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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.

 

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Explore a standard jazz repertoire in a dynamic, participatory setting. The advanced ensemble plays 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 discount on class tuition. Please read CMC's registration policies before enrolling.Online signup for this class is unavailable. Submit a Prerequisite Form to get started!
In this class participants will learn about the history of the Afro-Peruvian Cajon (wooden box drum), and will learn to play Afro-Peruvian rhythms on the Cajon. The Afro-Peruvian Cajon has become a symbol of identity and cultural pride for Peruvians. Currently it is the most popular instrument in Peru, practically every family on the Peruvian coast has a Cajón at home that is part of their celebrations. Furthermore, we can recognize the versatility of this instrument that has allowed it to successfully position itself in world music, being one of the most used alternatives in the percussion sets of various artists Instruments: Cajon (percussion) Musical Styles: Afro-Peruvian Ages: Adults and older teens Prerequisites: none Teacher: Pierr Padilla Cajons will be provided during class sessions. If students have their own cajon, they are welcome to bring it! Students enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive a discount on class tuition. Please read CMC's registration policies before enrolling.
In this class students will learn to play Afro-Peruvian rhythms using the magical Peruvian instrument "Cajon". The Cajon is the main instrument of Afro-Peruvian culture and can be used to play many different Afro-Peruvian and Latin rhythms. The Cajon originated during the battery ban. Afro-Peruvians used their ingenuity to turn a shipping box into a drum. Students will also learn how to translate the rhythms learned on the Cajon to rhythms played on our bodies using a combination of stomps, pats, and claps. Afro-Peruvian Zapateo is a cultural practice of African descendants in Peru, which has its origins during colonial times. The use of drums and any African cultural practice was prohibited, so African descendants transported the drumbeats to their own bodies to keep their ancestral memory alive. Instruments: Cajon (percussion) Musical Styles: Afro-Peruvian Ages: 5-10 years old Prerequisites: Students ages 5 and 6 should bring a “study buddy” to each class (a parent or caregiver) Teacher: Pierr PadillaCajons will be provided during class sessions. If students have their own cajon, they are welcome to bring it!Students enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive a discount on class tuition. Please read CMC's registration policies before enrolling.
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 RobinsonMask requirement: Students are required to wear an N95 "Singer’s Mask" during this class. This type of mask provides ample space for full mouth opening, breathing, and resonance. The specific recommended mask is the Resonance 95 Singers Mask, available at mymusicfolders.com/product/resonance-95-mask/. Individuals who do not possess this mask or are unable to acquire it before the first class are advised to wear a regular N95 mask as an alternative. It's important to acknowledge that Anything Goes Chorus is an intergenerational group, with some members being vulnerable themselves or residing with vulnerable individuals.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: The ability to sing in tune, hold your own while singing in three part harmony, and have some music reading skills. Previous choral experience is a plus. Prior approval of instructor is required. Instructor: Ellen Robinson Students enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive a 50% discount on this class tuition.Mask requirement: Students are required to wear an N95 "Singer’s Mask" during this class. This type of mask provides ample space for full mouth opening, breathing, and resonance. The specific recommended mask is the Resonance 95 Singers Mask, available at mymusicfolders.com/product/resonance-95-mask/ Individuals who do not possess this mask or are unable to acquire it before the first class are advised to wear a regular N95 mask as an alternative. It's important to acknowledge that Anything Goes Chorus is an intergenerational group, with some members being vulnerable themselves or residing with vulnerable individuals.Students enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive 50% discount. Please read CMC's registration policies before enrolling.Online signup for this class is unavailable. Submit a Prerequisite Form to get started!
Learn chords, simple strums, and tuning in a fun, relaxed group setting. You’ll be introduced to the basic elements of rhythm and harmony that will help you to play music right away! Guitar 1 is for the absolute beginner.Students leave Guitar 1 with the following:Basic open position chords: A, D, E, G, C, Am, Em, A7, B7, D7, E7, G7Basic strums in 4/4 and 3/4 timeI-IV-V tunes in A, D, G, and EKnowledge of how to read a “lead sheet”The desire to keep playingAges: Adults and older teens (high school students) Instruments: Guitar Musical Styles: Diverse, based on participant interests Prerequisites: none Instructor: Vivian Sharp Size: 4-6 studentsThis class prepares you for Guitar Group Class - Learning Songs, Bluegrass Jam, Blues Workshop and other Group Guitar and Mixed Instrument ensemblesStudents enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive a discount on class tuition. Please read CMC's registration policies before enrolling.
CMC offers jazz ensembles for players of all levels. Explore jazz repertoire in a dynamic, participatory setting.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: Erick Peralta, Charlie Gurke, David SteinbergStudents enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive a discount on class tuition. Please read CMC's registration policies before enrolling.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 discount on class tuition. Please read CMC's registration policies before enrolling. This class prepares you for Vocal Harmony Workshop, Anything Goes Chorus, Great Songs of Soul and R&B, Gospel Vocal Ensemble and/or other mixed instrument ensembles that include vocals.
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 discount on class tuition. Please read CMC's registration policies before enrolling. Online signup for this class is unavailable. Submit a Prerequisite Form to get started!
This Electric Blues 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 discount on class tuition. Please read CMC's registration policies before enrolling.Online signup for this class is unavailable. Submit a Prerequisite Form to get started!
Learn traditional Afro Brazilian rhythms in a unique group setting. You will have a chance to study the techniques that makeup this musical language which has influenced other well known Brazilian musical styles such as samba and samba reggae. While some techniques are similar to that of the conga or djembe, the hand and stick techniques in this tradition will lead you into new sonic territories. This class will introduce you to many duplet and triplet based rhythms along with areas that are a mixture of the two and exist in between common rhythmic divisions. Students will gain insight into how this music fits into the song and dance context and how these elements combine to create a captivating atmosphere which is an essential cultural practice linking West Africa to the Americas. Ages: Adults, older teens (high school students) Musical Styles: All styles are welcome Prerequisites: Students must be prepared to learn and memorize several rhythmic patterns along with several hand and stick techniques Instructor: Robert Lopez Students enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive a discount on class tuition. Please read CMC's registration policies before enrolling.
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.Students enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive a discount on class tuition. Please read Community Music Center's registration policies before enrolling.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.
Children discover their voices and learn to sing with a group in the Children’s Chorus. Students are introduced to musical skills to become careful listeners, better singers, and build confidence in an environment that emphasizes cooperation, teamwork and fun. With a patient and supportive approach to learning music, children are encouraged to express themselves and develop a lifelong love of singing. No experience is required to sing in this free chorus. Ages: Children ages 8-12 Instrument: Voices of all ranges Musical Styles: Popular, jazz, multicultural folk, show tunes, originals Prerequisites: A strong desire to sing and families committed to supporting their children’s experience Instructor: Beth Wilmurt Tuition for the Children's Chorus is fully covered by a scholarship grant, making it free to students. There is a $15 quarterly registration fee. Please read Community Music Center's registration policies before enrolling.
An a cappella group that sings pop music from different eras. Join CMC's first a cappella group! We'll sing fun and challenging arrangements of pop music, learn how to blend our voices and emulate different instruments, strengthen our musical ears, and help you become a stronger singer overall. Ages: Adults Instrument: Voices of all ranges (tenors, basses and vocal percussionists highly encouraged) Musical styles: Pop, folk, and more! Prerequisites: Ability to sing in tune and read music. Entrance by audition. Instructor: Nena Aldaz Students enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive a discount on class tuition. Please read CMC's registration policies before enrolling. Online signup for this class is unavailable. Submit a Prerequisite Form to get started!
The class teaches basic techniques for composing any kind of music. From simple folk tunes to large symphonies, musical compositions are created by connecting and elaborating relatively short melodies. Accordingly, we will start by constructing melodies as a single instrumental or vocal line; then we will use a melody to generate complex compositions. The principles for doing this are general—essentially reducing to the ideas of repetition and variation—and apply to the vast variety of musical genres, from pop to classical. The class will be a combination of lecture and hands on work. Students will be assigned composition exercises, describe and discuss their work with the class, and work on a final composition project. Prerequisites: Access to a computer notation program or DAW is strongly recommended. Previous training in diatonic and/or chromatic harmony is useful and recommended, and so is some training in an instrument or voice.
Jazz Today, a contemporary Jazz ensemble, invites students to explore the music of today’s hottest jazz artists from around the globe. We will draw from the repertoire of some of the most talented and creative musicians on the scene such as Robert Glasper, Esperanza Spalding, and Kamasi Washington who are honoring the tradition of this artform while also pushing the boundaries into new and unexpected territory. In addition to improvising within the framework of these compositions, we will also work extensively on creating unique and dynamic arrangements meant to solidify and expand each musician's role within the ensemble. Vocalists are also welcome and highly encouraged to join regardless of improvisation experience. Ages: Adults, older teens (high school students) Instruments: Brass, woodwinds, strings and rhythm section (piano, guitar, bass and drums) Musical Styles: Jazz, R&B, and Hip Hop Prerequisites: must be able to read standard music notation and chord charts and have a basic understanding of jazz improvisation concepts Instructor: David Steinberg Students enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive a discount on class tuition. Please read CMC's registration policies before enrolling. Online signup for this class is unavailable. Submit a Prerequisite 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, AccompanistStudents 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!
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 OttonStudents enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive a discount on class tuition. Please read CMC's registration policies before enrolling.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 OttonStudents enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive a discount on class tuition. Please read CMC's registration policies before enrolling.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 discount on class tuition. Please read CMC's registration policies before enrolling. This class prepares you for CMC Jazz Ensembles.Online signup for this class is unavailable. Submit a Prerequisite Form to get started!