Opus | May 2020

May 2020 Opus

In This Issue

News at CCM

Nicholas Southwick, Using New Ideas & Technology to Advance His Students

Teacher Appreciation Week & Heartfelt Messages for Them

An Isolation Odyssey to Enjoy

News at CCM

Nandini, CCM student

Taking the Challenge

Three times a year, CCM challenges our students to practice for 30 days a month; and then rewards them with a party at the end of the month featuring pizza, ice cream sundaes, or the “surprise.” Violin student Nandini Garg takes the CCM Practice Challenge very seriously and has completed every practice challenge during her time at CCM. For Nandini, the reward is a real motivator.

So when our March practice challenge for the ice cream sundae party was canceled, she still pressed on and finished the challenge—rewarding herself by making ice cream at home!

Her mom Pooja Garg said, "She had more time on her hand since there were fewer outside activities. We love cooking and baking together as a family. Making the ice cream made this celebration extra special"!

Getting ready for recitals!

Going Virtual for Spring Recitals

Our students have been learning online, and soon will share their polished pieces with the rest of our CCM community. After compiling our student performances into an All School Recital format, we'll be sure to share the link for the viewing parties so everyone can enjoy the music. Like our Facebook page so you won't miss a performance!

Faculty Zoom meeting

Keeping it going! Staff and faculty meet on Zoom again to discuss best practices for teaching online and recording performances.

Thank YOU for making our Distance Learning Program Successful

We couldn't have done it without our resilient students, our very patient and caring parents, our dedicated Board, staff and faculty, and of course, our most generous donors.

Are you a CCM friend yet? Join us on Instagram and Facebook to be the first to learn CCM news! See what music videos we like, photos we post, practice tips and articles we suggest, and what's new in the music world.

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Distance Learning with Nicholas Southwick

Nicholas Southwick, Using New Ideas & Technology to Advance His Students

Just days after CCM Executive Director Kate Yoder let faculty know that all music lessons would be moving online, CCM flute instructor Nicholas Southwick hit the ground running with the new Distance Learning program. “I was excited at the challenge to maintain the relationships that I had built with each student, but I was anxious about not being able to play with them,” says Southwick. In his typical lessons, Southwick will play piano and flute alongside his students, but the lag time on video feeds makes this challenging to accomplish while online. According to Southwick, there’s been a “steep learning curve in coming up with interesting and alternative ideas”. CCM Flute Student

Even without being able to truly play together, Southwick has focused on developing ways his students can continue to practice the same skills. They play “trade-off” games where Southwick and his students take turns playing sections of an etude or piece. This way, his students can still practice listening carefully and trying to imitate the quality of his notes. 

One way Southwick adds excitement to some of his virtual lessons is by tasking his students with “mini vlogs”. During their lesson, his student chooses a technical aspect of playing the flute, and then over the week creates a tutorial-like video about the technical skill. By creating their own tutorial, students are forced to think through what they need to work on and it shows Southwick what concepts he needs to review in their lessons. He has also been incorporating more technology into his students’ practicing through music apps such as Chrome Music Lab and Staff Wars. These apps add an exciting interactive component to learning important skills like note reading, ear training, and writing musical notation.

Flute Student QuoteSouthwick’s student Callie Nairus says, “I was actually pretty nervous for my first online lesson...I think I was worried that my lessons wouldn’t be the same online, but I remember how relieved I was at the end of my first lesson because I realized that it wasn’t actually as different as I’d worried it would be.”

Southwick’s students agree that while online lessons took some getting used to, they are happy to still have them. “By practicing I feel that I am accomplishing something and I know that I will continue to make progress, unlike a lot of things in quarantine”, says flute student Torrey Winrow. Flute Student 2020Lessons are an important constant in the lives of many students where quarantine has put a halt to most other extracurricular activities. CCM flute student Vincent Canciello explained how he has always loved music, but was finding it especially easy to stay motivated to practice lately; “I've been practicing a lot more since I have more time on my hands, and I'm part of various ensembles that keep me busy with virtual performance projects.”

Southwick doesn’t foresee his new teaching strategies entirely disappearing when lessons resume in-person. Southwick says that he appreciates “the gentle nudge off the cliff” into innovation and technology that Distance Learning has given him and plans to integrate these strategies into his usual curriculum.

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Students showing teacher appreciation

Teacher Appreciation Week & Heartfelt Messages for Them

Whether teaching our students at CCM, or now on Distance Learning, our instructors give our students the best music education. CCM students recently showed their appreciation through decoratedCCM students showing teacher appreciation music notes.

Our faculty members genuinely make a difference in students' lives with the gift of music—the gift that their students will keep forever. 

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An Isolation Odyssey to Enjoy

An Isolation Odyssey to Enjoy

When their concert performances of Strauss' 'Also Sprach Zarathustra' were canceled as the coronavirus pandemic intensified, players from the Orchestra of Opera North in the UK decided that the show must go on – virtually. Here are the first few minutes (most famously used in '2001: A Space Odyssey') played by musicians from 40 different homes under the UK lockdown, conducted from Sweden by Tobias Ringborg.

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