When I was in school, composers of color were virtually unheard of. Perhaps it was the same for you. As a performing artist or educator, you don't have to be an expert on this subject, but it is helpful to know a few basics. I specialize in music of African-American composers, which I call the "soul food" of classical music. If you need help teaching Africlassical music, or, if you would like sessions for your students, I'm here to support you! The following educational sessions are presented in person and virtually.
A Jumpstart to Teaching Africlassical Music gives educators a foundation for teaching music of African-American composers. In addition to providing resources for finding diverse repertoire, this session explores Africlassical essentials, including the history and cultural factors that influence African-American composers, performance practices associated with their work, and suggestions for discussing Africlassical music in the classroom or private studio. A Jumpstart to Teaching Africlassical Music is designed to help educators of all demographics gain comfort teaching Africlassical music, and, to encourage instructors who want to shape well-rounded artists. Africlassical music should be shared and enjoyed by everyone, so let's jump in together!
Africlassical Mix introduces string or symphony orchestra students in middle school through college to music African-American composers and the styles that influence their writing. Students learn about the history behind the music, performance practices associated with Africlassical music, composers and literature. Each Africlassical Mix session includes playing segments in which students experience the music we explore. Students should be able to read music. Resource sheets documenting music terms, composers, performers, and suggested videos are provided for each session. Although Africlassical Mix is designed for students, educators also something new! Africlassical Mix sessions include Spirituals and Gospel; Ragtime and Blues; Jazz; and Hip-Hop.
Although frequently overlooked, African-American composers have generously contributed to the landscape of classical music. Their work, much like soul food, is often seasoned with flavors of African-American culture and history. Classical Music Meets Soul Food provides a starting point for anyone interested in exploring music of African-American composers. What is the history behind their work? What music styles influence their writing? Who are the composers and where is their music found? What performance practices apply to their work? This lecture answers these questions and more, inviting everyone to come to the table and enjoy the rich legacy of African-American composers.
This "à la carte" lesson provides students or professionals learning Africlassical music or traditional repertoire technical and artistic feedback for improvement of playing. The sessions are not designed to be stressful, but to provide support in a positive learning environment.
Residencies provide students and educators several days of Africlassical training.
VIOLIN PROFESSOR AND ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FOR EQUITY, INCLUSION, AND STUDENT ENGAGEMENT AT OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY
"Dr. Hughes provided our community with a wealth of information that typically gets left out of music curricula. She highlighted the rich and varied roots of Africlassical music as well as grounded and inspired our future study. The best part: her energy and passion for people and for music made our students come alive and connect at a time when we all felt distant from each other and our music. World-class presenter and world-class presentation!"
VIOLIN PROFESSOR AT ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY
"Dr. Tami Lee Hughes’ hour-long presentation Classical Music Meets Soul Food, an overview on the history, culture, and major figures of Africlassical music, is something every musician, aspiring or professional, needs to watch. With infectious passion for her subject, Dr. Hughes traces the roots of Blues, Ragtime, Spirituals, Gospel, Jazz and Hip-Hop, using archival recordings and food analogies to illustrate the different styles and performance practices of each genre. As a teacher who is looking to enrich and diversify my students’ curriculum, Dr. Hughes’ presentation gave me resources for exploration and, most importantly, inspiration to work towards a comprehensive curriculum that better reflects the music traditions of all our community. Thank you for a fantastic session, Dr. Hughes!"
DIRECTOR OF BANDS AT THE DEKALB SCHOOL OF THE ARTS
"Dr. Hughes is a ball of energy and enthusiasm! Her presentation on African influences in music is entertaining and profound! No matter the background or indoctrination of your students, they will appreciate the musical connections of African music and the history of jazz, blues, rock & roll, hip-hop, and other genres of music. This is a MUST DO activity for teachers who seek to provide a historical perspective in their teaching methods!"
GREATER TWIN CITIES YOUTH SYMPHONIES DIRECTOR
"I was very pleased the content of her class. Excellent content. Excellent presentation and energy. I would love to have her work with our kids again somehow."
GREATER TWIN CITIES YOUTH SYMPHONIES DIRECTOR
"Thank you for this opportunity! Hire her again, please!"
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