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 music of African-American composers, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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