Unless otherwise noted, all classes and ensembles are offered at multiple times or flexible scheduling or are scheduled according to both student and teacher availability.
This unique and exciting program is dedicated to teaching all the traditional elements
of musical theory the way Mozart learned—through composition. Every element of
traditional theory is covered, including solfege, rhythm, and ear-training. Graded
workbooks provide a complete and extensive curriculum from reading notes all the way
to composing a symphony. Students use computer notation programs to facilitate the
This is offered as a private lesson to interested students who have studied Theory or an
equivalent course. Students explore various 20th century techniques with a firm background
in traditional musical forms. Private lesson rates apply.
Music History Survey
This class is a study of Western music history from the Baroque to the 21st century;
through presentations, listening, and discussion, the development of musical styles
and representational composers will be broadly outlined and set in the wider historical
context of art and political history.
This is a practical course for instrumentalists age 12 and up who have little experience
with improvisation. Students study the most common building blocks of jazz improvisation
and learn to personalize improvisation as a form of “instant composing.” There is a
focus on different kinds of improvisation forms, inner-ear training, musical games, and
ensemble playing. During class students work on class exercises as well as small group
assignments and end the course with a concert. Students must have achieved basic proficiency on their instruments.
Advanced mallet players ages 10 to 14 perform on marimba, vibraphone, xylophone, glockenspiel, and percussion. Repertoire ranges from Bach to Bartok and from Mexican to African and jazz. The ensemble has performed throughout the United States.
The Rivers Honors Marimba Ensemble
Advanced high school mallet players perform repertoire from all periods of music, including ragtime xylophone solos and music commissioned for the ensemble. Recent highlights include performances at Symphony Hall, the Tsai Performance Center, and the All-State conference.
This group class, for all ages and levels, is an energetic and exciting way to enhance rhythmic precision and ensemble skills, as well as to develop the ability to improvise.
The guitar class enriches existing guitar knowledge and skills through the study of the history of the guitar; fingerboard basics including notes in the higher positions, triads, scales, and chords; guitar notation; ways to improve sight reading; and the exploration of exercises to improve technique. Ensemble playing is a major part of the class. The minimum enrollment is three and maximum enrollment is five guitarists. The class meets once a week for 45 minutes. This course does cover the theory and ensemble requirements of The Rivers School Conservatory’s Young Artists' Program.
The advanced guitar class is for students who have completed the guitar class. Students learn to read early music for guitar from tablature; explore fingerboard harmony, scales, and triads in different positions; discuss performance practice and ornamentation in different periods; transcribe music for other instruments to guitar; as well as weekly
ensemble playing. Minimum enrollment is three and maximum enrollment is five students. The class meets once a week for 45 minutes. This course fulfills the theory and ensemble requirement of The Rivers School Conservatory’s Young Artists' Program.