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Chamber Music

Purpose of the Course

The purpose of this chamber music coaching course is to provide students with an in-depth study of the standard piano repertoire of chamber ensembles such as piano trios, quartets and quintets, as well as duo piano repertoire. Through weekly coaching, the course aims to introduce students to new chamber music literature, and to teach them how to rehearse and perform in small ensembles. The course emphasizes the importance of both individual and group practice time, as playing in a chamber music ensemble effectively requires not only preparing one's own part, but also actively listening to and reacting to the other parts. The course culminates in a public performance, giving students the opportunity to showcase their newly acquired skills and knowledge.

Required Materials

• Standard chamber music repertoire such as serenades and divertimenti, string quartets, and piano trios of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.
• Trio sonatas of Telemann and Vivaldi.
• Other romantic and twentieth century repertoire at the discretion of the instructor.
• A piano or keyboard, and any other instrument required for the student's specific ensemble.
• A metronome, tuner, and other practice aids as necessary.
• A music stand and sheet music.
• A device with internet access and a camera, as some classes will be held online.
• A notebook and pen or pencil for taking notes and recording feedback from the instructor.

It is important for students to have access to all required materials before the start of the course in order to fully participate and benefit from the instruction. Dr. Chen may provide additional materials or recommend specific editions of the repertoire as needed throughout the course.

Program Learning Outcome

• Students will have the opportunity to perform in a studio-class setting on a monthly basis, giving them experience in performing for their peers and receiving constructive feedback.
• Students will be required to perform at least once during the course in a ensemble setting, allowing them to gain experience in playing with others and working as a cohesive group.
• Students will have the opportunity to present at least one movement of a chamber music work in a recital at the end of the semester.
• Students will learn to rehearse effectively and efficiently, both individually and as part of an ensemble, in order to prepare for performances.
• Students will gain experience in working with a coach, learning to receive and incorporate feedback, and to improve their playing.

Rehearsals and Coachings:
• Each ensemble is required to have one or two rehearsals a week, in addition to one coaching time with Dr. Chen.
• Each of these sessions must be a minimum of one hour, and the times (and locations of rehearsals) should be decided by the second week of class at the latest.
• The coaching time must be arranged with Dr. Chen and will be ½ hour to 45 minutes in length.
• Students are expected to attend all rehearsals and coachings and to arrive on time and prepared. Absences and lateness are disrespectful to fellow musicians and will not be tolerated.
• Chamber music can be one of the most rewarding and enjoyable aspects of playing an instrument, so it is expected that students will engage fully in the experience and strive to get the most out of it.

Please note that it is important to have clear and concise program learning outcomes, that are measurable and specific to the course objectives.
Clarinet Trio in A minor, Op. 114 - Johannes Brahms
Piano Quintet in E-flat major, Op. 44 - Robert Schumann
Mozart Turkish March by Volodos arranged for Piano Sextet by Archie Chen
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Dr. Archie Chen is a Sony Classical Recording Artist
Archie Chen records for Sony Classical
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