Project Based Learning Electives provided by the Berrien Springs Virtual Academy​​​

The Music Academies 
Spring 2024  

Classes must begin in January

All students are required to do a project for this class. Speak with your mentor for instructions.

Teacher and Director: Valerie Rumpf, MM Teacher
Phone: 269-362-5780
Email:  ​25 North 4th Street, Niles 

The Music Academies - Intensive Labs and Group Classes

Teacher Bio: Valerie Rumpf, MM- (piano, violin, viola, cello, acoustic guitar, voice)- Valerie Rumpf earned her Bachelors (with high honors) and Masters degrees in Music and Composition from Indiana University (SB), having studied under the Toradze Studio instructors in piano, Eric Kus, David Machavariani, and Earle Perez on cello, and Delores Wilson on violin and viola. She is also an accomplished composer and member of ASCAP, ASTA, and MTNA, having had works performed in the US and in Europe. She was also recently awarded the Outstanding Music Teacher Award for 2017 by Steinway & Sons Piano. Valerie is also an enthusiastic orchestra conductor, having studied conducting under Dr. Michael Esselstrom and Dr. Robert Colt at Indiana University, and Bruce Uchimura at Western Michigan University. She currently conducts the New Apostolic Church Orchestra - South Bend District, and the Niles Area Community Orchestra in Niles, MI. Valerie also continues to compose and arrange music for the various groups she works with, is primary organist/pianist and choir leader at the New Apostolic Church in Niles, and plays cello in the Rumpf Village String Quartet. She also performs privately as pianist in Style, a local professional piano/violin duet.

The Music Academies Syllabus

The Music Academies offers instruction in the following instruments: piano, violin, viola, cello, bass, ukulele, acoustic guitar, chin-cello, and recorder.

Course Description: Students will receive musical training for the instruments of their choice. Each student will be taught traditional note reading and chord progressions, musical symbols, correct rhythm identification and counting procedures. Music theory assignments are taught during each class and they will learn the history behind the pieces they are learning and will perform. Students will also learn how to compose short pieces to go with their assignments which will help with note recognition. Students will be introduced to a wide variety of musical styles, Classical, Blues, Ragtime, Sacred and modern. Instruction materials used consists of The Alfred series, Baistien, Suzuki and ABC's for strings, Hal Leonard and Mel Bay for guitars and Alfred Basic Percussion for snare drum. 

Each lab is 30 minutes in length and will meet once a week for full semester. For times please contact Valerie Rumpf at The Music Academies.

Course Outline: Days and times vary depending on each individual student. Each week students will be given assignments based on their individual level of performance. Each student will be given assignments to be practiced at home on at least 5 days of the week. On a weekly basis the instructor will have the student play his or her pieces and correct any errors, give examples of how to play their pieces correctly to encourage progress and learning in both physical skills and musical concepts. Students will review with the instructor on a weekly basis musical notation, rhythm patterns and theory assignments to ensure they are making progress. Students will perform in a fall or spring recital, dates to be determined.

Instructor Final Project (may be required and different from Partnership-required PBL Project): Recital Virtual links 

Grades are determined in the following way.

  • Instructor Input: Teacher will assign a recommended grade based on the scale above. This accounts for 90% of the overall grade.
  • Attendance: Students are required to attend at least 80% of their scheduled times. This accounts for 10% of their overall grade

​Additional registration at location is required.​

KiddyKeys: Thurs. 8:30-9:30  Ages 5-6
Begins: Jan. 11    (no class on 4/4)
KiddyKeys is a multi-faceted approach to learning music at a young age. This course emphasizes creativity and self-worth to introduce music appreciation and understanding to young children. Students will learn basic note reading, rt hymn notation, musical symbols. This class teaches the young child hand-eye coordination through use of rhythm instruments and piano technique, with a dedicated music time focusing on composers and listening skills.

KiddyKeys Syllabus

Michiana Chamber Orchestra: Sunday 3-4:30pm   Ages 14 years and older
Start Date:   Jan. 7 - June 25 concert  (no classes on April 2-9)

**If a student shows advanced skills at the audition, exceptions will be made to the age requirement.

​*Please call to set up an audition day and time for the week of Jan. 8-12th.
This course is designed to offer a study into both classical, patriot and popular music, bringing together all the different parts of an orchestra to perform various styles of music.  We will learn about the composers who wrote our performance pieces. There will be three concerts for the year, the concerts will consist of musical selections from Musicals, classical music and holiday performances. Students will learn proper performance technique, increase their sight reading skills, how and what to listen for when playing with a group and perfecting rhythm skills. Students must have at least three years experience playing their instrument and will have to perform an audition to determine level of proficiency. All students will have the opportunity to perform with the group. The Michiana Chamber Orchestra will hold rehearsals at the St. Pauls Lutheran Church, 1340 Sycamore Street in Niles. Players attend weekly rehearsals, and practice their parts individually.

Chamber Syllabus

*Please note: it is important to make as informed a decision as possible when choosing your student's Community Resource classes. Most locations will allow a student to drop a class after one meeting, at no charge if it wasn't a good fit for the student, but not all. Some classes plan ahead based on the number that have signed up and have purchased materials, hired teachers, etc. and there might be a fee for class time or materials given to the student if the student drops after one or two meetings. The school cannot pay for classes that students do not complete, so choose wisely; if you do not take the class off of your student's schedule by the deadline, you may be asked to pay for the class time incurred prior to dropping the class.

Teacher of Record: Mandy Jankoviak