Each semester, all students enroll in Individual Applied Music which includes lessons, instrument-specific seminars and master classes, and Ensemble Applied Music which includes participation in large ensembles, chamber music, and Governor’s School Choir. Additionally, all students take one year of Music Theory and one year of Music History. Elective courses include Conducting, Class Piano, Music Composition, and Jazz Orchestra. 

Courses for All Grade Levels

Honors Individual Applied Music

Individual Applied Music provides performance training on instruments and voice through a four-part course which includes individual lessons, seminars on literature and techniques for instrument families, master classes for each instrument family, and recital attendance at school-sponsored performances. These course components are combined into one grade for Individual Applied Music.

Lessons: All students receive a one-hour lesson per week on their instrument of specialization.

Master Classes: All music students participate in regular Master Classes in their area of study: brass, harp, percussion, piano, strings, voice, and woodwinds.

Recital Attendance: All music students are required to attend selected departmental performances each semester. The specific events are pre-determined by the department faculty.

Piano Seminar: Explores piano literature from Bach to the Twentieth Century through listening, discussion, and analysis. A second course component develops keyboard skills and technique through study of scales, arpeggios, score reading, transposition, keyboard harmony, and sight reading.

Harp Seminar: This course focuses on sight reading, compositional skills, ensemble skills, and harp playing technique through the study and application of standard literature etudes, ensemble scores, and student-chosen literature.

String Seminar: A course designed to explore technical and theoretical topics of interest to string players. Classes include lectures and research as well as demonstrations, performances, and analyses of technical issues.

Vocal Diction and Pedagogy Seminar: Introduces vocal students to the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) and its system of pronunciation. This system is applied to English, Italian, French, and German languages. The study of vocal technique is also a component of this course.

Wind, Brass, and Percussion Technique Seminars: These are skills-oriented courses designed for students in each area. Each seminar meets twice weekly to develop skills that include technique, articulation, intonation, and ensemble playing. For woodwind, brass, and percussion students.

Honors Ensemble Applied Music

Ensemble Applied Music provides training in ensemble performance through participation in large ensembles and chamber music. Students of orchestral instruments participate in Concertato String Orchestra or Wind Ensemble as large ensembles and also in chamber music for smaller combinations of instruments. Strings and Winds combine the last third of each semester for a Chamber Orchestra (Sinfonia) concert. Vocalists participate in Cantus Chamber Choir as a conducted ensemble and in Opera Workshop for experience in theatrical literature and performance. Pianists focus on chamber literature for their instrument. Additionally, all music students sing in the Governor’s School Choir each semester they are enrolled. The ensembles that give credit for Ensemble Applied Music are:

  • Governor’s School Choir
  • Chamber Choir (Cantus)
  • Chamber Orchestra (Sinfonia)
  • String Orchestra (Concertato)
  • Wind Ensemble
  • Chamber Music (Winds, Brass, Percussion, Strings, Harp) Opera Workshop
  • Piano Ensemble


Sophomore Level Courses

AP/Honors Music Theory

This course is designed to create a foundation for comprehending the basics of written harmony including scales, intervals, harmony, rhythm, and musical analysis. There is also a component of aural skills included with material centering around singing using solfège and numbers, dictation, keyboard skills, and critical listening and analysis.


Junior Level Courses

AP/Honors Music Theory

This course is designed to create a foundation for comprehending the basics of written harmony including scales, intervals, harmony, rhythm, and musical analysis. There is also a component of aural skills included with material centering around singing using solfège and numbers, dictation, keyboard skills, and critical listening and analysis.

Honors Music History

This course is a survey that addresses music history and style in the Western tradition. The course explores the development of musical style placing composers and their music in an historical context. This course progresses chronologically from ancient Greece through the twentieth century. It includes weekly lectures with reading, listening, and writing assignments done outside of class.

Electives in Music

Conducting (fall): This course introduces the fundamentals of conducting. The class focuses on basic conducting patterns, left hand independence, and simple rehearsal techniques. Class participants are expected to demonstrate skills, coordination, interpretation, and leadership. Students must have completed a year of music theory; priority is given to seniors, but juniors who have taken theory here or AP theory elsewhere are eligible.

Jazz Orchestra (fall and spring): Jazz Orchestra is an elective performing ensemble of flexible instrumentation open by audition to all music students. The Jazz Orchestra performs two concerts per year and represents the school in various off-campus events.

Piano Class (fall and spring): Piano Class is an elective keyboard class for students outside the piano area. The class is typically a beginning class for those students with little or no keyboard experience. Students must have completed one semester of music theory and have their private teacher’s approval before taking the class.

Senior Level Courses

Honors Music History

This course is a survey that addresses music history and style in the Western tradition. The course explores the development of musical style placing composers and their music in an historical context. This course progresses chronologically from ancient Greece through the twentieth century. It includes weekly lectures with reading, listening, and writing assignments done outside of class.

Music Technology - Third Year Seniors

Students will learn about the nature of sound and how it is transformed and modified in physical, electrical, and digital environments. The course will focus on individual and group projects including use of microphones, use of the iPad, working with DAWs, and use of Midi software, instruments, and sound libraries. This course is required for third-year students in their senior year and others by permission of instructor and department chair. 

  

Twentieth-Century Music - Third Year Seniors

This course explores developments in music theory and history as they relate to musical style in the modern era. The course examines twentieth-century compositional techniques and their origins in the late nineteenth century. It includes weekly lectures with reading, listening, analysis, and writing assignments to be done outside class. This course is required for third-year students and open to others by permission of instructor.

Electives in Music

Conducting (fall): This course introduces the fundamentals of conducting. The class focuses on basic conducting patterns, left hand independence, and simple rehearsal techniques. Class participants are expected to demonstrate skills, coordination, interpretation, and leadership. Students must have completed a year of music theory; priority is given to seniors, but juniors who have taken theory here or AP theory elsewhere are eligible.

Jazz Orchestra (fall and spring): Jazz Orchestra is an elective performing ensemble of flexible instrumentation open by audition to all music students. The Jazz Orchestra performs two concerts per year and represents the school in various off-campus events.

Piano Class (fall and spring): Piano Class is an elective keyboard class for students outside the piano area. The class is typically a beginning class for those students with little or no keyboard experience. Students must have completed one semester of music theory and have their private teacher’s approval before taking the class.

For a complete listing of Governor's School courses, view the 2018-19 Course Selection Guide.