With WSMA Aca U, our goal is to bring the finest a cappella education to the state of Wisconsin. Our qualified staff of educators bring their experience to students in an interactive and open atmosphere in order to cultivate the best learning experience possible.
We are always evolving our curriculum, so check back for updates here and on social media!
Taught by Heather Newkirk
This class focuses on learning how to beatbox! Students are taught basic sounds and patterns and how to apply these patterns to contemporary a cappella songs. Students are shown examples of how vocal percussion can change the genre of a song as well as highlight different moments in an arrangement.
"I really focus on making the classroom a safe and open environment for the students to feel comfortable creating these unnatural feeling sounds. I was amazed to see the support they had for one another when students volunteered to beatbox in front of the class!"
ELECTRONICS AND EMOTION
This class discussed the sonic elements of bass, vocal percussion, and singers and how it relates to the sound technician. we talked about the importance of emotion within a piece. Whether it was up tempo or down, how to mentally reach that point.
"I was so proud of how every student was able to draw from their own experiences and emotions and provide a connection to the piece they performed", said instructor Dennis Gephart. "Each group member shared a bit of themselves to provide amazing performances and lifelong friendships."
Taught by Lee Stovall
Arranging focuses on building an arrangement and how to structure it. The class begins by setting up a song with its various parts, deciding on a key, rhythm, tempo, and "feel". Then importing the melody and writing out a bass line before finally filling in the rest of the parts to fit the melody and bass line."
"It was fun to teach beginning arranging," says instructor Lee Stovall. "Students were given the tools to work on part of an arrangement, and spent time creating and evaluating their work. Some students even spent time outside of the arranging class itself to practice and get feedback."
VOCALISM IN A CAPPELLA
"Vocalism in A Cappella" focuses first on how to use and take care of your voice with Ami. It takes the students through many warm ups, cool downs, and the physicality of singing. Then transitions into using proper vocal technique to crest a cappella sounds. Finally rounding out this class, students will dive into what makes up a "Vocal Band" and each voice part's function throughout any given arrangement.
"It was an eye opening class that really helped the students go beyond just the notes and rhythms," said instructor Ryan Stuempges. "An interactive look into the sound of the most contemporary A Cappella -- the Vocal Band."