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Comprehensive Musicianship Program

The Comprehensive Musicianship Program (or CMP) Courses and Workshops provide essential support for CMC Atlanta students. Time spent one-on-one with a studio teacher and in group classes taught by specialists work in tandem to foster musical understanding, skills, and ultimately, preparation for performance. Best of all, students who enroll in lessons are offered CMP Courses and some Workshops at no additional cost. Students who study privately elsewhere may enroll in CMP Courses and Workshops by registering as a Selective Student.

CMP Overview

We cultivate genuine musicianship through CMP courses that first isolate individual musical parameters, and then put each new skill and concept back into a larger musical context.  Currently, we offer courses for students in each Division and Department in four distinct but overlapping areas of musicianship, each of which is critical to being a creative, skilled, and literate musician.  The four areas of focus are:

  • Reading Music or Music Notation and Literacy
  • Singing in time, in tune, and with sensitivity
  • Harmony: understanding, feeling, hearing, and creating tonal relationships
  • Rhythm:  understanding, feeling, hearing, and creating rhythmic patterns and relationships

Regardless of stylistic interests, we teach students to read music. While there are valuable oral/aural musical traditions in which reading music does not play as critical a role, we believe reading music is a gateway for experiencing and expressing music across wider historical periods and more cultural practices than otherwise possible.  We also encourage all students to sing, not necessarily like an operatic or rock star, but we think carrying a tune is a valuable and meaningful basic life skill.  Plus, any accoplished instrumentalist will tell you that making an instrument sing is an essential aspect of virtuosity in many musical styles.  Moving in control, and with direction and ease is another important skill in music and in life.  We also support all students in cultivating their understanding of rhythmic notation and developing the skill to move well in drumming courses.  At the CMC Atlanta, students learn the nuts and bolts of tonal relationships first in Notation class, then through Scale, Chord & Key, and finally through courses in Harmony, Improvisation, and Composition.

CMP Courses & Workshops

Most CMP Courses meet weekly for 12-14 week sessions during the Fall and Winter/Spring Terms.  Elementary Division Courses usually meet weekly for 30-minutes; courses in other Divisions vary from 30 to 60 minutes in length.  During the summer months, we synchronize courses for elementary students with our Day Camps for Kids, and courses meet more frequently for a shorter period of time (30 to 45 minute classes, daily for one or two weeks, for example).

While courses meet weekly, CMP Workshops are typically designed to be one to three days in duration, and they typically provide a targeted group of students and/or parents an opportunity to focus on a particular set of skills and/or concepts. Center faculty and guest instructors often share the teaching responsibilities in CMP Workshops.  Workshops are scheduled on a rolling basis by individual faculty. Invitations and announcements are forwarded to Center students and the general public as events are planned.

Berklee PULSE

Another component of our CMP program is offered in collaboration with the world renowned Berklee College of Music.  In the Spring of 2010, the Music Centers were invited to join the Berklee City Music Network.  One benefit to our membership: all CMC Atlanta students are given FREE access to Berklee PULSE.  Berklee PULSE is an interactive, content rich online learning system designed to support students (grades 4 and up) in the quest to become skilled contemporary musicians.  Students who master the material in PULSE will find they are ready to perform and even to tackle collegiate level studies if that is the goal.  Once a student enrolls in the Core or Selective Program, he or she is given a username and password to unlock a universe of great resources developed by Berklee for students across the globe.

Learn more about Berklee PULSE by visiting the website here

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