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Summer at Cornish
2014 Music Courses

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Photo by MIchelle Smith-Lewis.

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Fundamentals of Music: Theory, Ear-training, Rhythm, and Piano

August 11 — 22, 2014 , M T W Th F, 9:00 am — 4:00 pm
Kerry Hall Poncho, 710 East Roy St, Seattle, WA

This course is currently full. If you have any questions, please contact us. Make sure to specify which course you're writing about.

  • Ages
    16 +
  • Housing
    Not Available
  • Scholarships
    Not Available

Course Description
An introduction to basic music theory including correct use of standard notation (meters, major and minor key signatures, stems, flags, clefs, form notation, etc.); rhythmic concepts; key signatures; chromatic, major, and minor scale modes; intervals; triads and seventh chords; transposition; melody harmonization and cadences. The course includes an introduction to ear-training and sight-singing, piano fundamentals, and foundational rhythmic concepts. The course is co-taught by Tom Baker (Theory and Ear-training), Roger Nelson (Piano), Dawn Clement (Piano), and Gretta Harley (Rhythm). Students will receive two college credits based on successful completion which qualifies for MU 103: Rudiments of Music.

Who should enroll?
Students, ages 16+ with an interest in advancing their music theory competency.

Course Objectives
At the conclusion of this course, you will be able to:
Theory and Ear-training:
• Notate music effectively and efficiently, with good handwriting and correct notational choices.
• Understand written rhythmic notation; be able to write and hear rhythmic concepts
• Identify and notate major and minor key signatures quickly and precisely
• Notate, identify and sing chromatic, major, minor scales and all diatonic modes
• Identify, notate, sing and hear intervals quickly and precisely
• Identify, notate, sing and hear triads and seventh chords quickly and precisely
• Transpose diatonic melodic lines and understand transposing instruments
• Harmonize simple melodic lines with diatonic triads and seventh chords
• Identify, write, sing and hear diatonic cadences
• Analyze diatonic music using Roman numerals
• Play simple pieces that involve both hands working together simultaneously
• Play all major and minor scales in two octaves with both hands separately
• Sight-read single-note melodies in both hands in common meters at moderate tempo
• Play standard cadences in all keys
• Compose simple pieces for the piano
• Sing, clap, and play on instrument(s), and body rhythmic patterns pertinent to this course study
• Conduct time while performing these rhythmic patterns
• Listen to music from a variety of musical genres/ time periods and transcribe the rhythmic patterns present into accurate music notation
• Sight-read rhythmic patterns at the piano or another instrument

Daily Schedule
Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm with a break for lunch, and a concluding performance scheduled for Saturday in PONCHO Concert Hall on the Cornish campus.

Introductions, Pitch Notation
Whole/Half-steps, Overtone Series
Singing and Dictating Pitch directions, whole-steps, half-steps

Clefs, Rhythm, Rhythm Notation, Meter, Syncopation
Dictating and Speaking Rhythms

Rhythm Review
Dictating and speaking rhythms

Major and Minor Scales and Key Signatures
Identify and Sing Major and Minor Scales
Dictate and Sing Major and Minor Melodies

Major/Minor Scale Review; Diatonic Modal Scales
Identify and Sing Diatonic Modes; Major and Minor Melodies

Scale Review, Intervals
Dictate and Sing Intervals

Intervals, Inversions
Dictate and Sing Intervals, Melodies

Intervals, Triads, Triad Inversion
Dictate and Sing Intervals, Melodies, Triads

Triads, Seventh Chords, Cadences, Melody Harmonization
Dictate and Sing Triads, Seventh Chords, Harmonic Progressions

Cadences, Harmonic Analysis
Dictate and Sing Cadences, Harmonic Progressions

Audition Requirements
Enrollment to students, ages 16+.

Michelle Smith-Lewis

Contact Dawn

Dawn Clement
Adjunct Instructor

Pianist/composer and Cornish alum Dawn Clement (B.M., 2000) maintains a hectic schedule between teaching and touring with saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom, recording with trombonist and fellow Cornish faculty member Julian Priester, and performing with her own trio consisting of Matt Wilson and Dean Johnson. In addition to Bloom, Clement has toured the U.S. with the Sabella Consort and the Rubin/Clement Piano Dialogues, the latter for which she received a King County Arts Commission grant in 2002. Clement has also performed with such notable artists as Pharaoh Sanders, Nancy King, Ingrid Jensen, Louis Moutin, Hadley Caliman, Mercer Ellington, Mark Helius, Mark Dresser, and Bobby Previte. Over the last seven years, Clement has performed in some of the world's premier venues including Carnegie Hall, Le Conservatoire Superieur, Paris, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Seattle's Benaroya Hall, as well as numerous clubs (Sweet Rhythm, Tonic, and Iridium), art museums, and theaters. Clement also has been the recipient of numerous accolades and awards including an invitation to compete at the Third International Martial Solal Jazz Piano Competition in Paris, France (2002), the Earshot Jazz awards for 'Best Emerging Artist'; (2000), 'Best Jazz Quartet' and 'Best Album' for her performance with trombonist Priester (2003), and a nomination for 'Earshot Jazz Record of the Year' (2004) for her CD Hush. She also finished as one of the top five finalists in the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Piano Competition (2006).

Michelle Smith-Lewis

Contact Gretta

Gretta Harley
Adjunct Instructor

Gretta Harley is a composer and performer working in several musical forms including chamber, vocal, theater, and rock. Since joining the Cornish faculty in 2002 she has composed music and served as musical director for numerous Cornish theater productions. Her music was also heard in various productions: Seattle Shakespeare / Wooden O, Mucho Ado About Nothing and Seattle Shakespeare's, Pericles; Intiman Theatre’s Abe Lincoln In Illinois, UMO Ensemble’s Rubble Women, Tribes Project, Dreams About Teeth, Richard Hugo House Cultural Inquiry, among others. She has performed, toured and recorded with bands both regionally and nationally, composed music for film and TV, and co-founded the community organization Home Alive. Harley is half of the duo/rock band, We Are Golden, currently creating a project called These Streets, an original play/rock musical and community outreach project about local women rock musicians. Production goes through 2012 at various venues, and culminates in a theatrical production at ACT’s Allen Theatre in February/March 2013.

Michelle Smith-Lewis

Contact Roger

Roger Nelson

A member of the Cornish faculty since 1979, Roger Nelson performs frequently as a pianist and conductor. He holds a B.A. degree from Pomona College and an M.M. in Choral Conducting from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. His early teachers were Adolph Baller and John Steele Ritter. Nelson's previous conducting appearances have included engagements with the Minnesota Opera's New Music Theater Ensemble, the George Coates Performance Works, and the Floating Opera on Puget Sound. Nelson also served as conductor of the Bainbridge Orchestra from 1987 to 2000 and was the pianist with the New Performance Group from 1979 until 1997. During the 1997-98 academic year, Nelson was a visiting professor at Qufu Teachers University in China. As a composer, Nelson has produced a book of fiddle tunes for violin and piano in a variety of styles. He has written more than 1,200 fiddle tunes as well as choral works and ensemble pieces. He currently conducts and sings with Canzonetta, an a cappella ensemble, and conducts the Seattle Chinese Orchestra.

Michelle Smith-Lewis

Contact Tom

Tom Baker
Adjunct Instructor

Tom Baker has been active as a composer, performer and music producer in the new-music scene since arriving in Seattle in 1994. He is the artistic director of the Seattle Composers’ Salon, co-founder of the Seattle EXperimental Opera (SEXO), and an advisory board member of the Washington Composers’ Forum. Baker’s works have been performed throughout the United States, Canada and in Europe. His two most recent chamber operas, The Gospel of the Red-Hot Stars (2006) and Hunger: The Journey of Tamsen Donner (2008), were both premiered by the Seattle EXperimental Opera and are available on the Present Sounds label. Baker has received numerous accolades for his work including awards and grants from Meet The Composer, the Seattle Arts Commission, King County Arts Commission, Artist Trust, and Jack Straw Productions. He was also awarded a fellowship in 2006 as an associate artist-in-residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida, where he spent three weeks working with composer and saxophonist Henry Threadgill. In 2011, Baker was chosen to be a resident artist at the Montalvo Center in Saratoga, CA, where he completed the first in a series of ten quartets based on a book of stories by Italo Calvino. As a guitarist (on both fretted and unfretted instruments), Baker has appeared in concerts and recitals throughout the United States including Seattle, San Francisco and New York, as well as in The Netherlands. Baker earned his DMA in Composition from the University of Washington, where he studied composition with Chinary Ung, William O. Smith, and John Rahn. His music has been recorded on several labels, including Rosewood Recordings, Acoustic Levitation, Present Sounds Recordings, and Engine Records.