The BEST WAY to learn music? Study with a good teacher (like the professionals at Community Music School) AND attend/listen to good concerts!
A few years ago, I served as a judge for a state’s High School band festival
(somewhere else-I’ll withhold the name of the state). Band after band played, and I was to provide feedback. The thing that immediately struck me: although each group had obviously worked hard, and was justifiably proud to participate in festivals around the world, most of them (to me) didn’t sound like they were playing music. They were engaging in some sort of technical activity, but didn’t really seem to have an awareness of what they were actually supposed to sound like! I suddenly had an “aha!” moment: just the night before, while attending one of my sons’ little league baseball games, I noticed with amusement how many of the boys mimicked their favorite Major League Baseball stars’ dramatic batting stances at the plate! In learning baseball, even at a young age, kids regularly watch how the pros do it, therefore keeping an important point of reference throughout the learning of the sport. However, I suspected that the budding High School musicians before me at that state competition rarely watched/ heard professional musicians in action! So, they were effectively trying to “learn a language” without ever hearing native speakers speak! My advice to every band in that festival (except one): “watch and learn from professional musicians. Attend concerts played by professionals. Learn what you’re supposed to sound like.” We’re very fortunate on the Shoreline to have incredible top-quality live music performance institutions: the chamber music performances presented by Musical Masterworks, Essex Winter Series, and Chestnut Hill, and the jazz presented at the Sidedoor Jazz Club are among the best you can experience anywhere. Many of these organizations offer their music online during this pandemic. The BEST WAY to learn music? Study with a good teacher (like the professionals at Community Music School) AND attend/listen to good concerts! Here’s to a musical 2021!—- Rick
—Dr. Richard Wyman, Executive Director, CMS
Spring Semester Underway
“Making music at CMS has been what’s getting me through this time of Covid!”
In-person lessons, String Ensemble, and virtual lessons keep music alive in our community!
As one of few schools that resumed in-person music instruction this past Fall, CMS is proud to have sustained its musical service to shoreline residents, uninterrupted!
Students began the Spring Semester of private lessons Jan 25, with large numbers studying in-person at our Centerbrook campus, and many others studying online via Zoom. In addition to private lessons, the school’s string ensemble rehearsals have also continued uninterrupted, with a number of members reporting that “Making music with the CMS String Ensemble has been what has been getting me through this time of Covid!”
While CMS faculty have stayed busy, new students are always welcome! Sign up for lessons by replying to this email with your availability (and for new students: age, instrument, and level). Or leave us a message at (860) 767-0026. We accept students of all ages and abilities!
CMS Studenst Earn Spots In Honor Ensembles
Every fall, students from all over CT audition for coveted positions in honor ensembles hosted by CMEA (Connecticut Music Educators Association). After months of preparation, the audition day arrives: nervous students converge upon regional audition sites to perform for judges. Several days later students receive their scoresheets with helpful feedback, and… top scorers earn positions in honor ensembles that gather under the tutelage of acclaimed conductors. This year, because of the Covid pandemic, the audition process occurred through video submissions. Selected ensemble members gathered virtually with their leaders to discuss ensemble skills, share ideas, and explore quality music.
We’re proud to honor five Community Music School students who were selected for CMEA Honor Ensembles!
Three voice students of Shari Wilcox won spots in the CMEA Southern Region High School Chorus: Ella Brady, Hannah Schilling, and Alice Pond. Campbell Toth, piano student of Tom Briggs, won the jazz piano chair in the Southern Region High School Jazz Band. Trumpet student of CMS Founder and Trumpet instructor Paddy Hurley, Nevin Joshy, won a spot in the Eastern Region High School Band. Congratulations to all!
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