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Oakland School for the Arts

Oakland School for the Arts

OSA Contemporary Combo: (audition only for VM and IM) In this Combo, students will explore and perform contemporary music of varying styles including R & B, Pop and Soul. Student compositions and arrangements are also encouraged. Creativity, group dynamics, expression and variety are the core elements of this combo. Vocalists are welcome. We will perform in school concerts as well as community events and festivals.


NOLA Ensemble: (open to VM and IM) NOLA Ensemble (New Orleans, LA Ensemble) is a new course offering at OSA. Students in this ensemble will explore and perform New Orleans music, with a specific emphasis on early “trad”jazz, second-line parade music, brass band repertoire, and other idiomatic New Orleans musical styles. As well, students will learn about the rich history of New Orleans, exploring how race, culture, tradition, ceremony, and geography all played a part in shaping what we now have come to call “Jazz”. Vocal and Instrumental students will be in this combo.


OSA Jazz Workshop: (audition only for IM/VM) This is our flagship Jazz combo. This high visibility, audition-only group will be composed of students with top-level ability in improvisation, harmonic concept, and stylistic interpretation. The course material is designed to promote an awareness of the skills and tools necessary to build a fulfilling career, not only as performing artists, but also as global citizens and advocates for the arts. Geared toward the aspiring professional Jazz performer/composer, students will explore a wide variety of historically relevant Jazz literature as well as student compositions and arrangements. In addition to in-school concerts, this group will travel to local High School festivals, competitions, and actively seek out gigs in the community. Advanced instrumentalists and vocalists are welcome.


Songwriting: (open to VM and IM) Whether you are a beginning songwriter, just a
lyricist, just a composer, or someone who has never written a song in your life, this
elective workshop-style class will provide students with techniques and tools for writing
a great song. In this course, students will learn about song form and structure, melody,
rhyme scheme, use of imagery and metaphor, lyric setting, harmonizing a melody, basic song notation, chord progressions, accompaniment, song performance and more. This course is open to both instrumental and vocal music students. Basic guitar/keyboard/ukulele skills recommended but not required.


Voice Technique Clinic: (open to VM and IM and limited enrollment) Voice clinic will provide an opportunity to have one on one time to work on vocal technique. Students will also observe mini-lessons of other classmates and discuss pedagogy.~ As the year progresses, we may practice student teaching skills. Open to any student who wants to improve their vocal technique- beginners and experienced singers are welcome.


MIDI Production: (portfolio required; open to VM and IM) To be eligible to enroll in MIDI Production students must have passed AP Music Theory and be enrolled in either the Instrumental Music or Vocal Music departments. MIDI Production is an introduction and overview of the MIDI music making process. Working with MIDI gives individuals the freedom to take control of their entire project, controlling instruments and arrangements, right down to the individual notes. We will be looking at the tools, methods, ideas and some helpful tricks used in building a comprehensive MIDI project. MIDI Production will be using Logic Pro X as it’s main Digital Audio Workstation.