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Virtual Summer Music Fest 2020

Quick overview

Join Somerville Public Schools for a celebration of music for students in 4th grade and above with 1 year of instrument experience! We are excited to present a new virtual format that will be held over 3 days. Sessions include string group classes, Honk-style jam sessions, dance with Brazilian rhythms and video game music themed afternoon sessions with special guests. The sessions are open to anyone in 4th grade and higher &/or with at least one year of experience on their instruments (adults, this includes you, too!) 

  • Program runs on July 21st, 22nd, and 23rd, 2020. 
  • Check out the Program Guide to learn about classes.
  • Register online by July 15th to reserve your spot.
  • Cost is a pay-what-you-can model at $50, $40, $30 or financial aid available. 

Music Teachers and students

About Summer Music Fest 2020

We are continuing to bring quality music education and virtual offerings to Somerville’s students through the summer. Although this year’s Summer Music Fest is fully online, it’s jam-packed with opportunities for students to continue learning! The sessions are open to anyone in 4th grade and higher &/or with at least one year of experience on their instruments (adults, this includes you, too!)! We run on a pay-what-you-can model, with options at $50, $40, and $30 total for 3 days of learning (as many sessions as you want to take during those days). Financial aid is available; contact us and ask. Students will need their own device to be able to access the online sessions, and they will need their instrument to be able to play along. Check out our session offerings below and choose as many as you have time for! Register here by 7/15/2020 to reserve your spot.

Questions? 

Check out this awesome guide first! If it doesn’t have the answers, please email us:
Rick Saunders, Director of Music & Performing Arts
Joanne Sadler, StringsFest Director
Evan Perry, Director of El Sistema Somerville
Jess Destramp, Band Director

Daily Schedule

Summer Music Fest will run Tuesday 7/21, Wednesday 7/22, and Thursday 7/23. Classes are 40-45 minutes long. Choose one session for each hour each day using our online registration form. Sessions in the morning are geared toward younger students, and classes in the afternoon are designed for older students; please check the full descriptions below for details. All sessions at 1pm and later are video game music themed! 

10-10:45a Group Strings Class
11-11:45a Fiddle Class, HONK!-style Jam Session, or Strings Masterclass
12-12:45p Music Theory Games!, Experience Brazilian Rhythms through Movement, or Watch Party
1 - 1:45p (Tues) How to Train Your Drag-- Nope, (Wed) Your Ear, Improve your Improv, (Thurs) Tips for Better Sight Reading (Teachers Hate These 5 Weird Tricks!)
2 - 2:45p (Tues) Transcribing Tunes with special guest Jer Roque, (Wed) Improv as Composition with special guest Doug Perry, (Thurs) The ULTIMATE Sight reading challenge!
3 - 3:45p (Tues) Transcription Workshop O’Clock, (Wed) Video Game Music Virtual Jam, (Thurs) Musical Charades -- Video Game Themed

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Session Offerings

Group Strings Class                            
Daily 10-10:45
Keep your skills sparkling this summer in a group class with one of your favorite strings teachers from the Somerville Public Schools. Learn to tune, play scales, duets & more. With faculty from the Somerville Public Schools and El Sistema.
 
Fiddle Class                                
Daily 11-11:45
Learn to play fiddle! Three days to learn three fiddle tunes from around the world. Fiddle music is dance music, and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. We'll play by ear and even learn how to improvise, so don't be shy, join us!
 
HONK!-style Jam Session                        
Daily 11-11:45
Feel the beat and find the groove as you play along in a New Orleans style jam session. Students will learn a variety of music and practice the art of improvisation while exploring the possibilities of their instrument.  All levels and instruments welcome! With Marta Siemieniaka.
 
Strings Masterclass                            
Daily 11-11:45
Your time to shine! Prepare and perform a piece in front of the class and receive a mini lesson to take your performance to the next level.
 
Music Theory Games!                            
Daily 12-12:45
Refresh your music knowledge with fun games including Kahoot, Music Memory, Musical Bingo and more. With Mr. Saunders.
 
Experience Brazilian Rhythms through Movement      
Daily 12-12:45
No instrument necessary! Interactive and high energy; participants will tap their bodies and clap their hands to Brazilian rhythms such as Samba, Maculele, Maracatu and Hip Hop! Participants will also interact with a dancer and experience the relationship of movement and traditional Brazilian rhythms. With Mr. Marcus Santos, director of Grooversity and the Somerville High School World Percussion Ensemble!
 
Watch Party                               
Daily 12-12:45
Watch party: The Three Tenors! On July 7th, 1990 the three greatest tenors in the world came together in Rome for a concert that became the greatest selling classical album of all time. In front of 6,000 people at the Baths of Caracalla, history was made. Join us to watch this memorable concert and hear firsthand about that night from one of our teachers who played in the orchestra.
 
How to Train Your Drag-- Nope, Your Ear          
Tuesday 1-1:45
Ever wondered how some people can hear music and be able to instantly play along? Or how some people can write a song down after hearing it once? Come to this session and have that skill be within your grasp! We’ll talk about how to hear and identify basic patterns that happen in a lot of music, and we’ll dig into how music is often structured to give you some shortcuts in figuring it out. This session is recommended as a prerequisite for ‘Transcribing Tunes with special guest Jer Roque’ and ‘Transcription Workshop O’Clock’, and is for grades 6 and up. With Ms. Destramp.
 
Transcribing Tunes with special guest Jer Roque     
Tuesday 2-2:45
Jer Roque is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of VGLeadSheets.com, one of the best and most accurate sources for free video game sheet music on the internet. He’ll show you his process for transcribing -- or listening to and writing down -- video game music. Jer will demonstrate, then do a lead sheet collaboratively with the class! ‘How to Train Your Drag-- Nope, Your Ear’ is recommended as a prerequisite, and is for grades 6 and up. With Ms. Destramp and Jer Roque.
 
Transcription Workshop O’Clock                 
Tuesday 3-3:45
Get your own transcription practice in! Pick a tune you really want to learn how to play before coming to this session. Make sure you have a recording available. All participants will be working on their transcriptions together at this time. Do one with a friend, come get help from Ms. Destramp, or work on one on your own to practice your new skills! ‘How to Train Your Drag-- Nope, Your Ear’ is recommended as a prerequisite, and is for grades 6 and up. With Ms. Destramp.
 
Improve Your Improv                           
Wednesday 1-1:45
Improvisation makes music even more fun. You get to make it up as you go! However, this can sometimes be frustrating -- when you can play anything you want, what do you play? Come to this session to learn how to start improvising and have it sound pretty good! We’ll use video game tunes to take turns improvising over. This session is recommended as a prerequisite for ‘Jamming with special guest Doug Perry’ and ‘Video Game Music Virtual Jam Session’, is for both beginner and experienced improvisers, and is for grades 6 and up. With Ms. Destramp.
 
Improv as Composition with special guest Doug Perry   
Wednesday 2-2:45
Doug Perry is a faculty member at Western Connecticut State University and is an orchestral and jazz percussionist. He’s also an absolute monster at the marimba! Doug will teach students how to use improvisation to express musical ideas and tell a story using video game tunes. ‘Improve Your Improv’ is recommended as a prerequisite, and is for grades 6 and up. With Ms. Destramp and Doug Perry.
 
Video Game Music Virtual Jam Session                  
Wednesday 3-3:45
Ms. Destramp will be hosting a virtual jam session using video game songs on VGLeadSheets.com! We’ll review how to read a lead sheet, talk about how to think about improvising on each song, and all have a great time playing together. ‘Improve Your Improv’ is recommended as a prerequisite, and is for grades 6 and up.
 
Tips for Better Sight Reading (Teachers Hate These 5 Weird Tricks!)
Thursday 1-1:45
Want to get to be better and faster at reading music? Especially on the fly? Join us as we look at why music notation is the way it is, and explore ways to improve your reading abilities. We’ll get in a lot of practice at using these tips, so get ready to play! This session is recommended as a prerequisite for ‘The ULTIMATE Sight Reading Challenge!’, and is for grades 6 and up. With Ms. Destramp.
 
The ULTIMATE Sight Reading Challenge!            
Thursday 2-2:45
Come challenge yourself to play as much video game music as possible in an hour! Ms. Destramp will be slowly ramping up the difficulty of the songs over the course of the session, so come to play and hang in with us for as long as you can! ‘The ULTIMATE Sight Reading Challenge!’ is recommended as a prerequisite, and is for grades 6 and up.
 
Musical Charades -- Video Game Themed            
Thursday 3-3:45
Play the most hilarious version of charades there is -- the musical kind! We’ll split into a few teams, you’ll get a clue, and you can only act it out musically. Every clue will be video game themed, so come prepared with some video game music knowledge! This session is for grades 6 and up. With Ms. Destramp.

 


Our normal programs Somerville String Fest, Summer HONK, and Sing! in Somerville Choir Program have been cancelled this year for safety reasons. Please participate in the Virtual Summer Music Fest 2020 instead.