Opus April 2017

In This Issue

News at CCM
Behind the Scenes - All About Jazz
Student Profile - Later-in-Life Learners
Why Music Matters - Jazz is a Force of Life
Did you know?
Upcoming Area Performances

News at CCM

Faculty Concert - JAZZ BY CCM

Friday, April 7 at 7:00 pm

To kick off National Jazz Appreciation Month, join our talented CCM Jazz Faculty as they perform in tribute to the heritage of jazz music as an original American art form. CCM faculty members Carlos Averhoff, Jr. on saxophone, Justin Meyer on bass, Brian Friedland on piano, Mike Connors on percussion, and vocalist Gabriela Martina will perform classic jazz compositions, standards, and originals. We encourage you to listen, enjoy and learn about jazz. To purchase tickets>>

Faculty Concert - ¡CANTARES DE ESPAÑA!

Saturday, April 29 at 7:00 pm

The passionate music of Enrique Granados and Manuel de Falla. Join the Boston Arts Consort for an evening of music from two of Spain's greatest composers. CCM clarinet faculty member, Elizabeth Leehey, will be performing with Christian Figueroa, tenor, Linda Papatopoli, piano, and Clara Sandler, mezzo-soprano. To purchase tickets>>

Tickets for both faculty concerts are also available at the door for $20 for adults, students under 18 years old for $5.

Adult Student Recital & Social on Thursday, April 27 at 7 pm

We invite all adult students to join us for an evening of musical performances. Immediately following the recital, CCM will host a cocktail party for musicians and their guests.

Summer Registration opens Monday, April 10

Please speak with your instructor or call the CCM office for inquiries about private lessons during the summer. The summer is the perfect time to learn a new piece, master a challenging one, and simply enjoy playing an instrument on a warm afternoon or around a campfire. We strongly recommend at least 3 lessons for students to help maintain their skills over the break.

Upcoming All School Student Recitals: Saturday, April 8 at 1:00 pm, 2:30 pm, with reception following.

Facebook friends? Please be sure to like us on Facebook to keep updated on CCM news and to hear our Tune of the Week!

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Behind the Scenes

All About Jazz

Making the switch from studying classical music to jazz might feel a bit like practicing Latin in preparation for a trip to Spain: When you get off the plane, you discover you’ve mastered all the language fundamentals but none of the specific vocabulary you’d need to order from a dinner menu. Classical and jazz are different languages, no question, but the former can be a useful foundation for the latter. Here, CCM faculty talk about how the study of jazz can open up new possibilities for those willing to take the leap.

One of the key differences between the two forms of music is that a composer writes down on paper nearly everything the musician needs to know stylistically about a piece of classical music; in jazz, the notations on the page are usually just a launching point. Much of the magic is in improvisation, an exercise that begins with listening. Brian Friedland teaches jazz piano at CCM; he says that “jazz teaches better listening skills and trains your ear to hear what someone else is playing.” The result is a more collaborative experience between musicians, he says. “As you get more proficient, you can communicate through music in real time with the people you’re playing with.” 

To continue the language metaphor one step further, taking up jazz means learning a new set of vocabulary: chord progressions, different rhythm and articulation, the art of improvisation. Once mastered, those elements expand the possibilities for self-expression. Guitarist Phil Sargent, who teaches improvisation, says, “the study of jazz opens the student’s ear to a deeper awareness of conversation in music through accompaniment, interaction, and improvisation.” 

Sargent says that self-expression, so different from opportunities in classical music, is what draws a lot of students to jazz or contemporary music. Jazz “also casts a wide net and has the potential to reach students that are primarily interested in rock, country, pop, and so on, due to the common thread of improvisation and composition or songwriting,” says Sargent. From there, the sky’s the limit. “Jazz lets you play in bands one’s entire life,” says Friedland. So far it’s worked for him. 

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Student Profile - Later-In-Life Learners

Taking up music lessons in adulthood.

Jane Anderson started piano lessons when she was in grammar school but, like many before and after her, stopped sometime in high school. Her interest never stalled though, and Jane sang in choirs and has enjoyed music throughout her life. After retiring from her career as a software engineer, she took a long hard look at the piano occupying her living room—the same instrument her parents had purchased when she was a child. “It was just sitting there,” she says. “I thought I’d like to go back to playing it again.” Jane started taking lessons with CCM’s Keith Kirchoff about three years ago. She is one of a growing number of adult students of music who are either picking up where they earlier left off or taking up a new instrument for the first time in retirement.

Practicing music is good for the body and soul for countless reasons, of course, but there are benefits for those of a certain age: Studies suggest that music can have a positive effect on brain function, physical dexterity, and—particularly for those who are performing in CCM’s April 27 adult recital and social—the sense of community that comes from a shared experience. The recital will feature several individuals, as well as ensemble groups, which offer a natural point of connection for CCM’s adult students.

Jane Anderson will be performing Mendelssohn’s “Venetian Boat Song,” and she doesn’t mind admitting that the idea of performing makes her nervous. “I’d be much more comfortable just staying home in my living room, but this is part of learning. I think it’s good to force yourself to do this,” she says. 

Like other adult students, Jane says the learning process is a bit different at this stage of life. For starters, she has the luxury of time to practice and the discipline to see that it happens. “I certainly spend more time practicing now than I did many years ago,” she says, and with that discipline comes the benefit of progress. The use of technology can be a revelation for those who haven’t studied an instrument since the time when phones were used only for phone calls. Jane has been trying to unlearn the habit of depressing the pedal too early, for example. “Keith can take a video on his phone of me playing, and I can see immediately if I’m putting my foot down at the right time, or I can see my hand position. Hearing the music back is really helpful, too, and of course we didn’t have that in the old days,” she says.

Many retirement-age students point to another indispensable aid, decidedly more low-tech: drugstore reading glasses. Jane says she never needed glasses when she studied piano as a child, but now she wears bifocals. “And they don’t work at the piano at all. The music is at one distance, the keys are someplace else, the window is never in the right place,” she says. But a simple pair of drugstore readers solved that problem. “I cannot play without them,” she says.

Like eyesight, memory can also diminish with youth, making one's ability to memorize music more challenging later in life. And unfortunately, there is no technological solution to that one (yet). But the mental exercise of learning music by memory is a worthy challenge that, like playing music itself, helps keep a person young.

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Why Music Matters: Why Jazz Matters


Jazz is a force of life!

Is Jazz a noun, verb or philosophy of life that helps with navigating through life’s difficult scenarios?


Worth listening to is Chris Washburne’s Talk@Columbia, Why Jazz Matters! Mr. Washburne, Associate Professor of Music and Director of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Performance program at Columbia University, speaks about how improvisation is key in what you do in life and how it affects you. He points out how everyone’s voice in a jazz band is equal—a honest collaboration—and how it can truly empower others. Professor Washburne shows why jazz matters and how it builds leaders, creates innovation and assists with risk management in the business world.

He tells us to look for our groove and swing in life—and that we can achieve great things!

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Did you know?

The mere mention of legendary jazz musicians’ first names—Louis, Duke, Dizzie and Miles, and you know exactly who they are. However, there are also many accomplished women jazz instrumentalists, including Mary Lou Williams, jazz pianist. Take a minute to hear her music>>

Women are making their jazz statements today—enjoy Jazz Composer, Musician, and Producer Chika Asamoto’s performance.

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Upcoming Area Performances

April 7 – 9, BOSton Sings A cappella Festival

Taking place in and around the city of Boston, BOSS is a three-day a cappella festival including scholastic competition, presentations, workshops and a Saturday night concert. All are welcome – groups and individuals, singers and non-singers. For details and to purchase tickets, visit their website: http://bostonsings.com/

Saturday, April 8th, Two shows: 8 pm and 10 pm, Grace Kelly at Sculler’s Jazz Club

Boston's own Grace Kelly has an electric charisma on stage that instantly ignites the room,” says, pianist Jon Batiste. Award-winning saxophonist, singer, and composer Grace Kelly plays with the heart and passion of an old soul yet with the genre-bending zest and energy of a 24-year-old.

Visit their website for tickets>> 

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