Music Theory and Composition
Theory and Ear Training are central to every musician’s training. HMP students attend class every week, from their first year through graduation. Like the study of mathematics, theory study is sequential, and regular evaluation assures that concepts are secure.
Study begins within The Music Development Program. (MDP) Once students pass the MDP Level 3 exam, they begin the HMP Harmony Curriculum. Most students take the Advanced Placement Exam in Music Theory and receive top scores. They continue into advanced study of Counterpoint, Orchestration, Composition Techniques, and Conducting.
Young Artist composition majors study Theory and History with HMP students and select two additional courses to round out their curriculum. Very small class or tutorial settings offer topic-specific offerings which are geared to composers’ interests and skill levels.
Learning about style and form informs performers. Learning how to listen and what to listen for in music is invaluable. HMP is unique amongst pre-college programs because only our students explore Music History together each week. Classes provide our students with a deeper understanding of music and enable them to think critically about their own repertoire. Classes include lectures, listening, and very lively discussions!
Younger students have fun listening to great music while simultaneously developing a sense of musical style. They enjoy studying simple forms, instruments over the centuries, and learning about the lives of the great composers. High School students first study in our two-year survey course,where they explore the four major style periods in depth. Classes continue in Style and Analysis, 20th and 21st Century Music, and Senior Seminar.
Serious vocal study requires a special curriculum, and we offer two performance-oriented classes to HMP singers. In addition to Music History and Music Theory classes, YA Voice majors also attend these classes.
Language and Diction for Singers
Diction class teaches the fundamentals of language and singing diction. IPA and pronunciation rules are studied for the principal singing languages: Italian, English, Latin, French, German and Spanish. As students advance they also add Russian.
In this weekly performance class, singers work their song repertoire vocally, musically and dramatically. Performance practice and stage presence are addressed along with musical and textual considerations. The Vocal Instructor works in communication with each student’s private teacher to select appropriate solo repertoire for each student. Singers work in class with a vocal accompanist and benefit from our hands-on approach to style and literature. Upon the recommendation of the Vocal Instructor, singers perform in the Young Artist Solo Recitals at the conclusion of each semester. Students also enjoy working in small ensembles with their fellow singers preparing vocal chamber music repertoire. Rehearsals take place in class. Ensemble repertoire is prepared for performance in the HMP Chamber Music Concerts each semester.
Throughout the year, four or five additional lecture/demonstration classes are offered to Voice majors. Additional topics include: Audition Skills, Monologues and Acting Basics, Vocal Health and Anatomy, Baroque Ornamentation, and Performance Anxiety.
Vocal Majors prepare for spring Vocal Performance Evaluations according to the YA Voice Performance Curriculum..