Opus November, 2015

Opus Electronic Newsletter Masthead, November, 2015


CCM News
Behind the Scenes: Music on Your Bucket List
Spotlight: Ela Brandys at the Lincoln Council on Aging
Why Music Matters? Music as Medicine for the Brain
Upcoming Performances 



Concord Conservatory of Music Concert Lecture Series

Concert & Lecture Series Session Two
On Friday, November 20th at 7 p.m., and Sunday, November 22nd at 3 p.m., Keith Kirchoff and Ela Brandys present the second topic in our Concert & Lecture Series. Development of the Sonata explores the sonata genre from its inception through the classical period of music. The sonata genre is one of the most important ideas in the history of Western classical music and influences classical composition to this day.  Friday’s Concert & Lecture takes place at CCM, 1317 Main Street; on Sunday, the event is presented at Newbury Court, 100 Newbury Court. Tickets are $25 for adults; students are admitted free. Tickets are available online or at the door.

To read more about the series, or to buy tickets, please visit here.

Upcoming Recitals
We had an excellent set of recitals on October 24th. Many of the performers were in costume! Our next recitals are on Saturday, November 21st, at 1:00 and 2:30 pm.

Rock Lab Concord Conservatory of Music

Rock Lab Open House at CCM Nov.20, 5-6 p.m.
For all the would-be rockers out there, CCM is pleased to announce a new program: Rock Lab. The lab is intended for students 6th grade and above, and students should be familiar with chords and the blues scale. The lab does not replace individual instrument instruction; it teaches how to play and improve together as a band.

The lab will be directed by CCM faculty member Chaim Burstein, and we’ll match up kids of similar ability and age to form a rock band. The lab sessions will begin January 15th; more details can be found on the website.


CCM Music on your bucket list

For Good Measure: Music on Your Bucket List
Sharon Cunningham decided to take a group class in ukulele because “I was looking for something to do around the campfire, and I wanted to play an instrument that could easily travel with me. I’ve met some great people; I love class, love playing with others and learning from each other.”

There are many reasons music is so commonly found on adult bucket lists—the camaraderie of shared experience, finding a new creative outlet, and a profound sense of accomplishment are common ones. Also, studying music as an adult is a joyous departure from the workday.

Sometimes, when you tackle one bucket list item, it leads to another. Susan Walters says, “A couple of years after I started taking private piano lessons at CCM, I realized I was struck with the beauty and detail of certain film scores. My piano instructor, Lorna [Henderson] suggested an introductory film music class at the New England Conservatory.” In addition to her piano lessons, studies in composition and theory followed, and Susan is now considering a certificate in film music from the Berklee College of Music.

CCM offers many opportunities for adults who want music to be a bigger part of their lives. Private lessons, group classes, concerts, and lectures—offered mornings, afternoons, evenings, and weekends—demonstrate that the conservatory is responsive to the growing needs of our community. Adults are not necessarily on the same schedule as school-aged children, which enables our faculty to teach on their shoulder hours and to more optimally use our space.

Classes take place in locations that are convenient for our seniors. Music Appreciation is offered at The Harvey Wheeler Senior Center in Concord. This class has consistently had a large enrollment of students who enroll semester after semester to learn from CCM faculty member Keith Kirchoff. Rhoda Miller and her classmates love the class. “Keith is great! He spends the whole time so engaged; it is amazing. I’ve made new friends, and I’ve urged a couple of new people to come.”

Whether adults take a group class, return to an instrument they played when younger or begin a new instrument, they bring unique skills and discipline to the effort. “Musical aspects like phrasing and emotion are easier to teach to adults because those concepts are abstract,” says CCM Piano Faculty member Paul Jacobs. “The thing I like about teaching adults is that they get the subtleties.” They also get improved cognitive skills, stress relief, and the satisfaction of achieving a “bucket list” item



Ela Brandys faculty member at CCM

 Ela Brandys at the Lincoln Council on Aging
On a brisk Tuesday morning around 9:30, the Bemis Building in Lincoln, which houses the town’s Council on Aging, is busy. Seniors enter the historic building—some with bags full of yarn for a knitting class, others to meet individually with COA staff—and many to take Music Appreciation with CCM flute faculty member Dr. Elzbieta “Ela” Brandys. Ela has been teaching at CCM for two years, and this is her first year teaching Music Appreciation. Today’s lecture is wrapping up the discussions on musical forms during the Baroque period.

“I love teaching at Lincoln’s COA,” says Ela. “Everyone is so interested and excited—the questions are very thoughtful, and it is clear that they understand what they are hearing. It is a real interactive class.”

For Carolyn Bottum, director of the Lincoln COA, the feeling is mutual. “Ela’s great! This is the third year we’ve partnered with the Conservatory, and we could not be happier. We’re always looking for programs to complement the interests of our seniors, and Music Appreciation is a perfect fit.”

Each session is organized by topic, and Ela mixes interactive discussion with musical selections. “We’ve covered lots in this class—all the great composers, of course, but also some lesser-known works that help illustrate the topic we are on.” 

Some seniors who take Music Appreciation at the Lincoln COA use the class as a steppingstone to private lessons, and others attend concerts and lectures at CCM. Moreover, everyone appreciates the caliber of the instructors at the conservatory. “All the faculty members at CCM are phenomenal. We appreciate their professionalism and their enthusiasm for classical music,” says Carolyn Bottum. “We look forward to a long partnership with the Conservatory—and Ela is a terrific ambassador.”



Music brain exercise

Music as Medicine for the Brain
This fascinating article explores the benefits of music for various neurological conditions, ranging from Alzheimer’s patients to stroke victims. Besides improving music and speech, music is able to resurrect once-lost memories and emotions. Playing music, such as drumming, can also bring about dramatic results.



Karen K and the Jitterbugs!Karen K. & the Jitterbugs—Bug Out Holiday Style!
Saturday, December 12, 10:30 am, Coolidge Corner Theatre, adults $12; children, $9
Karen and her jitterbugs will get you clapping and dancing. Called “The Kiddie Queen,” this award-winning group engages both the kids and parents alike with their catchy, clever tunes. Imagination, music, humor, and fun.


MetroWest Ballet Tea Party

Nutcracker Tea Party
Saturday, December 19th, 2:30 p.m., Nevins Hall, 150 Concord Street, Framingham, MA $13.50-$27.50
The Nutcracker Tea Party is one act, and one hour long—perfect for young attendees. The audience members will also have a chance to speak with the dancers and enjoy some special treats! This is a benefit event for the United Way of Tri-County.