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Face the Music's 20-21 Season

This season, Face the Music welcomes collaborations with 2020-21 Kaufman Music Center Artists-in-Residence Conrad Tao & Seth Parker Woods! Musicians will explore latency and improvisation with Conrad, and the Chamber Orchestra will explore expression and performance with Seth.

Don't miss the Season-Opening Concert

Face the Music: Exploring Inside the Box with Conrad Tao
Online | Monday, December 21st | 7 pm ET

Reserve A Free Ticket

Face the Music WINTER Cycle WILL BE Online

Throughout the fall, Face the Music members have been meeting online to make music, grow as collaborators, and explore modern musical topics. Beginning in January, students will continue to engage in a personalized enrichment experience on Block Days interspersed with continued performing ensemble experience on Ensemble Days for the Winter Cycle. Add-on opportunities are also running online including Workshops, String Quartet Program, and Individual Lessons in conducting, songwriting, improvisation, and acoustic or electronic composition. The upcoming Winter Cycle workshop, Electronic Music with Murat Colak, will also begin in January 2021.

As we prioritize the wellbeing of our students, coaches, staff, guest artists, and organization, our primary concern is for everyone’s health and safety. We believe that together we can and will continue to make meaningful musical strides as a community whether online or in person.

Face the Music Large Ensembles

On Ensemble Days students attend ensemble rehearsals.
      ► Big Band 
      ► Improvisation Collective 
      ► Advanced Jazz Combo
      ► Advanced Chamber
      ► Chamber Orchestra

Face the Music Block Day Groups

On Block Days students attend their block day groups.

NEW: Students should complete a Winter Cycle Block Preference Form by Monday, December 14th. Block Day Groups and Descriptions are available below. Students who complete their form earliest are most likely to receive their top choice(s). All Face the Music members are required to join at least one Block Group* and are welcome to participate in two.

*For Winter Cycle, both Advanced Jazz Combo & Advanced Chamber will meet weekly (on Ensemble and Block days). Students already in these ensembles may choose whether or not they would like to attend a Block Group on Block Days in addition to ensemble rehearsal. Completion of the preference form is still required to confirm plans for Winter Cycle.

Designed for students who are excited to see a project from start to finish, students taking “Create” offerings are likely to record, produce, or make a final product / performance.
      ► Making Your First Music Video (CREATE) with Mark Serkin 

Designed for students who love the community aspect of Face the Music, “Connect” offerings provide a space for students to interact with, discuss, or play music in an online group setting.
      ► Chamber Music Lab (CONNECT) with Whitney George 
      ► Improvisation Continued+ (CONNECT) with Aakash Mittal 

Designed for students who like to challenge or stretch themselves musically, “Explore” offerings provide an opportunity for students to learn about a specific musical subject not widely offered to teens.
      ► The Next Step to Your EP, Single, or Album (EXPLORE) with Adrianna Mateo
      ► More South Indian Rhythms (EXPLORE) with Aakash Mittal

Please see full group descriptions below, and complete the preference form available online here.

Individual Lessons

Individual Lessons will continue to be offered online during the Winter Cycle. This includes the Composition Program (Acoustic or Electronic), Songwriting, Improvisation, and Conducting. Students should indicate their interest in lessons when registering online or may email

String Quartet Program

String Quartets are by audition only. Students who would like to play in a quartet should indicate their interest when registering online or may email

Workshops with Face the Music

Workshops will be offered as usual through Face the Music, and this Winter will feature an Electronic Music Workshop with Murat Çolak. Face the Music Workshops are unique as they are open to non-members. Teens interested in the Electronic Music Workshop or further information about future Workshop topics may email for details and information to sign up.

Electronic Music WORKSHOP with Murat Çolak

Electronic Music Workshop is designed for musicians who may like to create or produce their own electronic or electroacoustic music! In this workshop students will explore and grow essential skills within Reaper software – gaining valuable experience transferrable to any sophisticated DAW (digital audio workstation). Students will play, program, and record virtual instruments and drum machines using MIDI; discover sound design techniques and concepts; manipulate and process audio signals to sculpt their own sounds; and learn how to create a beat and see it through the arrangement process to a finished composition.

Interested students will need a laptop (Windows or MacOS) and Reaper (wait until the group begins in January to download a 60-day free trial) to participate.

Sign up today or request more details about Electronic Music Workshop by emailing!

Time: 12:00–1:15pm Eastern
Dates: Sundays 1/17, 1/24, 1/31, 2/7, 2/21, 2/28
Location: Online via Zoom
Tuition: $125 Add-on Tuition for Face the Music Members
              $450 Tuition per Workshop for Non-Members

Block day group descriptions

► Making Your First Music Video (CREATE) with Mark Serkin
If you have ever wondered how to create your own multi-track music video but didn’t know where to start, join Face the Music Coach and cellist Mark Serkin in “Making Your First Music Video." Students will gain insights and tips to record their own audio and video at home, align multitrack music selections, and adjust basic effects to create their audio mix. Plus, they’ll learn how to merge the audio and video components together to create a multi-screened or layered video. By creating their own individual project, musicians who have not yet explored video & audio production will gain familiarity with the basics of digital editing through this hands-on approach.

The software needed to participate includes:

  • Garageband (This is Free, but only available for macOS, iPadOS, and iOS devices.)
  • 90-Day Free Trial of Final Cut Pro on a laptop/computer (Please wait to start your trial until Jan 2021 if you’d like to try this group! Final Cut Pro is not available for tablet or phone.) 

► Chamber Music Lab (CONNECT) with Whitney George
Chamber Music Lab is a meeting space that brings composition and music-making together, placing value on both process and product. Participants will join creative forces by bringing their own compositional ideas to the table and sharing their piece with the group. Over the course of Winter Cycle, the group will workshop each piece together to create a unified collection of short works with the guidance and expertise of conductor, composer, and Face the Music Coach, Whitney George. Because musicians will fashion the final collection of works as a team of composer/musicians, the Chamber Music Lab will reveal a one-of-a-kind creation – encapsulating the time spent together and the unique culture and personality of the group.

This group will call upon some compositional skills as well as instrumental musicianship! Concurrent (or previous) Composition lessons are not required but are recommended. Interested in taking lessons? Email

► Improvisation Continued+ (CONNECT) with Aakash Mittal
In the Winter Cycle iteration of Improvisation, students new to the Improvisation Block Group are welcome to jump in alongside returning members of Improvisation Block Groups. Within Improvisation Continued+, saxophonist, composer, and Face the Music Coach Aakash Mittal invites students to participate in spontaneous music making within a variety of styles. Through improvisation games and exploration, students will engage with musical foundations that embrace improv ranging from jazz to raga and more. Plus students will dive into aural music learning – building up vital connections between the ear and the instrument. This is an excellent group for students to assemble or strengthen a creative toolbox that will prepare them to confidently improvise within an ensemble. 

► The Next Step to Your EP, Single, or Album (EXPLORE) with Adrianna Mateo
Have you ever dreamed of releasing your own music? Have you ever wondered how to create a complete artistic concept, from the music to album art to music video? In this group, students will discuss the value of an electronic press kit in the current music industry, learn about promoting their music, and identify their individual next step toward a music release with mentorship from Recording Artist and Face the Music Coach, Adrianna Mateo. Adrianna’s most recent studio project is a soon-to-be released original quarantine single, completed with a Grammy-nominated team whose collaborators include Björk, Michael Jackson, Alicia Keys, Tiësto, Kanye West, and Nico Muhly.

This group will build on music (songs or compositions) students are in the process of creating or have already written. Concurrent Songwriting or Composition lessons are not required but are recommended. Interested in lessons? Email 

► More South Indian Rhythms (EXPLORE) with Aakash Mittal 
Both new students and returning members are welcome to learn and explore the South Indian Konokol rhythmic language in the Winter Cycle iteration of this Block Group. Though the Konokol musical tradition began centuries ago, it is used today by musicians to make music as well as understand, practice, and create rhythms. Led by Face the Music Coach, composer, and saxophonist Aakash Mittal, students will learn groupings of notes and rhythmic phrases that will open deeper understanding of polyrhythms, odd time signatures, and challenging notation often found in contemporary Western music. Students will learn by participating – keeping tempo with their hands (keeping taal), and speaking rhythmic syllables to expand their musical flexibility and take on rhythmic puzzles and challenges. 

Current Students must submit a Winter Cycle Block Preference Form by Monday, December 14th. 

Audition for Face the Music

Face the Music invites new members to join in January of 2021!
Face the Music is Kaufman Music Center’s contemporary music program for teens, dedicated to studying and performing music by living composers. Face the Music meets on Sunday afternoons, and musicians age 12-18 may register Online Here to audition! For info, email or call 929 265 8412. Do you know teen musicians who may be interested? Download a flyer HERE.