About the McNeese Summer High School Instrumental Music Academy
The instrumental musicianship academy offers a comprehensive musical experience focused on developing the student musician, as well as playing techniques. Students will have the opportunity to:
* Perform in a concert band with an outstanding conductor
* Participate in daily "master class" group lessons with expert instruction
* Choose from exciting elective classes (see below)
* Perform with small chamber groups or a jazz ensemble
* Participate in evening activities, such as sports night, movie/game night and pool night
Students must bring their own instruments. McNeese is not able to provide any instruments.
Percussionists Attending the Academy
Attending percussionists will find our Instrumental Music Academy to include everything percussion! Each day, percussion students will spend time in the following areas of percussion:
- Marching percussion: technique for playing marching snare or tenors (quads)
- Modern percussion ensemble (technique and work on several percussion ensemble pieces)
- Steel drums (if selected as an elective)
- Jazz drum set (if selected as an elective)
- Comprehensive percussion techniques on many different percussion instruments
- World percussion, specifically African drumming
- Playing as part of our academy concert band and/or jazz band
Jazz Ensemble Participation
Students wishing to participate in the jazz ensemble (held during the morning chamber group session) must indicate this choice on the registration form. Participation is limited, and open to trumpet, trombone, saxophone, drumset, bass, and piano. Once all sections are full, students will participate in one of the other chamber ensembles. Jazz rhythm section students (2-4 on each instrument) will take one rhythm section elective during the elective class sessions.
Elective Session Choices
Students will choose from electives in two daily elective sessions. Week-long elective choices include:
- Music Theory
- History of Rock & Roll
- Beginning Piano (limited prior experience)
- Preparing to be / Living Life as a Music Major
- Steel Drum Ensemble
- Comprehensive Percussion (for percussionists only)
- Jazz Improvisation
- Marching Band Leadership
- Jazz Rhythm Section (piano, bass, drum set)
- Elective class assignments are made on a first-come, first-serve basis. Every effort will be made to fill a camper’s requests, however, some popular electives fill up quickly
Elective Class Descriptions
This course is an introduction to music theory. Various topics of written theory will be covered, along with some aural theory basics (chords, rhythms, intervals). This is an excellent elective for students considering majoring in music for college
History of Rock & Roll
This is actually a college course at McNeese and many universities (in a condensed format without the exams!) Lecture, listening and videos of the history of rock and roll music
This course is an introduction to piano for those with limited or no piano experience. This is also an excellent elective for potential music majors, with limited piano skills
This course is exclusively for percussionists attending our summer academy. Our percussion staff will present sessions on all things percussion: marching percussion technique, concert percussion technique on the playing of many different percussion instruments (timpani, tambourine, cymbals, keyboards, etc.) and other specialty percussion areas.
Students learn the basic conducting techniques and applications
Preparing to be/Living Life as a Music Major
Are you thinking of possibly majoring in music performance or music education for college? One of our McNeese music professors will take you through ways to best prepare yourself before heading to college. We will also look inside the daily/weekly/monthly/yearly life as a music major in college, including required classes and the options you will have. Careers in music will also be a primary topic.
Steel Drum Ensemble
This is a great opportunity to learn about and play steel drums! These "steel pans" from Latin American origins are some of the most interesting instruments to study. This elective is for everyone, not just percussionists!!
This class is an introduction to the art of jazz improvisation and provides students with hands-on experience. This elective is required for all Jazz Ensemble participants
Marching Band Leadership
This class focuses on the development of skills required for marching band leadership positions (section leaders/band officers). Topics include score reading, leading sectional rehearsals, and fundamental leadership technique
The Jazz Rhythm Section
This elective is open to pianists, percussionists and bassists, who are interested in developing skills for the rhythm section of a jazz band.
Pre-Academy Information Letter