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Anna Patton

The Arts

Anna Patton teaches ‘Ear Training for Everyone’ at 118 Elliot

BRATTLEBORO—Anna Patton will offer a course in ear training (or aural skills, as it’s called in music schools) at 118 Eliot Street on Thursday evenings from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Sept. 12 through Nov. 21.

The class — which draws on Patton’s lifelong fascination with learning and creating music by ear, her studies in the New England Conservatory’s Contemporary Improvisation program, and her extensive experience playing folk music, world music, jazz, and other genres — will teach students to better articulate what they love about certain songs, to better understand principles of harmony, and to break out of familiar patterns in writing music.

The class is designed for students of many backgrounds: singers, instrumentalists, curious listeners; people with and without any formal training in music.

Participants will learn to identify the harmonic gist of songs by listening, finding bass lines, and making educated guesses about chord progressions, with exercises to sharpen musical ears through harmonizing and re-harmonizing well-known songs.

There will be group compositions, experimenting with harmonic options,and stealing ideas from the songs studied. While vocalizing will be central, these skills are not just for people who consider themselves singers — they are also at the core of improvisation, composition, and general music appreciation.

The cost is $150 for all 10 sessions, or $20 per class for walk-ins. There is no need to register in advance, but newcomers should show up a few minutes early to the first class they attend.

Contact Patton if you have questions about the content or if scholarship assistance is needed at

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Originally published in The Commons issue #527 (Wednesday, September 11, 2019). This story appeared on page B2.

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