January Courses for Visiting Students


January 4th - 22nd!
Every winter break, the Clive Davis Institute offers select courses for non-majors in music production and writing/history.  Students from NYU can register for our courses online via ALBERT, and anyone with a high school diploma can apply to become a visiting student!
Click here to see our January schedule! (Simply filter for January)

female playing guitar

"We Resist" Part of Winter Jazzfest, Toshi Reagon's band, Photo: Steven Pisano

Fundamentals of Audio Workstations I - With Protools Certification

During this course, students will acquire an in-depth, theoretical and practical knowledge of Digital Audio Workstations using the industry standard Pro Tools software through a weekly, lab-based workshop. Each class will be a combination of lecture and immediate application.  An emphasis will be placed on getting to know Pro Tools, getting inside Pro Tools, creating sessions, working with media in sessions, audio recording, audio editing, file management techniques, MIDI recording, editing techniques, mixing techniques, backups and stereo mix-down.
To enroll, once you have accessed ALBERT find either REMU-UT 1020. There is a lab fee for this course.

Studio Recording for the Modern Producer/Engineer I

In recent years, access to affordable audio recording equipment and software has given rise to a new breed of recording engineer and producer. While embracing new technology, this course challenges students to understand and apply the fundamental principles that form the basis of tried and true recording techniques, and to make informed decisions in each stage of the recording process. Through a series of lessons, hands-on exercises, and recording sessions, students will learn about the propagation of sound, microphone design and implementation, signal flow, basic signal processing, and contemporary recording techniques. Emphasis is placed on critical listening, preparation, class participation, and teamwork.

To enroll, once you have accessed ALBERT find either REMU-UT 1501. There is a lab fee for this course.

Activism, Identity, & Sound: 21st Century Jazz

This course will engage with the contemporary and changing jazz scene — including the work of dynamic artists like Esperanza Spalding, Ambrose Akinmusire, Nicole Mitchell and Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah — as a means of telling “new” stories about jazz (with a special focus on identity, activism and the representation of traditionally marginalized voices)

Conventionally, the story of jazz has often been upheld in terms of cultural triumph, as a transcendent response to African-American struggle. Jazz has also usually been presented as a story of succession, a chain of creative genius passing from one ‘Great Man’ to the next. These have been persuasive frameworks that define the art form by a canon and a fixed set of values, inscribing a kind of perimeter. What happens outside that borderline — the legacies of multiple avant-gardes, the work of cultural or commercial hybridists, and all too frequently the voices and vantages of women — is by this definition marginal, almost literally an outside concern. 

This class seeks to correct that marginalization by focusing on issues of intersectional identity and activism (including the #metoo and #blacklivesmatter movements and much more) as they relate to the evolving nature of 21st-century jazz. Over the years, jazz has evolved with its circumstances through every station of its history—whether that meant tailoring performances to the length of a 78-rpm record or holding up a mirror to the moral and political turbulence of the 1960s. So the complicated cultural and technological landscape of the early 21st Century provides us with an exciting model for reconfiguring jazz history.

In this course, students can expect to learn more about jazz music, as well as issues of identity, intersectionality, and activism, and to read pertinent cultural theory. We’ll also discuss how changes in the music refract and absorb our current political climate. By way of lectures, readings, guests and more, we’ll explore how the music we (mostly) call jazz can still engender a pointed expression of identity and culture.

This class is normally held in conjunction with Winter JazzFest NYC. 

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Nate Chinen is the author of Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century (Pantheon, 2018). He has been writing about jazz for more than twenty years, notably for The New York Times and JazzTimes. As the director of editorial content at WBGO, he works with the multiplatform program Jazz Night in America and contributes a range of coverage to NPR Music. An eleven-time winner of the Helen Dance–Robert Palmer Award for Excellence in Writing, presented by the Jazz Journalists Association, he is also coauthor of Myself Among Others: A Life in Music, the autobiography of impresario George Wein.

To enroll, once you have accessed ALBERT find REMU-UT 1161 or NCRD-UT 8561 for non-credit.