It totally depends on the teacher, the class, and the interest level on campus.
I am assuming you are talking about the Mountain Dulcimer class that John Kirk is offering next fall. I know that, in that in this particular case, that John has offered that class, or a version of that class, before.
The super cool thing about the Plan Process is that teachers read your Plan and are on Plan Committees so they know exactly what we are studying so they can design their courses around us. (Because, it’s really all about us…) For example, Robert Ransick and Jon Isherwood noticed that there were a lot of students interested in digital fabrication so they co-taught a class called Object Oriented.
If there isn’t a class but you are interested in something you can talk to a teacher about doing a tutorial. Tutorials are basically independent studies where you and the teacher set the curriculum and you do lots of work. I am part of the Radio Project which is a tutorial in which we make audio stories. Check them out here. (shameless self-promotion) The Radio Project started because of the interest and passion of some young Bennington students and now has grown in to 10 person strong tutorial.
No. Bennington is not one band. Bennington is like a pandora station where you mixed artists like Louis Armstrong, Joni Mitchell, Pitbull with the genres Math Rock/Punk, Honky Tonk and the song “Sunglasses at Night.” I think the Lumineers would come on that station occasionally, but we are so so so so so so so much more like these examples:
We are like this mashup of Lady Gaga and the Carpenters:
We are like this mashup of Brittney Spears and Adele:
We are Macy Gray covering Radiohead:
Well, you’d probably have a hard time finding a large concert venue here in Bennington, VT, but you could take a 40 min drive to MASS MoCA and see someone like Beck this summer or take another 40 min drive to Albany and check out some venues there as well.
If you have a car it works out pretty well! I’d say it’s pretty wise of you to make friends with cars…at least one… (only kind of joking ;))
One vocal class offered at Bennington almost every term is Sacred Harp. This is a great intro vocal class where you can begin to test out the waters. This fall there is also a Beginning Voice class in which you can “Take your voice out of the shower and into the world.” As you feel more comfortable with your voice and want to advance, Bennington also offers Intermediate and Advanced Voice courses.
Check out the Music section of the Bennington Curriculum!
Hello kindred spirit,
I understand. I get it. I was THERE. Actually though, I entered my time here with a huge drive to study exactly those things - jazz and composition. But I also had my interest in sculpture to fulfill. And there we have the intimidating question facing those who approach Bennington: how do I take all my “things” to make an education?
Well, you’ve already given the answer! Exploration. In my freshman year I took a variety of classes in music, visual art, and all the things in between. In the music department, I’ve moved through classes in improvisation, composition, history, and personal lessons, as well as collaborations with dance and theater. Music faculty (and all faculty, in fact) encourage study across the disciplines and within. Students are challenged to engage broadly, from classical theory to the avant garde and beyond into new questions. Take a peek at our current music curriculum and see for yourself!
^ Jennings earlier today ^
xo Sam ‘16
On a lovely fall day last term, Jeremy, Tommy and I went up to Jennings to take some pics. Let us know if there’s a specific space that you want to see if these don’t suffice.
Recently I got a scholarship to take a class at the Old Town School of Music, and when my new teacher asked who began my “recovery” from classical violin, I was not surprised at all when he said “Oh yes, I know John”
Ezra posted about musical theater at Bennington in 2012! That seems like so long ago! He didn’t even know how good those productions would be (and they were really good).
Despite the post’s age, I think it’s still totally valid today in that musical theater at Bennington is mostly student driven. Bennington is not a conservatory, there is no strictly defined musical theater program. This creates opportunities for completely original content that a wide variety of people can participate in. Students here find myriads of different ways to combine music, theater and dance resulting in really unique productions. Each student is allowed to find their own voice and aesthetic within these disciplines, instead of mimicking already established forms.