Opus | December 2019

2019 December Opus

In This Issue

News at CCM

Help People Find Their Voices Through Music

The Journey is the Goal

Save the Date: American Roots Benefit

2019 – 2020 CCM Concert Series

CCM Faculty December Gigs!

CCM Dates to Know

News at CCM

CCM visits The Frederick Collection of Period Grand Pianos

The Frederick Collection

Last month CCM faculty member Keith Kirchoff organized a field trip to The Frederick Collection of Period Grand Pianos in Ashburnham, where students and their parents had the opportunity to play on these exquisite instruments. The museum invites people to experience more than twenty original pianos that have such history and musical value. “The Frederick Collection is the largest collection of antique fortepianos in the country. What is particularly special about this collection is that it is not a museum: we get to play the instruments ourselves! It's a tremendous learning experience that is musically fun and illuminating!" Keith also adds that playing on these pianos transports one back in time. "The pianos that composers like Mozart, Beethoven, or Chopin wrote for are very different from the pianos we have today. They were constructed very differently and sound completely different. Having the opportunity to play these instruments is an invaluable experience for students and professional pianists alike!”

The Frederick Collection of Pianos

CCM student

For more information on

The Frederick Collection>> 



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Help People Find Their Voices Through Music

Singing with Parkinson's


“Through music, people receive

encouragement and support—all

while doing something they truly love”.


People find their voices through opportunities to learn, perform, and enjoy music. You’ve made it possible—

Through your support of Concord Conservatory of Music, you have helped students to develop a greater appreciation for music, deeper connections within their community, and a growing sense of self-confidence and self-esteem.

We’re excited to tell you about a new opportunity along those lines. CCM is partnering with the Massachusetts chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association to offer a special chorus group for people living with Parkinson’s disease.

One of the devastating effects of Parkinson’s is a loss of vocal range, volume, and strength. Research has shown that breathing, stretching, posture, and vocal exercises—all therapeutic benefits of singing in a chorus—enhance voice volume in people with Parkinson’s, and the presence of music and rhythm improves movement.

Our new Singing with Parkinson’s program welcomes those in our community with Parkinson’s, along with their families and caregivers, to participate in voice therapy and enjoy camaraderie and social support through singing, performance, and the joy of making music together.

“With my Parkinson’s, I have found that my voice is getting lower and I wanted to join this chorus to help stop the progression. My husband, William, doesn’t have Parkinson’s, but he comes with me because he loves the atmosphere—it’s like a support group where everyone genuinely cares about each other!”

–Sandra K., Boxborough

This is why we are asking for your support. Donors like you give people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities the opportunity to experience the power and beauty of music and community. Will you consider giving the gift of music?

Our partnership with the APDA only covers a part of the cost to offer the chorus. Your gift will help ensure more people like Sandra and William receive encouragement and support, all while doing something they love—singing. Your generosity means the voices of many people in our community living with Parkinson’s will be heard.

Singing with Parkinson’s is one of many programs and engaging community opportunities CCM donors like you make possible. With your gift, you are—

West Side String Program

  • Providing high-quality instruction and program access to all in our community
  • Offering a full music curriculum, including masterclasses, performance workshops, private instruction, and ensembles
  • Making music education accessible to all with a financial assistance grant
  • Providing our students with valuable learning opportunities that carry-over far beyond their musical training. 

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The Journey is the Goal

The Journey is the Goal

Learning to play music is like going on a run, and the techniques you develop are like your sneakers. Most people wear shoes when they run, but they don’t go on a run for the sake of their shoes. They use the shoes to enjoy the run more and be able to run better. CCM faculty Ian Goldstein explains how, at the Concord Conservatory of Music, it’s “not about the technique for technique’s sake, and no one will enjoy that journey.” Instead, techniques are seen as tools, which while necessary to learn, are accessories to the learning journey rather than goals themselves.

CCM is committed to doing everything possible to help our students succeed. “The instructor’s job is to stoke the fire of that joy from week to week and to encourage passion. Rather than small technical aspects as goals, the emphasis should be helping students find joy in developing those techniques,” says Goldstein. Our students strive for excellence not because they need to, but because they want to, and our faculty teach them the skills they need along the way.

There are systems in place so that students continue to progress technically, but the focus is first and foremost on making sure each musician is following their passion. In the first week of Fall lessons, instructors work with their students to complete a goal sheet for techniques they will learn and practice throughout the semester. Faculty can then integrate these skills—vibrato, scales, or anything else—into everyday lessons wherever it makes sense. As a result of this planning at the beginning of a semester, students can focus more on what interests them and worry less about the minutiae.

Students put in a lot of hard work challenging themselves to improve every week, and so they need to understand the progress they are making to stay motivated. Faculty write progress reports every December and May to explain to their students exactly where they have excelled and where they will be continuing to work. Additionally, after every performance, instructors sit down with their students to review what went well and what can be improved. This is a chance for students to receive constructive feedback from real performing experiences.

As the famous tennis player Arthur Ashe once said, “success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” Learning music is a challenging journey, and it’s important to find motivation in the right things. Goldstein summarizes the rewards of learning music simply; “The reward is in making a joyful noise and finding joy in the noise we make.”

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Save the Date: American Roots Benefit

2020 American Roots Benefit

CCM American Roots Benefit on Saturday, March 28, 2020, at 6 pm

An evening of exceptional bluegrass, BBQ, bourbon, and a fantastic night to support your community music school and music education in our area.

This year’s Benefit will take place at the Scout House in Concord and will feature the band  The Ruta Beggars—a timeless bluegrass band filled with intricate yet smooth vocal harmonies, fiery instrumentals, and plenty of fun.

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CCM 2019 – 2020 Concert Series

Mile Twelve

CCM’s 2019 -2020 Concert Seriesmark your calendars or better yet, purchase your tickets today!

The Concord Conservatory of Music's 2019-2020 Concert Series brings world-class performers to our local community. Thank you to our generous donors including Middlesex Savings Bank and Cambridge Savings Bank that have helped us bring the Series to our community. 

Friday, February 7 at 7:30 pm, Mile Twelve - Bluegrass ($25 for adults, free for students 18 and under)

Saturday, February 29 at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm, Brady Rymer and the Little Band that Could ($20 for all tickets)

Friday, April 17 at 7:30 pm, CCM Jazz  ($25 for adults, free for students 18 and under)

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CCM Faculty December Gigs!

Southern Rail

Receive inspiration from our highly accomplished faculty by attending their local community gigs this holiday season. Mark your calendar for these December performances:

Elizabeth Leehey, clarinet instructor, has two community performances free to the public. She’ll conduct the Canton Community Band in a holiday concert on December 12th at the Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children in Canton, 6:30 pm. Sharon Clarinet Ensemble Holiday Concert at the First Baptist Church in Sharon on December 14th, 5:30 pm

Gabriela Martina, voice instructor—visit her website for her four local December performances https://www.gabrielamartina.com/

Margaret Romero, trumpet instructor, performing on December 21st and 22nd at 2 pm, Hansel and Gretel, by Englebert Humperdinck, an opera based on the fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. Alan Yost will conduct the orchestra for this fully costumed and staged performance, which is to benefit 51 Walden.$20 Adult Tickets/$10 Children Tickets. Call 978 369-7911 for more information.

Rich Stillman, banjo instructor, with the band Southern Rail http://www.southernrail.com/ Wassail! with the Boston Saengerfest Men's Chorus, December 14th, Casey Theater at Regis College, Weston, MA at 4 pm (Tickets: $20 - $30)   https://saengerfest.org/ Southern Rail’s Traditional Christmas Concert at the Old Ship Coffeehouse, 107 Main Street, Hingham, 4 pm, $15 tickets  http://www.oldshipchurch.org/coffeehouse-off-the-square.html

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CCM December Dates to Know

CCM Violin Student

  • December 12th  Student Recital at 7 pm
  • December 14th  Student Recitals 1:00, 2:30, 4:00 pm
  • December 21st – January 1st CCM closed during the Holiday Week

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