Scuola internazionale delle Arti e della Cultura italiana

florence summer programs abroad


Florence, June 4th – June 29th

The 2018 AEF Summer Program is a 4-week intensive Liberal and Performing Arts Program, comprehensive of Liberal arts, Italian Art, Culture and Language courses, Opera, Classical Music, Jazz, Dance courses and Music Ensembles; combining cultural immersion in the City of the Renaissance and professional performing opportunities. Besides regular lectures, also on-site classes, fieldtrips and ensembles are also considered as a part of the curricular activities. Performing Arts students may also choose to participate in the Jazzit Fest, an international Music festival whose 2018 edition will take place in Andria (Puglia) from June 22nd, through June 24th.



Each student may choose one or two of the following Course Options* (from 3 U.S. up to 6 U.S. Credits):
*All Courses will be offered with a minimum of 5 students.

1. Art History - 3 US credits

This course explores artwork produced in Italy from the 14th century until 17th century. It will focus on the relationship of the works of art to their cultural and historical importance in the time period of when they were produced. Emphasis will be placed on the function of the artwork as well as its relationship to the artworks patron, artist and/or location. In particular, this course will focus on four different spaces and audiences of patronage: the public piazza, the family chapel, the guilds and the domestic space. Our objective is to understand the goal (and thus ultimately its meaning) for each different patron (the city, a group, a religious leader, a family or a female) in relation to its space and its audience. Finally, because we are in Florence, when possible, the works of art will be studied through on-site observation and lectures.

2. Italian Language - 3 US credits 

The course will teach the main grammar topics of Italian language and will be put into practice either in classrooms (conversations, role plays, games, songs) or in selected locations. The program will also include excursions and academic activities in markets and supermarkets, restaurant and cafeterias, exhibitions and museums, historical buildings and locations of cultural interest. By the end of the course the students will communicate using proper grammar in the written and spoken language: ask questions, ask for information, do descriptions, talk about their life and family, order in a restaurant, talk about present, past and future events. They are also able to understand easy Italian. They will reach level A1 according to the rules of Quadro Comune Europeo (European Framework).

3. Italian through Culture - 3 US credits

Language is the environment in which a culture comes together. Students will increase their knowledge of distinctive aspects of Italian Life, Culture and Society as well as developing entry level Italian Language skills. Each class will concentrate on Italian culture using the rudiments of Italian Language (pronunciation, basic grammar and communicative functions), thus to provide the students with some basic language abilities to be able to navigate Florence and live in an Italian environment.

4. Opera Workshop - 3 US credits

The course’s main objective is to give students the opportunity to work alongside a professional with international recognition that has worked either as a singer or as an opera director with well-known stars on a global level and appeared on some of the most prestigious stages in the world for over thirty years.

5. Photography - 3 US credits

This class is an introduction to photographic technique and photo management through the visual experience of some of the main aspects of Italian culture displayed in Florence, one of the most important Italian cities. Weeks 1, 2 and 3 will begin with a technical and theoretical lesson introducing the weekly program; followed by field trips and photo management in class. Three field trips will be organized concerning Italian culture, covering 3 topics: architecture, people, still-life. Week 4 will be dedicated to organizing the best images in a short presentation which will be displayed at school at the end of the course.

6. Painting Techniques - 3 US credits

This course teaches the fundamentals of painting through the study of the great masters of the past: student will analyse and reproduce masterpieces of the past and learn how to paint while understanding different methods from the Classical Renaissance to the period of the Italian Risorgimento, with a special focus on the Macchiaioli movement.

7. Contemporary Dance - 3 US credits

This course can be considered a true full immersion into the various expressive languages of contemporary dance. The method adopted is mainly the Limon-Cunningham technique; however the European influence is also taken into account in developing this fascinating discipline. The course is held by three different teacher-choreographers and it consists of the study of fundamental movements, intensification of the basic techniques, and acquisition of the language of contemporary dance through a personalized choreographic approach.

8. Choreography - 3 US credits

The choreographer has the power and the freedom to represent, through movement, form and music, the ideas that can then become works of art. But what does it take to become a choreographer? First and foremost, students who want to walk down this path must develop a solid technical base and expand their knowledge of the various dance styles. After this, they must acquire and perfect their own basic abilities in various creative fields. When applied to dance, this process also includes an analysis of gestures, an emotional assessment of the states of mind, the development of the capacity for abstraction, and a search for beauty in its most subtle forms. At the same time, the choreographer must also learn how to recognize the dynamic principles of space, time and energy, and the way in which the body interrelates with these concepts. The course is divided into three parts: 1. Dance Studies 2. Choreography Projects: Music Impulse! (a short choreography inspired by a piece of music); Made in Florence! (a more elaborate choreography, inspired by a place or a monument in Florence) 3. The Ballet Project! (The final result of the workshop, the fruit of the studies of movement, work in the classroom, individual work, and the ability to improvise). Textbook: The Art of Making Dances, Doris Humphrey - A Primer for Choreographers, Lois Elfeldt.

9. Jazz Improvisation - 3 US credits

AEF summer Jazz Improvisation is a seminar that combines traditional lecture with Master classes held by AEF faculty and visiting faculty on the art of the improvisation. International musicians guest speakers will talk about Jazz Improvisation, share their vision and the peculiar perspective according to their instrument. The class is an introduction to improvisation techniques for jazz instrumentalists. It includes use of modes (major & melodic minor), symmetrical scales, and arpeggios in improvisation. Emphasis on the development of an idiomatic jazz style through the transcription and analysis of recorded solos by jazz masters. The course also explores several advanced techniques in jazz improvisation. Topics include harmonic superimposition, playing “out”, and polyrhythm and cross-rhythms. Emphasis on the development of an idiomatic jazz style through the transcription and analysis of recorded solos by jazz masters.

10. Music Business in Europe  - 3 US credits

Europe and Italy have always been one of the most affluent and challenging markets for jazz performers: renowned record labels, music publishers, festivals, clubs and magazines give life to a wide network of opportunities for jazz artists from all the world.

The course introduces music students to fundamental concepts of Music Business theory such as copyright, publishing, record contracts combined with intensive immersion on this rich environment. Students will keep a collaborative program diary with notes and evaluations of performances they will attend and help organize.

11. History of Italian Opera - 3 US credits


end faq



9:00am-11:00 am Italian Culture through Language
Travel Photography
Contemporary Dance
History of Italian Opera
Italian language
Music Business
11:30am-1:30pm Visiting Faculty-Led Class
Painting Techniques
Jazz Improvisation
Italian language
2:00pm-4:00pm Visiting Faculty-Led Class
Art History
Visiting Faculty-Led Class
Opera Workshop
4:30pm-6:30pm History classes and Museum visits (Tuesday and Thursday)
4:30pm-6:00pm Chamber Ensemble (2 times a week, Mon & Wed)
Vocal Ensemble (2 times a week, Mon & Wed)
Jazz Ensemble (2 times a week, Mon & Wed)


The AEF 2018 Summer Program Music Courses may include the participation in one Ensemble chosen between a Chamber, a Jazz or a Vocal ensemble. Audition is required for placement into the Music ensembles. The Ensembles will have three performances while in Firenze.

Each course consists of 51 contact hours:
- 36 hours daily class meetings.
Classes meet every day, according to the following calendar:
Week1: Monday to Thursday, Fieldtrip on Friday (Baratti Gulf: the sea of the Etruscans)
Week2: Monday to Friday, Fieldtrip on Saturday (Siena)
Week3: Monday to Thursday
Week4: Monday to Friday
- 6 hours Art History on-site classes (Uffizi Gallery, Accademia Gallery, Duomo and Museo dell’Opera del Duomo) shared with all the students in the program
- 8 hours History classes and on-site classes throughout the streets of Florence (Medici’s Firenze walking tour, San Miniato al Monte church and Piazzale Michelangelo, Theatrical tailoring Visit, Walking tour in Firenze Oltrarno and Gelato Tasting) shared with all the students in the program

FIELDTRIPS (Included in the Program’s fee) Baratti Gulf- the sea of the Etruscans: Friday, June 8th Siena: Saturday, June 16th

- JAZZIT FEST PARTICIPATION (Optional)(3 days/4 nights)

Participation in the 2018 Jazzit Festival in Andria (departure from Florence June 21st and return to Florence on June 25th), includes group transportation to/from Florence by private bus, double/triple room accommodations, breakfast and Half Board for 4 nights. Rehearsal & Performance expenses included. Individual instrument rentals, if needed, are not included.


Arrival transfer, check in, and welcome dinner: Saturday June 2nd
Orientation: Sunday June 3rd
Classes Start date: Monday June 4th
Farewell dinner: Thursday June 28th
Classes End date: Friday June 29th
Check out and departure transfer on Saturday June 30th


Liberal and Performing Arts Program 4 weeks € 3550
Jazzit Fest Participation 3 days/4 nights € 710


- Course Syllabus fees, Museum visits and Fieldtrip expenses
- Arrival & Departure transfers to/from Florence, Welcome & Farewell Dinners
- 1 cooking class
- Apartment Housing in double/triple rooms within walking distance from the school, including wi-fi, linen changing every 2 weeks. 24/7 Assistance.
- Florence Orientation walking tour
- Transcripts
- 24/7 Emergency Contact Number and Student’s Life Assistance.

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