News At CCM

Uke for Kids

Thanks to our extremely generous donor, The Ramsey McCluskey Family Foundation, CCM provides free weekly music classes for kids at the Boys & Girls Club of Assabet Valley in Maynard.

Unfortunately, most of the kids at the Club do not own a ukulele making practicing their instrument at home impossible and holding them back from making greater strides in their musicianship. We’re aiming to change that!

Do you have a ukulele sitting in a closet that you haven’t touched in years?

CCM and Cambridge Savings Bank are collecting new or gently used soprano-sized ukuleles for kids Donate a new or used ukulele! attending the music classes at the Club.

You’ll find the collection box in the Concord branch located at 202 Sudbury Road.

Help us put a ukulele in kids’ hands who would not otherwise have the opportunity to experience music instruction. Studying music is like nothing else—providing emotional, social, and linguistic benefits. You’ll be giving the gift of music that keeps on giving.

Our goal is to collect at least 30 ukuleles allowing Club members to keep a ukulele at home to practice during the week and to be able to play their tunes for their family and friends.

Thank you in advance for helping make a difference—one instrument at a time.

Discovery Day Open House, Saturday, September 9th, 1:00 – 3:00 pm

Imagine your kids discovering what it’s like to play the ukulele, violin, keyboard, flute, trumpet, drums, and cello in one afternoon! Adults can also explore instruments or get back to their music-playing days. You’re never too old to learn music.

This year, the CCM Discovery Day Open House with its instrument Exploration is on Saturday, September 9th, from 1:00 – 3:00 pm. It’s the perfect opportunity for adults and kids to discover which instrument is the one they want to learn. CCM offers financial assistance if needed.

Meet and get to know our faculty, who will demonstrate how to hold and play the instruments. Learn about the CCM Music Achievement Program offers kids—it’s a free, private lesson enrichment program included with tuition.

Free demo classes at Discovery Day Open House

Introduce your kids to the world of music through singing, dancing, and games! CCM offers free Music and Movement and Group Keyboard demo classes at the Open House.

Check out the times and sign-up in advance.

Music & Folklore

Save the date: Friday, October 27, 2023, 7:30 pm

Join us for our first concert and lecture of the 2023 – 2024 season for Music & Folklorea program that brings together the Concord Museum and the Concord Conservatory of Music to celebrate the oral folk traditions of various cultures through music.

Folklore is a way of preserving and transmitting the stories, wisdom, and values of different cultures across time. Hear musical tales that reveal the similarities and differences between diverse societies and appreciate the richness and variety of our cultural heritage.

This chamber music concert will feature CCM faculty artists soprano Rose Hegele, violinist Angel Valchinov, and pianist Yoko Hagino, with guest speaker Frank Korom, Professor of Religion and Anthropology at Boston University and Associate of Folklore and Mythology at Harvard College. Experience how this music brings the spirit and magic of the narratives to life, connecting us with our shared roots.

Tickets will go on sale soon! Please stay tuned.

What do Fidelity, Raytheon, and State Street have in common?

They have matching gift programs.

Won’t you please consider giving the gift of music today?

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Faculty Spotlight: Long Okada makes loving music contagious

How do you make learning music fun for kids? Long Okada

You need to capture their attention, motivate them to want to learn the instrument and get them to love playing music so much so that they’ll practice every day. Not an easy task when speaking about 5-, 6-, and 7-year-olds—and even more difficult as they get older and are pulled in many different directions with other after-school activities.

CCM faculty member Long Okada knows the secret combination for learning music for beginners. “With lots of playing, laughs and positivity!”, he enthusiastically says about building a creative and supportive learning space. “I believe that students will have a great time if they are doing what they love (playing music, of course) and building friendships with other students.”

The path for successful learning—The West Side String Program

Long leads the CCM West Side String Program (WSS) for beginner violin and viola students for kids ages 5 and up. Young violin and viola students learn to play their instrument at a high level while becoming part of our vibrant and enthusiastic music community.

It’s the perfect combination of techniques for learning an instrument. From an early age, students receive amazing benefits from both one-on-one instruction and learning and playing in a group. WSS helps our students realize their full potential as a musician, while building their musicianship and important life skills.

With individual lessons, kids learn at their own pace and develop goals according to their ability, personality, strengths, and weaknesses. They develop self-confidence and technical playing skills. In their group instruction, it’s all about teamwork. They’ll learn how to play, communicate, and work with their peers to make terrific music. He says, “Teamwork is the key to fostering a sense of community in students and inspiring them to work and have fun together. I think it’s a lot of fun to play together”!

How to make a learning experience fun! West Side String Program

Long includes improvisation and body percussion during group classes, not only to build a strong musical foundation but also to have a variety of exercises to enjoy together. He continuously encourages students to play solos and/or duets for other students in their class since it provides a supportive atmosphere. Sharing their music with their peers and receiving fantastic feedback boosts their confidence like nothing else.

The West Side String Program includes 17 30-minute private lessons and 15 group classes. WSS blends Suzuki’s philosophy, Paul Rolland’s movement in string playing, and traditional string pedagogy. Shinichi Suzuki’s philosophy embraces the idea that all children are born with a musical ability that can be nurtured at an early age through their environment, listening, imitation, and working closely with a parent at home.

Excited to come back to the states after spending time teaching and playing in London, Long’s plans include performing with his duo partner, flutist Nicholas Southwick. Enjoy a performance by their group, Duo Gwynne.


The Power of 3 & 5—benefits of small ensembles!

Summer Ensemble

CCM faculty member Tsuyoshi Honjo understands how to connect young musicians to make great music. He believes in their potential and got them together with their like-minded peers to form ensembles this summer.

He enhances their learning experience and gives them a huge dose of enthusiasm to play, all to help them develop into confident and motivated musicians. Tsuyoshi makes the arrangements according to each student’s skill level and the instrumentation of the group. Every year he spends a couple of weeks selecting the pieces of music for each ensemble and, in turn, then creates new arrangements for each group.

He knows how to motivate his students to get them to bring their playing to the next level. Moving their musicianship forward, Tsuyoshi created two woodwind chamber ensembles and one jazz/rock ensemble for this summer.

What inspired Tsuyoshi to create these summer ensembles?

Tsuyoshi says, “Most schools offer large ensemble experiences but not small ones where young students can develop skills to be independent performers in a small group and learn how to use their ears more. I believe that every student should start playing duets first, then move on to trios, and so on.”

Every student needs to learn their part extremely well, especially in small ensembles, to learn how to multitask while playing and pay attention to what their ensemble players are doing. Tsuyoshi explains further, “Students learn how to cover up for other players’ mistakes to keep the music going no matter what happens during a performance. This creates trust among players and results in effective teamwork.”

He wanted to give his students a summer intensive program that gives them a taste of how professional ensembles rehearse. Students are required to show up on time for all the regular rehearsals and practice daily. Do you need additional reasons to play in an ensemble? Here you go!

10 Excellent Reasons to Play in an Ensemble

Inspired to join an ensemble now? Contact us now and we’ll get you started.


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