The Michigan State University College of Music hones the tonal talents of its charges before unleashing their melodic capabilities into the acoustically sound stratosphere of the Wharton Center. More than 150 musicians from the MSU Symphony Orchestra, University Chorale, State Singers, Choral Union, and soloists from the MSU voice faculty interpret Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem, a passionate piece known to enthusiasts for its examination of faith and the afterlife as well as for its lack of the synth-pop beats that dominated the 19th-century symphony scene. Vocal soloists Melanie Helton, Molly Fillmore, Richard Fracker, and Rod Nelman form a choral quadrangle that harmonizes disparate clefs into a prism of polyphony.
Veteran guitarist Tab Wakley knows that the secret to becoming a great musician lies in loving what you play. That?s why he takes his teaching cues from his students, building his lessons around the genres and musicians that they most want to emulate. Over his years as a touring musician, Tab has mastered techniques that range from flat-picking to full-on shredding; his greatest asset as a teacher, however, is his ability to immediately assess your level of experience and match it with the appropriate subject matter. Students can delve right into strumming chords and playing songs or investigate the elements of music theory by reading sheet music or melting down a vinyl Beethoven record.
A division of Michigan State University's College of Music, MSU Community Music School operates under the belief that ?music dramatically enhances the quality of life.? Here, students of all ages and skill levels immerse themselves in this philosophy as they exercise teamwork in group rock-guitar classes, learn the history of the ukulele, or prosper through developmental challenges during music-therapy sessions. The school?s staff of expert instructors also helps students reach their individual musical goals, whether they want to master the jazz trombone or pursue a career as a bedroom alarm clock.
At Rock Stars Academy, aspiring drummers, bassists, guitarists, and keyboarders take the stage to share recently learned musical concepts and original compositions as they play as a group. During the week, professional music teachers teach musical techniques and fine-tune students' abilities with personalized instruction. The seasoned musicians teach beginners how to properly hold instruments to prevent bad habits that hinder progress, and they tailor lesson programs to each student’s specific goals, such as better understanding the intricacies of modal jazz or playing solos that summon pet chimeras.
In addition to hosting music lessons in guitar, drums, voice, and other instruments, Rock Stars Academy also houses a recording studio, band practice spaces, and a venue that schedules shows. The academy’s technicians also nurse wounded six-strings back to health with guitar repair services.
One of three devoted dancers who founded Studio 3 Performing Arts Center, Megan Stanley told the Dexter Patch that she wanted a venue where "girls or guys of any skill level feel they can have a place to dance." Today, the center has broadened her dream by teaching visitors how to become a triple threat onstage. Lessons in music, dance, and theater place its students—some as young as two years—on the road to self-expression, while an atmosphere of fun and acceptance keeps them practicing.
The owners teach most of the classes themselves, building a community of students and parents that trust their expertise and attend regular recitals. This convivial spirit carries over to theater performances, where audience participation and Samuel Beckett's famous call-and-response cheers ensure everyone's involvement. Classes welcome all-comers to try their hand at intuitive cardio workouts and competitive choreography alike, the latter of which has led the studio's crew to a Best in Studio award at the 2012 JUMP dance convention.
Veteran drummer Tom Twiss has been banging sticks for over 30 years while sharing the stage and recording booth with artists as varied as The Allman Brothers Band, Little Richard, and Mott the Hoople. The seasoned performer strives to teach a love of performance as he slowly introduces students to the basics of rhythm and syncopation. His studio features a soundproof waiting area, a stereo system for learning a favorite song, and two drum sets where student and teacher play alongside each other.