A choice. A charter high school for students with a passion for the performing arts. Jonny shares his experience as a Music Academy student.

Posted by Pioneer High School for the Performing Arts on Tuesday, September 29, 2015

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The Music Academy provides students with highly specialized and rigorous musical training that gives them the foundation, tools and experience needed to excel in a career as a musician. To this end training emphasizes music theory, classical and jazz music.

Master Classes & Master Instruction
Students regularly participate in master classes with industry leaders and receive real-world instruction, an insiders experience to the dynamics and know-how of the industry.

Creative Collaboration
Students participate in performance ensembles and songwriting with fellow students to develop creativity, an understanding of the dynamics of performance and musicianship, and the technical knowledge of orchestration.

Prowess through Performance
Understanding is deepened and enriched through the study of music history and culture, music technology and the music business. Students apply training and sharpen technique through performance opportunities throughout the year. Performances include peer reviews, recitals, and public and private showcases in ensemble and solo formats.

The academy experience deeply immerses its musicians in a conservatory style program that promotes the musical intelligence and potential of each student. Students gain the educational, social, and emotional foundation necessary to embark on successful, professional careers.

To receive more information about the music academy click here.

calebMeet the Artistic Director
Caleb Chapman, Music Academy Artistic Director, began the Caleb Chapman Music program in 1999. Since then, he has already left a permanent mark on the music industry. His vision and accomplishments have marked him as a rising star, both domestically and internationally. Caleb produces and directs over 150 of Utah’s most talented young musicians in nine elite ensembles, including the award-winning Crescent Super Band. These bands can currently be heard on radio stations across the country, including Sirius XM Satellite radio. In addition to performing across the globe, his bands have been recognized time and again as some of the nation’s top entertainers. DownBeat Magazine has recognized these bands with 10 awards over the last 5 years. Caleb received the Best of State Statue Award, marking his program as the top organization in Arts and Entertainment for the state of Utah, beating out every other professional music, arts, and film organization for the honor. They have also garnered 7 Best of State Medals in the process. And his Crescent Super Band has consistently been named the top professional band in Utah in any genre. In addition to fronting the bands, Caleb is an active saxophonist. Most recently, he performed the National Anthem for the NBA at a sold-out match with the Utah Jazz and the Miami Heat, the only saxophonist ever to receive the invitation in Utah. Caleb is a featured clinician and sponsored performer for Yamaha Saxophones, Rico Reeds, JodyJazz Mouthpieces, and Planet Waves Cables.

Department Chair
As an educator, Sam Payne has spent 16 years in the classroom and in school administration, and was presented Utah’s Best of State award as a school administrator in 2015. As a performing artist, Mr. Payne has an award-winning catalog of seven albums of original solo material, and four jazz albums of American standards as the leader of the widely performing quartet “Savoy.” He has also shared stages with rock legends Toto and Foreigner, pop stars Air Supply and Marie Osmond, and more. Mr. Payne has entertained as a storyteller, songwriter and jazz musician in concert halls from Bulgaria to Tokyo, and from the Will Rogers Auditorium in Dallas, Texas to the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.  He co-directed the “Soundcheck Series,” an artist development program for independent songwriters. He also founded the Southern Utah Songwriters Association, and developed “Musicfusion,” a series of workshops and classes in which elementary school students interact with music professionals to create and perform individual and collaborative works for the stage. As a radio writer and personality, Mr. Payne hosts “The Apple Seed: Tellers and Stories,” a daily radio show on the art of storytelling for BYU Radio. He also conceived and directed the nation’s most listened-to inspirational Internet radio station, YLDSR.com <http://YLDSR.com> , and created and syndicated “The Radio Family Journal,” a popular weekly storytelling radio feature for families. As an educational writer, Mr. Payne has authored educational publications for children, and his work has been adopted as standard curriculum by state boards of education in Florida and Arkansas. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Weber State University, a Master’s degree in Education from Southern Utah University, and serves on the board of the National Storytelling Network.

Music Academy Classes

The Music Academy is designed to develop musicians with emotional, intellectual and artistic depth and breadth. Below is a sampling of classes offered to achieve this goal:

Class Name Teacher
CORE Ensembles
The CORE ensemble (an acronym for “Concepts of Rock Essentials”) is the central performance course in the musical education scheme of a Pioneer High School music student. This pop and rock performance class puts full rock bands on stage, covering tunes carefully chosen by the PHS cadre of music professionals to showcase keyboardists, bass players, guitarists, lead and background vocalists, and drummers. The class capitalizes on the work accomplished in PHS music master classes to create full stage experiences, developing precision in technical performance, and also skills in handling oneself on stage and appropriately commanding a full show. Each of four CORE ensembles meets three times per week.

Mr. Aaron Anderson

Mr. Brandon Kitterman

Bass & Guitar Masterclass
Every music student at PHS focuses on an instrument in a traditional rock band, and receives instruction twice weekly on that instrument. For bassists and guitarists, this means working on technique and performance, Instruction includes transcribing parts by ear and learning improvisational techniques, all the time utilizing the songs carefully chosen for performance in the CORE ensembles as the basis for instruction. Flexible instruction makes this class suitable for players from beginning to advanced levels. Classes employ individual and group technique instruction, ensemble playing, and critical listening from a specially qualified music industry professional. Students learn in masterclass what they put on stage in CORE.

Mr. Sam Payne
Drum Masterclass
Every music student at PHS focuses on an instrument in a traditional rock band, and receives instruction twice weekly on that instrument. For drummers, this means working on technique and performance, utilizing the songs carefully chosen for performance in the CORE ensembles as the basis for instruction. Flexible instruction makes this class suitable for players from beginning to advanced levels. Classes employ individual and group technique instruction, ensemble playing, and critical listening from a specially qualified music industry professional. Students learn in masterclass what they put on stage in CORE. 
Mr. Aaron Anderson

Voice Masterclass
Every music student at PHS focuses on an instrument in a traditional rock band, and receives instruction twice weekly on that instrument. For vocalists, this means working on technique and performance, utilizing the songs carefully chosen for performance in the CORE ensembles as the basis for instruction. Classes employ individual and group technique instruction in contemporary pop idioms for both lead vocalists and background singers, ensemble singing, critical listening to contemporary and vintage singers, as well as preparation of group and individual performance pieces for the stage. As in other PHS master classes, students learn from a specially qualified music industry professional. Students learn in masterclass what they put on stage in CORE rehearsals and concerts. 

Ms. Kelly Kuhnen

Keys/Piano Masterclass
Every music student at PHS focuses on an instrument in a traditional rock band, and receives instruction twice weekly on that instrument. For keyboardists, this means working on technique and performance in the study of major and minor scales, and in the reading of chord changes and navigation of basic chord movement. Much of the instruction utilizes the songs carefully chosen for performance in the CORE ensembles as the basis for instruction. Flexible instruction makes this class suitable for players from beginning to advanced levels. Classes employ individual and group technique instruction, ensemble playing, and critical listening from a specially qualified music industry professional. Students learn in masterclass what they put on stage in CORE.

Mr. Kurt Reeder

Music Business/Music Careers
Many students will master the playing of an instrument or effective musical communication using the human voice. But making it in the music industry requires knowledge about managing the elements of a business like any other. At PHS, Music Business class covers the basic of copyright law, publishing laws, royalty monies, tax law, band ownership agreements and other basic business skills, all based on real-life scenarios from people who have been there. Music Careers takes an in-depth look at the vast panorama of opportunities that exist in the music industry. Over the course of the year, this class receives instruction from a qualified instructor, and also from regional and national industry professionals invited to present workshops and lectures based on their experience.

Mr. Sam Payne

Music Theory 1
Music Theory and Musicianship 1 is designed to introduce music reading and theory concepts to students with limited or no music reading background.  The class includes basic information to help students begin to understand the language of music, and to appreciate the making of music at a deeper level. The class also prepares students for future music academy experiences in Music Theory 2 and Music Theory 3.

Mr. Sam Payne

Music Theory 2
Music Theory and Musicianship 2 will cover the same material covered in first semester college music theory and ear training.  Theory two is designed to introduce harmonic theoretical concepts from both the common practice period and modern popular music.  The daily schedule includes a theory topics lecture, solfege based sight-singing practice, dictation practice (rhythmic, melodic or harmonic), keyboard skills practice, and theory worksheets/exercises. 

Mr. Kurt Reeder

Music Theory 3
Music Theory and Ear Training 3 will cover the same material covered in second semester college music theory and ear training and will prepare students to take the AP music theory exam.  The daily schedule includes a theory topics lecture, rhythmic practice (dictation or reading), dictation practice (melodic or harmonic), solfege based sight-singing practice, keyboard skills practice, and theory worksheets and exercises.

Mr. Kurt Reeder
Pit Orchestra
This class provides specific practical application of musical knowledge for collaborative projects with other academies and exploration of musical genres outside the specific realm of contemporary pop music. Students in Pit orchestra work to perform as a backup band for theater and dance productions, including, primarily, the school musical. They also explore jazz and other American standards, and how they relate to the development of contemporary music. In addition, students work on special projects, including the arrangement of full-performance versions of original material developed by PHS students. 

Mr. Aaron Anderson
Productions
This class, taught by a GRAMMY-nominated producer explores in great detail the process of producing recordings of original material. Students learn to manipulate sound and create music using a number of digital techniques, and the class provides an introduction to the technology behind hit recordings. The productions class provides students not only with the knowhow to produce great recordings, but also with portfolio-ready artifacts demonstrating their skill as songwriters and producers.
Mr. Nate Pyfer

Songwriting
PHS students in songwriting classes work with a GRAMMY-nominated producer as their instructor. With his guidance, they explore the aspects of effective contemporary songwriting through critical listening and close examination of examples from multiple genres. Students learn about effective lyric writing and song construction, and become acquainted with a variety of digital techniques for recording their masterpieces. The material generated by songwriting students becomes source material for work by Pit Orchestra and Projects classes.

Mr. Nate Pyfer
Contemporary Music History
In this class, music students at PHS become familiar with the history and origins of the music they love. From European and African influence as American music began to define itself, to Stephen Foster, Scott Joplin, and other names at the genesis of American popular music, through the great influencers of the jazz era, through the resurgence of folk music and the beginnings of rock and roll, all the way to the contemporary styles that define American music today. Students will also study music from a humanities perspective, becoming familiar with how music fits into the larger fabric of culture and society.
Mr. Sam Payne

Senior Portfolio
After a wide-ranging commercial music education at PHS, Seniors spend time in the Portfolios class building tangible career-building pieces that they can take with them into the post-high-school world. Students will build websites, establish a presence at music distribution sites and social media sites, make and post recordings, develop press kits, and more. This class serves as the capstone of a music education at PHS.

Mr. Sam Payne