Music Blog

The Official Blog of the Music Conservatory of Westchester


A Very Special Musical Afternoon Performance

Monday, November 05, 2018

(from left to right) Kenneth Taber, Jean Newton, MCW Executive Director, Cheryl Breitkopf, Joel Breitkopf, MCW Board President, Aishling Quinn, Development Officer, Andrea Taber, Board Member, Cynthia Ahn, Victor Goldsmith, Board Member, and Carmen Forte, Board Member.

The Conservatory is so proud of our students who participated on Sunday, November 4th in a very special appreciation performance at the home of Board member Andrea Taber! We were thrilled to share our students’ musical talents with our Board of Trustees members and community leaders.

Thank you to our incredible faculty members Hyemin Kang, piano, and Nick Brust, saxophone, and Suzanne Wagor, Suzuki program coordinator for being part of the Conservatory’s Musical Afternoon for our Leaders & Friends. 

Conservatory Jazz Ensemble members Sarah Ashley Baldeon, vocals, James Cardosi, drums, Joanna Green Delgado, flute, Jacob Dunefsky, guitar, Adam Pascual, piano, and Hugo Vera, bass.

Suzuki violin students Erin Lang, Melissa Rosas, and Cecilia Valdes.

 
Solo instrumentalist Adrian Pascual, cello.

 Solo instrumentalist Cathy Stanton, clarinet.

New Singer-Songwriter Program Launched!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Melissa Frabotta, MCW Singer-Songwriter Faculty

Calling all high school aspiring singer-songwriters! Do you write lyrics and melodies in notebooks? Play an instrument and want to make your own music? You can learn how to successfully put those elements together with training from the new Singer-Songwriter Program at the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains. Sign up today!

Currently open for enrollment, this program is taught by professional, independent singer-songwriter Melissa Frabotta aka “Mosa,” who comes to the Conservatory with expansive recording and performance experience in New York City and major cities around the United States and Canada. Students can hone their instrumental skills as they study songwriting and performance, and learn how to be a successful singer-songwriter in the music industry.

“I think musicians should really try and master their craft, whatever that may be. Study hard in a fun positive way, go towards what satisfies you, and become great at it,” Frabotta says.

Recognizing the demand from students with an interest in writing and performing their own songs, the Conservatory developed a curriculum for this new program. The Conservatory encourages interested students to start with a combination of private instrumental lessons to enhance their skills and study the fundamentals of songwriting with Melissa Frabotta. Students enrolled in the program will also have opportunities to share their original music in performances at the Conservatory.

“Music should always be inclusive, not exclusive."

As part of the nonprofit community music school’s Jazz/Rock/Pop Division, the Singer-Songwriter Class adds Frabotta to the Conservatory’s roster of more than 80 expert faculty members. Her most recent album titled “Who We Are” was self-released in October 2018 under the stage name Mosa. She has performed her original music at Rockwood Music Hall, The Bitter End, Mercury Lounge, and other notable New York City music venues, and has toured for performances in such major cities as Nashville, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, DC, and Montreal, QC. Frabotta’s recording experience spans from solo recordings and producing, to vocal session work for various songwriters around the New York Metropolitan area.

“Music should always be inclusive, not exclusive. We're all human, and therefore all are naturally capable of creating, interpreting, and performing music to some extent,” Frabotta explains. “I like to encourage students to always remember that, in order for them to always maintain the natural connection and curiosity towards exploring music.”

Find Mosa at www.mosasings.com and listen to her latest album “Who We Are” at mosa.bandcamp.com/releases
Interested aspiring singer-songwriters and musicians at any level and any genre are welcome to join, learn, and express themselves through melody, lyric, and rhythm.

The Conservatory’s new Singer-Songwriter Program is now open for enrollment! Contact the Music Conservatory of Westchester at 914-761-3900 or info@musiced.org to get started!


Congratulations are in Order!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018


Congratulations to our amazing students on their wonderful accomplishments!

Congratulations to Ben Wien, age 12, student of Amanda Tabor, horn
• Ben received State Certificate of Excellence and Center Certificate of Excellence for Level 4 in the 2018 Royal Conservatory of Music Certificate Program, an international evaluation standard for music students.
• Ben has been a student at the Conservatory since 2016.

Congratulations to Yusi Audrey Li, age 10, student of Jaejin Lee, piano
• Audrey received State Certificate of Excellence and Center Certificate of Excellence for Level 3 and Level 4 in the 2018 Royal Conservatory Certificate Program.
• Audrey has been a student at the Conservatory since 2013.

Congratulations to Olivia DiLallo (age 8), Sydney Harris (age 9), and Rowan Pedraza (age 13), students of Mikhail Zeiger, piano

• Olivia, Sydney, and Rowan received Center Certificate of Excellence for Level A and Level 4 (Rowan) in the 2018 Royal Conservatory Certificate Program.
• Olivia has been a student at the Conservatory since 2016.
• Sydney has been a student at the Conservatory since 2014.
• Rowan has been a student at the Conservatory since 2017.

Congratulations to Cathy Stanton (age 15) and Agustin Otero (age 17), students of Doug Bish, clarinet

• Cathy was selected for the Area All-State Band, and Agustin was selected for the Area All-State Orchestra.
• Cathy has been a student at the Conservatory since 2008.
• Agustin has been as a student at the Conservatory since 2017.

Community Celebrates Music-Themed Mural at Conservatory Block Party

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

 Associate Director of Programs at ArtsWestchester Sue Abbott,  “Colors of Music” Student Mural Contest judge Lynn Honeysett, Mayor of White Plains Thomas Roach, MCW Executive Director Jean Newton, MCW Board President Joel Breitkopf , New York State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, professional mural artist Jonathan Villoch, student artist Mya Madison Davis of Pelham, student artist Emma Farley, and student artist Ciara Sergi celebrate the ribbon cutting for the music-themed mural painted on its building at the Mural Unveiling Party.

Sunday, September 30th was a beautiful, sunny day for music and art! The Music Conservatory of Westchester invited the entire Westchester County community to a Mural Unveiling Party to celebrate the painting of a music-themed mural on the nonprofit music school’s building on Central Avenue in White Plains. Live music, food trucks, and fun family activities drew more than 150 community members to the Music Conservatory’s campus throughout the exciting afternoon event. Click here to see all the photos!

This new public art collaboration between professional mural artist Jonathan Villoch and Westchester County high school students is made possible with support by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funds for the event were donated by TD Bank, with mobile stage equipment and services provided by the City of White Plains.

“Music and art bring people together like nothing else can,” Conservatory Executive Director Jean Newton said during the mural presentation at the event. “We are really thrilled to have this opportunity to do this project and paint this beautiful design on our building.”

Fios 1 News Broadcasted the event!

With the painted mural as a bright and vibrant backdrop for the festive event, students of the Conservatory as well as a faculty band showcased their talents in live musical performances, food trucks from around Westchester County were on premises with diverse cuisine, and event attendees of all ages enjoyed free activities and outdoor games. The Music Conservatory also offered a booth for exploring a sample of instruments taught at the music school and event participant Faust Harrison Pianos was on site sharing information about their piano services.

Conservatory Board President Joel Breitkopf, professional artist Jonathan Villoch, City of White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach, and New York State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin joined the Music Conservatory Executive Director in presenting the mural to the community with an address to the event attendees and ribbon cutting ceremony.

Breitkopf explained his initial idea to beautify the Conservatory’s building which started four years ago at a board meeting. “Now it will have an amazing physical presence in the community.”

MCW Board President Joel Breitkopf of Scarsdale, professional mural artist Jonathan Villoch, Mayor of White Plains Thomas Roach, and New York State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin admire the detail in the collaborative mural design with Westchester County students and professional mural artist Jonathan Villoch.

The collaborative mural design was decided through the Conservatory’s “Colors of Music” Student Mural Contest which called upon local Westchester County middle and high school students to submit their artistic vision of what the theme of “multicultural music” means to them. Art experts from Westchester and Manhattan voted to determine the winning design. Mural concepts by Pelham Memorial High School 10th grader Mya Madison Davis and White Plains High School 10th grader Ciara Sergi won the contest in a tie. Emma Farley of New Rochelle, 8th grader at Albert Leonard Middle School and Lucy Schwartzreich of Chappaqua, 12th grader at Horace Greely High School were finalists in the contest.

Student artists Mya Madison Davis, Emma Farley, and Ciara Sergi were in attendance at the Mural Unveiling Party as their talents and creative ideas were celebrated and appreciated by event attendees.

Over the summer, winning students Mya Madison Davis and Ciara Sergi participated in a mural art workshop with professional artist Jonathan Villoch for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create the final design together.

“We are very excited to share the mural with you,” Jonathan Villoch said at the mural presentation. “The students really gave it their all. They were here every day, created great ideas, and worked tremendously to complete this project.”

Painters from Mural Painter NYC continue progress on the music-themed mural at the Music Conservatory of Westchester.

Mayor Thomas Roach emphasized the importance of the arts as a critical element of education for youth in presenting the mural to the community. “I am particularly pleased that we got young people involved. I feel strongly that we need the arts. The arts bring the most out of young people,” he said. “This will not only brighten people’s day, but let people know the wonderful things that are happening inside this building every day.”

“It’s really a great day,” New York State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin said, addressing the crowd, “When you think about the importance of art in all of our lives, it is so incredibly important for all of us. The Conservatory has been that presence in our community for a long time.”

Mural Painter NYC, a group of artists specializing in hand painted murals in the Tri-State area, is currently finishing painting the colorful design on the Music Conservatory of Westchester building’s south-facing wall.

Executive Director Newton added, “This is definitely something people will notice!”

Inside the Studio Week - Fall Edition

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

We invite and encourage all parents/guardians during Inside the Studio Week to sit-in and observe their student’s private lesson. Parents will also have a chance during the last five to ten minutes of the lesson to talk with the teacher and check-in on their child's progress.

This special week also includes a fall social for Adult Students, and coffee and bagel meetup for parents and families. Come and participate in a week of music!

MON, OCTOBER 22ND - SUN, OCTOBER, 28TH

Parent Coffee & Bagel Social
Saturday, October 27th
Recital Hall, 10am-12pm

Westchester Arts Organizations Share the Stage to Discuss the ART of College Planning

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

 

On Thursday, September 20, 2018, Rye-based college planning and academic achievement company Novella Prep will hold a free workshop and Q&A for parents looking to maximize their child’s potential through the arts and get a head start on college planning.  At 6:00pm in the Music Conservatory of Westchester’s Recital Hall in White Plains, representatives from several well-established arts organizations in Westchester County will share the stage to offer guidance to parents on how to take advantage of artistic and creative opportunities for their children from the middle school years through the college admissions process.

The program will also be livestreamed via Zoom on Thursday, September 20 starting at 6:30pm. Livestream link is available with digital RSVP to the event.

The focus of the discussion will be how various arts programming ranging from music and visual arts, to theatre and dance can positively impact a child’s development and enhance their college applications. Parents and students in grades 7-12 will gain and understanding of developmental and cognitive benefits of the arts that contribute to academic achievement. The workshop will also integrate insight on how arts participation and enrichment can benefit students applying as any college major.

Participating arts organizations and representatives in attendance will be:

  • Clay Art Center, Leigh Taylor Mickelson, Executive Director
  • Music Conservatory of Westchester, Douglas E. Bish, Ph.D., Dean of Students and Faculty
  • Pelham Art Center, Charlotte Mouquin, Executive Director
  • Random Farms Kids’ Theater, Alexis Grausz, Artistic Director
  • Steffi Nossen School of Dance, Shelley Grantham, Executive Director

During the workshop, Novella Prep founder F. Tony Di Giacomo, Ph.D. will lead the discussion and Q&A session to follow. There will also be time to speak with representatives from the participating arts organizations one-on-one after the Q&A portion of the workshop. Parents are encouraged to bring their children in grades 7-12 to share and learn from the conversation.

The ART of College Planning: A Workshop and Q&A
Date: Thursday, September 20, 2018
Location: Music Conservatory of Westchester, Recital Hal
216 Central Avenue, White Plains, NY 10606
Time: 6:00pm (seating is open), 6:30pm start
Free Admission
RSVP at: goo.gl/forms/w2ca0NzOPsKTNSRu2
Broadcast on Zoom starting at 6:30pm
Questions: Tony DiGiacomo, 914-586-2800, events@novellaprep.com

Join Us for Some Free Family Fun at Our Mural Unveiling Party

Tuesday, August 07, 2018


The Music Conservatory of Westchester invites the entire Westchester County community for a free outdoor Mural Unveiling Party on Sunday, September 30, 2018 from 1pm-4pm on the Conservatory’s campus at 216 Central Avenue in White Plains! The community music school is celebrating the unveiling of the full-scale painted mural designed by local Westchester County students in collaboration with professional mural artist Jonathan Villoch as part of the “Colors of Music” Student Mural Contest. This will be a family-friendly afternoon event with food trucks, live music, face-painting, outdoor activities, and more!

“We are very excited to unveil the finished mural, celebrate and share it with the entire community,” Executive Director Jean Newton said. “It is a thrill to bring art and music together for such a festive event.”

The mural will be unveiled to the community at 2pm with community leaders in attendance and the support of local sponsors Faust Harrison Pianos and Thomson’s Art Supply. Cuisine from a variety of local mobile food vendors as well as live music performed by Conservatory students and faculty, outdoor games and fun activities will entertain attendees of all ages throughout the party.

The “Colors of Music” Student Mural Contest, supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for artistic youth in Westchester County to create their vision of what the theme of “Multi-Cultural Music” means to them in a large-scale mural form. Numerous entries were submitted by middle and high school students around Westchester County with the hope that their artwork would be chosen as the basis for a mural to be painted on the Music Conservatory of Westchester’s building on Central Avenue in White Plains.

“This mural project will reflect the Conservatory’s wonderful musical community, the rich diversity of our greater Westchester community, and the vital role music plays in all our lives,” Newton added.

Over the summer, the winning students participated in a week-long collaborative mural art workshop led by Cuban American artist and New York City-based art educator Jonathan Villoch, to develop the final design based on the students’ artwork. Elements of artwork submissions by the contest finalists will also be incorporated into the mural design. In a tie, based on scores from all eight members of the adjudication panel, two students were chosen as winners of the contest.


Winning students Mya Madison Davis, 9th grader from Pelham Memorial High School and Ciara Sergi, 9th grader from White Plains High School, collaborate with mural artist and workshop mentor, Jonathan Villoch, on the final mural design.

“I was happy to nurture the artwork that these students put so much effort into creating,” Jonathan Villoch said. “We will have to wait and see the final painted mural.”

Recently, the City of White Plains has embraced public art projects in the community representing the vibrant diversity of the city and Westchester County. White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach mentioned in a public statement that this community public art project will “not only beautify the city; it will also benefit an important community partner, which is the Conservatory.”

Join the Music Conservatory of Westchester from 1pm-4pm on Sunday, September 30th for an exciting mural unveiling and fun outdoor community party to celebrate how art and music bring people together like nothing else! In the event of inclement weather, the Mural Unveiling Party will have a rain date on Sunday, October 7th from 1pm-4pm at the Music Conservatory of Westchester.

Mural Unveiling Party
Date: Sunday, September 30, 2018
(Rain Date: Sunday, October 7, 2018)
Time: 1-4pm
Free Admission
Location: Music Conservatory of Westchester
216 Central Avenue
White Plains, NY 10606


Suzuki Fall Open Houses - Registration is Open!

Monday, July 23, 2018


Discover your child’s musical potential this fall! The Music Conservatory of Westchester invites prospective students ages 4 and up, and their families to explore and learn about the comprehensive Suzuki music training philosophy at upcoming Saturday Open Houses on September 15th and 22nd.

Voted Best of Westchester’s ‘Best Music School’ for two consecutive years (2017 and 2018), the Music Conservatory’s Suzuki Open Houses start at 9:30 AM with open parent education classes, include an open ‘play down’ with Suzuki students, and time for questions and answers.

The Music Conservatory of Westchester’s Suzuki program offers instruction in violin, cello or piano for students ages 4 and up, focusing on the philosophy that “Every Child Can” learn to play an instrument. Suzuki approach is based on an equal triangle of support and cooperation between the student, teacher, and parents. Our highly qualified Suzuki teachers train young musicians to become skilled instrumentalists, performers and ensemble players, while developing their motor skills and focusing ability.

Join the Music Conservatory of Westchester at our 216 Central Avenue location in White Plains for Suzuki Open House events in September! Registration is open – enroll now!

Suzuki Open Houses on Saturday, September 15 and Saturday, September 22:

  • 9:30-10:15 AM Open Parent Education Class
  • 10:15-11:00 AM Open Parent Education Class
  • 10:15-11:00 AM Suzuki Student ‘Play Down’
  • 11:00 AM-12:00 PM Open House

Fall Open Houses at the Best Music School in Westchester!

Friday, July 20, 2018


Music Conservatory of Westchester, voted Best of Westchester’s ‘Best Music School’ for two consecutive years (2017 and 2018), invites prospective students and their families to attend and participate in its Open Houses introducing its updated roster of classes in September! Explore music classes that appeal to toddlers, children, teens, and adults – open for Registration now!

The Conservatory is grounded in time-honored musical values with innovative programming for today’s students, including our very youngest. A new elementary Guitar Program for students as young as age 4 imparts the musical foundations to pursue more advanced studies in classical, rock, Latin, or jazz guitar, and prepares them to join a variety of bands and ensembles.

On Saturdays and Sundays, a new sequential First Notes curriculum will start musical exploration at age 3 months. Parents will see their children engaged in fun learning activities, gaining new skills at each level. The curriculum will seamlessly progress to our Music Skills and Theory classes.

Starting in the upper elementary grades, the Conservatory prepares students for NYSSMA auditions, music competitions, performing in school ensembles and productions, and gearing up for college. For advanced high school students, the Conservatory offers an Honors Program with a pre-college curriculum. Graduation from the Honors Program is a highly-regarded component of students’ college applications, regardless of their future career plans.

The Music Conservatory has also developed unique programming just for Adults ages 18 through 80+. Adult music theory classes are offered in sections for absolute beginners through experienced students using a flexible learning approach. In addition to private lessons, group piano and guitar classes, piano partners, women’s vocal ensemble and chamber ensembles create a fun, social atmosphere for adult music students to learn and master their instruments.

As part of our inclusive musical community, the Conservatory provides numerous performance opportunities throughout the year for students of all ages. With more than 80 expertly qualified faculty of professional musicians with exceptional academic and performance credentials in their specialized instruments, the Music Conservatory of Westchester truly offers the ‘Best of Westchester’!

Join us at Open Houses at our 216 Central Avenue location in White Plains on:
  • Tuesday, September 4 (6:00-7:30 PM) CANCELED
  • Saturday, September 15 (10:00 AM – 1:00 PM)
  • Monday, September 17 (5:00-7:00 PM)
See us on Saturday, September 15 and September 22 at 9:30 AM for our Suzuki Open Houses!

Music Conservatory of Westchester
216 Central Avenue
White Plains, NY 10606



Jump-Start Your Child's Success with Music!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

 

Voted Best of Westchester’s “Best Music School” for two consecutive years (2017 and 2018), the nonprofit Music Conservatory of Westchester is dedicated to providing the extraordinary benefits of music to all in our community, including all ages. The Conservatory offers a full spectrum of quality music instruction for students in the developing stages of growth, starting with its First Notes curriculum for babies and toddlers, and progressing with its Suzuki program and Guitar program for young musicians, all leading toward its Honors Program for high school students preparing for college.

“Music is all around us, virtually everywhere we go, yet most people listen to music without understanding what they are actually hearing,” Conservatory Dean of Students and Faculty Dr. Douglas Bish explains. “Children who develop a strong sense of musical concepts from their earliest years have a better chance of growing up with confidence, self-motivation, creativity, and other essential skills.”

The Music Conservatory of Westchester prepares children as young as 3 months old for their future through its First Notes sequence, with three levels of classes to jumpstart your child’s musical understanding: Bravo Babies (3 – 18 months), Toddler Tunes (1 ½ - 2 ½ years), and Preschool Prodigies (3 – 4 years). Children explore musical sounds and rhythms, and learn songs from around the world, attending classes with a parent or caregiver.

The Music Conservatory of Westchester’s Suzuki program offers instruction in violin, cello or piano for students ages 4 and up, focusing on the philosophy that “Every Child Can” learn to play an instrument. Our highly qualified Suzuki teachers train young musicians to become skilled instrumentalists, performers and ensemble players, while developing their motor skills and focusing ability. Our new Guitar Program offers a progressive curriculum on this popular instrument, preparing young students ages 4 and up to specialize in their favorite style of music, whether rock, jazz or classical, when they get to middle school.

Starting in the upper elementary grades, the Conservatory prepares students for NYSSMA auditions, music competitions, performing in school ensembles and productions, and gearing up for college. For high school students, the Conservatory offers an Honors Program with a pre-college curriculum that includes performance, theory, and ensemble participation in addition to instrumental or vocal study. Graduation from the Honors Program is a highly-regarded component of students’ college applications, regardless of their future career plans.

Visit our Fall Open Houses to Find out More!

  • Tuesday, September 4 (6:00-7:30 PM)
  • Saturday, September 15 (10:00 AM – 1:00 PM)
  • Saturday, September 15 (9:30AM - 12:00PM) Suzuki Open House
  • Monday, September 17 (5:00-7:00 PM)
  • Saturday, September 22 (9:30AM -12:00PM) Suzuki Open House
“Our faculty members are selected equally for their accomplishments as performers, and for their teaching expertise, to ensure the Conservatory maintains its reputation for the most nurturing environment for learning,” Dr. Bish says of the Conservatory’s opportunities for quality music training throughout students’ years of development.

Starting your child’s musical journey early is critical for their success as they grow up. At the Music Conservatory of Westchester, you and your child are a part of a musical community like no other. For more information on why studying music is a great choice for you child visit our Why Study Music page!

To enroll for the fall, schedule a meeting with us by completing the online Inquiry Form, Email us or call 914-761-3900.

 


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