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Michigan Youth Musicianship Course

The Michigan Youth Musicianship Course (MYMC) is a non-performance based class, focused on strengthening a student’s individual musicianship through the study of music theory, musical analysis, and aural skills in preparation of college music theory placement exams. Due to restrictions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, MYMC will be moving online for the 2020-21 Season! This online format will be hosted through the Canvas class platform, allowing easy access to course materials and assignments.

MYMC is open to any and all interested high school students, whether they are currently enrolled in other Michigan Youth Ensemble programs or not. Please see below for instructions on applying.

Though any are welcome to apply, all applicants will be asked to take an assessment test before the start of the term. This in no way affects a student’s admission, but acts as a guide as to whether they should be placed in introductory or advanced course tracks. More information on both tracks are listed below.

A link to the assessment test is located below. All MYMC applicants should complete the assessment test by September 1, 2020. Applicants will be notified of what track they’re placed in by Friday, September 4, 2020.


In this course, only a basic reading ability of treble and bass clef will be required. If an applicant is not comfortable with one or both of these, resources will be provided to help develop their will fluency. The first part of this course will take on / develop understanding of the building blocks of western tonal music (i.e. Bach, Beethoven, Mozart). Students will learn how to identify and write different types of scales, intervals, and chords. They will learn how to identify and label musical structures such as phrases and cadences in real examples from the music literature. Once students have developed the ability to work with these foundational elements, they will begin to identify triads and seventh chords as well as learning how to complete a basic roman numeral analysis and reduction. Dependent on the progression of the class, students will be introduced to some jazz and popular music elements near the end of the semester.

The second part of this course will tackle the introductory elements of species counterpoint. Similar but distinct from functional harmony, this material will allow students to develop their understanding of rules of counterpoint. By the end of this semester, students will have a strong grasp of at least the first three species and will be able to put the rules of counterpoint into practice; students will emerge with some short compositions based around the rules of counterpoint many well known composers have studied and emulated.

In both course tracks, students will spend some time discussing and practicing melodic dictation, a practice often seen in collegiate level theory programs.

Class Time: Sundays, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Class Location: Online via Zoom meeting (accessible via the MYMC Course on Canvas).

Fall Term (2020)
September 13
MYE Musicianship Course Orientation

September 20
MYE Musicianship Course 1

September 27
MYE Musicianship Course 2

October 1
MYE Musicianship Course 3

October 11
MYE Musicianship Course 4

October 18
MYE Musicianship Course 5

October 25
MYE Musicianship Course 6

November 1
MYE Musicianship Course 7

November 8
MYE Musicianship Course 8

November 15
MYE Musicianship Course 9

November 22
MYE Musicianship Course 10

Winter Term (2021)
January 24
MYE Musicianship Course 1

January 31
MYE Musicianship Course 2

February 7
MYE Musicianship Course 3

February 14
MYE Musicianship Course 4

February 21
MYE Musicianship Course 5

February 28
MYE Musicianship Course 6

March 7
MYE Musicianship Course 7

March 14
MYE Musicianship Course 8

March 21
MYE Musicianship Course 9

March 28
MYE Musicianship Course 10

In this course, a strong reading ability of both treble and bass clef will be expected, as well as some prior experience with music theory, such as identifying and writing triad and scale types. This course will be structured in a way similar to the introductory track: beginning with functional harmony and eventually moving to species counterpoint. Students will move at a faster speed, exploring more advanced topics such as seventh chords, applied harmonies, chromatic harmonies, modulations, and more advanced roman numeral and phrase analysis.

During the Winter 2021 semester, students will learn all five types of species counterpoint, using this knowledge to analyze various pieces from the Renaissance era (i.e. masses, madrigals, and motets). Similar to the introductory track, students will use knowledge of the rules of counterpoint to create their own species compositions, and ultimately a short two or three-voice piece.

In both course tracks, students will spend some time discussing and practicing melodic dictation, a practice often seen in collegiate level theory programs.

Class Time: Sundays, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Class Location: Online via Zoom meeting (accessible via the MYMC Course on Canvas).

Fall Term (2020)
September 13
MYE Musicianship Course Orientation

September 20
MYE Musicianship Course 1

September 27
MYE Musicianship Course 2

October 1
MYE Musicianship Course 3

October 11
MYE Musicianship Course 4

October 18
MYE Musicianship Course 5

October 25
MYE Musicianship Course 6

November 1
MYE Musicianship Course 7

November 8
MYE Musicianship Course 8

November 15
MYE Musicianship Course 9

November 22
MYE Musicianship Course 10

Winter Term (2021)
January 24
MYE Musicianship Course 1

January 31
MYE Musicianship Course 2

February 7
MYE Musicianship Course 3

February 14
MYE Musicianship Course 4

February 21
MYE Musicianship Course 5

February 28
MYE Musicianship Course 6

March 7
MYE Musicianship Course 7

March 14
MYE Musicianship Course 8

March 21
MYE Musicianship Course 9

March 28
MYE Musicianship Course 10

No audition is required for the Musicianship Course. However, a placement exam will be available for students to take in order to place them appropriately in either the introductory or advanced course track. 

Those interested in applying for MYMC should complete this assessment no later than September 1, 2020. We recommend taking this without reference material, as the purpose of this test is to find the best track so you may get the most out of your MYMC experience.  Once you have completed this assessment, please email it to smtd-youthandadult@umich.edu. For notation, please print, fill in, and scan the assessment.

Students must be enrolled in grades 9 through 12 for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Interested students must complete the following process in order to be considered for the Musicianship Course:

  1. Fill out the MYE online application form
  2. Pay the $50 application fee

Application Deadline – September 1, 2020
Registration Information Sent – September 4, 2020

Please note: All applications received after the deadline will be considered on a rolling basis, if positions are available.

Musicianship Course Fee – $175
Non-refundable application fee – $50

Need-Based Financial Assistance
A limited number of need-based awards are available. To be considered for a need-based award you must complete the online financial aid application by the priority deadline. To begin the process, select “Need Based Award Consideration” in the program application.

Refund Policy
Full refunds of MYE tuition are only available before the first rehearsal (September 13, 2020). SMTD Engagement and Outreach refund policy

Please contact us at smtd-youthandadult@umich.edu or (734) 936-2660.

MYE 2020-2021 Student Handbook
The 2020-2021 Michigan Youth Ensembles Handbook will be available in mid-August.

Accessing University of Michigan Canvas
Access U-M Canvas for class information. Each ensemble will have a separate Canvas page, available by September 8, 2020. Information will be emailed in mid-August with directions for setting up your Canvas “Friend Account.”

Student Absence Form
To report a planned absence, complete the ONLINE MYE ABSENCE FORM. Please submit all forms at least one week before the planned date of absence.