We’ve been busy making music!
The Music School took a break in mid-March to do intensive research and faculty training, and to match technologies between each teacher and student. How could we maintain our musical community if we couldn't gather in our beloved space on Wall Street? How do we ensure that the educational excellence continues? By April 6, almost all of our private lesson students and a majority of our ensembles re-started in the brave new world of virtual music learning!

You've been amazing. Our students and student families never wavered in their commitment to the Music School, and have overcome many obstacles to keep practicing, playing, singing, and performing. Thank you!

Special thanks are due to Dean Kathy Southworth and Registrar Kristin Selesnick, who led and supported student families and faculty with detailed guides to technology choices and home setup—and Department Chairs, who were key connectors in supporting each faculty member and connecting with student families.
 
Here for your enjoyment are two videos from Music School voice students who’ve been working remotely with Ellen Nordstrom—both were presented for the Concord High School Cabaret:
Sophie Shaw & Danielle Roberge perform "In His Eyes" (from Jekyll and Hyde) by Frank Wildhorn
Video: Jeffrey Shaw
Rachel Revellese performs "The Light in the Piazza" (from The Light in the Piazza) by Adam Guettel
"I miss you and the Music School so much. Can’t wait to continue lessons virtually. It is so amazing how everyone is handling this so we can all continue to do what we love." —Sophie Shaw
 
Thanks for letting us know…
We received 200 survey responses from student families recently. To all the families who took the time to reply and to write such helpful comments, thank you so much!!! Here is just a sampling of what we heard.
We were excited to see these results:
  “How would you rate your experience with virtual learning?”
40% excellent
45% good
12% fair
3% poor
 
“I am very grateful that this option was given. At first I thought we'd have to just do without lessons. So Kudos to the school for that and the teacher for their willingness to adapt.”
“Valiant attempts to make this work, continued experimentation.”
“This family is blessed to have you.”
“It was much better than I expected and the keeping in contact has been valuable.”
Singers and Ensemble players, we hear you!
By far, the great frustration is that Zoom is definitely not the answer for singing and playing in ensembles together, due to the sound delay and varying internet speeds. It’s a universal problem that we’ve worked around so far, but we’ll be spending the summer in contact with our colleagues locally and nationally to see what develops for choral singing and instrumental ensembles. With nearly 400 students in our ensembles, this really matters!
 
“Part of the power of being together is the sound of our voices together. That can't happen on Zoom so it turns into a sing-along with Peggo, which is quite delightful but not anywhere near the actual experience.”
“Miss out on working on getting better at playing with others, real time. In the Folk Ensemble, it is nice getting some further discussion about some aspect of music, for example, harmony - since we are missing out on the in-person give and take quality of the lessons. Having a video, new tune to work on outside of lessons is a plus.”
Zooming with The Redwings folk ensemble
Musical friendships are still key…
“It is a gift that you found a way to keep me connected and singing with my Songweaver sisters.”
“Connection to the community & musical friendships.”
“It’s just fun seeing the others.”
“We love CCMS. It is a warm, welcoming community - feels like family. Teachers are GREAT!! Thank you.”

We’re glad you still think “in person is better…”
We are actively following the State of NH re-opening guidelines and the CDC recommendations about the safety of making music together in our building, and expect to announce our September plans soon, so stay tuned.  We’re in agreement with you, we miss being together in person!!
 
“You are doing the best you can- I can’t see it being better... but it will never be as good as an in-person lesson.”
“I'm pleased that CCMS was so proactive in getting virtual learning set up. Under the circumstances it is a great alternative. But I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that there's nothing like playing with people in person.”
“Staff has been amazing!! We super appreciate it. In an ideal world we will be back together as there are things that just can’t be done remotely.”
New Horizons Band members Dorean and Anne played taps at 3pm on Memorial Day on Dorean's back deck with others across the country. Socially distanced, of course!
Recitals and workshops are different now…
“It’s so good to have workshops and recitals again. Thanks Kathryn for making it happen.”
“Positive, much like the in-person experience although live recitals will always be the gold standard.”
“I enjoyed the workshop more than I expected. Good to connect with people I’ve seen at past workshops.”
We’re not done yet…
This summer we’ll continue to learn and improve while we:
 
  • Re-convene the Virtual Learning Task Force that was so valuable in mid-March, to research new technologies and tweak what we’ve learned this spring.
  • Depend on Kathy, Kristin, and our department chairs to continue the conversations with faculty and student families to create new opportunities and improve the virtual learning experience.
  • Convene a small Working Group of our choral directors and Monadnock area choral colleagues to research more virtual ensemble technology.
  • Produce more free musical gifts for you through our JoySpring series, Facebook Live, and YouTube Live.
  • Enjoy our summer students and hear them in virtual performances!
Follow our YouTube channel and Facebook page for more videos to help bring joy and ease for adults with mobility challenges (including a Tango!): 

You too can give it a try!
This summer, try lessons in voice or the instrument of your choice! Interested in taking lessons – for voice or an instrument – but don’t want to commit to a full semester? This summer, we are offering 15% off regular tuition rates for new and continuing private lesson students! Inquire now to try any of the following private summer lessons at this discounted rate: audio production, voice (multiple styles), oboe, bassoon, clarinet, fiddle, flute, French horn, guitar (multiple styles), mandolin, piano (multiple styles), percussion, saxophone, ukulele, bass, viola, and violin. Click here for details.

The summer session begins on June 22 nd and we are taking registrations now. Please inquire here or email our Registrar to learn more: registrar@ccmusicschool.org
Thank You...
Faculty, staff, and trustees have been amazing in their dedication to building new pathways to continue to serve you, our musical community. Please add your voice to the chorus of believers in the Music School's future by considering a donation . Your confidence and support will make such a difference in these uncertain times. Thank you!!
Concord Community Music School | 23 Wall Street | Concord, NH 03301
603-228-1196| www.ccmusicschool.org