Opus | 2020 September

2020 September Opus


News at CCM

Music: Learn. Listen. Love

Our Remedy for the Pandemic Blues

September Sharing

COVID-19 Response & Recommendations


Macdara Nash


Macdara Nash is a well-rounded business leader with commercial experience across finance, strategy, M&A, and project development.  He is the Vice President of Planning for East Region of Liberty Utilities, responsible for integrating acquisitions and implementing strategic planning for energy and water utilities.  He lives in Concord with his wife and two children who are often out on the sports fields or local trails. In addition to outdoor activities, he enjoys attending live music performances – or in the current environment searching for eclectic live-stream performances.

CCM Student


Jumpstart your child’s musical journey and help them decide which instrument to learn, even without the onsite Open House. With the uncertainty surrounding this coming fall, we’ve taken the steps to ease parents’ minds with the upcoming CCM VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE. Just like CCM Open Houses in previous years, future musicians can explore and learn about many instruments—but this year, we’re bringing many of our instruments to you.

  • You’ll meet some of our instructors
  • You’ll experience various instrument demonstrations
  • You’ll learn what it means to be part of our vibrant community
Guitar faculty member Phil Sargent with his student.
Get ready to sit side-by-side with your kids on the couch, and watch the CCM Virtual Open House. Write down their questions to share with us. You’ll be able to share with your family, friends, and neighbors so you can all be part of the CCM community. 

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.


Lorna Henderson with her CCM student


Remote Music Lessons to Broaden Your Horizons

The past several months have been challenging. A pandemic forced us inside and limited our ability to gather, often resulting in high anxiety and stress levels. Civil unrest added to our anxiety. We’ve had to adapt quickly to a new way of doing things. Music Moves Us.

People across the globe started making music together from their windows and balconies. From  Italians singing from their balconies to police playing guitar on patrol in Spain to New York City residents singing along to a rendition of The Beatles Yellow Submarine from their windows, music became a universal way to connect and soothe our souls. Music has been a tool for spiritual healing and social bonding for thousands of years amid plagues and pandemics. 

Ancient cultures that turned to music to heal only knew that it somehow made them feel better. Today, we have access to scientific evidence that explains that music’s power is deeply rooted in neurobiology.

The benefits of music extend beyond alleviating pandemic-induced anxiety, stress and isolation. Music has myriad educational advantages. High school students who study music score significantly better in math, science, and English than their non-musical peers. Music also helps with mental health and singing lyrics can be especially helpful to people recovering from a stroke, brain injury or dementia

The act of merely listening to music can modulate our heart rates and the activity of our brain’s neural networks, explains Daniel Levitin, a professor of psychology who researches the cognitive neuroscience of music at McGill University in Canada. “Music activates nearly every region of the brain we’ve mapped so far.” This discovery hints at music’s universality and power to affect us.

Music moves us. It inspires us. It heals us. It connects us. The joy of music is available to everyone, not just professional musicians. Music builds community, even when the community comes together through technology. 

The pandemic has propelled us to communicate, share and learn virtually. Nearly every experience can be accessed remotely—education, celebrations, business meetings, fitness classes and music—and although the experience is not the same, technology has enabled us to create collectively. 

Although the Concord Conservatory of Music offers a full portfolio of traditional music education including private instruction, ensembles, theory, group classes and composition, it also has a selection of unique class offerings, several of which are available remotely:

A critical listening class invites participants to study several music genres, including rock, pop and Motown, to understand what makes it resonate.

Using the GarageBand platform as a tool, students will study hip-hop/trap, EDM, and pop and learn how to compose music.

Aspiring songwriters will use GarageBand, Logic or an equivalent tool to learn harmony, melody and lyric writing ideas.  

A voice therapy opportunity for the Parkinson’s disease community featuring singing, performing and experiencing the joy of making music. 

Invite the power of music into your life. Learn more about our offerings and consider the many ways it can enhance your life. As Plato explained, “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything else.”


Track Builders


Fall 2020 will feel and look different. We’re still restricted in activities, who we can see in-person, and how many at a time. To provide some ideas to keep smiles on faces and to lift our moods, may we suggest a few music-related activities to keep in your handy toolbox?

  • Go retro with 60’s, 70’s, or 80’s music – try out a new Pandora or Spotify playlist or create a new one just for you. Share your memories with your kids!
  • Listen to and watch some great live-streaming performances (check out what’s coming in September at https://www.songkick.com/live-stream-concerts)
  • Play Name that Tune. Download a new app on your phone, ask Alexa or ask your cloud-based voice service
  • Change up your practice schedule and add some extra time to play (and why not take on that challenging piece you’ve been agonizing over)
  • Take time to read the CCM Monday Morning Message as they are packed with music videos, articles, and resources for you! (request these emails if you don’t already receive them)
  • Turn off the news during dinner and play some soothing jazz or Bach or Mozart tunes (a great way to introduce kids to new genres!)
  • Of course, is it time to learn a new instrument?


Bach and more


Celebrity Series at Home: Jeremy Denk, piano

A virtual performance presented by Celebrity Series of Boston at Online/Virtual Space

Returning to the Boston scene, acclaimed pianist Jeremy Denk will perform, highlight and reflect on three leaders of the Romantic movement: Robert and Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms.” (Celebrity Series at Home)

Moreover, if you want to hear his interpretation on playing Bach, view his YouTube presentation here. The Well-Tempered Clavier's Greatest Hits with Jeremy Denk


COVID-19 Response & Recommendations


The health and safety of all members of our Concord Conservatory of Music community is our priority.

Following the Massachusetts reopening guidelines, CCM will once again deliver high-quality music education at 1317 Main Street in West Concord. We’re opening with a hybrid approach for the fall semester with onsite private lesson instruction and remote instruction beginning September 8th. New protocols will be in place for onsite lessons including wearing masks, social distancing, cleaning and sanitizing, air purification, and program adjustments.  

Read more



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