In addition to the structured private lessons and ensemble classes held at Cappella, we also like to offer some looser, more spontaneous opportunities to make music and make friends.
Monthy Blues Jam
Our Monthly Blues Jam is an opportunity aimed primarily at intermediate level and above students who wish to grow their music making in a number of key ways: learning to play together, learning to improvise, and adding some standards to the repertoire. Guitar, Bass, Piano, Drums or members of the horn and woodwind family are all welcome.
Why the Blues? The Blues, as a format for making music, makes for a great learning environment. Blues tunes tend to be fairly predictable and regular in their construction, which makes learning them a quick and easy process. They work in simple progressions of chords (which often sound pretty much the same, from tune to tune), but add elements of rhythm and timing which allows each song to stand on its own. They are often built around iconic riffs, which are great to learn and add to one's toolbox. And, because the songs are easily memorable, they allow the performer to improvise new melodic ideas on top of predictable chord changes.
Each month, for simplicity sake, we will learn one Blues standard, something we can get down quickly, spend a short amount of time outlining how the changes work, how the song is structured, and take a look at how to improvise around it. Then, we will spend the remainder of the session playing, improvising, listening to each other, and internalizing the song.
Here is what jammers should know: basic chords, by name and notes by name, on their instrument, should have some familiarity with reading charts (simplified music notation) or lead sheets (lyrics with chord changes), and and understanding of tablature for guitar. Jammers should enjoy exploring rhythm and should be patient with themselves as they learn the songs.
Meets the Second Wednesday of each month, from 7:00-8:30pm: In 2020 - March 11th, April 8th, May 13th, June 10th, July 15th, August 12th, September 9th, October 14th, November 11th, December 9th
The class is geared toward an intermediate to advanced musical audience (teen to adult).
The Blues Jam will meet in the large room on the first floor of the school. Acoustic instruments with pickups or electric guitars and basses are best. There is an electric piano and a PA for vocals. We will need to keep the volume to a modest roar, for the sake of our own ears and for the well-being of our neighbors!
There is no cost to regularly enrolled students at Cappella. We ask for a $5 donation per student from those who do not normally take private lessons at our school.
Our Songwriter's Summit is intended to be an informal gathering of songwriters who are serious about their craft and enjoy the process of exploring songwriting and music making in a collaborative environment. This is a chance for the songwriters among us to share what they are working on, how their musical process works, and to offer feedback and constructive ideas to each other with the intent of communally reaching a deeper understanding of the craft, the art, the psychology and the humanity of songwriting.
Leading the Songwriter's Summit is Geoff Hansplant, who has been writing songs for almost forty years and releasing his music internationally for the past decade. As a solo artist and as a member of Dirt Track Racer, Geoff’s music has been heard all over the world and has charted here in the United States. DTR’s first album, Kick Off Your Muddy Boots, hit number four in the country on the Roots music charts, and a single from the album, “Bucket Full of Rain,” spent two weeks at number two. Kick Off Your Muddy Boots was named Album of the Month on a number of stations in Europe and America, as well as on the Akademia Music Awards out of Hollywood. DTR’s second album, Something’s Gotta Give, is currently in rotation on stations across the US and Canada, as well as in the UK, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Australia and Uruguay (and the list grows, weekly).
Geoff composes in many different styles, including: folk, rock, jazz, blues, power pop, r&b and Bossa nova. If you are a songwriter in one or more of these idioms, this is an opportunity for musical growth which you should not miss!
Meets the fourth Wednesday of most months, from 7:30-9:30pm: In 2020: March 25th, April 29th, May 27th, June 24th, July 22nd, August 26th, September 23rd, October 28th, November 25th, and December 23rd
The Songwriter's Summit will often be dealing with adult themes in the songs. Participants should be 18+
The Songwriter's Summit will meet in the large room on the first floor of the school. Acoustic instruments are best. We always have an acoustic guitar or two floating around if you do not have one of your own. There is also an electric piano and a PA for vocals, should performers desire.
There is no cost to participate. Bring your songs, your enthusiasm, and plenty of good vibes.
Cappella School of Music
317 Oreland Mill Road
Oreland, PA 19075
Phone: 215 233-8933
Congratulations to Cappella's Samantha Klein, who will be starring as Amahl in the Delaware Valley Opera Company's production of Amahl and the Night Visitors, Saturday, January 6th, 2018, in two shows, at 4:00 and 7:00p.m. The performance will be staged at the Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center, 7 Lock Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19127. Great job, Samantha!
Pictures from our last event are now online! Check them out.