SUNY JCC Offering a Wealth of Summer Learning for Music Lovers

SUNY JCC students play guitar outside on campus.The college is hosting several music related credit courses this summer.
SUNY JCC students play guitar outside on campus.The college is hosting several music related credit courses this summer.

Those with a taste for music will have many opportunities to learn something new this summer at SUNY Jamestown Community College.

Summertime offerings on the college’s Jamestown and Cattaraugus County campuses include learning how to play guitar, private voice and instrument lessons, and student-created internships with local theaters and music venues.

For those interested in music listening, different musical styles, and the history of music, the college also offers a Music Appreciation course that requires no prior musical experience.

“It’s mostly non-music majors who take the class, actually,” said Dr. Neil Flory, JCC’s associate professor of music. “The course does count as a SUNY Gen. Ed. credit for the arts. Anybody who is interested in music at all can take it and get that credit to fulfill one of their gen ed categories.”

Students may tap their feet to Taylor Swift or Jason Derulo, but they will mostly lend an ear to numbers and tunes that helped develop and inspire today’s music and its performers.

It is Flory’s goal for students to recognize and celebrate musical differences and to broaden their minds to become “ethical musical listeners.”

Dr. Neil Flory, SUNY JCC associate music professor, teaches a music appreciation course where students survey the history and development of music from the Middle Ages until present day.
Dr. Neil Flory, SUNY JCC associate music professor, teaches a music appreciation course where students survey the history and development of music from the Middle Ages until present day.

“That means appreciating a musical approach for what it is and not for what our culture says what we would want it to be,” Flory said. “Appreciating the different viewpoints. We get into cultural values as well. We get into diverse perspectives, and ethical concerns related to culture and bias.”
Flory said the class also covers the development of notable musicians, their viewpoints, and what influenced their music making. One example is controversial German composer, Richard Wagner.

“His music is a very powerful listening experience, but as a person Wagner had less than desirable qualities,” Flory said. “He was quite anti-Semitic. That actually comes out in his music. How do we approach his music and how do we deal with his music are questions we’re going to grapple with.”

The 3-credit course runs May 20 to June 30. While many classes will be conducted live via Zoom video conferencing, there may be opportunities for students to meet in person.

Flory, who has instructed the course many times, expects lively discussion and varying perspectives.

“We’re going to listen to some Chinese opera, which is very different from Western opera,” he said. “We’re going to listen to that and talk about the characteristics of it and what makes it sound so different and why it sounds so different and how it compares to Western opera.”

Students primarily survey the history and development of music from the Middle Ages until present day. They listen to a range of genres and styles from different countries, including those from the Western world, China, India, Indonesia, and 16th century Italy.

“How often do you get to listen to music that is that old?” Flory said. “We’re talking 500 years old. That’s not even the oldest stuff we listen to. We’re going to start by listening to stuff that is about a thousand years old. It’s very different from your everyday music listening.”

JCC is offering a full slate of face-to-face, remote, and hybrid summer courses. One such class, Beginning Guitar, runs in-person from July 6 to August 12 on the Cattaraugus County Campus.

An aerial view of the new music wing located in the Sheldon Center on SUNY JCC's Jamestown Campus.
An aerial view of the new music wing located in the Sheldon Center on SUNY JCC’s Jamestown Campus.

Visit www.sunyjcc.edu/summer for the college’s full summer schedule.

Financial aid is available to all students.
Students enrolled full-time at JCC this past academic year qualify for federal financial aid if they take six or more credits, while part-time students may qualify for leftover federal funds. Students may also apply for loans through the college’s financial aid office.

Students enrolled at another college may be able to receive aid through their home school.

High school juniors and seniors are eligible for JCC’s Pre-College Enrolment Program (PEP) Grant, which pays half of their tuition up to $500.

Sharon Hodgdon, JCC’s senior financial aid assistant, said summer aid can be tricky to navigate.

“Every situation is unique, so students would want to talk with us,” she said “We would go over their options and try to determine what is best for that particular student.” Contact JCC’s financial aid office at 716.338.1009 or financialaid@mail.sunyjcc.edu, or visit www.sunyjcc.edu/financialaid for more information.