Music Lessons in Centerbrook, CT
There’s a saying when playing music (or navigating life) about trying to “find the groove.” Musicians in an ensemble work to synchronize with those around them, which is more difficult when the  drummer doesn’t play with a steady beat, or plays crazy “hits.” Finding the groove in life seems more difficult when there’s a pandemic creating obstacles (“crazy hits”)!  Within this pandemic backdrop it has been so thrilling and inspiring to experience the way our community of musicians at Community Music School has been figuring out how to “groove” again! Amidst obstacles (and many safety protocols), students of all ages have been navigating the safe return to school or selected activities, while enthusiastically making music at CMS; individually, virtually, and in-person! I love seeing the joy in the eyes of returning students (peeking above their masks) as they eagerly enter CMS for lessons with their beloved instructors. The first in-person rehearsals (after 6 months) of our String Ensemble and New Horizons Band have been the stuff of reality-TV; starring long-separated friends who at long last reunite to make music. Here’s to a groovy fall for all!   —-Dr. Richard Wyman, Executive Director
p.s. Speaking of “finding the groove,” one of our New Horizons Band trumpet players, Joe Bouchard, has re-affirmed his status as International Rockstar (he was a founding member of Blue Öyster Cult) with his recent album release “Strange Legends.”  Congratulations, Joe!!!

In-person Private Lessons Resume

Our new semester is well underway! Since resuming in-person instruction on Sept 2, CMS has been a beehive of activity (in a socially distanced way, of course). Temperatures of all students, faculty and staff are checked upon arrival, masks are worn at all times in the building (except when playing a wind instrument or singing, for which distancing and room ventilation are drastically increased), and only large rooms are used. We closely follow all state guidelines and coordinate with the Essex Health Department to ensure safe and enjoyable music instruction for all! Beyond our many returning students, a number of new students have joined us as well, ranging in age from 3 to 80!  It’s not too late to sign up! In-person lessons are available with selected instructors at our Centerbrook location, or piano lessons with Patrice Newman at our East Lyme studio. Contact our office at (860) 767-0026 or reply to this email.

New Horizon Band reunites

Like many musical organizations, the New Horizons Band of Community Music School has been under an extended COVID-induced hiatus. During its 6 month period without making music together, members gathered weekly via Zoom to share musical ideas and individual performances. Never-the-less, this dedicated group of musicians was “chomping at the bit” to get back together in-person. After plenty of work to implement the full suite of safety protocols needed for wind instrument activity, the band’s silence was broken on September 14, 2020 when members finally convened to play again! The Band’s Director Paddy Hurley says, “The band and I are beyond thrilled to be making music together once again after a six month hiatus. Eighteen of the twenty-one band members elected to return with confidence due to the due diligence of Rick Wyman and the support staff, the only exceptions being those with previous health issues. We hope that we will be able to play outdoors in public before the snow flies.”

String Ensemble Resumes Rehearsals!

The CMS String Ensemble is a musical gem in our area! With members ranging in age from 8 to 80, this incredible group features string instrument-playing youth and adults from all walks of life (including 3 world-class opera singers, a Priest, and a First Selectwoman)! We’re so thrilled that after many months apart, this wonderful ensemble also resumed rehearsals recently, with masks, social-distancing, and a large well-ventilated rehearsal room. Special thanks to the Clark Group and Centerbrook Properties LLC for their gracious hospitality providing space for the ensemble to rehearse!  Check out video from their first post-lockdown rehearsal.

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