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Class Descriptions

Sample List of Institute Activities

Composition Workshops and Readings

For those participants with a strong interest in composition and/or arranging, there will be opportunities to work with some of Decoda’s own performer/composers as well as with a special guest composer. There will also be scheduled sessions for Decoda faculty to read and workshop compositions with the composers.


Public Performances

Faculty Interactive Performance and Workshop (Week 1): Decoda faculty will present a public workshop on “How to Frame a Piece of Music." Part performance, part demonstration, part workshop, the students and faculty will explore the ingredients of successful audience interaction, the rules of engagement for different age groups, and the art of scripting a concert as a team.


Decoda Town Hall

Festival Community - "Who We Are" (Week 1):  What role does music play in your life personally? What role does music play in our society? This initial Town Hall will serve as an introduction to Decoda - how and why we came together and what we hope to add to music in our society.  Students will be asked to reflect on the question, "what role does music play in your own lives and in society at large?" This session will serve as a way to get to know each other and include community building exercises. 

Public Speaking (Week 1): A crash course on speaking from the stage and to your audience.  Finding avenues of relating the music to everyone; preparing an outline for what you are going to say; keeping it short (but passionate!); staying away from the "ums, likes, things."

Entry Points (Week 1): What is an entry point?  Why is it relevant?  Breaking out into groups for "entry point case studies" - identifying something important and personally relevant in the music, and then finding a way to present that to your audience in front of you.   Through this Town Hall we will discover that an entry point is a pathway into the music that gives an audience ownership over the music, creating a deeper listening experience.

Improv - Drama (Week 1): As musicians in the professional world, we find ourselves improvising every day!  What better way to learn how to stay on your toes (while having lots of fun!) than to work with a professional actor/comedian?

Community Engagement (Week 2): As artists, we will find ourselves performing in front of an array of different audiences - presenting classical music to someone who has never heard it before, to senior citizens who have had vast experiences, but do not have access to the concert hall because of their situations.  This Town Hall will prepare students with a tool box for different scenarios of performances in community venues.

Interactive Performances (Week 2):  This Town Hall will serve as a master class for Interactive Performance groups, facilitated by Decoda faculty and guest artists.  This will be a chance for student ensembles to try out a selection of IP activities from their scripts-in-progress.  All groups will have a chance to present and will benefit from watching the other IP groups being coached on their presentations.