Acquire a new musical skill with affordable hands-on, in-person instruction. Keyboards are provided in our group piano courses; please bring your own instrument to other classes.
Banjo 1: Bluegrass style
This course will cover general banjo basics, chords and strumming and the basics of the Bluegrass three-finger picking style. Upon finishing the course, the student will be able to play basic accompaniment for songs and be able to choose a direction for further study.
Strum a song using easy chords during the first class! The ukulele has always been a delightful go-to for folks who want to get started playing music now. Learn various strumming patterns and how to pluck melodies on an instrument you can carry with you virtually anywhere.
More chords, more songs, more strumming patterns, more ukulele fun! If you would like to continue on from Ukulele 1 or have some working knowledge of the ukulele and would like to learn more, then this is your class. In addition, learn the rhythmic finger roll, add tremolo to your strumming and learn how to invent your own chords.
Guitar 1 is a course designed for the novice, but reinforces the basics and moves along quickly for those who want to review. Students learn the chord/accompaniment method, so there is no need to be able to read music. A variety of drills, techniques, and songs enable anyone to learn how to understand, strum and pick the guitar. Students must bring their own guitar (preferably acoustic) to each class.
More advanced chords, strumming, and picking techniques are applied.
Fingerstyle Guitar 1
This is an intermediate guitar course focusing on folk and country blues fingerstyle picking. Learn to play rhythm with your thumb while picking an accompanying melody with two other fingers at the same time. Goal will be to learn to play fingerstyle folk songs and gain the ability to convert any melody into a full band sound on a single guitar. Other topics covered: some essential blues riffs, two open tunings and basic slide guitar techniques.Students need to be comfortable with forming and changing chords as well as playing simple melodies.
Fingerstyle Guitar 2
This is an intermediate guitar course focusing on folk and country blues fingerstyle picking and a continuation of the Fingerstyle Guitar 1 class. It will include more in-depth study of simultaneous rhythm and melody picking and an expanded look at slide guitar techniques. We will cover quicker picking with eighth notes, picking hand rhythmic tricks, more essential blues riffs and maximizing creative variation through the use of new chord forms and voicings.Band/Ensemble
Piano Semester 1
This course is for students with no or minimal piano background. Students will learn basic note reading, technique, rhythm, and music theory. Pieces will include familiar melodies of classical, folk, and pop songs.
Piano Semester 2
Students will continue studies of note reading, technique, rhythm, and music theory.
Piano Semester 3
Students will continue studies of technique and music theory including rhythm, harmony, chord progressions, scales, and key signatures.
Piano Semester 4
Piano 4 incorporates new technique, duets and chording.
Intermediate Continuing Piano
Intermediate Continuing Piano is a group piano course for students progressing above the elementary level. The study of early intermediate level piano solos from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Contemporary periods as well as course work with technical exercises and piano pieces utilizing different rhythmic variations and theoretical ideas will be included.
Piano for Pleasure
This group piano course will cover some technique and theory and improvisation, as well as classical, pop and holiday music.Other Music Courses
Madison College Big Band
The Madison College Big Band explores music of many periods for jazz big band, including swing, funk, Latin, and modern jazz styles. Performances are held throughout the year on Madison College campuses and in surrounding communities. Open to all as space is available.
Madison College Show Choir
The Madison College Community Show Choir consists of adult singers of all ages. The group performs twice annually in the Mitby Theater and in our community. The group's winter concerts features seasonal music, and the annual spring performance, Supershow, is a thematic program featuring popular musical styles from throughout the 20th century. All singers are welcome!
Madison Community Orchestra
The Madison Community Orchestra is an ensemble of approximately 80 musicians of varying ages and abilities from the Madison area. The group is committed to the growth and continuing education of amateur musicians through regular rehearsals and performances. The MCO rehearses weekly and performs four concerts annually, including the popular Holiday Concert in the State Capitol Rotunda. Open to all string players. Open to winds, brass, and percussion by audition with the conductor, Blake Walter.
Madison Municipal Band
The Madison Municipal Band is a traditional concert band consisting of woodwind, brass and percussion instruments. The mission of the ensemble is to provide, for its membership, a continued opportunity for personal involvement in the arts, while fostering an environment for musical expression, appreciation, growth and fellowship. The group performs public concerts regularly in the Mitby Theater. Membership is open to all following a brief seating audition with the conductor.
Other Music Courses
Getting to Know Your Voice
Discover your most free and full voice. Students will practice effective breathing techniques, find their natural alignment, strengthen their listening skills, explore the link between tension and tone, and discuss anatomy and physics, building the tools necessary for singing healthily and confidently.
The harmonica is a fun, simple, yet expressive musical instrument. In this class we will look at beginning harmonica techniques such as getting single notes, popular melodies, blues, bent notes, and improvising. Ability to read music is unnecessary.
This course is intended for current harmonica players who need new ideas to further develop their playing. Participants should already know how to get single notes, play simple songs, and some basic blues. This class will explore harmonica techniques such as: solo improvising, vibrato, high note playing, slides, chord shuffles, minor keys, tongue blocking, and tone quality.
Music Theory and Composition
This course is designed to provide students with a basic foundation in music theory. Weekly lessons will include note reading, rhythm/melody/harmony structure and recognition, music terminology, scales, key signatures and composition techniques. Class time will include written and ear-training exercises. Throughout the course, students will be exposed to active-listening exercises in a variety of musical styles. Each student will incorporate his or her newfound theory skills by creating an original composition using the musical knowledge gained through the coursework.