Twice each semester, at Come Together Week, students have the opportunity to attend a special group class instead of their regular lesson. A Come Together Week class is 60 minutes long and will be taught by a team of Academy teachers with 4-8 students in each class. The schedule for Come Together Week will be announced 2 weeks beforehand, and students will be given the opportunity to reschedule if necessary. Parents are not expected to attend the class. Come Together Week is not held during the summer.
Come Together Week classes consist of three twenty-minute stations:
Station 1: Ensemble
Students meet in the group room so that each student can have a keyboard to use in a unique ensemble playing experience. After two weeks of preparation on their individual parts, students will have a chance to rehearse and play a song together. Working and playing with an ensemble is a valuable experience for young musicians, teaching them the importance of preparation, listening, cooperation, and how amazing it can be to make music with other people!
Station 2: Performance
At the Performance station, students have a chance to perform their most recent solo repertoire for a small group of their peers. They will also get written feedback from the teacher on their performance, including Confidence & Poise, Posture & Alignment, Preparation, and Musicality. Playing for a small group helps students build confidence and prepares them for future recitals and performances.
Station 3: Theory & Listening
In Theory and Listening, students will build their music theory and ear training skills in a fun, small group setting. Their teacher will lead them in music theory and listening games to develop and reinforce their music skills.
Voice Come Together Week classes provide students the opportunity to sing as a group and also to sing solo in a small informal setting. To help the students relax and get to know each other, we start the class off with a music-related team building activity, such as a fun rhythm body percussion game, or a “Get to Know You” game to discover people’s favorite musical instruments, genres…etc. After that we warm our voices up as a group and start singing.
We then spend the bulk of the class performing and workshopping our solo pieces. This gives students an opportunity to perform as well as give and receive positive feedback to their peers. They also get feedback and the opportunity to work with a teacher other than their own.
We try to make CTW as low stress as possible. It’s purpose for us is to get students comfortable singing in front of others and to be in the mentality of sharing music instead of performing music. Playing any instrument in front of others is going to be nerve racking, but singing can be even worse. I think it’s the nature of having an instrument that is also part of your anatomy. No one’s voice sounds the same and therefore a fear surrounding how you sound is super common to develop. That’s why giving a student the opportunity to share their voice in a relaxed, nurturing environment is so important.