Music Blog

The Official Blog of the Music Conservatory of Westchester


The Dean's Desk - Fall 2018

Wednesday, November 07, 2018


Always staying current while remaining true to our time-honored musical values, we are moving forward in the areas of music technology and composition.

With our major lower level construction project still more than a year away, we will set up an interim Digital Piano Lab on our second floor. Ten workstations will each have a digital piano, computer, and the latest software – ideal for teaching studio composition, arranging, classical composition, theory and more. The lab will provide training for high school students to hone their 21st century music technology skills and prepare for college and careers. It will also house group piano classes for young children and adults.

Another new trend we’re headlining is our “Singer-Songwriter” program, offering classes and private lessons in this popular art form. Taught by recording artist Melissa Frabotta, this program is for all aspiring songwriters/performers, regardless of age or experience.

For two years running, we have earned the title “Best of Westchester,” in part because of our enthusiasm for adaptation and innovation. For our team of teachers, students, parents, and administrators, this is just the beginning!

Sincerely,
Dr. Douglas Bish
Dean of Students and Faculty


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!


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.

 

Free First Notes Classes and Piano Concerts this Spring

Monday, April 09, 2018


Free Community Piano Concerts


Celebrate the Piano with the talented young students of the Music Conservatory of Westchester! Learn how the piano was invented, and how it became the most popular instrument of all time. Take a peek into the lives of the great piano composers and how they influenced piano builders to make it bigger and better.

Sunday, April 15, 2:00pm Ossining Library
Mother's Day Concert, Sunday, May 13, 2:30pm Greenburgh Library

These concerts are supported by the Westchester Community Foundation, The Rudyard and Emanuella Reimss Fund.
 

Free Baby & Music Bilingual Music Classes

Experience our bilingual (English and Spanish) early childhood music education program, First Notes/Primeras Notas, for free. First Notes classes will be held at libraries in White Plains and Ossining during early afternoon hours in 22 total classes April 15 through May 12, 2018.

Taught by Music Conservatory of Westchester instructor Sandra Muñoz, First Notes classes are an introduction to music geared toward jump starting early childhood education for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers through songs, sound exploration, rhythm and movement in an upbeat, nurturing environment. Children attend classes with a parent or caregiver, sharing the joy of singing and experiencing music together.

Free First Notes/Primeras Notas Library Lesson Schedule:

Ossining Public Library
2:30pm, 3-5 yrs
April 15, April 22, April 29

White Plains Public Library
1:00pm, 4mo-2yrs & 2:00pm, 2-4yrs
April 14, April 21, May 5, May 12

Feldenkrais Workshop for Musicians Coming to the Conservatory!

Friday, February 16, 2018

 Feldenkrais for Musicians Workshop

Tuesday, March 13th 4:30-7:30pm

with Dr. Lisa M. Burrell 

(Free and Open to the Public)

The Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education® is a movement-based educational modality created by the late Ukranian-born physicist and Judo master Dr. Moshé Feldenkrais. Musicians, dancers, athletes and other high-level performers have turned to Feldenkrais® in recent years to learn ease and fluidity in refined skills. Smooth, efficient movement yields healthier technique that can help overcome and avoid injury.

In Feldenkrais® lessons we explore patterns of movement that are often unfamiliar and puzzling in order to expand our awareness throughout ourselves, stimulate the development of new neural connections in the brain and allow us to expand our choices for how we think, feel and move. With more options, we can become free of the repetitive patterns that inhibit and injure us.

This freedom often allows people to not only feel better, stronger and more productive, but also can allow for enhanced expressivity, creativity, and communication.

Schedule:

Developmental Moves Workshop (ages 3-5) 4:30-5:00pm
We will explore movement of animals in contra and ipsilateral walking and crawling patterns, games with cross-body patterns, balance, and other age-appropriate movement puzzles. Mini-musicians are in various stages of development of handedness and coordination. This workshop provides a developmental boost for little musicians to explore some of the necessary connections useful in the finer motor skill and rhythmic challenges of playing an instrument. Parents are encouraged to attend!

Coordinating Our Bodies for Instrumental Success (ages 6-8) 5:00-5:45pm
In this workshop we will more advanced movement activities helpful in refining coordination, rhythm, articulation, balance, and posture. We will explore some contralateral and ipsilateral patterns of movement, tongue twisters, and differentiated movements of the eyes, jaw, arms, legs, head, and torso. We will explore activities in sitting, standing, and lying on the floor, so comfortable clothing for easy movement is important. Parents are welcome to attend!

Group Awareness Through Movement Lesson (ages 9 - adults) 5:45-6:30pm
Following a brief description of the Feldenkrais Method and it’s relevance with musicians, we will engage in one of Moshe Feldenkrais’s original Awareness Through Movement sequences. The lesson will be about 35 minutes long and involve lying and sitting on the floor. Please wear comfortable clothing for easy movement and bring a TOWEL or YOGA MAT to lie on.

Feldenkrais Masterclass (all ages) 6:30-7:30
Invited students will perform on their instruments. We will look at ways to apply ideas from the Feldenkrais Method directly to learning and practice with instrument in hand. Work with each student will also allow opportunities for audience participation and questions.

Dr. Lisa Burrell is a violinist, violist, string clinician, and a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner®. She is on the faculty of Lone Star College in Houston, TX, and the summer faculty of the Performing Arts Institute of Wyoming Seminary and the Five Seasons Chamber Music Festival. In addition to performing, she is a regular clinician in the Houston public schools, giving an average of 60 clinics yearly, emphasizing pedagogy that promotes healthy playing through movement-based learning. She sees professional musician clients to prevent and overcome injuries/difficulties associated with neurological issues, repetitive strain, and performance anxiety.

Join Us for a Livestream Masterclass with PubliQuartet

Monday, January 22, 2018


On Saturday, February 10, Associated Chamber Music Players will be holding a Live Stream Chamber Music Masterclass featuring PUBLIQuartet, recipient of the 2015 CMA/ASCAP award for Adventurous Programming. The free two-hour masterclass will be held at the National Opera Center in NYC with a multi-camera crew where award-winning, PUBLIQuartet, will be conducting sessions on Astor Piazzola's Oblivion and Prokofiev's Quartet No. 2 (2nd movt). Attendance for the live event in NYC is free, click here to register!

Join your fellow students and musicians at the Music Conservatory of Westchester and experience this unique event together! The Conservatory is inviting anyone interested to view the live stream on Feb 10th from 2:30 - 4:30pm in Rm 203. Participants will be able to submit questions or comments through a live chat feed. Those unable to make it Saturday can still tune into the live stream at home. To find out more information about PUBLIQuartet, how to view and downloading scores go to: prod.acmp.net/acmp.net/live.

Livestream Masterclass Facebook Event

Free Baby & Me Music Classes at Local Libraries

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


This New Year, Music Conservatory of Westchester of White Plains is giving Westchester County families a chance to experience their bilingual (English and Spanish) early childhood music education program, First Notes/Primeras Notas, for free. First Notes classes will be held at libraries in White Plains, New Rochelle, Greenburgh, and Ossining during early afternoon hours in 22 total classes starting January 20 through May 12, 2018.

Taught by Music Conservatory of Westchester instructor Sandra Muñoz, First Notes classes are an introduction to music geared toward jump starting early childhood education for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers through songs, sound exploration, rhythm and movement in an upbeat, nurturing environment. Children attend classes with a parent or caregiver, sharing the joy of singing and experiencing music together.

Free First Notes/Primeras Notas Library Lesson Schedule:

New Rochelle Public Library 

1:00pm, 3-5 yrs
Jan 20, Jan 27, Feb 3, Feb 10, Feb 17
Greenburgh Public Library
1pm, 4mo-2 yrs & 1:45pm, 2-4 yrs
March 3, March 17, March 24
Ossining Public Library
2:30pm, 3-5 yrs
April 15, April 22, April 29
White Plains Public Library
1:00pm, 4mo-2yrs & 2:00pm, 2-4yrs
April 14, April 21, May 5, May 12

Inside the Studio Week is Back!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017


Back by popular demand, Inside the Studio week will return for the second time at the Music Conservatory of Westchester. During the week of Sunday October 22nd - Saturday October 28th, parents can sit-in and observe their child'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.

The special week will also include a meet-up opportunity for Adult Students, a social for Conservatory Parents and an information session with Dean Doug Bish on, "“Everything You Want to Know About the NYSSSMA Solo & Ensemble Festival." Don't miss out on this fun and unique experience!

Introducing an ALL NEW Hip-Hop Workshop

Thursday, May 04, 2017
The influence of hip-hop on today’s music is undeniable. Join the Hip-Hop Revolution this summer and learn to write your own music! Classes will include Beat Production, History of Hip-Hop, Lyrical Flow, Composition, Theory & Analysis and more.

This amazing week of Hip-Hop will take place August 14-18th, 9am to 3:30pm and is for middle and high school students. Call 914.761.3900 or email jake@musiced.org for more information.

Join Us for a Spectacular Week of Suzuki!

Thursday, May 04, 2017
Join us for a week of in-depth instruction on Violin, Cello or Guitar using the renowned Suzuki method. Classes include semi-private & group lessons, chamber ensembles, Baroque music, music theory, movement and more! This spectacular week will be from August 7-11th, 9am to 3:30pm and is for grades K – 8.

A Beginner Suzuki Special option is available for ages 4 and up, which will include a semi-private lesson and group class, and will take place between 11am – 12pm or 4pm – 5pm. Go to www.summeratmcw.org or contact Jake Robinson for more information, 914-761-3900 x143, jake@musiced.org.


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