A collaboration between the Symphony & the Berrien County Intermediate School District that brings orchestra musicians into classrooms for a hands-on learning experience. Ensembles (trios, quartets and quintets) from the orchestra are available to teachers grades K thru 12 for in-class instructions/workshops and performances The musicians talk about the music and the instruments they play and answer questions from the students
If you are interested in having the musicians-in-school program
visit your school, please call the symphony office
Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra
The difference between a normal class and a master class is typically the setup. In a master class, all the students (and often spectators) watch and listen as the master takes one student at a time. The student (typically intermediate or advanced, depending on the status of the master) usually performs a single piece which they have prepared, and the master will give them advice on how to play it, often including anecdote about the composer, demonstrations of how to play certain passages, and admonitions of common technical errors. The student is then usually expected to play the piece again, in light of the master's comments, and the student may be asked to play a passage repeatedly to attain perfection. Master classes for musical instruments tend to focus on the finer details of attack, tone, phrasing, and overall shape, and the student is expected to have complete control of more basic elements such as rhythm and pitch. The value of the master class setup is that all students can benefit from the master's comments on each piece.
Often, a touring performer will give a master class the day before, or the day of, their performance in a particular city. Giving a master class before a concert provides both artistic stimulation for the performer and a means of obtaining a larger audience.
Aspiring classical musicians, and their teachers, typically consider master classes to be one of the most effective means of musical development, along with competitions, examinations, and practice.
Master Classes are open to musicians of varying abilities and present helpful instruction on topics ranging
from practice and performance skills to instrumental techniques and artistic interpretation.
Taught by Orchestra musicians and guest artists.