Music Curriculum

Program Levels

Music instruction at Fei Tian is organized into basic, intermediate and advanced levels, each of which is one to two years in length.

The main focus of the Basic Level of music instruction is to help students acquire the basic concepts of music theory, ear training, and instrumentation. This training helps students lay a solid foundation for further studies in music. The Intermediate Level of music instruction strengthens the basic skills and techniques and serves as a critical step in the process of becoming musical artists of professional caliber. The Advanced Level of music instruction aims to improve students’ artistic sensibility and general music knowledge. At the same time, students refine their musical skills and techniques through orchestral and chamber performance as well as advanced instrument class.

Music Appreciation

Students increase their appreciation for music by learning basic elements such as sound, rhythm, music notation, melody, harmony, key, musical texture, musical form, and musical style. Music of the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, and early Romantic periods are highlighted in discussions, and composers representative of each of those periods (Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Schubert, etc.) are introduced. By completion, students will have developed the vocabulary to discuss musical elements, styles, and periods.

Music Theory

These courses introduce the basic language of music, which includes pitch notation, rhythm notation, note names, keyboard communication, chromatic scales, key signatures, and scales. Students will learn to recognize and draw clefs, notes, rests, sharp, flat, and natural signs, and will also develop other written music skills.

Ear Training

These courses focus on developing students’ skills in sight-singing, singing, recognition of intervals and chords, basic dictation, rhythmic dictation, and score reading. Students will engage in singing exercises in major and minor keys and with different rhythms.

Orchestra

Fei Tian strategically partners with several professional orchestras to provide qualified music students the unique opportunity to participate in rehearsals and performances. The participating ensembles are large-scale Western orchestras featuring Western strings, percussion, woodwinds, and brass, complemented by traditional Chinese instruments. Orchestra members consist of professional musicians including Fei Tian faculty.

Through orchestral training, students gain firsthand experience in the creative process and gain exposure to an extensive repertoire of outstanding Chinese musical works as well as Western masterpieces. Students’ develop their musical potential, aesthetic understanding, and musical sensibility, and learn to integrate classical Chinese and Western music. In particular, Orchestra focuses on cultivating a beautiful tone, strengthening listening skills and the ability to read music, building technical skills and teamwork, and developing responsible rehearsal habits. Students engage in regular guided sectional practice and learn to analyze and evaluate musical performances.

Appreciation of Chinese Music

This is an introduction to Chinese Music that aims to develop students’ artistic sensibility and appreciation for Chinese music. It introduces the characteristics, styles, and genres of Chinese music, and includes study of traditional Chinese instrumental music, folk songs, narrative music, and operas. Upon completion, students should gain an understanding of the richness and diversity of Chinese music as well as the close relationship between traditional Chinese music and the intellectual history and culture of China.

Instrument Class

Students are provided with private instrument lessons in their primary instrument from Fei Tian faculty and staff. Lessons are available for Western strings, percussion, woodwinds, brass, and Chinese instruments.

Vocal Coaching

The vocal performance coaching is designed to prepare young singers for the rigors of conservatory training. The coursework introduces students to the various concepts, techniques, and exercises that give singers a strong command over their vocal resources. Basic breathing techniques are taught and practiced to strengthen the diaphragm and enhance the singer’s note-holding capability and vocal strength. Students work through various vocal exercises to improve pitch and sound quality. They also learn how they should present themselves and their songs before a live audience. The goal is for students to build confidence in their own unique voice and to strengthen their singing.