MSU Community Music School NewsletterMSU Wordmark
November/December 2010 Issue

Bring a Friend Month
Bring a Friend MonthNow you can share your favorite CMS experiences with a friend! CMS has opened up the entire school: classes, events, and concerts, to the friends of students through the month of November. If you have not done so already, please be sure to check with your instructor to coordinate the best time for your friend to visit.

CMS will give each visiting guest and their student host a special gift for participation in Bring a Friend Month.
Meet Matthew Kribs, Young Men's Chorister

Matt KribsMatthew Kribs has been singing most of his young life, starting at age four in his church choir. Now 14, Kribs has not lost his passion for vocal music.

"I've been singing so long that it has become second nature-a part of my daily routine," said Kribs. "I can't live without it."

Kribs started singing with the Community Music School as a 7-year-old in the Preparatory Choir. Now Matthew sings with the MSU Children's Choir and the newest addition to the Children and Youth Choir Program, the Young Men's Chorus.

Participating in the Young Men's Chorus requires that the singers learn a new vocal skill set as their voices change. And while coping with a changing voice may be difficult for some, Kribs looks forward to learning how to use his newfound voice as a part of the chorus.

In addition to voice, Kribs also studies violin. He says that vocal music practice has helped him with violin.

"[Singing] teaches me a lot--things I can take with me the rest of my life and [use with] my violin playing, such as improving my ear, self-discipline, and transferring technique," said Kribs. "I also enjoy the social experience; making music with good friends who are dedicated musicians, appreciate music and love to sing."

Therapist/EC teacher uses combined approach
After five years of work as a music therapist and almost four years as a teacher of early childhood music (EC) at CMS, Denise Travis is still finding new ways to use her skills to serve her community.

In the Singing for Speech program, she incorporates techniques she uses in both the therapy room and the classroom. Singing for Speech is a group music class for children ages three to seven who need opportunities to develop oral motor and social communication skills as well as enhance speech and language patterns. The program, which Travis leads, recently received a $500 grant from Sigma Alpha Iota, allowing CMS to offer the program at a reduced cost.

"Singing for Speech activities include both new and familiar songs as well as song stories, chants, sign language, and creative movement experiences," said Travis. "Parents or caregivers participate in class right along with the children. As part of the class experience, I am teaching the parents how to engage with their children and act as the teacher at home."
Denise Travis in EC class
Though music therapy and early childhood music are generally separate entities (music therapy aims to teach non-music skills through music, while Early Childhood focuses on teaching music skills), Travis notes that the two can overlap.

"I use a lot of Early Childhood music repertoire in my music therapy sessions and use a lot of my music therapy training in early childhood sessions," said Travis. "...Early Childhood activities usually contain no text (no words) and use neutral syllables to help the brain stay focused on the music content. Often a similar activity in music therapy will contain no text to keep words from getting in the way and allowing the child to interact with the therapist and the music with greater success."

Travis' approach toward teaching and therapy is also similar despite the goals of the programs being different.

"In my experience Early Childhood music and music therapy sessions should consist of child/client centered activities that are success oriented," said Travis. "I believe that expectations are important and if you believe in your students/clients they begin to believe it too."
Have a CMS story? Please share it!
We know music changes lives, but we need you to tell us how this has happened to you or a loved one right here at CMS. These stories are vital in helping CMS tell the larger community about the amazing things that happen here. Examples might include students improving in school, meeting milestones (whether musical or not), making friends, accepting others, etc. Would you please share with us success stories you have seen at the Community Music School? If you would like the people in your story to remain anonymous, you may change names and other identifying characteristics (such as instruments). Stores should be submitted to Amanda Darche at or 355-7661, ext. 16.
CMS partners with the Children's Health Initiative
This holiday season, CMS is partnering with the Children's Health Initiative (CHI) to make the holidays a little easier for families with sick children. During the week of November 29, CMS will set up a giving tree outside of the main office. Paper teddy bears, which indicate items needed by local families who have children facing serious illnesses, will be hung on the tree. Gifts options include: Gifts of Transportation (gas gift cards), Gifts of Nourishment (grocery and restaurant gift cards), and Gifts of Medicine (pharmacy gift cards). Amounts will range from $5-$20. If you would like to participate and help a local family, please select a card of your choice from the tree and drop your gift card off to the main office. CMS will deliver all gift cards to CHI on Friday, December 17.
News and noteworthy happenings
  • The CMS main office will be closed November 25-28. The office will also be closed December 24-27 and December 31-January 2. Fall semester lessons will resume on Monday, January 3.
  • As we move into winter, please remember that CMS closes independently of area schools, including the East Lansing Public Schools. In the event of inclement weather, classes will be rescheduled when possible or account credits will be arranged. When CMS is closed, announcements will be posted on the CMS website, outgoing telephone message and with school closing lists on the local radio and television stations.
Consider a gift in support of CMS this holiday season
Support from individuals in the community helps CMS offer quality music programs, classes, lessons, and music therapy taught by dedicated and gifted faculty. YourSnowflake support allows CMS to offer financial aid to those in need of assistance.

You can give online. If you chose to give a gift in honor or memory of someone, a card will be sent to the honoree or next of kin. Gifts to the Michigan State University Community Music School are tax deductible.

For more information about giving options within the Community Music School, please call (517) 355-7661, ext. 16.
In This Issue
Bring a Friend Month
Meet Matthew Kribs, Young Men's Chorister
Therapist/EC teacher uses combined approach
Have a CMS story? Please share it!
CMS partners with the Children's Health Initiative
CMS gift certificates for the holiday season
Looking for the perfect gift this holiday season? Consider buying a gift certificate from CMS! Because the Community Music School offers programming for all ages and abilities, a CMS gift certificate would be appropriate for everyone on your shopping list.

Gift certificates may be purchased in any dollar amount and applied to CMS lessons, classes, camps, or music therapy. For more information on purchasing a gift certificate, please call CMS at (517) 355-7661 or feel free to stop in.
MSUCC to perform at Home for the Holidays

The MSU College of Music hosts its annual Home for the Holidays concert December 11 at the Wharton Center, and CMS' own MSU Children's Choir will be performing. If you're looking for a holiday outing that the entire family will enjoy, tickets are still available. The MSU Symphony Orchestra, State Singers, and the Men's and Women's Glee Clubs will also perform in the show.

Events Calendar
25 - 26 CMS Office Closed

4 Holiday Festival with Lansing Concert Band (CMS Singers and Young Men's Chorus)
8 p.m., Charlotte Performing Arts Ctr, $

5 All-School Recital 3 p.m., CMS

9 Suzuki Strings Recital 5:30 p.m., CMS

11 Suzuki Piano Recital 12 p.m., CMS

Home for the Holidays Concert featuring the MSU Children's Choir
8 p.m., Wharton Ctr, $

12 Suzuki Groups to play prior to the Lansing Symphony Orchestra's Holiday Pops Concert
2:15 p.m., Wharton Center, $

13 New Horizons Band Holiday Concert 7 p.m., MacDonald Middle School (East Lansing)

14 Preparatory Choir Performance 5 p.m., Independence Village (East Lansing)

20 - 31 Winter Break

24- 27 CMS Office Closed

31 CMS Office Closed


3 Fall Lessons Resume

16 Jazz: Spirituals, Prayer and Protest Concert featuring the MSU Children's Choir
3 p.m. and 7 p.m., Wharton Center

22 Fall Semester Ends

23 Open House 3-5 p.m., CMS

24 Spring Semester Begins
MSU Community Music School
841 Timberlane St.
| East Lansing, MI 48823
Telephone: (517) 355-7661 Fax: (517) 355-3292
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