FMC Online Class and Lesson Information


T/TH 11:00 am Eastern
Songwriting with Rory Papania: Explore the history and composition of popular music styles including blues, folk, rock, soul and more. Learn what makes these styles distinct and either start writing your own songs or hone your craft.  Students must be able to play/accompany themselves to a song at tempo.


T/TH 1:00 pm Eastern
Acting in Plays and Scenes with Avery Whitted:  Even as an actor I always forget to read plays in my own time. I almost only ever read through an entire play if I’ve been hired to act in it, and even then I’m really focusing on my part and how it fits into the rest of the story. (And checking to see “How many lines do I have?”, “How long am I onstage?”, “Do I die in this one?”, “Do I get to have a sword fight?”, things like that.) But reading a play just because you’re interested in it is one of the most fun things you can do! You get to be an audience member, you get to go through a whole story in a couple hours, you get to play any character you want, and you can do it with friends!  In this class we’ll be reading through a couple of really good plays, and also taking a look at a few memorable scenes from movies and TV and talking about what makes them work. There’s no need to do any research or homework, and we’ll all get to share in some stories together!


T/Th 4:15 pm Eastern
Jazz Improvisation with Martha Hyde: We will be working on the basics of improvising over the harmonic structure of basic song forms like the blues. Everyone will be working with recorded tracks that I send them. Students need to have played their instruments for at least a year and will need a second device to play a backing track while they are in class.


M/W 3:00 pm Eastern
20th and 21st Century Classical Music with Michael Mikulka:   A survey of classical musical compositions from the past 100 years. We will listen to many different styles of music (including recent compositions that blend several different styles), and we will discuss what is unique and interesting about each composition and what the composer did to accomplish that effect.





Rory Papania - acoustic guitar, electric guitar, ukulele or electric bass

Students must be able to play/accompany themselves to a song at tempo.  Students should come to the first lesson with at least one song they know well, a song they’re working on, and at least 2 songs they’d like to learn 


Xavier Suarez

Students need access to an acoustic or electric 88 key (full size) piano for their lessons.  


Michael Mikulka - cornet, euphonium, French horn, trombone, trumpet, tuba


Martha Hyde - clarinet, flute, oboe, saxophone

Students will need a device to take screenshots of their music


Maria Bessmeltseva - violin, viola


Minnita Daniel-Cox


Read our teaching staff bios here.


7409 N. Greenview Ave. 2E

Chicago, IL 60626-1918

(773) 573-9181

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