• Summer Academy Course Descriptions


    Adventures in Ukulele

    Instructor: Bruce Harrington

    This class is designed to meet complete beginner and intermediate students where they are musically and prepare them to play songs and express themselves with this fun and versatile instrument.

    Join us on this adventure where you will learn and perform two songs as a group and also will be given tools to start writing your own songs as well!


    Bravi Tutti! Behind the Scenes of an Opera Production

    Instructor: Sharon Burchill

    Discover what it takes to successfully mount a full-scale theatrical production! Students will explore the many roles necessary to plan and stage an The Magic Flute, from first idea to the final curtain call. Students will learn about the behind-the-scenes team of creators, coaches, and technicians who collaborate together to bring Da Ponte’s story and Mozart’s music to life. Students will have exclusive access to the newest Opera Trunk, Bravi Tutti, to aid in their learning. An optional watch party of Pittsburgh Opera’s recent production of The Magic Flute is included in the Academy.

    This session is made possible by the generous support of the Pittsburgh Opera Education, an outreach program of the Pittsburgh Opera.


    Basics of Recording Technology

    Instructor: Brian Helsel, Ph. D.

    This course will cover the basics of recording technologies, principles of using microphones and multiple types of recording software, along with basics of the business of music, and potential career paths for students.

    Students will leave the course with some experience will Logic and BandLab. They will have introductory experience using important effects such as EQ, Reverb, delay, and compression. They will have experienced basic mixing techniques, as well as an understanding of how music is recorded in digital and analog formats and how microphones, speakers, and amplifiers work.


    Careers in Music Beyond Education and Performance

    Instructors: Ray Rotuna and Patty Neeper

    The National Association of Music Merchants is an industry association of wholesale and retail entities functioning to manufacture, represent and sell music and musical instruments and promote the benefits of music education to all people. Nearly 10,000 companies make up, or are associated with, NAMM.

    Focusing on the National Association on Music Merchants and the Music Industry, this presentation has been designed to promote enthusiasm among students who might be interested in pursuing a future career in music, beyond education or performance. It will present potential career opportunities and choices in the music industry.


    Coping with Performance Anxiety   

    Instructor: Dr. James Flowers

    This class will help students address the nervousness or anxiety that everyone deals with at some point in their lives, especially when performing for an audience or taking an audition.


    Musicianship Skills

    Instructors: Dr. James Flowers and Sharon Burchill

    This class will touch upon basic musicianship skills that can benefit all musicians: solfege and its place in sight-singing and sight-reading; basic music theory; ear training and dictation.


    The Role of Music on the Stage and Screen

    Instructor: Suzanne Koble

    Discover the role music plays on the stage and screen! From musical theater and plays to big Hollywood blockbusters or simple independent films, how does music affect or drive the storytelling? And what could YOUR role be as part of it all? Learn about the collaboration required for successful productions and start with the core building block: a scene! We’ll discuss some basic acting skills, with many other artists besides actors who contribute to its success, then work together with your fellow Academy students to bring the scene to life complete with musical score!