Monday, May 24, 2010

Spring 2010 Deptartmental Workshops

Below is detailed information pertaining to the upcoming Departmental Workshops. This is PMAC's sixth year of providing workshops for private lesson students. It is one of the advantages of studying at a community school and designed to be fun and informative for all students. Also check out my May 2005 Blog Post: The Value of Departmental Workshops.


June 1 - 5, 2010

What are Departmental Workshops? Departmental Workshops are master classes for all private music lesson students who study at PMAC. These workshops are presented by our faculty and focus on musicianship, performance techniques, music equipment and repertoire.

Why do I have to attend? As a private music lesson student, workshop attendance is mandatory. This is an opportunity to work with different teachers, meet students with similar interests and learn something new. There are no lessons the week of Departmental Workshops to give everyone time to attend.

When are the Workshops? The dates are the workshops are June 1-5, 2010. Please note the following: We’ve added two Friday workshops and a Saturday workshop to accommodate 5th grade students who will be attending Environmental Camp this week and the Adult Workshop will be on Tuesday evening.

Where are they located? All Workshops take place in our PMAC Recital Hall.

How do I sign-up? Please talk to your instructor directly to get their recommendation for the best workshop for your ability. All workshops are limited to 25 participants – no exceptions! – so be sure to sign up early to get the class of your choice. If you have any questions, please call the PMAC Office at 431-4278, register online at or e-mail Katie at


3:30-4:30pm: Vocal Workshop (for any youth voice student) – Bring a song you've been working on to share with the group. A great opportunity to prepare for an upcoming recital and to sing in a fun, friendly setting. THIS IS NOT A RECITAL! This is an opportunity for students to try out different approaches to their singing in front of others in a non-performance setting. - Workshop Leader: Nicole Hajj; Supporting Teachers: Judy McCann, Margo Nothnagel

5:00-6:00pm: Listening Workshop – Covers and Transcriptions (for any student ages 9 to 18) – What is the difference between a cover song and a music transcription? How do these re-workings of music compare to the originals? Come find out in this fun listening session! - Workshop Leader: Adam MacDougall; Supporting Teacher: Nick Phaneuf

7:00-9:00pm: Adult Workshop (for all adult students (ages 21+) – ALL adult private lesson students are asked to attend this important session where we get the opportunity to play our pieces for each other, discuss the unique challenges and joys of learning music as an adult, and partake in wonderful food and libations! - Workshop Leader: Russ Grazier; Supporting Teachers: Adam MacDougall, Mark Zielinski


3:30-4:30pm: Young Student Workshop (for students ages 8 and younger) – Designed for our youngest lesson students, this workshop encourages joy and fun in music making. - Workshop Leader: Virginia Macdonald; Supporting Teacher: Nicole Hajj

4:45-5:45pm: Violin Workshop: Ensemble Playing (for any violin student) – Play violin in a large group with other violin students. Diane Tiezzi will provide music to prepare - pick up in the PMAC office prior to the workshop! Workshop Leader: Diane Tiezzi; Supporting Teacher: Katie Backus

6-7pm: Guitar Workshop: Capos (for any guitar student) – Learn about the capo or more formally "capo tasto," a clamp-like device used on the neck of a guitar or other string instrument to shorten the strings and raise pitch. The capo has a long history and many practical uses! - Workshop Leader: Bryan Bergeron-Killough Supporting Teachers: Nick Phaneuf, Carlos Sabina


3:30-4:30pm: Listening Workshop: JAZZ (for all youth students) – Jazz has a rich history as America's true art form. Come spend an hour with Mike Effenberger and learn about the amazing world of jazz music through many exciting recordings. - Workshop Leader: Mike Effenberger; Supporting Teacher: Chris Klaxton

***Just Added!*** 5-6pm: Young Student Workshop (for students ages 8 and younger) – Designed for our youngest lesson students, this workshop encourages joy and fun in music making. - Workshop Leader: Virginia Macdonald; Supporting Teacher: TBA
FRIDAY, JUNE 4, 2010

3:30-4:30pm: Percussion Workshop: Drum Set Jam (for all youth drum students) – What happens when we set up five drum sets in one room and unleash a bunch of drum students? You'll only know if you come play. - Workshop Leader: Mike Walsh; Supporting Teacher: Mike Effenberger

4:45-5:45pm: How Scales Work (for any youth student) – Many of us practice scales on our instruments, but do you know how they work? Do you know how many scales exist? Going far beyond major and minor, we'll learn why E-sharp is NOT an F and how you can make amazing music with wild scale creations. Workshop Leader: Russ Grazier; Supporting Teacher: Bryan Killough


11:00am-12:00pm: Play the Blues (for all youth instrumentalists) – Join our faculty as we explore playing the blues. One of America's richest musical idioms, it is important for all young musicians to have a basic understanding of the blues. In this special workshop we'll play as a group - bring your instrument! Everyone will get a chance to join in and play. Even if you've never played the blues or improvised before, this workshop is a great way to start! - Workshop Leader: Matt Langley; Supporting Teachers: Nate Therrien, Mike Walsh, Jeff Auger

QUESTIONS? Please call us at PMAC at 603-431-4278 or e-mail