Each seminar is taught by a Butler School of Music faculty member on a topic particular to their expertise. Seminars are scheduled so that students may participate in as many as they would like! Purchasing access to a course includes the ability to access a recording of the course content for up to one month following the course’s conclusion.
- Purchase a single class: $30
- Purchase a three-pack of classes: $75
- Purchase a five-pack of classes: $100 (additional classes beyond five are available at $20/session)
Additional seminars are currently under development and will be added to this page soon. Check back over the next few weeks to see what’s new!
Will meet one hour per day for three days. Requires purchase of a minimum of a three-course package, or can be selected as part of a larger five-course package.
“If your brain learns like this, why do you practice like that?”
Most of music learning takes place during individual practice. Unfortunately, very few young musicians have had the opportunity to see what experts do when they practice on their own. Even fewer know about how the brain forms and stores memories during individual practice. In these sessions, students will observe faculty artists’ practice and develop intelligent practice skills of their own that will increase the efficiency of practice and also make practice a more enjoyable and rewarding experience.
Conversations with the Masters
Enrollment Limited to All-State Musicians (TMEA, ATSSB, or Other States)
Instructor: Prof. Jerry Junkin, Director of Bands
This special series is provided for musicians selected for Texas All-State ensembles in 2020 or 2021, or equivalent honor ensembles in other states. Professor Jerry Junkin leads and moderates conversations with some of the greatest musicians of our time in a discussion/Q&A setting. Special guests to be announced!
Will meet one hour per day for two days. Requires purchase of two courses, or can be selected as a part of a larger three- or five-course package.
Now Hear This: Listening to Jazz Like a Professional
Instructor: Prof. Jeff Hellmer, Director of Jazz Studies
Enhance your enjoyment and appreciation of jazz through listening to and learning about great jazz recordings. Prof. Hellmer walks you through how to listen and understand the unique qualities of this American artistic genre and discusses the recorded work of some of the most impactful and influential jazz artists.
Now Play This: The Art of Jazz Improvisation
Instructor: Dr. Mike Sailors, Lecturer in Jazz Trumpet
Develop your improvisation skills by learning about strategies used by jazz artists. Bring your instrument to class to play along with Dr. Sailors (students will not be required to play individually over Zoom), and learn to implement some of the processes used by professional jazz artists.
The Complete Composer/Arranger: The Basics of Composing and Scoring
Instructor: Dr. Donald Grantham, Professor of Composition
Award-winning composer and professor Dr. Donald Grantham leads a two-part masterclass on how to get started and grow your skills as an arranger or composer. Prof. Grantham will walk you through an introductory process of creating, developing and scoring, using his own catalog of works and they works of others to provide examples and context.
Will meet one hour, one time only. Courses can be purchased individually, or can be selected as a part of a larger three- or five-course package.
Video Game Music Theory
From Mario to Minecraft, Final Fantasy to Fez, Castlevania to Crypt of the Necrodancer, video games of all genres have long been a source of well-loved soundtracks. What is it about this music that is so effective in these playful, interactive worlds? In this session, we’ll explore how musicians and scholars have tried to answer this question using music theory, analysis, and psychology.
Keeping Score: How to Read Like a Conductor
Instructor: Dr. Scott Hanna, Associate Director of Bands
Being a conductor starts with an in-depth understanding of the musical score, and a thoughtful interpretation of the composer’s intentions. Dr. Hanna walks you through how to begin reading and extracting musical information from a score in the very first step towards preparing to become a conductor.
Mastering the Art of Recording
Audio and video recording from home (or somewhere other than school) has never been as important as it is now. In this session, students will learn key components to successfully capturing and producing high-quality audio and video recordings on their own with minimal equipment and software.
Sampling the Masters: Exploring Expressivity in Music
Instructor: Dr. Robert Hatten, Professor of Music Theory
Composers have many resources to enhance the expressivity that naturally emerges from melody, harmony, dynamics, orchestration, and the like. Another means that composers have explored is importing types of music that are already familiar (like “sampling” in our time). A composer can very quickly orient a listener to a general “ballpark” of expressive meaning (e.g., comic vs. tragic) while also inheriting a greater depth of meaning that would take much longer to “earn” through the development from more basic musical elements. We will look at examples of this in works by Mozart and Beethoven, and then apply the concept to a more modern piece as well.
Introduction to Instrumental Conducting
Instructor: Dr. Scott Hanna, Associate Director of Bands
Conductors have a responsibility to provide clear, elegant, and efficient communication with their ensemble to effectively guide a musical performance. Dr. Hanna helps you explore the basics of movement and conducting through basic exercises designed to begin connect individual musicianship with gesture.
Playing with Popular Music in Brazil: Heitor Villa-Lobos and the Music of Choro
What did Rio de Janeiro sound like in the 1920s, and how did popular music find its way into the scores of composer Heitor Villa-Lobos? We’ll get to know the sound of choro from Brazil—a music that has some similarities to early jazz and samba—and we’ll look at how it connects to Villa-Lobos’s choro works.
Taking the Field: How to Complete a Successful Drum Corps Audition
The process of auditioning for a drum corps can be overwhelming for potential members of any age. In this session, students will learn valuable approaches to preparing for the audition process while navigating their academic and personal responsibilities.
Electronic Music for Academic Musicians
Ever wondered how video game music is made? Film scores? Your favorite radio music? Join faculty composer Sam Lipman for a one-hour seminar covering the basics of digital production music. We’ll look at techniques and tools used in today’s top hip-hop, film score, and game audio studios, focussing on synthesis, samplers and audio processing. We’ll also touch on audio coding languages for video games.
FREE Included Seminars
No additional cost to purchase access to these sessions! Included with any other purchase of one or more seminars.
College & Career
Navigating the Admission and Audition Process: Majoring in Music at UT Austin
Ms. Borshard leads a session detailing the process for applying and audition to the Butler School of Music at UT Austin. Opportunity for Q&A will be made available, and parents are encouraged to join their students for this session!
College & Career
March LHB: How to Become a Member of the Showband of the Southwest
The directors of the Longhorn Band walk you through the audition process to become a member of one of the world’s greatest college marching bands. Find out what it takes to become a member of the Showband of the Southwest, and learn more about what it’s like to be a part of the largest student spirit organization on the UT campus.