Lessons

I’m available to teach the following subject areas:

  • Guitar performance
  • Improvisation
  • Composition
  • Arranging
  • Orchestration
  • General music theory

I have a small teaching studio in Atlanta, but other arrangements are possible, including online instruction. Please email justinmorell@justinmorell.com to inquire.

Following is a list of some courses I have taught and selected topics from these courses:

  • Theory I: Pitch and pitch class; clefs and staff notation; simple and compound meters; conducting patterns; major and minor scales; diatonic modes and pentatonic scales; mixed meters; solfège; pitch intervals and inversion; triads and seventh chords; diatonic chords built upon scale degrees. Designed mastery quizzes, mid-term, and final exams.
  • Theory II: First through fifth species two-voice counterpoint in sixteenth and eighteenth century styles; embellishing tones; melodic notation conventions; SATB and keyboard-style voicing and notation; guitar notation; lead-sheet chord notation; instrument transposition; basic phrase structure and cadences; melody harmonization using tonic and dominant harmonies; resolution of dominant harmonies in four- part textures; chorale harmonization; figured-bass notation and realization. Designed quizzes, mid-term, and final exams.
  • Theory III: Leading-tone chords; pre-dominant chords; cadential, neighboring, passing, and arpeggiated six-four chords; tonic prolongation; types of root-motion, including falling-fifth, falling- third, ascending-third, and stepwise; mediant triads; deceptive, Plagal, and Phrygian cadences; motives and melodic sequences; diatonic harmonic sequences; secondary dominant and secondary leading-tone chords; passing and neighboring four-two chords; phrase rhythm and hypermeter; period and sentence phrase structure; motivic analysis. Designed quizzes, mid-term, and final exams.
  • Theory IV: Further developments in harmony and voice-leading, including tonicizing scale degrees other than the dominant, modulation to closely-related keys, and modal mixture; modulation via pivot chord, modal mixture, common-tone; binary and ternary forms; composite forms; prelude form; chromatic mediants and sub-mediants; harmonic and phrase structure analysis; composition of a prelude in the style of J. S. Bach; rudiments of composition and exercises writing in short forms.
  • Theory V: Further developments in chromatic harmony, including Neapolitan sixth chords, augmented sixth chords, and common-tone diminished-seventh chords; enharmonic modulation; variation forms; rondo form; first-movement sonata form; sonata-rondo form; art-song forms; chromatic elaboration of diatonic sequences; chromatic modulation; composition of an art-song in the style of Schubert or Schumann.
  • Theory VI: Formes fixes; cantus-firmus technique; parody technique; paraphrase technique; Impressionist composition techniques, including planing, pentatonics, added-note chords, whole-tone and octatonic collections, extended tertian harmony; set-class theory, including transposition, inversion, interval vectors, Z-relationships; twelve-tone technique, including row transformations and combinatoriality; modes of limited transposition in the music of Messiaen; minimalist composition techniques; tintinnabuli technique in the music of Pärt; composition of a new work in the style of Schoenberg, Pärt, or Debussy.
  • Aural Skills IV: Techniques for hearing secondary dominants to the dominant; identification and improvisation of consequent phrases and phrase expansion; error detection in melodic phrases; dictation of four-part chorale harmonizations; recognizing modulation to closely-related keys; modal mixture; individual appointments during which students were required to sing prepared melodies and to sight- sing melodies; composing short pieces which integrate chromatic harmony.
  • Aural Skills V: Techniques for hearing and identifying chromatic harmonies, including Neapolitan sixth chords, augmented sixth chords, and secondary dominant-functioning chords to closely and chromatically related keys; hearing large-scale formal structure in sonata form, rondo form, and composite forms; individual appointments during which students were required to sing prepared melodies and to sight-sing melodies.
  • Aural Skills VI: Aural recognition of formes fixes; aural identification of cantus-firmus and paraphrase techniques; identification of impressionist features in the music of Debussy; singing and analysis of atonal and serial melodies with and without “fixed-do” solfège; individual appointments during which students were required to sing prepared melodies, to sight-sing melodies, and to perform rhythmic exercises which feature elements of twentieth-century rhythmic techniques; instruction in composing in the styles of twentieth-century composers such as Messiaen, Webern, Reich.
  • Jazz Ensembles: Small-ensemble performance, with an emphasis on rhythmic concepts, improvisation, and phrasing; understanding jazz theory concepts necessary for reading chord-changes; improvising using only the melody as a guide; developing listening skills in order to enhance communication in performance; arranging standard jazz compositions for the ensemble, including part preparation, transposition, solo forms; composing original works for the ensemble; free improvisation; sight-reading; developing familiarity with the most influential performers and works of the genre.
  • Jazz and Popular Music Theory: Pitch, clefs, and staff notation; meter and rhythm; key signatures, major and minor scales; triads and seventh chords; reading lead-sheet chord notation; chord alterations and extensions; modes of major and minor scales; common chord progressions and functions, including ii-V-I progressions in all keys.
  • Guitar Reading and Technique: Pitch, rhythm, and staff notation; position reading; position shifting; performing simple classical guitar repertoire as a soloist; basic right-hand classical guitar technique; right-hand pick-style technique; popular guitar styles and technique; reading chord charts; improvisation from lead sheets and chord charts; vibrato, bending, and left-hand phrasing; transcription from recordings; major and minor scales; triad and seventh chord arpeggios.