A Year in Harmony: A message from CCM Executive Director Kate Yoder

Dear Concord Conservatory of Music Community,

As we close another remarkable year, I want to extend my deepest gratitude to each member of our Executive Director Kate Yoder vibrant music school family.

Our students have brought boundless creativity and dedication to every lesson and performance, filling our halls with inspiration and music. Witnessing their growth and passion reaffirms the importance of our mission every day.

Our talented instructors continue to be the foundation of our success. They guide and nurture our students with unmatched expertise and enthusiasm. Their commitment to helping students of all ages achieve their musical goals truly inspires me, and I’m sure they equally inspire you.

The steadfast leadership of our Board of Directors has been crucial this year, particularly in collaborating with the Strategic Planning Committee to develop our next 5-year strategic plan. Their vision and dedication ensure we continue to grow and excel in our mission. I am excited to bring our new plan to fruition, using the power of music to make meaningful connections in our community and enrich lives.

Our generous donors have played a vital role in our progress. Their support allows us to broaden our reach, address unmet needs, and make high-quality music education accessible to all. This year, we have been able to grant even more financial assistance because of their generosity.  Their belief in our mission propels us forward and enriches our community.

I look forward to continuing our journey together, expanding our impact within the community, and sharing the joy of music with even more individuals. The shared passion and dedication of our entire community make the Concord Conservatory of Music a truly special place, and to me and many of you, a family.

With heartfelt thanks,

Kate Yoder
Executive Director & Founder


Meet Mes Amours: Rocking Out with Friendship and Music

Mes Amours

Meet Mes Amours, the inspiring student rock band from the Concord Conservatory of Music. Thanks to CCM faculty member Phil Sargent, four talented teens found the inspiration to kickstart this cool group. Once they overcame their nerves about joining and playing in a band, they never looked back. Now, not only are they rocking out together, but they’re also gracing community stages with their passion and skills. Recently, Mes Amours wowed audiences at West Concord’s Porchfest.

With Elena Simon on bass and guitar, Isabella Marx on electric and acoustic guitar, Elijah Hupe on drums, and Mariana Cadavid on guitar, they have elevated their musical prowess to new heights. Mariana says, “My friends and I have always loved sharing and discussing music, so starting a rock band felt like a natural step. Now, we’re playing the music we’ve always enjoyed talking about.”

Playing in a rock band with a seasoned musician coaching them has sparked their creativity and allowed them to express themselves through music. All Mes Amours bandmates agree that they’ve sharpened their skills and performance techniques. Phil’s coaching has boosted their confidence as performers and as individuals, helping them tackle the challenges of band life.

How the group makes all the difference

They all agree that being in the group has pushed them to practice more. Elena mentioned it’s not just about learning songs anymore; she’s picked up better methods to learn music, focusing on specific things to practice and improve.

Isabella enthusiastically adds, “My practice time has significantly increased! Being in a group where others rely on you to do your best is a great motivator. My bandmates inspire me to practice more and strive to be the best I can be – for them and myself. Performances are especially valuable because they provide a goal and a deadline. This forces you to perfect your songs before concert day. It encourages me to practice more and gives me direction.”

Mariana attributes their success to regular group practices rather than just individual efforts. “We can all master our parts separately, but if we can’t connect it all together when we’re in the same room, we have a problem. We’ve always been good at finding time to jam together, connect with each other, and get into the zone.”

Isabella gives a lot of credit to Phil for the band’s success, stating, “A major factor contributing to our success has been my guitar teacher, Phil. He’s been amazing throughout my guitar journey. I started in 2019, and since then, he’s been an incredible teacher and friend. He makes rock group nights so much fun and always encourages us to try new things. I think the biggest challenge I’ve faced has been dealing with performance anxiety. On the day of our first show, I could barely hit the strings because my hands were shaking so badly. But with each performance, the anxiety slowly fades.”

Elijah, reflecting on her musical journey, shares, “The musicians who truly inspire me are my own bandmates. My goal with music is simple: to have fun and not take it too seriously.” With Phil’s help and their passion for music, these four young musicians created an unforgettable experience that boosted their musical skills and personal growth.

Congratulations to high school graduate Elena Simon as she embarks on her journey at Johnson & Wales University this fall! We’re confident her bandmates will eagerly anticipate her return home for some epic jam sessions.

If you’re interested in joining a Rock Lab Group, let us know and we’ll have you rocking out in no time!


Holistic Approach to Music Education Yields Exceptional Results

Honors Evaluations

Why Should We Adopt a Holistic Learning Approach for Music Education?

Adopting a holistic learning approach in music education acknowledges the diverse needs and learning styles of individuals. By incorporating various methods to cater to these differences, this approach prioritizes critical thinking, creativity, and self-awareness, promoting a deeper connection to music. At CCM, our goal is to cultivate individuals who are not only proficient musicians but also intellectually, emotionally, and socially adept, setting them up for success in life.

Students benefit not only by improving their musical skills but also by enhancing their ability to express themselves and appreciate the roots of music. This approach helps them become more versatile, creative, and passionate musicians, extending their talents beyond just hitting the right notes. It’s also fun to do it with your friends.

Music Achievement Program (MAP) and Honors Evaluations Develop Musicians

This year, our MAP and Honors Evaluation students excelled remarkably! We saw a significant increase in the number of students completing the Music Achievement Program and earning their certificates compared to last year. Our free musicianship and enrichment program invites all private lesson students to participate, and they enthusiastically embrace the program’s diverse offerings.

Through workshops, collaborative group classes, and performance opportunities, students broadened their musical horizons. They tracked their progress and MAP achievements by checking off their required activities, enhancing their skills, confidence, and love for music.

From vocal technique to practice time management workshops, MAP offered nine musicianship workshops with sixty-nine participants—an impressive 200% increase from last year. Additionally, more than 25% of CCM’s private lesson students participated in faculty-hosted Musicales, and we ran 50% more Music Theory classes than last year.

We proudly congratulate the eight students who went above and beyond to earn MAP Gold Medals: Iwan Fuss, Nandini Garg, Eleanor Garmey, Aiya Kerr, Marilyn Odhner, Elliott Rodriguez, Oliver Rodriguez, and Annaliese Tubbs.

This spring, CCM also hosted Strings, Guitar, and Piano Honors Evaluations, providing students with a platform to present their repertoire in a dynamic and challenging setting. During these evaluations, two judges—professional musicians and educators—provided detailed written feedback and awarded each student a bronze, silver, or gold medal based on their performances.

Gold medalists earned the prestigious opportunity to perform in an exclusive Honors Recital. This program emphasizes personal growth over competition, with students evaluated on their individual merits, including experience, age, preparation, and repertoire. Students of all playing levels can achieve gold medals, celebrating their unique achievements and remarkable progress.

Our students prepared their pieces to the highest standards, driven not by competition, but by a commitment to personal growth, satisfaction, and enjoyment. We congratulate the eight students who achieved a Gold Medal for their Honors Evaluation: Mariana Cadavid, Nandini Garg, Clara Lobono, Annaliese Tubbs, Nathan Xu, Anika Thadamakalla, Iwan Fuss, and Idan Chen.

The success of MAP and our Honors Evaluation Program is made possible by the generosity of our donors, whose support ensures that every student can reach their full potential in a nurturing and inspiring environment. Thank you for your continued belief in the transformative power of music education.

As we reflect on this year, we celebrate the success of our students and look forward to another year of musical exploration and achievement.


June’s Listening Project Playlist

Step into the vibrant soundscape of New Orleans with the June edition of our CCM Listening Project Listening Project Playlist Playlist, carefully curated by our faculty member, Stephen Marotto. Delve into the musical tapestry of this enchanting city, where every note echoes with the rich heritage of jazz, blues, and so much more.

Let Stephen’s playlist and accompanying questions guide your journey of music exploration.

We hope you enjoy the June CCM Listening Project Playlist and find the downloadable Listening Journal helpful in your musical discoveries. Thank you for joining us on this musical adventure!

Made possible in part with financial support by

Sponsored by





Our Photos: Music’s Community Power

Thanks to your support, we can make the magic of music accessible and enjoyable for everyone. Thank you for being a part of our mission to spread the joy of music!

Family Notes Group Class
Lots of fun with CCM Holly Jennings leading the Family Notes Group Class!
Recital time at CCM
Congratulations to everyone for exceptional recital performances!

Young violinist CCM instructor Masako Yotsugi with her student at a recital.

2024 Bluegrass Band Scramble
2024 Bluegrass Band Scramble
Harmolodic Microjam Jazz Concert
Harmolodic Microjam Jazz Concert


Bluegrass Band: The Ruta Beggars
Bluegrass Band: The Ruta Beggars












Bluegrass Concert by Mile Twelve
Bluegrass Concert by Mile Twelve




I believe in the power of music in my community!You’ve seen how music enriches our community, bridging divides and fostering growth. But for many, financial barriers keep this magic out of reach.

Your gift can change that.

Donate today!

Imagine a world where everyone can access the joy of music education, regardless of their financial situation.

Your support will transform lives, helping kids and adults unlock their potential through music. Thank you!

Support Music Education