Americana Music Academy Ensemble Classes
Ensemble classes give you opportunities to play with other people on a regular basis, which is the best way to become a better musician. To get the most out of the class, you need to play at an intermediate level. (You should be able to handle the rhythm parts of any of the class material.) After that, the sky is the limit.
Note that only some of the ensemble classes are offered each session. Check what's offered and if you want something else (or something entirely new) let us know and if there is enough interest, courses can be offered or even created!
Music of the American West
Join Judy Coder for a survey of all that is Western in American music. During this eight-week session, students will examine and enjoy the muisc of the West, in history, myth and legend, from the 1850s to the present. We'll explore cowboy songs, yodeling, cowboy swing, cowboy classics and lots more. Bring your instrument and be ready to ride!
A Celtic Introduction
Two centuries ago Scottish reels and Irish Jigs found their way into the mountains of the Eastern United States and into the Ozarks of Arkansas and Missouri to become the roots of American Country music. This class takes the student on a tour of the music of Great Britain, Ireland and Nova Scotia through music, culture and traditions and is offered to students of all backgrounds and abilities. It will be mostly demonstration and lecture; however songs and tunes will be learned as a clas as well. We will cover Bards and Seanachies, Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore, The Faery Tradition, All on a May Morning, The Lion of the North, Robert Burns and William Butler Yeats and Still the Blood is Strong. We will culminate in an exploration of Celtic Folk/Rock fusion and World music.
Everyone has a song in them. But sometimes you just have to be shown how to get it out. Get the guidance you need as you explore the structure, form and feel of songs and songwriting.
This class will examine how to get your ideas out of your head and onto paper. We'll demystify everything from chords and melody to copyrighting and publishing. You'll get hands-on experience as your create tunes in class. It doesn't matter if you're a beginner or a seasoned songwriter. This course will motivate and challenge us all.
Guest instructors will join you during these eight weeks for a diverse perspective of the songwriting experience.
Their Land is Our Land
Friends during their lifetimes and linked historically as legends of American folk music, Woody Guthrie and Huddie Ledbetter -- known to generations as Leadbelly -- wrote and performed thousands of songs. From children's songs to folk ballads, protest songs to work songs, gospel and jazz, the music of these two musical giants will provide a rich source of melody and meaning fo rthis class. Even if you've never sung before, in this congenial, informal format, you'll love learning songs that, as Woody Guthrie said, "will prove to you that this is your world ... songs that make you take pride in yourself and your work."
Parking Lot Pickers
You know the ones... The ones who know all the tunes. You, too, can learn 'em all. Well, as many as Rick Faris can teach you in eight weeks. Bluegrass, country, Texas swing and even a few blues tunes will be under your belt by the end of this session. Rick will start with some of his favorites, but come with your suggestions too. By the end of eight weeks, you will know how to join any bluegrass jam session, even playing songs you have never heard
This class is for all musicians who want to understand the basic formula of the blues, how blues playing works in American music, and how it effects all other types of playing. Progressions, fundamentals of soloing, and song repertoire will be taught. For all acoustic instruments. Prerequisit: One year's experience or the equivalent.
Rock and Roll Band
This class gives you the opportunity to learn how to play in a group with professional musicians to guide you. Students will be placed with others of their own musical level and ability and will develop a set of songs so that they can go out and perform at the end of the course. Rehearsal techniques, listening and sectional playing techniques will be taught and you'll learn how to perform in front of an audience (The Beatles called this "making show"). The songs you play will be ones agreed upon by the group. Let your imagination go and learn how to rock. . For all instruments.
Oh Brother, Why Aren't Thou Singing?
If you liked the soundtrack, you'll love this class. Starting with some of the great songs featured in "O Brother Where Art Thou," we'll learn roots songs from the hills and hollers of America's back roads, and other songs just because we like them. If you can hear and speak, you can sing, so come learn to put your voice together with others and celebrate community as you've never known it. Bring a song or two you've always wanted to learn and we'll see what kind of magic we can make. Prerequisite: Skill and experience aren't as important as a willing spirit. Offered September 1- October 26 session only.
Oh Brother, Why Aren't Thou Playing?
This is the companion class to "O Brother Why Aren't Thou Singing?" It is open to all those folks who want to learn the songs from the movie. This class is scheduled at the same day/time as the vocal ensemble so both classes can get together to jam on the songs learned and (maybe) go out and perform the music learned somewhere in town just for fun. Offered September 1- October 26 session only.
For some of us, the holidays aren't really festive without the appropriate soundtrack, preferably one we're singing ourselves. Come learn holiday songs from various traditions, including American Suburbia, and get a jump on the season's spirit. Material will be drawn partly from class requests, so start thinking of the songs that say "holiday" to you. The course will culminate with a public performance with some of the AMA's instrumental classes. Offered October 27 - December 21 session only.
Whazzup Wassail? Instrumental Ensemble
The companion class to the Wassail vocal ensemble, you'll learn ample tunes to join forces for some merry caroling around Lawrence. (Time and place to be decided by the class.) Don't miss this chance to broaden your holiday repertoire and spread some Yuletide spirit in the process. Offered October 27 - December 21 session only.