A new class in the Liberal Arts and Sciences department, Music Appreciation, is in session at the New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus. The aim of the program is to introduce and acquaint students with all aspects of music including outstanding composers and the types of music they create.
The class will also explore how music is performed and what techniques may be used in performance. The focus is on developing skills necessary to become an intelligent listener. Throughout the course, students are introduced to virtually every type and style of music in an attempt to develop musical taste and appreciation.
In late November, a number of students trekked downtown to experience the Philip Glass Opera, “Akhnaten,” produced by the LA Opera with the English National Opera at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. For ninety percent of the class, this was a night of multiple firsts. Many had never seen or even listened to opera.
“In our ever expanding viral world, I do believe that nothing can replace one’s experience of live music,” said NYFA instructor Lexie Helgerson. “There’s something about the way in which a human being moves the air with sound. Maybe the celebration of live music is a dying tradition. I don’t think it’s one we can afford to lose.”
Philip Glass happened to be in attendance that night. He gave a pre-show talk with the twenty-six-year-old conductor, Matthew Aucoin, and took a bow with the company at the curtain call.
The opera left lasting images in minds of all those in attendance. Helgerson added, “…at times it was as if a Salvador Dali painting came slowly to life and breathed for awhile. I think I was as moved as my students.”
Students were indeed moved. “It was an amazing experience! It was something I thought I would never do in my life, but once it started, I was amazed. It’s such a beautiful show,” Photography BFA Ziomara Ramirez stated after the show.
Zhihan Lou, BFA Producing student, marveled, “I have some immediate reactions to the opera. The first is the opera is shocked. I focus on the stage design, the exquisite clothing and character modeling make this opera look very fine and incredible.”
You can learn more about all of the courses offered at New York Film Academy by clicking here.