Experiential Learning in Music

faculty, piano performance)
Faculty Performance: Adam Kent
Experiential Learning in Music
Alexandra Hernandez (DJ) of Digital Music and Beat Production
Experiential Learning in Music
Faculty Performance: Sal Salvaggio (guitar) and Marie Tucker (viola)
Brass Ensemble, directed by Ben Aldridge
Chamber Orchestra, directed by Ben Aldridge
​​​​​World Choir, directed by Brian Reynolds
Funk Band, directed by Jeremy Wall
Rock Ensemble, directed by Mark Pawkett
Zappa Band, directed by Mark Pawkett
Experimental Music Group, directed by Joe Pignato
Looking to have your understandings of music, of performance, and of artistic expression challenged? Then join the EMP and engage in musical, cross-disciplinary, and technological experimentation. Students in the EMG play with musical sounds, music technologies, extended techniques, found and invented instruments, and unusual modes of performance in pursuit of their original musical expression.

Jazz Octet, directed by Robert Roman
The Jazz Octet is a small ensemble consisting of 2-3 horns and rhythm section that focuses on improvisation, composition, and repertoire building. The group performs both on and off campus.
​​​​​​String Ensemble, directed by Marie Tucker
The SUNY Oneonta String Ensemble is a small group of orchestral strings (although we have added guitar, drum set, Uillean pipes) that covers a wide range of string music. We do classical, fiddle, contemporary – whatever the group would like to play for the semester, everything from Tchaikovsy to Charlie Daniels! We work towards great technical playing to create sounds that reflect the best possible interpretation and have a lot of fun making great music.
Digital Music and Beat Production, directed by Joe Pignato
Want to make beats, become a producer, or expand your musical output? Join this studio workshop course and explore digital music making and beat production as they apply to contemporary pop, hip hop, R&B, EDM, and maker culture.
Jam Band, directed by Joe Pignato
Looking for opportunities for original creative expression? Join jam band, where you are encouraged to write, improvise upon, perform and record your own original music in the context of a working rock group that explores many different genres as platforms for improvisation.
Classical Collaborations (Chamber Music Ensemble), directed by Adam Kent

It may be hot n’ sultry out there in August, but soon the frost and chill will descend upon Oneonta. Come in from the cold and experience the joy (and companionship!) of collaborative music-making with your fellow instrumental and vocal students! Discover the true meaning of harmony as you explore the greatest masterworks of the chamber and vocal repertoire!

Collaborating with pianists is an essential part of the professional music world, and Classical Collaborations provides orchestral instrumental, voice, and advanced piano students the opportunity to work together. In many instances, Prof. Adam Kent serves as an accompanist to enrolled students, providing weekly coachings in preparation for performances on campus and beyond. In the past, several Classical Collaborations students have been selected to perform in the Music Department’s annual Honors Concerts, and some have even had the opportunity to participate in international performance/study trips to England, Spain and South America with Professors Adam Kent and Timothy Newton. With plans for long-distance learning (COIL) projects with students in Europe and Colombia looming ahead, Classical Collaborations can also provide you with a chance to get engaged in these exciting cross-cultural exchanges.

Chamber Percussion Ensemble
Do you like to hit stuff? Do you want to explore the potential of western percussion instruments by way of improvisation and imitation? Have you played percussion in marching band, concert band, or percussion ensemble in high school? Do you read music? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, there is a place for you in the Chamber Percussion Ensemble. Students in this class come from a variety of backgrounds and are integrated together through improvisation. Music reading and drumming experience is NOT required, but anyone with those abilities will be challenged as well through composed works for the group!
(CPE improv with visual artists - 2015)
World Drum Ensemble
Want to explore drumming styles from around the world, or play drum accompaniments to student and guest dancers? Then join the World Drum Ensemble!! Each semester the regional styles we play are different, ranging from Ewe (Ghanaian) Drum and Dance music, Indonesian folk drumming, Balinese Gamelan music, to Brazilian samba, and more. No music reading ability or drumming experience is necessary, as all music is taught by ear or with alternative types of notation.
(Agbekor, with Godwin Abotsi - 2014)
Woodwind Ensemble, directed by Robin Seletsky
Did you play your woodwind instrument in High School? Do you miss the experience? The SUNY Oneonta Woodwind Ensemble is for you. No audition is necessary. We are a welcoming group with the aim of putting on engaging concerts - both on campus and off - and having fun in the process. Musical styles range from classical to pop, light jazz and world music. Input from the students regarding repertoire is encouraged. Dust off your instrument and give us a try.

Both MUSC 2600-2680 group lessons and MUSC 3700-3771 private lessons are open for students in any major to enroll.

MUSC 2600-2680 group lessons are intended for students who have never played the instrument before. MUSC 3700-3771 private lessons, on the other hand, are meant for students who have some experience playing a particular instrument and are wishing to enhance their abilities through private study of more challenging musical repertoire and techniques.

MUSC 2600-2680 Group Lessons

String Bass


Electric Bass



MUSC 3700-3771 Private Lessons

Classical Guitar






String/Electric Bass









The Student Association is funded by students through their student activity fee. The S.A oversees more than 100 different clubs and organizations. Below is a list of performing arts clubs, and music/entertainment industry related clubs funded by the Student Association. For a complete list visit the SUNY Oneonta Student Association.

Performing Arts Clubs

The purpose of the Songwriters' Club is to work together to create original music and to explore different styles and genres of music, with the opportunity to showcase songs in weekly meetings, live showcases, open-mics, & critiqued competitions. We also encourage the collaboration process between members to sharpen songwriting skills. Beyond this, with assistance of guest lectures, we help our members get their music out into the commercial world by teaching the art and business of marketing to music publishers.

The SUNY Oneonta Drag 'N Rolls Drumline provides students a unique musical experience in marching percussion, and serves the campus community and represents the SUNY Oneonta community off-campus by performing in campus activities including, but not limited to, campus and community athletic events, formal ceremonies, parades, and other school functions. If you are interested in booking the Drumline for an event, please email dragnrolls@gmail.com.

The Apollo Music Club presents annual musical showcases. Its purpose is to help promote the cause of music as a fine art in the campus community; activities include sponsorship of musical events, guest lectures and performers, service projects, and the general fellowship of singers and instrumentalist.

The Oneonta Acappella Council provides students with the opportunity to sing in an a cappella group and to expose the SUNY Oneonta campus to this genre of music. Our groups also provide students with the opportunity to arrange popular songs for a singing group, to musically direct a singing group, to coordinate and book performances, become familiar with microphones and equipment, and to record their music for the campus community to enjoy. This council includes both Hooked on Tonics and Pitch Slapped.

The purpose of Mask & Hammer is an outlet for theatrical creativity and growth by producing plays, musicals, and experimental theater projects and is a safe space for students interested and dedicated to the department's weekly updates on upcoming projects.

Music/Entertainment Industry Related Clubs

The Music Industry Club (MIC), an academic based organization, shall offer its members the opportunity to gain knowledge, insight, experience and artistic development in relation to the music industry by interacting with it on a local, regional, national, and global level. Interacting with the music industry shall be conducted through but not limited to, the organizing of trips, conferences, concerts, alumni events, panel discussions, reviewing and funding responsible proposals and the publication of a student-based compilation album produced under the name Red. The MIC office is in Fine Arts Room 135; you may also contact them at (607) 436-3123.

The Jazz Appreciation Society hosts the Oneonta Jazz Festival at Hunt Union where artists and bands ranging from middle school jazz bands to world renowned professionals come together and... play jazz! In the past, artists such as Latin Jazz Trumpeter Ray Vega, Trumpeter Tanya Darby, and others have been part of the festival. The Jazz Appreciation Society plays a key role in organizing and working the entire festival, giving members an experience in event planning that can be very beneficial in the world after college.

The Wire exists to enhance skills and experience in the field of video, audio and television production through interaction and hands-on experience by utilizing professional equipment, video-editing software and through shared experiences with other organizations and SUNY Oneonta. We also run the campus TV stations. If you're interested in a field in Music Video or on stations such as MTV this club is a must join.

The Radio Station WONY is an alternative, non-commercial, educational radio station financed by the Student Association of SUNY-Oneonta. WONY is owned and its license is held by the State University of New York, which is issued by the Federal Communications Commission. Members of WONY maintain this radio station as a student organization and to adopt for its government this constitution and by-laws. Our purpose is to provide news, education, and entertainment for our listening audience, and training experience in radio broadcasting and radio management for our staff. Located in the Hunt Union you may contact them at (607) 436-2711 or 2712. See the WONY lineup and playlists here.

Faculty led trips

Long noted for his expertise in the music of Spain and Latin-America, Dr. Adam Kent (Piano and Classical Collaborations) has taught and performed at such summer music festivals as the Cursos de Verano of the Fundación Princesa de Asturias and the Burgos International Music Festival, as well as at the Manila International Piano Masterclasses Festival in the Philippines. Students enrolled in private instrumental lessons and ensembles are able to join Dr. Kent in these international programs, where they can profit from a busy schedule of individual instruction, ensemble coachings, public masterclasses, student performances, and world-class concerts. These travel opportunities provide Oneonta music students the chance to experience music in an international context, while becoming acquainted with other cultures. In 2018, after studying works by Colombian composers in a COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) program with the Universidad de Cartagena, several Oneonta voice and instrumental students accompanied Dr. Kent on a faculty-led trip to Colombia for a week-long educational field trip.

Photo below (Misaki Kobayashi meets Queen Letizia of Spain at the Cursos de Verano of the Princess of Asturias Foundation in Oviedo, Spain with Prof. Kent)

Misaki Kobayashi meets Queen Letizia of Spain at the Cursos de Verano of the Princess of Asturias Foundation in Oviedo, Spain with Prof. Kent

Photos: On February 20, 2020, Jolie Gagnon ’20, Ajaré Malcolm ’21, and Miguel Isbirian, ’21, with Dr. Newton, performed as members of the Philharmonia Chorus with the Philharmonia Chorus in a sold-out performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 at London’s Royal Festival Hall. The concert was recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

On February 20, 2020, Jolie Gagnon ’20, Ajaré Malcolm ’21, and Miguel Isbirian, ’21, with Dr. Newton, performed as members of the Philharmonia Chorus with the Philharmonia Chorus in a sold-out performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 at London’s Royal Festival Hall. The concert was recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
 Jolie Gagnon ’20, Ajaré Malcolm ’21, and Miguel Isbirian, ’21

Faculty-led Conferences

Every January Professor Nancy Tarr takes students on a relatively inexpensive trip to Anaheim, California for the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) convention. At this convention, students meet with major music equipment merchandisers, build contacts, give out resumes, attend seminars and meet other music industry majors from all across the country. The International Music Products Association, commonly called NAMM in reference to the organization's popular NAMM trade shows, is the not-for-profit association that unifies, leads and strengthens the $16 billion global musical instruments and products industry. NAMM's activities and programs are designed to promote music making to people of all ages. NAMM is comprised of approximately 8,000 member companies. SUNY Oneonta offers students conference attendance and travel grants that make it possible for many students to take advantage of these opportunities at a very low cost.

A Music Industry Internship/Field Experience is required for all students enrolled in the Music Industry B.A. program. Music Industry majors are required to earn a minimum of 3 semester hours and to serve a minimum of 360 contact hours of internship/supplementary experience credit. Internships may be done at an off-campus location in a professional field of the student's choice within the United States or abroad.

View internship opportunities

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