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Current Season


Beginning in September, Face the Music Members will meet online for brand new and exclusive musical offerings on Block Days interspersed with continued musical projects within their core ensembles on Ensemble Days. Each performance program student should view the variety of online Block Day Groups below and complete the Block Day Group Preference Form to submit their top group choices. Students who submit their form earlier are more likely to receive their top choices.

Individual Lessons will continue to be offered online during the Fall Cycle. This includes the Composition Program, Songwriting, and Conducting. Students should indicate their interest in lessons when registering online or may email

String Quartets will begin in an online setting with initial collaborations and projects to be announced at the start of the season. String Quartets are by audition only. Students who would like to play in a quartet should indicate their interest when registering online or may email

Workshops will be offered as usual through Face the Music, and this Fall will feature a Songwriting Workshop with Adrianna Mateo. Workshops are uniquely open to students outside of the FTM performance program. Those interested in the Songwriting Workshop or further information about future Workshop subjects may email for details and information to sign up.

Face the Music Registration is open! Musicians age 12-18 are invited to register to audition (new students) or to re-register to participate (returning students) Online Here.

More Information
Face the Music members and auditionees will receive further details within the Face the Music 2020-21 Season Handbook for Students and Families which will be released via email. Special requests for a copy of this handbook may be sent to
To see which Rehearsal Days will be Ensemble Days or Block Days, students and families should refer to the public rehearsal calendar Online Here.

As we prioritize the wellbeing of our students, coaches, staff, guest artists, and organization, our primary concern is for everyone’s health and safety. We believe that together we can and will continue to make meaningful musical strides as a community whether online or in person.

FALL CYCLE Ensembles

The Face the Music Ensembles remain essentially unchanged for the Fall Cycle but will meet only on Ensemble Days during the Fall interspersed with Block Days. Returning students who would like to discuss their ensemble(s) or who wish to switch or add an ensemble should email and may be asked to submit a video for ensemble change consideration. New students will be asked to participate in a virtual audition process. 

FTM Ensembles: Fall Cycle Online
  • 2:00–3:20pm Big Band 
  • 3:30–5:00pm Improvisation Collective 
  • 3:30–5:00pm Chamber Orchestra
  • 5:05–6:05pm Advanced Jazz Combo
  • 5:05–6:05pm Advanced Chamber

FALL CYCLE Block Day Groups

On Block Days, students will go to their Block Day Groups instead of Ensembles. Each Block is 75 minutes long. There is a 15 minute break between the ending of one Block and the beginning of the next. Students are expected to participate in at least one Block Group, but may choose to attend two, or three Blocks as part of FTM’s performance program for no added cost. 

Students should browse the Block Group Descriptions, select their top 5 preferences, and then submit the Block Day Group Preference FormStudents who submit the form earlier are more likely to receive their top choices of Block Day Groups.
(Submissions will be considered only if students are registered for the season. Still need to register? Fill out the Face the Music Registration Form Online Here.) 

Block Day Group Categories
  • CREATE Category: Designed for students who are excited to see a project from start to finish, students taking “Create” offerings are likely to record, produce, or make a final product / performance.
  • CONNECT Category: Designed for students who love the community aspect of Face the Music, “Connect” offerings provide a space for students to interact with, discuss, or play music in an online group setting.
  • EXPLORE Category: Designed for students who like to challenge or stretch themselves musically, “Explore” offerings provide an opportunity for students to learn about a specific musical subject not widely offered to teens.
Block Day Groups

*Please note that listed offerings will only run if there is sufficient interest from the FTM students. 
Browse all Block Day Group Descriptions Online Here.

2:00 Block Groups

3:30 Block Groups

5:00 Block Groups

Browse all Block Day Group Descriptions Online Here.
Have you decided on your top 5 group preferences? If so, please submit the Block Day Group Preference Form.


Fall CYCLE Songwriting Workshop

Songwriting is a contemporary artist workshop that develops young songwriters and performing artists, taking notes from the best of Top 40, Broadway, international trends and popular music from recent decades. Led by Face the Music Coach Adrianna Mateo, the program builds on three intertwined artistic aspects: songcraft (how to write a song), performance art (stage presence) and aesthetic (musical and visual style). Songwriters at all levels, including complete beginners and instrumentalists who have never written a song, are welcome to enroll. 

Those interested in the Songwriting Workshop may email for details and information to sign up.

Time: 12:00–1:15pm Eastern
Dates: Sundays 10/18, 10/25, 11/01, 11/08, 11/15, 11/22, 12/06
Location: Online on Zoom

  • $125 Add-on Tuition per Workshop for FTM Performance Program Students
  • $450 Tuition per Workshop for students outside of FTM Performance Program

Block Day Group Descriptions

2:00 Block

► CREATE: Creative Score Study with David Bloom

In Creative Score Study students will take on the role of curator, conductor, and musical artist as they learn an inspired and holistic practice to approach presenting modern music. In addition to illuminating a new score study approach, this group offers a deep dive into works from the large ensemble repertoire that have yet to be discussed or performed widely. Led by conductor David Bloom, students will engage in detailed discussion of the scores, the contexts of their creation, and how conductors can approach score study with creativity and integrity. Students will conclude the cycle with a presentation of their musical findings, creative approach, and performance plan ideas for a modern musical score of their choosing. 

► CONNECT: Group Listening Party with Aakash Mittal

In this group students will begin their Face the Music day by gathering to celebrate and share the music they find moving, exciting, or intriguing with peers and friends. Students will submit musical selections for listening during these guided online sessions along with selections by Face the Music coach Aakash Mittal. Students will discuss concrete musical aspects within the selections as well as the artistry, musicianship, and styles presented by the featured musicians. Together they will accumulate a playlist of music throughout the Fall to keep as a personal Face the Music Group Listening Party collection.

► EXPLORE: Virtual Music Introduction with Diana Rodriguez

Venturing further into the 21st century and living in midst of a world-wide pandemic, modern musicians are learning the importance of a diversified skill set and knowledge base that allows for their art form to exist in a digital format. Among the tech and tools of our current music industry is the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). A DAW is a software program used for composing, producing, recording, mixing and/or editing audio and MIDI. In this Virtual Music Introduction, students will take first steps in learning about a variety of common DAW software programs and will have chances to experiment with their own creations in these workstations. Designed as an introductory step into virtual music, no composition or audio editing experience is required to participate in this group.


3:30 Block

► CREATE: Triple Threat Artistry with Adrianna Mateo

Have you ever wondered how to open for Alicia Keys, act on HBO, or sing on MTV - without an audition? What’s it like to perform solos on Broadway, act onstage at the Met Opera, and record original music with a Grammy-nominated, Top 40 artist team? Triple Threat Artistry with Adrianna Mateo examines what it means to be a multifaceted artist in today’s world. In this group students will stretch and develop multiple talents as an intuitive expansion of their “Artistic North.” In doing so, they will create powerful work that truly reflects themselves, culminating with audiovisual projects that may incorporate singing, instrumental playing, acting, dance/movement, composition, story/narrative, or other facets of their young artistry.

► CONNECT: Composition Roundtable with Whitney George

Notable advances in music have come from the tradition of composers gathering and sharing ideas and works in progress in salons or seminar settings. Composition Roundtable will provide musicians with a unique opportunity to share the typically isolated practice of composing with a creative community of like-minded Face the Music students. Within this group students will engage in discussion, participate in focused composition exercises, and consider topics of compositional decision making and creative methods. Participants will receive artistic and technical feedback from peers and from Face the Music's Whitney George, whose operas, staged multimedia works, and chamber music have had both international and domestic premieres. By embracing an open and imaginative atmosphere and emphasizing the process versus the finished product, the Composition Roundtable welcomes both composers with years of experience and complete beginners to the craft. Students are not required to enroll in individual composition lessons to participate, though lessons will enhance a student's experience in this group.

► EXPLORE: Using South Indian Rhythms to Inform Improvisation & Composition with Aakash Mittal

Learn how to play polyrhythms, odd time signatures, and rhythmic puzzles using the South Indian Konokol rhythmic language. Students will learn the fundamentals of Konokol including basic groupings of notes and rhythmic phrases. This will be a “learn by doing” experience where students will recite Konokol phrases while keeping taal, a practice of keeping track of the tempo with your hands. Together we will explore improvisation, composition and how to apply South Indian rhythmic syllables to Western notation. Students do not need any prior experience with composition or improvisation to be part of this group. 
About Konokol
Konokol is a rhythmic language originating from the southern region of India. Each syllable of the language relates to a specific sound on the drum allowing percussionists, vocalists and instrumentalists to recite rhythmic compositions. While this musical tradition began centuries ago it is used today by musicians of all styles to understand, practice and create rhythms. 


5:00 Block

► CREATE: Recording Studio Musicians with David Bloom

In the Recording Studio Musicians group, students will participate in varied online performance projects at an advanced level of music making in a small chamber music group setting. Connected with the Advanced Chamber group, Recording Studio Musicians will be thoroughly involved in the group collaboration required to pull off moving and meaningful online performances during a time of social distancing. Students interested in this group will need a recommendation for participation by a Face the Music coach or may choose to audition virtually within the first two weeks of September.

► CONNECT: Improvisation with Aakash Mittal
  • Beginner Improv: Through a series of improvisation games students will learn how to create music spontaneously within a variety of styles. We will explore approaches to improvisation that include jazz and Hindustani raga music as well as the music of contemporary composers such as Anthony Braxton and Pauline Oliveros. As we explore this music communally, students will gain the experience and confidence needed to improvise within an ensemble. This is an excellent group for students with no prior experience with improvisation or 1-2 years of improvisation experience. 
  • Advanced Improv: Students will expand their ability to improvise within specific harmonies, utilize voice leading, apply advanced rhythmic concepts, and build their own improvisation vocabulary. We will explore creating intervallic melodies, improvising within rhythmic cycles and playing harmonic substitutions within repertoire. These concepts can be applied to a variety of settings such as jazz, new music and the participant’s own compositions. Previous experience with improvisation and playing an instrument is necessary for this group. 
► EXPLORE: Graphic Notation with Whitney George

Composers often have instrumental or vocal training where they learn western musical notation, but there are many more systems to express musical ideas through alternative scoring methods. Composers in the 20th/21st centuries – such as such as Brown, Feldman, Pendereski, Crumb, Stockhausen, and more – have been especially keen on exploring time-based scores, event-based notation, symbols, and beyond in order to illustrate extended techniques and non-traditional methods of creating sounds on acoustic instruments. In Graphic Notation, students will explore representative works, ask critical questions, and engage in deep listening: how does graphic notation yield different results than standard notation? What does the presentation of musical materials on a page convey to us as the performer? How is graphic notation realized and performed? Is there a right way or a wrong way to read a score? Where is interpretation and flexibility in notation, both in conventional or unconventional methods? Students are not required to enroll in individual composition lessons to participate, though lessons will enhance a student's experience.

Have you decided on your top 5 group preferences? If so, please submit the Block Day Group Preference Form.