Instrumental Music Course Descriptions

Instrumental Music


College Prep, Grades 9-12, Year-long

Prerequisite: Minimum one year of private instruction with teacher approval, or two years Junior High band/orchestra  
This group will perform music from the classical repertoire. Music will be chosen that will advance the student skill level over the course of the school year. Orchestra members will be expected to be proficient readers. Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion and Strings will be represented in this group. The Inspire School Orchestra will have many opportunities to perform at concerts for their fellow students and at community events. This course satisfies VPA requirement.

Piano 1A-P

College Prep, Grades 9-12, Semester-long

Students must complete both Piano 1A and 1B to satisfy the UC/ CSU requirement for Fine Arts.
This course covers elementary piano technique and knowledge of the structure of music: note names on the grand staff and piano keyboard, key signatures, time signatures, rhythm values, diatonic intervals, major and minor triads and major scales.  Students will follow a progressive study of piano and music theory that will allow them to learn to read and play traditional piano literature.  This course will also explore simple improvisation and composition for piano.

Piano 1B-P

College Prep, Grades 10-12, Semester-long
Prerequisite: Piano 1A or by permission of the instructor.                    
This course is a continuation of Piano 1A, and is required to qualify for UC a-g course credit. Students will work on piano pieces according to their level of playing, and will work on an independent study basis on both piano pieces and theory.   The course will include learning scales and chord progressions in several keys, playing lead sheets, and doing some of your own composing. Piano study will focus on fluent reading, technique, and expressive playing. Students will also learn about the eras of music history, major composers, and the development of the piano and piano music, in both classical and popular music genres.

Guitar 1A

Grades 9-12, Semester-long
This class is intended for beginning acoustic guitar students. The class will offer instruction on guitar tuning, flat picking, playing single note melodies, 1st position chords, barred chords, musical notation - both standard musical notation and guitar tablature. Students will become acquainted with many styles of music including folk, rock, blues, and classical. Singing will also be encouraged in this class. Students are encouraged to provide their own instruments, (either nylon or steel string acoustic guitars), picks, tuners, capos and replacement strings as needed. There will be opportunities for performances in this class.

Guitar 1B

Grades 9-12, Semester-long

Guitar 1B continues and expands upon the technique and knowledge acquired in Guitar 1A. This is a project-based class in which students will form small groups, working on material together. Each small group will work on specific songs suited to the skill level of the students. Pentatonic scales, including the major, minor and blues scales will be employed, as students will be encouraged to improvise guitar solos. Finger picking, flat picking, chord inversions, and alternate tunings, will all be covered in this class.

Pop Band

Grades 9-12, Semester-long

Prerequisite: Intermediate guitar, bass, piano, drum, or vocal skill
This class will combine the talents of young musicians who play electric guitar, drums, electric bass, keyboards, and sing. The bands will learn and perform music from many different eras of rock ‘n roll, including blues, the music of the ‘50’s, ‘60’s, ‘70’s, and beyond. Students will use guitar and bass tablature and lead sheets in order to learn their songs. You Tube videos of the original artists will be shown to the class, exposing the students to the flavor, style, and culture of each musical decade. As musical units are completed, each band will perform for the class. Concert performances will be given for our student body, as well as the public.

Music Theory

Grades 9-12, Year-long

Prerequisite: Completion of Piano 1A, or equivalent piano ability and teacher approval
Students will develop musical skills that will lead to a thorough understanding of music composition and music theory. Through this course of study, students will learn to analyze, synthesize and create music with an understanding of the various techniques used in Western music.

Electronic Music Composition

Grades 9-12, Semester-long
This course will focus on creative projects in electronic media, with an emphasis on using digital instruments through MIDI sequencing, combined with live instrumental tracks. You will learn sequencing techniques using Pro Tools and Logic Pro, with a focus on developing your own unique sound and artistic style.

Recording Arts

Grades 9-12, Semester-long

Recording Arts introduces basic audio for use in video and computer media applications. Topics include basic sound characteristics, microphones, single and multi-track recording techniques, and sound reinforcement and enhancement. Adobe Soundbooth and Digidesign Pro Tools are introduced. Students work in teams to complete audio production projects including PSA’s, radio plays, special features, etc. This course also details the functions of, and relationships between, the mixing console and the Pro Tools digital audio workstation. Students learn how different microphones, signal processors, and other technologies are employed in a variety of applications for the audio industry: music recording, broadcast production, live mixing, and other applications. Through this course students are provided with an opportunity to work on a project from start to finish utilizing all the technologies and procedures they have learned. This might include recording live music groups, choral and band ensembles, and live recording off site.

Music Practicum

Grade 12, Year-long
Prerequisite: Teacher permission required and students must have completed the Foundation and Breadth work required by the Instrumental Music Major.
Music Enrichment is an opportunity for advanced music students to independently develop their music skills. This can be through songwriting, recording, or individual instrument rehearsal time. Music Enrichment students must develop a Capstone project and are accountable to the supervising teacher throughout the semester with a final presentation made at the end of the semester. Capstone projects can be a recording, composition, or individual performance and are developed with the Instrumental Music Teacher at the beginning of the semester. Music Enrichment may only be taken with prior permission by the Instrumental Music Teacher and students must have completed
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