Academics

The performing arts department features a variety of classes in music, dance, theater, and theory.

PERF 111 - PERFORMING ARTS PRACTICES (3)

This course focuses on theory and practice in staged performances. Readings include critical studies of performance and performances, creative texts, and subjective accounts of the performance experience. The following questions are considered: What are the expectations of performance? How is a performance framed and organized? What are the sequences and contexts of performance? How is a performance evaluated by the audience and by the performers themselves? How does the performer understand and experience his or her role and personal status, on- and offstage? How does the audience imagine the offstage performer? Writing assignments will be based on both creative works and theoretical studies and will involve critical reflection, exegesis, and analysis; students will also complete a course project in which findings from multiple sources are synthesized and presented in oral and/or written form. Course goals include the deepening of student appreciation of each performance art form through connections across forms, as well as a capacity to contextualize studied forms to artistic and performance traditions.

PERF 399 - PERFORMING ARTS PRACTICUM (1)

In this one-credit practicum course, the student completes the minor in Performing Arts by participating in a college performance experience. Under the supervision of a faculty mentor, the student participates in a college drama or musical production, sings with the college chorus, performs in a college vocal or instrumental recital, or participates in a college dance performance. In weekly conference with the faculty mentor, the student establishes performance goals and assesses/addresses progress toward those goals; in addition, the student writes an essay of reflection on the relation between theory and practice in the arts. Prerequisite: 100-level or 200-level MUS or PERF course in the practicum performance field.

MUS 101 - MUSIC APPRECIATION I (3)

This is a survey course in which students acquire listening skills and learn how to talk about music. The Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods of European music (1450-1800) are covered, with an emphasis on the history and development of music in its social and historical context. Students will learn to identify music from these three periods and will gain a more general understanding of music that can be applied to all eras and styles. Composers include Ockeghem, Palestrina, Byrd, Gabrieli, Purcell, Telemann, Bach, Handel, Haydn, and Mozart.

MUS 102 - MUSIC APPRECIATION II (3)

In this course, students will explore the role of music in various contexts, in order to better understand its role in culture and in society. The hands-on curriculum calls for lots of listening and active participation; students will develop their listening skills, their awareness of the elements of music, and their understanding of the musical experience.

ENG 211 - MODERN DRAMA (3)

This survey course introduces students to great modern works of drama, considering the late nineteenth century through the present. Plays are considered in terms of performance as well as in literary terms, with a focus on the ways in which the philosophies and sensibilities of modernism and postmodernism are reflected both on the page and on the stage. Readings include modern classics by such writers as Ibsen, O'Neill, Brecht, and Beckett, as well as more recent works. Prerequisite: ENG 102.

PERF 203 - DANCE EXPLORATIONS (3)

This course is designed for the undergraduate students of Lasell College, in partnership with the Boston Ballet School. Through lectures, readings, and practical applications, students will explore history and theory, gaining knowledge and understanding of the importance of the development of technique in relation to the artistry of ballet and modern dance. Students will also participate weekly in a ballet/modern technique class focusing on ballet technique, with an emphasis on contemporary movement. The dance portion of the class will be held at the Boston Ballet School Newton Studio and will be taught by a faculty member at the Boston Ballet School.

MUS 104 - WORLD MUSIC (3)

This course introduces students to the world of music through analysis and examination of music and culture from different ethnic groups. The musical characteristics of India, the Middle East, Indonesia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, Native American Indians, Ethnic North America, and the musical culture of Europe are addressed. Students listen to a selected repertoire and analyze the music and readings about music in class.

MUS 107 - UNDERSTANDING & PLAYING THE BLUES (3)

This course formally introduces students to the blues through theoretical study and practical application. As a result, students not only become familiar with all the basic blues elements (e.g., rhythm, harmony, form) but also learn how to play the blues on keyboards. (Prior keyboard or piano experience is NOT necessary.)

MUS 108 - BLUES: HARMONY & THEORY (3)

This course develops an understanding and appreciation of music, covering genres including blues, pop, and jazz. Music theory, blues theory, harmony, and chordal theory are examined. Through a combination of listening to recordings and live examples, students apply their knowledge and gain a deeper understanding of music.

MUS 109 - AMERICAN FOLK MUSIC (3)

Integrating folklore, American history, and songwriting, this course examines American culture through the lens of American folk songs-songs written by others and songs we will write ourselves. Readings, recordings, and class discussion illustrate the importance of love songs, protest songs, work songs, and ballads as resources for understanding and expressing American life.

MUS 201 - MUSICAL COMEDY (3)

This is a survey of the rise of the musical theatre from origins in England in the eighteenth century (Gay's The Beggar's Opera) through the 1920s in the United States. Works by Weill, Kern, Hammerstein, Rogers, Gershwin, Bernstein, Porter, Lerner and Loewe, Wilson, and others are studied.

MUS 202 - MUSIC FUNDAMENTALS (3)

This course is designed for students who are interested in mastering basic music literacy and its application in basic piano skills. The course is appropriate for those who already read some music and would like to develop their written music skills; it is also appropriate for those who have little or no experience reading sheet music. Topics include musical notation, rhythm, and basic piano skills including but not limited to scale building, intervals, and chords. This course fulfills the Area of Inquiry - Aesthetic [AI(A)].

MUS 203 - POPULAR MUSIC (3)

The years after World War II found American society and culture evolving in ways that both led to and reflected the birth of rhythm ‘n' blues, rock ‘n' roll, and soul music, creating a new popular music. From pop music's roots in the blues, jazz, and country music to its flowering around 1970, this course will trace the pop explosion that created many styles still dominant today. Artists include Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, the Motown stable, Bob Dylan, James Brown, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Sly and the Family Stone.

MUS 204 - MUSIC FOR EDUCATORS: CLASSROOM FOLK MUSIC (3)

Music can connect all of the domains of learning. In this course, experiential and theoretical applications of music in education are considered. Students will learn how music enriches teaching and learning; they will extend their range by integrating music into classroom activities. This course fulfills the Area of Inquiry - Aesthetic [AI(A)].

MUS 207 - SONGWRITING: CRAFT & CREATION (3)

This course is designed for both experienced and first-time songwriters. We will study basic music theory and engage in ear training, melody writing, and lyric writing as we consider songs in a variety of contemporary and traditional style. Class completion will include the study of songs within their musical, historical, and social context, and the creation and simple performance (live or recorded) of at least four original songs.

MUS 215 - HISTORY OF JAZZ (3)

This is an in-depth study of the history of Jazz with an overview of the influences of African traditions and the development of the blues. Students gain insight into the various jazz idioms through recordings of significant artists and compositions. Topics covered range from Dixieland to contemporary styles with an emphasis on swing and bebop.

PERF 101 - CHORUS (1)

This course focuses on developing basic steps for voice technique and group singing. The class meets for two hours, as most of the work for the course is done during class time. Students are presented the basic principles of singing and apply those to vocal ensemble singing. The repertoire on based on the vocal ensemble formed and the song literature includes works from different styles and periods. Students perform as members of the Lasell College chorus. This course may be repeated for credit.

PERF 105 - BASIC ACTING (3)

This course provides the beginning student interested in acting with basic skills involved in the art. Explorations include: physical awareness and the use of the body as an expressive tool; intellectual and emotional approaches to creating a role; and the uses for imagination and creativity that actors apply. Students work both individually and interactively on acting exercises and master basic text analysis for actors as an aid to building a character.

PERF 106 - VOCAL TECHNIQUES & VOICE TRAINING (1)

This one-credit course is designed for beginning voice students and introduces the basic skills needed for successful vocal performance, with a focus on vocal technique and artistic presentation. Training also covers areas such as good practice technique and repertoire choices. This practical course will establish the basics of healthy vocal technique. As such, it will enhance the student's musicianship skills and will build confidence and expertise in performance. Students will become familiar with both classic art song repertoire and Broadway musical repertoire. This course can be repeated.

PERF 107 - INTRODUCTION TO THEATRE ARTS (3)

This is an introduction to the principles and practice of the related arts that are involved in the production of a play in the theatre. Study includes analysis of the dramatic script in terms of the actor; the director; the scenic, costume, and lighting designers; and the technicians. Lab theatre productions integrate the content of the course.

PERF 108 - DANCE TECHNIQUES [UP TO 3 CREDITS] (1)

This one-credit course is designed for students who are interested in mastering the basics of music literacy and their applications. This course prepares beginner to advanced beginner classical ballet students with the foundation necessary for progression to the intermediate and advanced levels. Every student's ability is assessed, and training follows a curriculum under which each student progresses to his or her maximum potential. The course includes classical ballet vocabulary, technique, self-discipline, motivation, creativity, critical thinking, and confidence building. This course can be repeated.

PERF 109X - BALLET TECHNIQUES I (1)

In a collaboration between Lasell College and Boston Ballet School, this course is offered to Lasell undergraduate students. Students will explore basic vocabulary and theory of classical ballet through a progressive curriculum. The course is taught by a faculty member of Boston Ballet and includes live accompaniment. This course is designed to establish a strong foundation of technique essential to the art form of classical ballet, while providing a base of technique essential to all other forms of dance.

PERF 110X - PREPARING FOR MUSICAL THEATRE (1)

This one-credit course is designed for students interested in auditioning for and performing in musicals, operettas, and/or operas. Students will gain the tools they need to prepare for an audition and/or a role in local or regional theatre. Students will work on scenes, monologues, audition cuts, and dance/movement skills; they will also learn acting and performance basics. New students are welcomed! This course can be repeated.

PERF 201 - INTERMEDIATE ACTING (3)

This course is designed for acting students who wish to further develop, refine, and apply acting techniques in a performance-oriented environment. Using voice, body, imagination, technique, and research, students explore the challenge of acting in more complex media, styles, and dramatic literature. Techniques for acting for the camera are introduced, as is individual coaching for students' strengths and weaknesses. The development and application of the monologue, scene work from world literature, work with another actor, and character analysis are covered. Performance opportunities are available in concert with Lasell productions. Prerequisite: PERF 105 or PERF 107.

PERF 202 - WORLD PERCUSSION (3)

This multicultural survey course will focus on the theory and practice in the use of percussion as ritual, communication, and recreation around the world. Students will learn through lecture and critical readings of descriptive accounts of the uses of percussion, as well as through the subjective experience of learning percussive rhythms using a variety of musical instruments: congas, djembes, atumpani, berimbau, shakere, clavier, ago-go bells, and - of course - cowbells. This course fulfills the Area of Inquiry - Aesthetic [AI(A)] and the Area of Inquiry - Multicultural [AI(MC)].