Sr Session (Grades 9-12)

Young male and female singers

June 28-July 3, 2020

Senior Session is for students completing grades 9-12 (including students who have finished their senior year of high school in the spring of 2020).

After intense rehearsals, the week culminates in performances by each performing ensemble on Friday, July 3, 2020 beginning at 6pm. The concerts take place in various spaces on campus, and details will be sent out prior to the date. Friends and family are welcome.

If you are in your Junior year of high school and a permanent resident of Wisconsin, you may be eligible to apply and audition for the Tuition Waiver Award during Summer Music Clinic. This program recognizes exceptional musical talent by awarding 10 students a tuition-free undergraduate college education at UW-Madison or UW-Milwaukee. (The award covers tuition only, and does not cover required segregated fees). You must complete a separate application and submit by May 18, 2020. Details available here >

Registration opens in January 2020!

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Class Offerings

Band, Choir, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo, Musical Theater, Orchestra

Students choose one or more performing ensemble (provided the class times do not conflict) and can combine choral and instrumental choices in their schedules.

Each main performing ensemble rehearses two consecutive hours per day and performs in a final concert at the end of the week.

Group Lessons

Daily group lessons are an important component of Summer Music Clinic. Each group lesson lasts one hour, and students may choose more than one. Classes cover technique, tone, warmups, and standard literature.

Class Electives

Class electives available in January 2020. Classes from 2019 listed below.


Acting – Learn the skills needed to project your voice clearly, represent your character through body movement, and take your performance to the next level.

British Invasion – Listen to a variety of music considered part of the British Invasion of rock and pop music in the mid-1960s – the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Herman’s Hermits, the Kinks, and many more. We will also examine their broader connection to the rising counterculture movements in the US and the UK, and the impact on culture beyond music.

Capoeira – This Afro-Brazilian martial art is an important part of Brazilian culture and history, combining dance, acrobatics, and music. Singing the songs and playing the instruments like the barimbau and pandiero are just as important as the moves. This class will teach some movements as well as popular songs and rhythms and everyone will get to experience the power of the Roda!

Classical Guitar (Limited enrollment) – In a group lesson format, work on essential skills for playing classical guitar including tone production, posture, and practice and performance tips. Students should have had at least three years of guitar-playing experience and need to have their own classical (nylon-string) guitar.

Composition and Arranging – Acquire skills that help you combine, melody, harmony, and rhythm creatively into your own music writing styles. A theory background is helpful if taking this class.

Concert Band Literature – Listen to great compositions of the concert band and wind ensemble literature from Sousa to Holst to the most current creative and innovative composers.

Conducting – Choral – Learn fluid beat patterns and expressive skills, view scores from classic literature to contemporary compositions, and experience the perspective from the podium from preparation to performance skills.

Conducting – Instrumental – Learn fluid beat patterns and expressive skills, view scores from classic literature to contemporary compositions, and experience the perspective from the podium from preparation to performance skills. Students will be grouped by their instrument type (winds/brass/percussion or strings).

Cuban Salsa Dancing – Learn to dance Cuban salsa! This class focuses on a partner dance called Rueda de Casino, where two or more pairs dance together in a circle. We will learn solo styling as well with rich influences of Afro-Cuban folkloric and Cuban popular rhythm, culture, and, of course, movement. Come ready to shake it!

Film Scoring and Arranging – Learn the basics of scoring for motion pictures and television including orchestration techniques that are currently being used in the industry.

Finding Their Voice – African American Composers in the 20th Century – In the generations after slavery, conservatory-trained African Americans in growing numbers formally composed music. What was their music like? Was it like the music of their white and European peers? Or did it reflect their African roots and slave past? This course explores these and other related questions.

History of Hip-Hop – Most people agree that Hip-Hop was born out of the Bronx in the 1970s, but elements of the art form were present much earlier. Learn about key cultural events, people, and politics that shaped Hip-Hop over the years and where it is today.

Hit Songwriting – Whether or not you’ve ever written a song, come learn the basics of crafting lyrics and melodies in a popular-style song.

Introduction to Melharmony – Conceptualized by Maestro Chitravina N Ravikiran, who was hailed as “the Mozart of Indian Music” (Wisconsin State Journal), Melharmony is an innovative musical system that explores chords and counterpoints based on melodic progression, thereby fusing melody-centric systems such as Indian classical and harmony-centric systems like Western classical to create a new approach to musical composition. Led by Maestro Ravikiran himself, students will compose their own piece using Melharmony in this class.

Jazz – Afro-Cuban – Developed in the 1940s, Afro-Cuban jazz is considered the earliest form of Latin jazz. This course will cover the music’s origins and influence on American jazz by focusing on the rhythm of clave and various Afro-Cuban styles including Son, Rumba, Cha-Cha-Cha, Bembé, and Bolero.

Jazz Greats – Learn about some of the greatest musicians in jazz history as well as some living legends whose innovation and creativity have made a significant impact on jazz.

Jazz Improvisation – Instrumental/Beginning – Introduction to jazz scales, rhythmic styles, and standard patterns that will help you take effective solos with ensembles.

Jazz Improvisation – Instrumental/Continuing – This class provides additional information and challenge beyond the basics of jazz improvisation.

Masterclass – Classical Piano – Bring in prepared solo piano literature to receive comments from faculty on your performance in a masterclass format.

Masterclass – Strings – Bring in prepared solo literature and accompaniment to receive comments from faculty on your performance in a masterclass format.

Masterclass – Voice – Bring in prepared solo literature and accompaniment to receive comments from faculty on your performance in a masterclass format.

Media and Social Justice – Social Justice explores the relationship of individuals and their society and the inequities that prevent a fair and just relationship. The portrayal of these issues and the politics surrounding them in film, music, and the broader media further complicate our society’s relationship to those issues. This class will offer a safe setting for students to explore the role of arts and media within social topics such as gender, race, sexuality, and identity through an authentic and empathic approach.

Music and Power – Reflect on music’s ability to shape people’s lives and on how people have used music’s power throughout history and across the globe to achieve certain goals. Topics include music and politics, music and identity, and music and the economy.

Music Theory – Counterpoint – Counterpoint is the combination of simultaneously sounding musical lines – each having its own significance and identity – and organized according to a system of rules. It is considered one of Western Classical music’s most fundamental practices and was studied by great composers like Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms. Use this class to get a head start on this required course of study for music majors.

Music Theory Fundamentals – Review major, minor, diminished, and dominant-seventh chords; clefs, notation, scale degrees, and musical rhythms and patterns.

Music Production – DIY Style – Today’s phones, computers, and digital devices are equipped with amazing musical technology. They can turn your ideas into an original recording — but how to use these tools? This simple, do-it-yourself course will show you the basics of music production using free software, like GarageBand. Learn to use MIDI, microphones and interfaces, audio editing, mixing, and other top-secret ninja techniques for turning everyday items into musical genius!

Musical Theatre Tips and Techniques – Topics will include taking auditions, projection, and dramatic movement as well as production aspects of theater such as direction and staging.

Percussion Ensemble – Rhythms of Brazil – Explore the vast array of drumming styles from Brazil, including the Samba from Rio de Janeiro’s Carnaval parades. Each student will get the opportunity to try all of the traditional Brazilian drums and their specific techniques.

Physics of Music – Explore a variety of scientific topics through a musical lens, from the impact of materials used in building instruments to the acoustic design of concert halls.

Progressive Rock – In this course, we will talk about what separated progressive rock from more mainstream trends. Using a wide variety of British and American bands from the 1960s and 1970s, we will identify musical influences and connective threads, and then connect first and second wave bands to artists of today.

Sightsinging Strategies – Practical skills for sightsinging designed to help vocalists gain facility with standard rhythmic patterns and interval recognition.

Spoken Word – Put your poetry into performance using rhyme, rhythm, and repetition and learn techniques for projection, enunciation, and gesticulation to help take your words from the page to the stage.

String Band (Limited Enrollment) – Explore chamber music in a popular/rock/folk genre in the style of 2Cellos, Lindsay Sterling, and Crooked Still. Students will collaborate with the faculty and their student band in creating their own arrangement of a non-classical song, to be performed on the final day of camp. Learn skills like reading chord charts, tablature, and writing and arranging for different string instruments.

Symphonic String Literature – Listen to and study inspiring orchestral literature from performance favorites to challenging excerpts.

Vocal Coaching – Arias to Ariana – Whether you are preparing to belt your favorite pop song or floating up to perfect high notes in your aria, Arias to Ariana is for you. No matter your style, this class will help you learn helpful vocal techniques to bring into your daily practice as well as what harmful habits to avoid to keep your voice developing properly for years to come.

Yoga for Performers – A variety of relaxation exercises and meditations for mind and body that can aid with practice, performance, and general well-being.

Sample Daily Schedule

Each day of Summer Music Clinic: Senior Session is 8am-4:30pm with seven hours of classes or rehearsals (Periods A-G) and a lunch break at 12:05pm (between Periods D and E).


7am Breakfast
8am Periods A and B: Performing Ensemble Rehearsal (band, choir, jazz ensemble, jazz combo, musical theater, or orchestra)
10:10am Period C: Group Lesson
11:15am Period D: Hit Songwriting


12:05pm Lunch
1:20pm Period E: Yoga for Performers
2:25pm Period F: String Band
3:30pm Period G: Film Scoring & Arranging
4:30pm Recreation time


5pm Dinner
6pm Recreation time
7pm Evening concerts

Young female oboe player