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The Great American Songbook Foundation
The Great American Songbook Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire and educate by celebrating the Great American Songbook.
The Songbook Academy staff and faculty have outlined clear teaching objectives for our 2021 virtual program, so that students and parents have an understanding of the week's educational goals before the week begins.
- Vocal Technique and Health - students will take a deep dive into understanding the anatomy of their vocal instruments, the basics of healthy sound production and the proper techniques for caring for the voice. This includes an introduction to recommended warm-up and cool-down vocal exercises, as well as an overview of nutrition, environmental and speech production techniques that support a healthy instrument.
- Song Interpretation - students will be challenged to put their own unique stamp on their repertoire by taking a deep dive into understanding the text and musical elements of a song before interpreting the "story" in a personal and thoughtful way. They will learn the importance of deliberate phrasing, taking time to tell the story and putting the lyric in a personal context. In addition to understanding the historical context and key elements of the song's structure, this also includes an overview and implementation of basic "Acting the Song" techniques to shape the singer's storytelling.
- Performance Technique - students will learn to take their repertoire to the next level by introducing performance-based techniques to their singing. This includes identifying focus (who you are singing to), using facial expressions and gesturing or moving in an authentic way. Students will understand the importance of facial and physical expression in telling a story.
- Songbook 101 - students will learn about the foundation and evolution of American popular song. They will be introduced to legendary composers, lyricists and artists who wrote and introduced us to the music of the Great American Songbook, therefore, leaving an indelible mark on American history and popular culture. Students will also get a behind-the-scenes look at the Songbook Archives and learn the importance of preserving the Golden Age of American popular song by continuing to re-interpret its vast repertoire.
- Musical Styles - students will be introduced to a range of musical styles represented in the music of the American Songbook including: Musical Theatre (or Broadway), Jazz and Classical styles; and understand how to use these styles to help tell the story. This includes tips for performing these styles outside of their intended settings.
- Pursuing a career in music - students will learn the basics of pursuing a career in the Arts, while receiving tips and feedback from a diverse group of industry experts. This includes a music business class, college and general audition advice, how to promote yourself as an artist, professional etiquette and more.
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