Volume 2 : Music 201

Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones summarized it when they stated, “songwriting’s a weird game” that can be precarious to comprehend.

Yet, the previous fall, 14 understudies dove profound into the inventive wizardry and specialized procedures that crash to frame melody.

The course, Music 201, “On Songs and Songwriting,” was instructed by President Katherine Bergeron and her significant other, Butch Rovan, and analyzed various classes of melody from basic and expository points of view.

Understudies were approached to contemplate songwriting through a mix of tuning in, perusing, composing and performing before recording a collection of their unique melodies as a team with both Bergeron and Rovan.

Writer of the book Voice Lessons, Bergeron is likewise a prepared vocalist and music history specialist, while Rovan is a multi-instrumentalist, arranger and educator of music at Brown University. His wide scope of melodic abilities and experience were a benefit in such a multilayered class. The fall 2019 semester checked just the second time Music 201 had been offered, and the new bunch of tunes were performed for the College at a show in December. The collection will be accessible later this spring.

“This course is a joy to teach,” Bergeron said. “It’s incredible to observe the students’ growth in both confidence and sophistication over the space of just one semester. The songs on this year’s album display a wide range of styles, from hip-hop to alt-country to heavy metal to everything in between.”

For Ryan D’Alelio ’22, Bergeron and Rovan’s way to deal with instructing songwriting took an invite adventure outside the crucial shows of music hypothesis in manners that opened up the innovative conduits.

“We were able to explore the inner workings of how a song is constructed, and I was able to expand my abilities as both a listener and a songwriter,” D’Alelio said.

In any event, for a veteran artist like Rovan, the understudies in the class carried an energizing vitality to the songwriting procedure.

“The collaborative spirit of the class was infectious,” Rovan reviewed. “The students inspired us and each other, working together to realize their songs both in a live performance and in the studio. And they inspired a large audience of fans who filled Fortune Recital Hall for our final class concert.”

The understudies all originated from various melodic foundations, each with their individual styles, tastes and gifts, from vocalists to guitarists and piano players. Also, obviously, a few understudies fiddled with a touch of everything, for example, Adam Khan ’22, who sang and played the ukulele and a touch of guitar and piano too.

“President Bergeron and Butch’s deep passion for music made classes so enjoyable, and created a really fun and engaging environment,” Khan said. “I also thoroughly enjoyed the final performance, because it definitely bolstered my confidence in songwriting and singing.”

Toward the day’s end, the most important bit of the experience may well have been the relationship-building and collective abilities the understudies picked up composing, performing and recording together.

“Song is the oldest form of musical expression,” Bergeron and Rovan clarified. “It’s a medium that builds community and builds trust.”

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