We are pleased to offer a variety of classes for all ages on the UE campus. From beginner to advanced musician, there is a class that is right for you.

Registration for classes is open to the community with Community Conservatory Members receiving a reduced rate. If you are interested in a class, please check to make sure you meet the age/ability guidelines listed.

UE Employees/UE retirees and UE Community Ensemble registrants may also enroll at the reduced Member rate.


This class offers a step-by-step process for learning songs by ear and relying on audition as the source for improvisation.

This class uses in-person, synchronous online, and asynchronous online lessons in any combination to teach course material and assess student progress. Work includes learning songs by ear and committing all the parts to memory. Outside of class, students will be expected to record themselves demonstrating this knowledge and using the skills learned to improvise.

Prerequisite Experience: This class is for beginners of all ages who wish to improve their aural skills and engage with music through the aural tradition. Students should have basic technique on their instrument or voice including the chromatic scale and an octave range. Some fundamental music theory knowledge is recommended but not required.

Requirements: Willingness to sing (all voices welcome!) and participate in activities. Internet access and email.

When/How long: This eight-week course will introduce 3-4 songs and conclude with a memorized ensemble performance.

Additional Information: This course engages the aural tradition of jazz. It is in association with the work being done through the Institute for Creative Music. The IfCM is dedicated to building a fresh model for contemporary jazz education through integrative learning and performance experiences. Since 2011, the IfCM has been collaborating with schools, organizations, and individuals throughout the United States. Given the origins of jazz as Black American Music and its connections to the fight for social justice, our teaching aims to center not just the mechanics of the music, but its history, culture, and capacity to create change. Jazz and improvised music serve as inspiration for justice and equality through communication, collaboration, understanding, and the amplification of Black voices in American culture. IfCM ensembles, workshops, camps, and courses are intergenerational and accessible to students of all backgrounds and abilities. This programming emphasizes strong musical fundamentals, the flexibility of improvisation, the importance of historical and cultural context, an understanding of current technologies, and peer-directed teamwork as the skills necessary to create a musical mark on the world. The IfCM supports students, teachers, and schools by providing scholarships, teaching and learning materials, professional development, and residencies.

Mon, Feb 28, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m., in FA 142
Mon, Mar 7 (asynchronous)
Mon, Mar 14, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m., in FA 142
Mon, Mar 21 (asynchronous)
Mon, Mar 28, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m., in FA 142
Mon, Apr 4, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m., in FA 142
Mon, Apr 11, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m., in FA 142
Mon, Apr 18, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m., in FA 142
Mon, Apr 25, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m., in FA 142


Dr. Steven Heffner, DMA

Originally from eastern Washington, Steven has spent the greater part of his life making music in a variety of genres and venues throughout the United States. His sound has been hailed as fearless evocative. He has shared performances with artists including Chris Potter, Bill Watrous, Hal Galper, Christian McBride, and Louis Bonilla and been invited to perform in China, Colombia, and Europe. Steven has toured internationally with groups including In 6ix and Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. Equally comfortable as a leader or a sideman, Steven brings a spirit of collaboration and generosity to his artistic endeavors.

Steven has pursued studies at Eastern Washington University and the University of North Texas in performance, jazz studies, and music theory which culminated in a dissertation on the free improvisation of Dave Holland and Sam Rivers on the 1976 album Holland/Rivers Volume 1. This research focused on a sampling of ways Holland and Rivers would interact in the domains of melody, harmony, form, and energy. His research interests also include using applications of schema theory for analysis of improvised music with the purpose of generating pedagogical perspectives that respect the jazz tradition and incorporate a cognitive approach.

As an educator, Steven has taught at Marshall University, West Virginia Wesleyan College, and the University of North Texas where he has taught subjects including jazz theory/improvisation, jazz ensembles, and traditional theory courses.


$140 Member
$180 Non-member

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Youth Horn Choir

Join horn players age 18 and younger to improve your horn playing and have fun making music in a horn-specific ensemble! The class will be split into two groups based on age/experience. Students will each attend rehearsal for a total of 1 hour a week, which includes a 30-min level-specific rehearsal as well as a 30-min joint rehearsal. The course will culminate in a final concert, free and open to the public.

Junior Horn Choir: Designed for younger students who are interested in learning the fundamentals of playing in a horn choir, and who want to improve their playing. Students will work on ensemble skills such as tuning, blending, harmonization, and rhythmic stability; ear training; music reading and sightreading; and music from a variety of genres. Students should have at least 6 months of playing experience on horn and be willing to practice their music at least 3 times outside of rehearsals.

Senior Horn Choir: For more experienced students who have mastered the basic technique of playing the horn and who have significant ensemble experience. Most students in this ensemble will be playing at the level of an ISSMA Group I solo. Repertoire will include more advanced technique, greater range, and rhythmic variety; and students may be assigned one to a part. Other possible topics include advanced chamber ensemble playing skills (blending, balance, cueing), natural horn (historical performance), transposition, bass clef notation, improvisation and/or basic music composition. Students should be willing to practice their music at least 3 times outside of rehearsals. Students 9th grade or younger should contact the instructor for permission to join this group.

Combined Rehearsal: Students in both groups will rehearse together on large horn choir pieces each week. More experienced players will be given opportunities to mentor younger players and to serve as leaders. Repertoire will include horn choir standards as well as familiar tunes.

Rehearsal Dates: Tuesdays 3/29, 4/5, 4/12, 4/19, 4/26, 5/3

Rehearsal Times: 4:00-5:00 pm (Junior Horn Choir); 4:30-5:30 pm (Senior Horn Choir) in Neu Chapel Grabill Lounge

Final Performance: May 6 at 7:30 pm

Registration Note: Students should register for Youth Horn Choir (Junior) or Youth Horn Choir (Senior). If you are unsure which group is a better fit for you, please contact the instructor, and she will help you decide.


Ms. Rebecca Salo


105 Member
130 Non-member

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Krannert Fine Arts, Office 133