Jazz and Popular Music – PRE-ACADEMIC / FOUNDATION COURSE
Objectives and Admission
The Foundation/Pre-Academic Courses are specifically targeted to students needing to improve their foundation music knowledge in order to better face the subsequent Bachelor programs. The performance Foundation Courses are subdivided in a Jazz and a Popular Music track. The 2 tracks share the same theoretical courses, being differenced only in the Repertoire and Ensemble classes.
The duration of the Foundation Performance Courses ranges between 1 and 3 years, according to the Entry level of the student. Such entry level is determined through an Admission test, that can be sit either in February or June every year. Both Admissions periods allow the student to start their study path from the following September, when the Academic Year starts. It is not possible to start the Courses in February.
The study of harmony and its application on the piano follow a very innovative didactic vision. The complementary piano studies (for students whose main instrument is bass, double bass, drums, vocals, percussion, violin and brass) is seen as a fundamental key to the understanding of harmony and its practical application. There are three levels of Harmony and Ear training dealing with topics such as music reading, polyphonic singing, recognizing chords, progressions and rhythmic reading.
Of great impact and one of the first of its kind in Europe, is the rhythm section class for bass players, drummers, guitar players and pianists, through which the students deal at various levels with all the styles of modern music including pop, swing, Latin music, funk, shuffle, blues, rock, jazz. Vocal labs, such as the Vocal Summit ensemble,are specifically thought for singers. The study of brass instruments is enriched by brass sections, meant to develop the capacity of the student to play in section, to read, to improve his / her pronunciation, timing and sound.
The Pre-academic performance courses also focus on creativity, enhancing individual curiosity and talent, to later reach a level in which students can create their own music in an autonomous way by using electronic instruments.
Every year, during the pre-academic course, over 90 ensembles are composed and play from January to June in Clubs in Rome (see the videos). Being one of the prides of Saint Louis, the labs enhance the musicians to meet with peers, working together on arrangements and experimentation. The labs are organized in 28-30 rehearsals per year, taking place weekly, and lasting 80 minutes each.