While some students study music with no performances in mind, most people take lessons and classes with the goal of developing the skills and confidence to play for others, either friends and family members or an appreciative audience, small or large. After all, who wants to be alone hour after hour in a practice room, taking lessons week after week, with no end, no purpose, no clear goals in sight?
Drawing on Studio Lesson and CMP Course & Workshop training, CMC Atlanta students form coached ensembles of all kinds-- Chamber Ensembles, Jazz Combos, Rock Bands, Bluegrass, Folk, and Old-Time Bands, small vocal ensembles, and music theater troupes. Through the small ensemble program, we help aspiring musicians cultivate a stylistically and developmentally sensitive authentic performance practice.
We don't force students to perform, but we're serious about creating formal and informal performance opportunities that meet two goals: supporting the student's development and furthering the cause of living musical traditions. For older, more invested students, in particular (Intermediate Division and up), this often involves performance off-site in community venues such as Twain's, the Five Spot, Eyedrum, as well as local galleries, coffee shops, and theaters. The concomitant benefits for the student include added motivation (a snow-balling of interest and skill development) and the simple pleasure of playing music with friends.
Through Performance Programs, we also host a number of Performance Events by professionals for the benefit and enjoyment of students. Center faculty, guests, local and regional professional musicians visit the Center or a procurred off-site venue to perform . Guest performers often pair their performance with a CMP Workshop.
When a student enrolls in the Core Program, Department coordinators and Studio Lesson faculty assess thr student's readiness and when appropriate, match the student with an accompanist or place them in a small ensemble or band based on skills and stylistic interests. [inset side=right]Students who already play in a band or with one or more friends independently may request for their group to rehearse at the Center or receive Center coaching when submitting the Registration Form.[/inset]
Rehearsals are held, by Department, during Open House Periods offered each week at both Centers. For example, Sunday afternoon is Jazz Open House at the Little 5 Points Music Center. Several Jazz Combos rehearse in Center studios during the afternoon hours. Jazz Department Coordinator Colin Baylor and supporting faculty coach the ensembles, helping students to pick songs, prepare for shows and recitals, organize rehearsal time, and use effective practice strategies. Since multiple ensembles rehearse simultaneously in different rooms, faculty rotate from room to room. This approach gives students helpful feedback, but also time and space for necessary wood-shedding independently. Some Sundays, students are given assignments and the ensemble coaches simply check in to help trouble shoot. For a full schedule by Department, please see the schedule below.
Center faculty coach students to help them prepare to perform on any number of informal and formal, on- and off-site performances held each term. We create performance events that fit well with each style of music and meet the educational and developmental needs of our student ensembles. Recitals, Salons, Shows, Concerts, Festivals, Jams: to understand the different types of Performance Program events, please see the Performance Catalog below.
CMC Atlanta students perform "Blue Bossa":: Mixer at Twain's, October 2009
Featured Video :: Music Center Students at the 2010 Dogwood Festival