Listening Lessons Module 1
New York Voices | In My Life
A new series for the classroom, coming July 2020! (Check back for more info.)
Listening Lessons are individual modules for guided listening in the classroom - designed to wake up the ears and inspire while learning about the structural elements of music at the same time! Useful for performance ensembles or soloists, Listening Lessons provide a fun activity for students to expand their understanding of music and awareness of performance artistry in the music they hear. Each activity is followed by multiple choice or fill in the blank quiz questions to strongly encourage deep, active listening.
Listening Lessons walk you through a step-by-step process of focused listening in three main categories:
- IMPRESSIONS: Designed to capture the listener's gut feeling after hearing a performance. After all, in the end the most important question is, 'Did I love it?'
- MUSICAL STRUCTURE: Was is in a major or minor key? What was the song form? Intro material? Progression? Groove/tempo? Chord voicings? Instrumentation? Was there a tag ending?
- PERFORMANCE & ARTISTRY: Tone, Vibrato, Dynamics, Phrasing, Style, Articulation, Mood, Conversationalism, Story-telling quality, ... and more.
Future Listening Lesson Modules are in the works, featuring a variety of artists, current and historic, including solo singers, vocal improvisers, horn players, rhythm sections, and other instrumental groups.
If you are a classroom teacher, or simply an individual who would like to sharpen your listening skills and learn about the nuts and bolts of music in a fun way - this class is for you!
Over a life-long career in music, Michele Weir has touched the lives of students around the globe and influenced the growth and development of jazz education. Through her many creative arrangements for vocal and instrumental groups, and her talents as a pianist and singer, Michele is highly respected for her versatile skill set and ability to inspire. As one student put it, “Thank you again for being such an amazing mentor. You are truly the person I strive to be.”
Michele’s arrangements are performed by renowned vocal groups including The Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices, The Swingle Singers, M-Pact, Beachfront Property, Chanticleer, Voice Trek, and her orchestral works played by various symphonies including the Boston Pops. Her educational arrangements are distributed by leading publishers including Hal Leonard, Alfred Publishing, Shawnee Press, SMP Jazz as well as her own online company, MichMusic. As Vocal Producer for the Manhattan Transfer’s 2009 CD release, The Chick Corea Songbook, Michele worked closely with the Transfer and contributed two arrangements to the project. Other arrangements or compositions have been featured on the Shari Lewis TV show, Disney’s 101 Dalmations Sing-along CD, and the Holland America Cruise line.
Currently on faculty at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Michele taught previously at USC, CSU Long Beach, and the Phil Mattson School. As a highly sought-after teacher and clinician, Michele has been invited to teach in 23 countries to date and has delivered presentations for some of the world’s most prestigious music conferences including the World Choral Symposium, the IAJE and JEN Conferences, and the ACDA National Conference. Her educational book/CD sets, Vocal Improvisation (Advance Music), Jazz Singer’s Handbook (Alfred Publishing), and Jazz Piano Handbook (Alfred Publishing) are available internationally. In 2015 Michele's iOS app, ScatAbility was released; this is the first-ever app for scat singing practice!
Michele’s past tours as pianist and/or singer range from Ogalla, Nebraska to Carnegie Hall, South Korea with Patti Kim to Atlantic City with Bobby Vinton, and more. A former vocal member of the Grammy Nominated PM Singers (under the direction of Phil Mattson,) Michele also contributed arrangements to the group’s concert repertoire and recordings. Her duo CD as a vocalist with jazz guitarist Bruce Forman is titled, The Sound of Music. In her role as Music Supervisor for the DreamWorks film, Prince of Egypt, Michele journeyed through Europe and Asia to oversee the music production for the film’s foreign language dubs.