MUSP 258: Competitive Collegiate Mariachi Ensemble

Citrus College Course Outline of Record

Citrus College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2021
Credits: 4
Total Contact Hours: 108
Lecture Hours : 54
Lab Hours: 0
Hours Arranged: 54
Outside of Class Hours: 108
Prerequisite: Audition.
Transferable to CSU: Yes
Transferable to UC: Yes - Proposed
Grading Method: Standard Letter

Catalog Course Description

The preparation and performance of professional mariachi ensemble literature with the primary goal of maximizing adjudication consideration and reward at mariachi competitions and festivals. Includes study and performance of mariachi that traces the cultural heritage and transnational influences on style, repertoire and technique. Students will perform on various mariachi instruments as well as gain appreciation for the cultural heritage and history of mariachi music. Participation in mariachi competitions and festivals is required. This course may be taken four times. 54 lecture hours, 54 lab hours arranged.

Course Objectives

  • Maximize adjudication consideration and reward by successfully preparing and performing professional mariachi ensemble literature at mariachi ensemble competitions and festivals.
  • Demonstrate musical knowledge and interpretation of mariachi blend, balance, improvisation, intonation, style, articulation, embellishments, melodies and harmonies.
  • Demonstrate proper technique on various mariachi instruments: Guitarron, Vihuela, Guitar, Trumpet, Harp, Violin and Voice.
  • Aurally translate and transpose mariachi music through process of ear-training activities without Western music notation.
  • Understanding balance, uniformity, and style performing as a solo or group mariachi.

Major Course Content

  1. Assessment of individual students' entry instrumental or vocal proficiency
  2. Introduction to performance style and technique playing guitarron, violin, vihuela, guitar, trumpet, harp, and violin
  3. Introduction to mariachi adjudication evaluation:
    1. Adjudication and adjudicators
    2. Various performance evaluation rubrics and criteria reference systems
    3. Various mariachi classification systems
    4. Various philosophies regarding mariachi music performance competition
  4. Review of professional mariachi music ensemble rehearsal and performance etiquette
  5. Review and development of professional level characteristic tone production techniques
  6. Review and development of professional level intonation adjustment techniques
  7. Review and development of professional level articulation techniques
  8. Introduction to professional level technical velocity and fluency development strategies
  9. Review of advanced musical rhythm concepts
  10. Review and development of professional level phrasing, expression and dynamics techniques
  11. Introduction to mariachi songs and chord progressions (Primera, Segunda, Tercera)
  12. Introduction to professional level notation and competition stage performance terminology
  13. Review and development of professional level sight-reading and improvisational skills
  14. Review and development of a professional level personal practice regimen
  15. Ongoing presentation of the historical, cultural, stylistic, theoretical, interactional, structural and formal elements of the professional mariachi music ensemble literature rehearsed and performed.
  16. Preparation and performance of professional mariachi music ensemble literature focusing on correct pronunciations, consonants, vowels and diction when singing Mariachi. 

Hours Arranged Content

  1. In addition to the lecture led portion of full ensemble rehearsals, sectional groupings meet weekly to review, develop and assess:
    1. Tone production techniques
    2. Intonation adjustment techniques
    3. Articulation techniques
    4. Technical velocity and fluency, and tone flexibility skills
    5. Phrasing, expression and dynamics techniques
    6. Individual, sectional and ensemble balance and blend
    7. Musical rhythm reading skills specific to mariachi 
    8. Musical rhythm execution and precision specific to mariachi
    9. Observe and evaluate live and recorded mariachi competition and festival performances
    10. Prepare assigned mariachi music ensemble literature for competition and festival performance
  2. Additional full ensemble and sectional rehearsals are arranged, especially during the weeks approaching competition and festival performances.
  3. Competition and festival performances are scheduled.

Suggested Reading Other Than Required Textbook

Internet and/or library research (composer; historical era; stylistic, structural and formal elements; mariachi music ensemble history; mariachi music ensemble competitions; etc.) including listening to mariachi music ensemble literature rehearsed and performed.

Examples of Required Writing Assignments

Weekly journal entries of Individual practice of mariachi skills. Study, mark and prepare individual parts. Study and evaluate reference recordings. Three written one to two page performance evaluation essays.

Examples of Outside Assignments

Assessment of students' learning of performance evaluation, and contextual information (historical circumstances, cultural environment, compositional elements, etc.) regarding mariachi music ensemble literature, individual practicum rehearsal and memorization.

Instruction Type(s)

Lecture, Lab