber music program offers an opportunity to develop your musicianship and technique as well as the chance to play with others. Groups are composed of two to five students of compatible levels. Advanced beginners and intermediate students will focus on developing basic ensemble skills, intonation, tone quality, and rhythmic accuracy. Advanced students will study important aspects of ensemble playing, including interpretation and performance techniques. Each quarter, performers are invited to participate in a group recital. We welcome pianists and often have ensembles of Four-Hand Piano Duos. Intermediate and advanced piano students may connect through the chamber music program to play and receive coaching on classical duets. Four-hand piano is a fun way to apply what you've learned and pick up new skills that can introduce you to chamber music with strings and winds. This is a great opportunity to create lasting friendships as well as great performing groups! Pre-formed groups are highly encouraged! Ensembles who would like to perform will be encouraged to sign up for a regular CMC recital. Ages: All ages Instruments: All and voice Musical Styles: All Prerequisites: Students should have at least two years of experience playing their instrument. Placement auditions for new students take place at the beginning of each quarter in order to create groups who play at similar levels. Beginning students should be familiar with key signature with up to three sharps and flats, and basic rhythms including eighth notes. Class size: 2–5 students Locations: Mission District Branch OR Richmond District Branch. For more information, please contact: Katrina Wreede, Chamber Music Coordinator: kwreede@sfcmc.org Online signup for this class is unavailable. Please fill out the Chamber Music Inquiry Form to get started.
A chamber choir that sings the music of Spain and Latin America Sing beautiful baroque, classical and folk music from Latin America and Spain in a small choir setting. Learn how to sing in Spanish, Latin, and several dialects from the Americas in different styles ranging from the 13th century to modern folk styles. Ages: Adults, older teens (high school students) Instrument: Voices of all ranges Musical Styles: Baroque, classical, and folk music from Mexico, Spain and South America Prerequisites: Ability to sing in tune and read music. Spanish fluency not required. Entrance by audition. Instructor: Martha Rodríguez-Salazar, Director; Michaela Overall, Accompanist Students enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive a 50% discount on this class tuition.Online signup for this class is unavailable. Submit a Prerequisite Form to get started!
Learn, perform, and hone your skills playing all styles of popular Cuban and Cuban-inspired dance music, including cha-cha-chá, danzón, guaracha, songo, timba, bolero, son-montuno, salsa, and other Afro-Cuban popular dance music. Charanga, or Tipica ensembles, ensembles incorporate violin and flute (usually instead of brass instruments, although trumpets and trombones are often used in modern charanga), along with bass, piano, vocals, and Afro-Cuban percussion. In this advanced class, students will learn and perform modern and traditional charanga music, learn about Cuban music history in a performance-focused environment, much like professional band rehearsals. Ages: Adults, older teens (high school students) Instruments: Voice, woodwinds, brass, violin, cello, bass, piano, and percussion (bongo, congas, guiro, claves, and timbales) Musical Styles: Cuban salsa, charanga, and other Afro-Cuban music Prerequisites: Proficiency on an instrument, reading skills, and interest in Latin music. Pianists should be able to play basic montunos and bassists should be able to play tumbao. Admission with instructor's consent. Instructor: Tregar Otton Students enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive a 50% discount on this class tuition.Online signup for this class is unavailable. Submit a Prerequisite Form to get started!
This class is designed for musicians that would like to learn about the basics of Cuban music and Salsa music. We will discuss rhythms that are key to Afro-Cuban music, including how clave and percussion parts relate to each instrument's role, and improvisation within the style. We will also focus on learning the form of Cuban dance music, the historical context, and how different dances influence and fit into the musical form. Students will learn the key rhythms of Cuban danzón, cha-cha-chá, and son montuno as well as how to approach improvisation in Cuban music. Instrumentalists and vocalists are welcome. Ages: Adults, older teens (high school students) Instruments: Voice, woodwinds, brass, violin, cello, bass, piano, and percussion (bongo, congas, guiro, claves, and timbales) Musical Styles: Cha-cha-chá, danzón, guaracha, bolero, son, songo, timba, salsa, and other Afro-Cuban music Prerequisites: Proficiency on an instrument, reading skills, and interest in Latin music. Admission with instructor's consent. Instructor: Tregar Otton Students enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive a 50% discount on this class tuition.Online signup for this class is unavailable. Submit a Prerequisite Form to get started!
This group workshop will introduce students to the wide variety of blues grooves that one might encounter at a blues jam. We'll listen and learn from the recordings performed by the original artists that define a particular groove e.g., a Magic Sam boogie, an Albert King blues rhumba/mambo, a Jimmy Reed shuffle, a B.B. King jump blues, a Muddy Waters 'mojo' groove, a Lowell Fulson 'tramp' groove, and much more. Ensemble playing and individual improvisation will be encouraged with a focus on group interaction and the supporting role each individual instrument plays in establishing the groove. Ages: adult, older teens (high school) Instruments: guitar (electric), bass (electric), piano, drums, brass/woodwinds Prerequisites: Intermediate playing proficiency on your instrument, ability to play 7th and 9th chords (barred for guitars), have some major scale and blues scale knowledge, read a simple chord chart Instructor: Larry Dunn Students enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive a 50% discount on this class tuition. Online signup for this class is unavailable. Submit a Prerequisite Form to get started!
This class will serve as an introduction to core elements of jazz music. We'll learn about the essential roles of each member in a jazz ensemble, such as walking bass lines, drum grooves, the role of comping, and interpretation of a melody. We'll examine integral building blocks of jazz harmony, how to approach learning your first tunes, understanding a lead sheet, as well as how to go about preparing for improvisation.The goal of this class is to provide you with skills that will enhance your understanding of the language, assist in making music with others, and enable you to be free to improvise. Ages: Adults, older teens (high school students) Instruments: All instruments Prerequisites: Proficiency on an instrument, knowledge of major scales Instructor: Erick PeraltaStudents enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive a 50% discount. Please read CMC's registration policies before enrolling. Online signup for this class is unavailable. Submit a Prerequisite Form to get started!
This ensemble is the next step in the strings journey after the beginning fundamentals program (or by audition in Winter Quarter 2024). In this ensemble, children will learn to sight-read music, understand melody and harmony, develop ensemble skills including listening to multiple parts at once, follow a conductor and blend with other musicians by preparing and performing music from diverse cultures and styles. Students perform at CMC recitals twice a year. It is recommended that students who play in the Sinfonietta take private lessons to supplement the ensemble work. It is highly encouraged that students enroll for a full year in this ensemble (Winter/Spring 2024). Ages: 7-11 Instruments: Violin, viola, cello, bass Musical Styles: Music from diverse cultures Prerequisites: Completion of year one of the beginning fundamentals class or by audition. This class requires the completion of a form and submission of a video. Instructor: Katie Wreede Students enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive a 50% discount on this class tuition.Online signup for this class is unavailable. Submit a Prerequisite Form to get started!
A natural segue from family music classes, this class is for parents who would like to learn to play an instrument alongside their child in a fun group environment. Children may be aged from 4 to 7, grandparents or parents, or caregivers are welcome to attend (one/child). The child will learn how to strum along to simple 3 chord songs. Parents will be expected to learn the chords, in support of the overall sound experience. We will work on simple 3 chord tunes and basic strum patterns using The Daily Ukulele Songbook as well as others. Learn how to tune your instrument, how to hold it, play and sing at the same time! We will encourage laughter, listening and singing. Absolute beginners welcome! Ages: Children ages 4-7 Instructor: Diane Aurelius Prerequisites: No playing experience necessary. Students enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive a 50% discount. Please read Community Music Center's registration policies before enrolling.
This ensemble covers gospel music performance and relatable genres (fusing gospel with other styles of music such as R&B and contemporary Contemporary Christian music). Students will learn common chord progressions and chord substitutes and turnarounds typical in gospel music. Improvisation will be taught and demonstrated We will explore building blocks of improvisation including using pentatonics, modes, and blues runs. In this class, students will learn skills that will help them to lead their own band or chorus. We'll learn songs like "Oh Happy Day" by Edwin Hawkins, and "Going up Yonder" by Walter Hawkins. Songs will be learned by ear and by use of charts. Ages: Adults and kids (elementary, middle, high school) Instruments: Drums, Bass, guitar, keyboard, vocalists Prerequisites: This is an intermediate to advanced class dealing in the styles of traditional and contemporary gospel music. Instrumentalists must be able to read music and chord charts and have some experience playing in a band setting. Singers must have some experience in singing in a choral environment. i.e choir, lead singing, trio or group. Instructor: Ken LittleStudents enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive a 50% discount on this class tuition.Online signup for this class is unavailable. Submit a Prerequisite Form to get started!
This is a workshop-style class in which students learn classic Soul/R&B songs as both soloists and background singers. Repertoire will include music from the 1959–1990s. Students will learn proper vocal technique, stage presence, performance, and interpretation. Clif will also help students find the appropriate keys for their songs. Students are welcome to bring their favorite Soul/R&B songs to sing using accompaniment recordings. Ages: Adults, older teens (high school students) Musical Styles: Classic Soul and R&B Prerequisites: The ability to read music or play an instrument is not necessary (Your voice is an instrument!), but students should have the ability to sing a melody and hear harmony. Instructor: Clif Payne COURSE OBJECTIVES: Singing the classic soul and R&B songs spanning from 1957-1990. To recognize the universality, "singability" and freedom of spirit in singing these songs. To sing these songs in your key. To overcome any fear or vocal challenge in singing. To interpret the songs using the students' own vocal ability and personality. To perform these songs in a recital at the end of the semester. Students enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive a 50% discount. Please read CMC's registration policies before enrolling.
Kids learn to play guitar in a fun and supportive group setting with some of their favorite songs. This hands-on class helps kids play music right away. Students learn rhythm, melody, creating a good tone, and listening so they can play music with others. Kids explore folk, rock, pop, and world music together in a social environment, building confidence along with music basics. It is highly encouraged to continue with two more quarters of sequential instruction for continuing students in Winter and Spring Quarters. Musical Styles: Folk, rock, pop and world music Class Size: Maximum 5 students Instructor: Vivian Sharp Students enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive a 50% discount. Please read Community Music Center's registration policies before enrolling.

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