Berklee Online – Term 10

This was really a good term for me, which is pretty remarkable given the fact that I really didn’t enjoy the previous term and that I doubled the number of classes taken.

This time around I took Contemporary Techniques in Music Composition 2, Ear Training for Live Performance, Introduction to College Writing, and Songwriting for Film and TV.

Each course was very challenging, yet rewarding, in their own ways. I will go into detail on each class in separate posts.

Thanks for another great term, Berklee!

Ear Training for Live Performance

Ear Training for Live Performance was the class that I was looking forward to taking the most for Term 10. It was an excellent course with a lot of information (sometimes felt like too much).

I feel very fortunate to have had the course author, Allan Chase, as our instructor. He always gave thoughtful and meaningful feedback, sometimes in great detail. It was clear that this class and the subject matter being covered was very important to him.

For my part, there were some days where it felt as if I had never done any ear training before, and then other days where I could “hear” most things clearly and accurately in my mind. Perhaps the biggest challenge I’m facing at this point will be coming up with a regular practice routine that continues to strengthen what I’ve developed up until now.

Here’s what we covered over the twelve weeks.

Week 1 – “Building Connections: Inner Hearing, Voice, and Instrument”, Apr 2 – Apr 8
Introduction, Meet and Greet, Singing Basics for Ear Training for Live Performance, Workshop: Pitch Matching, Major Scales, Solfege, Your Voice and Inner Hearing, Workshop: Reviewing Movable-Do Solfege, Solfege and Inner Hearing, Workshop: Solfege and Inner Hearing, Workshop: Call and Response with Voice and Instrument, Rhythmic Vocabulary: Recognizing, Reading and Writing the Building Blocks of Rhythm, Conducting Primer, Workshop: Performing Basic One-Beat Rhythms, Quiz 1.1: Identifying One-Beat Rhythms, Discussion 1.1: Playing what You Hear, Assignment 1: Playing and Singing Major Scale Material and Composing Rhythms, Recap

Week 2 – “Major Scale Interval Exploration”, Apr 9th – Apr 15th
Introduction, 3/4 and 2/4 Conducting Patterns, More Major Scale Intervals: Indirect Resolutions, Bass Lines, and Leaps, Indirect Resolutions with V7 to I Accompaniment, Using Songs to Identify Intervals, Workshop: Major Scale Intervals and Patterns, Diatonic Major Scale Bass Lines, Identifying Common Major-Key Bass Lines and Patterns in Music, Workshop: Which Bass Line Is It?, Expanding Our Rhythmic Vocabulary, Workshop: Rhythms and Rests, Workshop: Sight Singing Melodies, Discussion 2.1: Identification Techniques, Assignment 2: Melodic Phrases, 3/4 Transcription, Recap

Week 3 – “Minor Keys and Cut Time”, Apr 16th – Apr 22nd
Introduction, Minor Keys and Scales, Natural and Harmonic Minor Scales, Tendency Tones in Minor, Workshop: Solfege Ladder Warm Up, Workshop: Minor Key, 2/2 meter: Cut Time, Workshop: Samba Rhythms, Discussion 3.1: Minor vs. Major, Assignment 3: Minor Key and 2/2 Rhythms, Sight-Singing Performance, Recap

Week 4 – “More Minor Scales”, Apr 23rd – Apr 29th
Introduction, Le vs. La and Te vs. Ti in Minor, Workshop: Identify the Type of Minor Scale, Line Clichés, Workshop: Identify the Line Cliché, Workshop: Sing a Mixed Minor Warm-Up Routine, Discussion 4.1: Ear Training Challenges and Practice Routine, Assignment 4: Minor Scales, Recap

Week 5 – “Minor Pentatonic Scale and the Minor Blues Scale”, Apr 30th – May 6th
Introduction, Minor Pentatonic Scales, Workshop: Minor Pentatonic Scale, Blue Notes and the Minor Blues Scale, Workshop: Sing and Play Blues Scale Melodies, Syncopated Eighth Notes, Ties, and Anticipations, Workshop: Syncopation, Swing Feel and Syncopation, Workshop: Sing Syncopated Rhythms in 4/4, 3/4, and 2/4 while Conducting, Discussion 5.1: Provide Examples, Assignment 5: Pentatonic and Blues Sounds, Recap

Week 6 – “Major Pentatonic and the Melodic Language of Blues”, May 7th – May 13th
Introduction, Major Pentatonic Scale, Workshop: Major Pentatonic Call and Response, Major Blues Scale, Workshop: Major Pentatonic and Major Blues Scale Melodies, Mixed Blues Scales: Minor and Major, Workshop: Chromatic Solfege Ladder, Workshop: Identify the Scale, Exercise: Mid-Term Sight Singing Exam Preparation, Discussion 6.1: Blues Tonality, Assignment 6: Major Pentatonic Sounds, Recap

Week 7 – “The Mixolydian Mode and More Syncopated Rhythms”, May 14th – May 20th
Introduction, Mixolydian Melodies, Workshop: Warm Up Using Solfege Ladder, Exercise: Call-and-Response, Tied Sixteenth Notes and Sixteenth-Note Syncopations, Workshop: One-Bar Examples with a Metronome, Discussion 7.1: Mixolydian Mood, Assignment 7: Mixolydian, Timed Video Assessment Technology Test, Midterm: Sight-Singing Performance, Recap

Week 8 – “The Lydian Mode”, May 21st – May 27th, Introduction, Lydian Tendency Tones, Workshop: Lydian with Solfege Ladder, Workshop: More Lydian Melodic Work-Out, Workshop: Lydian Juke-Box, Mixed 8th- and 16th-Note Syncopations and Ties, Workshop: Syncopated 8th- and 16th-Note Duet, Discussion 8.1: The Brightest Mode, Assignment 8: Lydian, Recap

Week 9 – “The Phrygian Mode, Flat II and Ra, the Spectrum of Modes”, May 28th – Jun 3rd
Introduction, Phrygian Activity, Workshop: Melodic Recognition and Inner Hearing Using the Solfege Ladder, Exercise: Call-and-Response, The Spectrum of Modes, Workshop: Identify The Mode, Mixed 8th-Note and 16th-Note Syncopations in 3/4 and 2/4, Discussion 9.1: Modal Spectrum, Assignment 9: Phrygian, Recap

Week 10 – “Mixed Modes”, Jun 4th – Jun 10th
Introduction, Singing, Playing, and Recognizing Mixed-Mode Melodies, Workshop: Solfege Ladder Warm-Up with Mixed Major and Minor Modes, Workshop: Sing and Play Phrases in Mixed Major and Minor Modes, Workshop: Recognizing the Sounds of Mixed Modes, Eighth-Note Triplets, Workshop: Sight-Read Triplet, 8th- and 16th-Note Rhythms, Getting Ready For Next Week’s Sight-Singing Final, Workshop: Sight Singing Practice, Discussion 10.1: Inner Hearing in Mixed-Modes, Assignment 10: Mixed Modes, Recap

Week 11 – “The Spectrum of Modes and Polyrhythms”, Jun 11th – Jun 17th
Introduction, Mixed Modes and All Twelve Notes, Melody with All Twelve Notes, Exercise: Solfege Ladder Warm Up, Sight-Singing through the Spectrum of Modes, Mixed-Mode Call and Response with Longer Melodic Ideas, How to Improvise a Modal Spectrum Warm-Up, Exercise: Improvise a Melodic Warm-Up, Quarter-Note Triplets and 3:2 Polyrhythms, Workshop: Mixed Triplet Performance, Introduction to Polyrhythms, Discussion 11.1: Final Project, Assignment 11: Spectrum of Modes and Rhythmic Study, Final: Sight-Singing Performance, Recap

Week 12 – “Practice Techniques and Final Project”, Jun 18th – Jun 24th, Introduction, Ear Training Review: Recognizing all Twelve Notes, All the Intervals, Workshop: Solfege Ladder, Workshop: Chromatic Call and Response, Rhythm Review, Further Horizons, Discussion 12.1: Continued Study, Assignment 12: Design and Share an Ear Training Exercise and Final Project, Recap