Youth & Teen: Classes & Ensembles

Build your skills.

Our programs for youth and teens are designed for beginners as well as students who want to enhance their musical skills and experiences.

Instrument classes are available for beginners; general music theory and jazz theory classes explore the building blocks of music; and group performance opportunities abound with large and small ensembles for progressing musicians.

Plus, if you don’t find the group you’re looking for, we’ll design a Custom Ensemble for you.

Curious?

Beginner Piano

Ages 12 – 17

Have you admired your friends who could play piano? Have you “played around” on your own? Do you want to build a good foundation of technique and note reading so you can move on your own path? This class will unlock your potential to make music in a friendly, fun, and low-stress setting.

Brass Ensemble

Ages 8 – 18

Join fellow brass players in a rewarding ensemble experience! Explore, learn, and perform music from early Baroque works to current composers. Members will develop individual and group musicianship under the leadership of a brass specialist, and will be showcased in three concerts per year. Open to intermediate to advanced trumpet, horn, trombone, euphonium/ baritone, and tuba. 

Custom Ensembles

All ages

Ready to play in a group? Students of all styles of music, from classical to jazz, and rock, are invited to sign up for a Custom Ensemble. Playing music with others is an essential element in developing your musical craft and ramping up the learning process. Beginners will make faster progress, experienced players will be challenged to higher levels, and everyone can share one of the true joys of music through learning and playing together. Experience in a chamber group or small ensemble is not required, but students should have good basic technique on their instrument and strong music reading skills. Days, times, and start dates are coordinated with all the players and the ensemble coach.

Chamber Winds

Ages 10 – 16

A first ensemble experience for beginning woodwind and brass players. Students will play a variety of classical, folk style, and contemporary pieces to develop their ensemble skills — matching rhythm, pitches, and phrasing, and learning how to lead and follow.

Intro to Jazz Theory

Ages 12 – 17

Learning jazz style can seem an intimidating thing, but once you understand the basics you’ll open up a whole new world of expression and enjoyment! We’ll explore jazz chord structure, voicing, and progressions, plus jazz scales, and scale-chord relationships. Using actual jazz charts you’ll see typical harmonizations with chords, and can begin to apply them to your own instrument, and explore the fascinating practice of improvisation.

Music Theory

Ages 12 – 17

Enjoy your music more and become a better musician! Whether you’re just learning an instrument or have been playing for years, an understanding of music theory basics (notes, intervals, chords, scales, rhythm, melody, and harmony) will make the process faster and easier. Strengthening your note-reading skill allows you to concentrate more on instrument technique and expressiveness. Being able to identify scales, chords, phrases, and forms help in sightreading and memorizing music.

Percussion Ensemble

Ages 8 – 18

Attention percussionists: It’s time to try an ensemble! The unlimited variety of instruments and a vast library of music for percussion are particularly appealing to developing musicians. Classical standards as well as contemporary compositions and ethnic styles will provide new challenges for individual and group growth. The ensemble will have three public performances each school term.

Piano Seminar

This 10-week seminar is a series of masterclass-style sessions designed to help students refine their playing skills and musical interpretation. Students perform prepared pieces and receive feedback on performance practice and musicianship from the instructor (a rotating list of teachers from our piano faculty) and the group. The seminar will also feature discussions on improving performance skills such as memorization, preparing for recitals and competitions, and piano repertoire. Students will be encouraged to perform their seminar pieces in recital.

Flute Ensemble

Ages 12 – 18

Are you looking for opportunities to meet and play with fellow flute students? Come explore the family of flute instruments from piccolos to contrabasses. Music selected will be both challenging and fun. Whether you have played in an ensemble or not, our Teen Flute Ensemble will lead you to individual growth as a musician and ensemble member.

Youth Chorus: Prelude

Little singers will get the perfect start with fun songs and music games that teach them how to use their singing voice, and to listen and blend with others. Watch your child’s concentration and confidence grow!

Youth Chorus: Lyrica

Children love to sing! Get them started right with instruction in healthy vocal technique and musicianship skills. Repertory will run the full range from classical and traditional songs, through current pop and contemporary hits. 

Youth Chorus: Harmonia

Ages 10 – 13

Harmonia is a great starting point for young singers to develop their voices through healthy vocal technique, and to improve music-reading and musicianship skills. There is also a strong focus on teamwork and personal development. The ensemble will learn and perform a variety of repertory from classical literature to contemporary pop hits.

Youth Orchestra: Chamber Strings

Beginning String Players

Learning to play in a group is an essential element in a student’s music education and Chamber Strings is the ideal first step beyond private lessons. The ensemble builds on the student’s technical and musicianship skills and gets them to think beyond their own instrument. Through the director’s expert but gentle guidance, young string players will learn how to listen to others, match their pitch and speed, and fit together the different musical parts that make up an ensemble composition. Prospective members should have good basic reading and rhythm skills, have a good tone, and be confident in playing in first position on all strings. Membership is by audition.

Youth Orchestra: Camerata Strings

Advanced Beginner to Intermediate Level Strings

As string players progress in their technical and musical understanding, a string orchestra is the ideal supplement to private study. Our Camerata Strings ensemble is designed for advanced beginner to intermediate level violin, viola, cello, and bass players. Students will learn how to be a valuable ensemble member and further develop their musicianship. Repertoire includes great compositions of past musical eras, contemporary literature of other cultures, and styles beyond classical music. Prospective students should be good music readers and be able to play a variety of rhythms, and in a variety of keys. Membership is by audition.

Youth Orchestra: Sinfonia Concert Orchestra

Advanced Level Strings, Winds, Brass & Percussion

Sinfonia Concert Orchestra is our top-level ensemble, and includes winds, brass, and percussion for a full orchestra experience. Through some of the finest orchestral literature as well as exciting and familiar contemporary soundtracks from stage and screen, Sinfonia members will take their individual playing and ensemble skills to the next level, and experience the absolute thrill of playing in a full orchestra. Beyond musical skills, students will learn to develop leadership, concentration, cooperation, teamwork, confidence and other attributes that will positively affect all areas of their lives. Membership is by audition.

Students who participate in both Sinfonia and the Youth Wind Ensemble are eligible for special discounts

Youth Wind Ensemble

Intermediate and Advanced Winds, Brass & Percussion

Join the region’s finest young musicians in our thriving regional concert band program! Grow and develop as a musician as you hone your reading skills, improve your technique and intonation, and explore the rich wind ensemble literature. Members receive high quality training through weekly ensemble rehearsals, and occasional instrument sectionals with members of the Music School faculty and our professional symphony orchestra. For players in grades 7 -12. Membership is by audition.

Students who participate in both Sinfonia and the Youth Wind Ensemble are eligible for special discounts

Registration Links for Current Members:

Saturday Ensemble Experience

Youth Orchestra, Youth Wind Ensemble, Chamber Music, and more converge every Saturday on our beautiful Groton Hill Music School campus. Convenient back-to-back scheduling makes it easy to learn from a variety of professional musicians on our beautifully tuned grand concert stage.

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