Music Blog

The Official Blog of the Music Conservatory of Westchester


StudyPrep Series Comes to the Conservatory

Friday, November 30, 2018

 

Want better grades? Want higher test scores? Want to be a better student? The Music Conservatory of Westchester is partnering with Novella Prep to bring an introductory study skills course to students in grades 7-12. 

In this StudyPrep introductory course from Novella Prep, students will learn how to achieve success by applying these two types of skills:

Will Skills
1. Increase motivation
2. Improve focus
3. Develop teacher rapport
4. Manage priorities
5. Enhance self-advocacy
6. Implement goal-setting

Study Skills
1. Increase retention
2. Refine information filtering
3. Structure note-taking ability
4. Enhance critical thinking
5. Implement effective study habits
6. Improve content comprehension

Sessions will take place in four 1 hour sessions at the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains.

  • Wednesday, January 9th at 7pm
  • Wednesday, January 16th at 7pm
  • Wednesday, January 23rd at 7pm
  • Wednesday, January 30th at 7pm

Tuition: $250 for four sessions

Students will, after completing these four sessions, have been taught how to be better note-takers, will know how much time they should spend on homework, will know how to build rapport with teachers toward their goals, and will appreciate more how much being disciplined as a student, therefore connected to preparing for college and beyond.

Session 1: Students will assess their personal and academic success and goals, learn new time utilization techniques, and create a more effective homework schedule.
Session 2: Students will improve outline and note-taking skills, and learn how to build better rapport with teachers.
Session 3: Students will examine their progress developing Will Skills and Study Skills through goals set during the first session.
Session 4: Students will compare their progress from their first session, better understanding the 3R’s Retention, Relationships, and Responsibility.

For More Information and to Enroll:
Tony Di Giacomo, Ph.D., 914-586-2800, events@novellaprep.com, https://novellaprep.com/

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

Raise Funds for Scholarships at Performathon 2018!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

 

At the Music Conservatory of Westchester, students learn much more than how to play music; the White Plains nonprofit music school also teaches the importance of community. On Saturday, December 8th, 2018, the Music Conservatory will hold its Performathon fundraiser, an all-day event featuring 13 hours of student performances and family-friendly activities, to help support the school’s Scholarship Program and new Digital Piano Lab.

For more than 15 years, the Music Conservatory of Westchester has held this event as a fun way to get its student community involved in raising funds for the school’s mission-specific programs, in order to provide the extraordinary benefits to all in our community. The Conservatory’s Scholarship Program makes it possible for financially qualifying students to study at the school who might not otherwise have that opportunity.

“The Conservatory is such a special place. When you walk through our doors, you hear the music and you feel the joy,” said Executive Director Jean Newton. “Performathon brings it all together to share with the entire community.”

The Conservatory’s Digital Piano Lab will create new opportunities for students of all ages in the Westchester County community to hone their keyboard and studio composition skills, tying into the studio facilities that will be constructed on the music school’s lower-level by the end of 2020, thanks to a $500,000 challenge grant from the New York State Regional Economic Development Council.

To raise funds this year, the Conservatory will hold a raffle with exciting prizes to include a beautiful upright piano, as well as a 55’’ LG LED Ultra HD 4K Smart TV, a Nintendo Switch game console, and a 15.6” HP laptop donated by P.C. Richard & Son.

On the day of Performathon, the Conservatory’s lobby is transformed into a fun, creative space for students and their parents with crafts and games, a photo booth, and a variety of donated food, either homemade by families or from local restaurants. It takes a community effort to organize Performathon and ensure a successful outcome. The entire Conservatory community gets involved including parent and student volunteers, local vendors and food establishments, donors and sponsors, and the Conservatory’s faculty and staff.

Student performance is the centerpiece of the day. Students of all ages will take the stage in the Conservatory’s Helen Demetrios and Michael Stadther Recital Hall to perform on a variety of instruments and styles of music. Classical, jazz, rock, pop, and musical theater will be represented at Performathon as students proudly play for their family and friends.

Voted Best of Westchester’s “Best Music School” of 2017 and 2018, the Music Conservatory of Westchester raises more than $500,000 each year to support its Scholarship Program, its Music Therapy Institute for children and adults with disabilities, and its Healing Our Heroes Program for military veterans.

For more information about Performathon, please visit http://www.musicconservatory.org/performathon

Donations to the Music Conservatory of Westchester are also accepted here: http://www.musicconservatory.org/giving/donate-now

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!


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


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.

 

Join us for an Immersive Suzuki Open House!

Thursday, May 17, 2018


On Saturday, June 2, the Conservatory will hold an immersive Open House for parents and their children to experience and understand the Suzuki philosophy of music education designed for young students ages 4 and up. The Open House will start at 9:30am with special musical performances from violin and cello Suzuki students on the front steps of the Conservatory, followed by open studio lessons at 11:00am, and a question and answer session at 1:00pm.

Students in the Conservatory’s Suzuki Program study music with the belief that “Every Child Can” encouraging every student’s innate musical talents at an early age. The Suzuki philosophy extends to all ages and abilities, and the Conservatory’s program welcomes students of violin, viola, cello, and piano.

Try the Suzuki Program during the regular school year or over the summer. This summer, the Conservatory is offering a Suzuki Beginner Special for introductory lessons for young beginner students starting at age 4 in sessions from August 6th-10th and/or August 13th-17th.

Come learn about the unique and proven Suzuki philosophy for learning to play a musical instrument on Saturday, June 2 at 9:30am. Give your children the best possible start with music at the Music Conservatory of Westchester, a musical community like no other. Visit musicconservatory.org/suzuki-program for more information.

Auction Items Needed for a Good Cause!

Tuesday, March 06, 2018


We need your help with our annual auction, benefiting our musical community! Is there a restaurant or business you love to frequent? Do you know someone who has access to tickets to a fun show, sports event, or experience? Do you have a time-share, cabin, or vacation home you would consider donating? The Conservatory is looking for donated items like these for our annual auction where proceeds all go towards our Scholarship Program, Music Therapy Program, and Healing Our Heroes program for military veterans.

We greatly appreciate your support as we prepare for our biggest fundraiser of the year! For more information and to donate, contact Laura Layne, Development Associate, at laura@musiced.org. Thank you!!

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.


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