Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Authentic Experience in the Music Class

Today we had our first rehearsal of iAlchemy the piece we commissioned from Doug O'Grady and will perform with the Waterbury Symphony.  There are nine parts for iPads.  Four iPad parts on five iPad/strings.

I started with a discussion of professionalism.  We are responsible for our parts and that's no joke.

I put the most experienced musician on the iPad soloist, and the three choir members on the other iPad parts.  That way they can rehearse during choir if needed.

We spent a good twenty minutes looking at the score.  This is a music theory class, almost all students who are taking their first music class.  We talked about keys, modality, chord progressions.  I asked the students to mark up the score and begin to draw arrows between parts that were doubled.

We then rehearsed the ending (m.67 to end).  We had reminders about note reading (thats an F) and then, since we are playing on iPad keyboards, which F?  It was nice to be able to say F4 and have the students pick up on that.

We split into two groups, ipad/strings and iPads and rehearsed.  By the end of the class we kind of almost played through the piece along with the recording.

There was A LOT of theory done in the class today.  Authentic experience for music theory class is not easy but I think this project will drive a lot of learning.