Opus | August 2020


August 2020 Opus


News at CCM

A CCM Parent Perspective: What it Means to be All In

CCM Welcomes Mandolinist Maxfield Anderson to Our Faculty


Virtual Open House


CCM Virtual Open HouseYou still can 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 professional musicians—our instructors
  • You’ll experience various instrument demonstrations
  • You’ll learn what it means to be part of our vibrant community

Group KeyboardGet 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.

Distance Learning at CCM


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

We are currently planning for a hybrid approach for re-opening with a tentative start date for the fall semester, with onsite private lesson instruction and remote instruction to begin the week of September 8th.  New protocols are being put in place for social distancing, cleaning and sanitizing, air purification, and program adjustments. In the meantime, we are committed to our Distance Learning platform to continue serving our students.

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The Clinard Family


Meghan Clinard and her family joined the CCM music community in 2016. They are frequent attendees of our Practice Challenge Pizza Parties, and you'll see their names on the check-off chart in the hallway for the Music Achievement Program. Each Tuesday afternoon, the girls wait their turn outside Rasa Vitkaukaite's studio to have their piano lessons.  

Meghan, what inspired you to have your girls take lessons at CCM and be part of our community? 

We were new to town, had inherited a piano with the house we moved into, and saw the CCM sign hanging on the Emerson Field fence. We got a warm welcome at the open house and decided to sign up our first-grader. We feel lucky to have "stumbled" into the CCM community because we couldn't be happier with the quality of instruction.

What made your girls decide to join the Music Achievement Program?                      

The first year that MAP was offered, we jumped on board after encouragement from Rasa (Vitkauskaite), our piano teacher. It seemed like a natural extension of what our daughter's goals were anyway. She had the personal goal of a couple of recitals during the year and daily practice—but the practice challenges gave her a fun jump start when she needed a boost, the addition of structured chord progression has been invaluable. The theory classes became her favorite addition to her piano studies as the instructor made it engaging (he has a fantastic sense of humor!). Since that first year, we have signed both girls up for it each year. It has made them into well-rounded musicians.

CCM note: Peter Evans always imparts a bit of humor into the Theory Class.

How was the transition to online lessons for you and your kids? 

Rasa has been absolutely amazing in shifting her instruction online. Rasa can see the girls' hand position to make adjustments or correct fingering, she sits at a piano herself to playback the correct notes or rhythm the girls' might be missing, and her creativity and encouragement through the computer fuels their growth. She was able to provide practical tips for improving our speaker set-up and using a scanning app to enhance at-home lessons and communication. We were a little unsure of how this was going to work, but week after week, the girls have made significant progress. It is not the same as being in the same room with Rasa, but it is a very close alternative that we are happy to have access to with CCM.

What would you like to share about having the girls complete the MAP this year (with finishing it online)? 

The girls were very lucky in that they were well on track with their MAP requirements from earlier in the fall/winter that, when we did have to shift to remote learning, they only had to finish their scales (which could be done virtually). They were able to benefit from all of the in-person experiences of recitals, performance workshops, theory class, and community performances when we had the opportunity. Without knowing that a pandemic was going to cut short the in-person learning, thankfully we hadn't procrastinated and had been able to take advantage of the MAP offerings when we had the chance.

If you could provide one message of encouragement to future CCM students, what experience or activity would you tell them to look forward to?

Our girls have really gained a lot of confidence in performing in front of an audience. Penelope and Olive are timid and anxious, as most students are when it comes to live performances. However, the encouragement that they get at CCM to perform in small recitals, community outreach opportunities, duets, and group performances throughout the year allows them to work through those natural nerves. Ultimately, the most valuable opportunity offered at CCM is the 'performance workshops' which provides for a dress rehearsal in front of a tiny group with feedback and tips from a CCM instructor ... and is a game-changer in preparing for recitals.

Anything else you'd like to share?

When signing up for piano lessons five years ago, we were looking for instruction. We didn't know how much our entire family was going to gain by being surrounded by CCM's community of music lovers and their ethos of growing well-rounded musicians. 

Having music in our home has been a joy, and watching the girls develop into such strong pianists has been such a gift.

The Clinard Family

Student at the Halloween recital

Music Achievement Program Chart


Maxfield Anderson


We’re pleased to welcome accomplished mandolinist Maxfield Anderson to the CCM faculty.

Maxfield Anderson is a multi-instrumentalist, writer, and teacher based in Boston, MA. He received his Bachelor of Music in Mandolin Performance from Berklee College of Music where he was awarded the Fletcher Bright Endowed Scholarship and studied mandolin with Joe K. Walsh. 

As an educator, Max believes that a musical voice exists inside each of us, and our goal together is to learn how we can translate that voice onto our instrument. This includes instrument technique, ear training, repertoire building, tune writing, and learning to play with others. Max’s goal is to give his student’s the resources to be great instrumentalists, as well as the tools needed to help create and sustain our own music communities.

For Max, roots music is much more than the notes on a page. His passion for traditional music reaches beyond the songs and tunes that make up this music’s diverse repertoire—it is anchored in the surrounding communities and traditions. Studying traditional music helps us all understand more about where we come from, and how music can bring us together in our own communities.

Max can be heard locally singing and playing mandolin with Boston-based roots quartet Pretty Saro, winners of the 2018 Telefunken Band Competition, as well as playing guitar and banjo in his duo project with Tader Shipley. His most recent releases include Pretty Saro’s album Racing Back to You and the Contemporary Mandolin Quartet’s self-titled EP.

(Photo taken by Tader Shipley)


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