Summer MUSIC/SONGWRITING Classes
Songwriting and Music Theory with Aaron
A beginning/intermediate class on music theory, form and structure.
Invaluable for students who are learning to write their own music. We cover song form, 32-bar chorus, blues, pop song terminology (chorus, verse, intro, interlude, pre-chorus, bridge, vamp, etc), musical hierarchy and relationships (notes -> motifs -> phrases -> sections -> movements -> works/albums), do some analysis of current mainstream music, and can even demonstrate these concepts through movement (this is quite fun).
Body Percussion - Tuesdays 1:00-2:00
AARON WILLIAMS is a virtuosic tap dancing multi-instrumentalist, trained in classical music, jazz, and rudimental percussion technique. He achieved internet fame with his viral video, Mario on Marimba, which has received millions of views on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites. He appeared in Coca Cola’s “America the Beautiful” campaign which aired during the Superbowl, the Olympics, and the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony. He is the composer of “Jazzy Note Blocks,” the music behind Note Blocks - AVM Shorts Episode 5, with over 77 million views on youtube.
In addition to his online and commercial successes, Aaron is a world-class music educator. He holds Level 3 Certification in Orff Schulwerk pedagogy, and he has presented teacher training workshops for AOSA, KIPP Schools, CMEA (California Music Education Association), and several colleges and universities. He is a recipient of the ACEMM Winter Spotlight Award, which is granted for outstanding work in learning communities utilizing music and movement. Aaron has done extensive work as a Band Director, Private Lessons Instructor, and Music Specialist for students ranging in age from 2 to 92.
Ukulele with Aaron
A beginning/intermediate class on how to play one of the world's happiest portable instruments.
You can learn to play the uke even if you've never played an instrument in your life! You just need the right person to show you how.
Aaron will teach you how to properly tune, hold, and strum your ukulele, the most essential “must-know” ukulele chords, how to play some extremely versatile strumming patterns. As the course progresses you'll start to advance into more complex technique - you'll be playing memorable ukulele songs in no time!
Body Percussion with Aaron
We are excited to announce this very unique class with a very unique teacher!
Use your body as a musical instrument! Clap, stomp, pat, snap, slide, and more. We will learn games, traditional body percussion vocabulary, patterns, grooves, ostinati, and create our own body percussion patterns and compositions. We’ll also watch videos of great body percussion performers and create a simple video ourselves!
For this class, street shoes on a non-carpeted floor will work best.
Students should have a metronome, which can be found online or in any app store for free! Aaron will offer suggestions and help during class.
Aaron has been described as “Stomp meets Blue Man meets Cirque du Soleil.” Check out his work at
Intro to Songwriting with Aden
We are so excited to have our long-time student, Aden, in a guest teacher role with ACT-1.
In this class Aden will teach you to write a song: basic music theory and chord progressions, common song structure, tips and tricks to make your songwriting more enjoyable and meaningful to you, how to use garage band and basic music production. The materials you will need for this class are an Apple computer with GarageBand, an iPhone (any generation), earbuds or headphones, and a willingness to learn!
This class is donations based.
ADEN BERTISCH attends Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and has been songwriting for three years. He has been in many musical theatre productions and has studied voice since he was eight. In 2014, Aden created the summer program Bertisch Camp, where he casts and directs his peers in a feature film musical.
He looks forward to collaborating with you in this class and teaching you all that he knows!