Monday, November 08, 2010

Fall 2010 Music Department Workshops

Below is detailed information pertaining to the upcoming Departmental Workshops. This is PMAC's seventh 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. PMAC lesson students can register for a workshop online by clicking here. Also check out my May 2005 Blog Post: The Value of Departmental Workshops.

November 21 - 23, 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 for a workshop online at or e-mail Katie at

2:30 - 4:00pm: Time-Feel Listening Workshop (for youth students of all levels/instruments)

In this workshop we will deal with listening for time-feel: pocket, vibe, energy, color, etc. These ideas are a vital part of the way that musicians approach the relative evenness or un-evenness of tempo to suit the music being expressed. We will listen to music ranging from hip-hop to rock to electronic music to jazz to early/classical music. We will also make time at the end of this workshop for students to provide feedback about PMAC, its programs and facility. Workshop Teaching Team: Mike Effenberger and Nick Phaneuf

7:00 - 8:30pm: Adult Student Workshop: You’ve Got Rhythm (Who Could Ask for Anything More?)
Rhythm is one of the core elements of Western music and can transcend style and genre. This workshop explores beginner to advanced concepts in rhythm, providing a starting point for further study in your lessons. What are some strategies for learning to read rhythms fluently? How do improvisers use rhythm to structure a solo? What is a non-retrogradable rhythm? How can subdividing time help us understand complex rhythms? These questions and more will be addressed as we examine rhythm as it applies to classical, jazz, swing, blues, rock, pop music and more. Bring your instruments (we’ll all play some rhythms), your hands (we’ll all clap some rhythms), your feet (we’ll tap...), and your mouths (we’ll speak, sing and ask questions). Workshop Teaching Team: Russ Grazier, Katie Papini Backus and Judy McCann

3:30 - 4:30pm: Young Student Workshop (for students age 9 and under, all levels/instruments)
How many notes does it take you to Name That Tune? Do you hear what she hears when you play Music In Your Head? Can you shape the music when you Conduct a Cacophony, Come join in all of the fun and games with music at the Young Student Workshop! Workshop Teaching Team: Bryan Bergeron-Killough and Ginna Macdonald

4:45-5:45pm: Guitar Effects (for youth guitar studentsof all levels)
We will discuss the tools and methods available to sculpt, shape and mangle the sounds of one’s instrument. Workshop Teaching Team: Nick Phaneuf, Carlos Sabina, Bryan Bergeron-Killough and Jim Dozet

6:00-7:00pm: “Blue Monk” (intermediate/advanced students, ages 12-18. Piano, Guitar, Drums, Bass, Brass, Woodwinds & Strings)
In this workshop we’ll be exploring Thelonious Monk’s “Blue Monk” and discuss different approaches on improvising with it. It is recommended that the attending students listen to at least one recorded version of the tune via iTunes, youtube, record, CD, wax cylinder, etc. Workshop Teaching Team: Mike Effenberger, Jeff Auger, Mike Walsh, Nick Phaneuf and Bryan Bergeron-Killough

7:15-8:15pm: Percussion/Drums Workshop (for youth drum students of all levels)
Most drum students are familiar with such drumming greats such as Neil Pert, Buddy Rich, John Bohnam, and Travis Barker, but are you familiar with Tony Williams, Max Roach, Steve Gadd, or Jimmy Chamberlin? These are some of the drummers we will be listening to and discussing why they are important drummers. Jim and I will also demonstrate and explain some of their classic grooves and fills that made them famous. Workshop Teaching Team: Mike Walsh and Jim Rudolf

3:30-4:30pm: String Workshop - Making Sounds With and Without the Bow (for youth string students of all levels)
We will review all of the parts of your instruments and their roles in creating sound. Then we will learn the different ways we create sound other than with the bow and try them out on your instrument. Workshop Teaching Team: Katie Papini Backus, Diane Tiezzi and Adam MacDougall

4:45-5:45pm: Pedaling Techniques for Pianists (for youth piano students of all levels)
This workshop will explore the three foot pedals, including how and when they are used, the history of their development, and especially learning and improving pedaling techniques. It is appropriate both for curious beginners who may never have used any of the pedals, and advanced students looking to add more expressiveness and excitement to their piano playing. Workshop Teaching Team: Adam MacDougall, Heather Bissell and Nicole Hajj

6:00-7:00pm: Vocal Performance (for youth voice students of all levels)
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 Teaching Team: Nicole Hajj, Judy McCann, Adam MacDougall

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