Music Evening Arts

The Evening Arts Program extends the artistic and creative possibilities by providing a wide range of arts-based classes after dinner. It is an opportunity for students to try something entirely new or to delve more deeply into an art form for which they have already developed a passion. While active participation is required, these classes are ungraded. The classes meet from 7:30-9 PM either once or twice per week, and students are required to participate at least two evenings per week. The Evening Arts program operates in two sessions: Fall and Winter/Spring. Unless otherwise noted, classes run during both sessions.


Students will explore improvisatory forms of music in a variety of styles within the jazz idiom including swing, blues, funk and latin forms. Musical communication, development of technical skills, and creating group arrangements will be emphasized. Students are encouraged to use the tools of jazz and improvisation to craft their individual style and voice within the context of a jazz combo. Jazz will perform throughout the year as opportunities arise. Basic technical ability on an instrument is required, singers welcome. Full year commitment.

Jazz II - Combo

Students will explore jazz and build the musical tools of improvisation while they develop a personal style. Swing, latin, blues, and funk styles will be explored. Jazz and the craft of improvisation will be considered from a contemporary context as well as a historical tradition. Students will learn to read and interpret a lead sheet, improvise in various styles, understand form, construct group arrangements, and communicate with fellow musicians. Jazz ensemble will perform frequently throughout the year. An intermediate skill on an instrument and permission of the instructor are required. Full year commitment.

Music Lesson and Practice

Students in the Music Lesson and Practice activity combine a once a week lesson with a scheduled practice time for Evening Arts credit. This activity gives students the structure of both instruction and practice within the busy Putney schedule. Students must be enrolled in music lessons for this activity.

Putney Community Orchestra

Open to all players of orchestral instruments from the advanced beginner level and up, including members of the greater Putney community. This ensemble is dedicated to music for string, chamber, and full orchestra (including works with chorus) from various historic time periods. Students are often featured as soloists. Prerequisite: basic ability on a string, wind, brass, or percussion instrument: the desire to share and experience music making. Orchestra is a two-credit activity - two hours Wednesday evening combined with one afternoon 2 Music Practice sectional. Full year commitment.


As a class we’ll investigate the elements that go into crafting songs: lyrics, melodies, rhythm, chord progressions, arrangements, sounds, emotion, and inspiration. We’ll work on these ideas both by listening to examples of great songs, and by splitting up into groups and working on exercises: mini songs that we create and share with each other each week. Students can also bring in songs they have been working on to workshop in class, and we’ll aim toward a performance of new material in the last few weeks. Students should have a basic knowledge of an instrument (some chords or notes, depending on the instrument, would be enough) and a willingness to sing and perform in front of each other.

Traditional Music Ensemble

Traditional music is born out of the life of a culture and imbued with its flavor and style. Cultures change, move, blend; and traditions transform when they are planted in new soil. In this activity, we will focus on Celtic traditional music and how it has transformed once transplanted to the Americas, but we will also broaden our explorations to music from around the world. We will play in large and small groups, both instrumental and choral. No musical experience is required. Instruction on various instruments will be provided.

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