Music Blog

The Official Blog of the Music Conservatory of Westchester


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!


Faculty Member Hiroshi Yamazaki Concert Kicks Off Jazz Fest

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The audience was jazzed at the kick off performance of ArtsWestchester’s Jazz Fest 2017 from Conservatory faculty member Hiroshi Yamazaki’s trio. On the piano, Yamazaki led the trio, comprised of Steve LaSpina (bass) and Eliot Zigmund (drums), with original arrangements of staple jazz compositions as well as classics by Duke Ellington and George Gershwin sung by special guest Glenda Davenport. This concert was held at Grace Church in White Plains on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 in partnership with the Music Conservatory of Westchester.

To find out more about the upcoming performances in this year's Jazz Fest program, visit https://artswestchester.org/programs/2017-jazz-fest/

MCW Faculty John Lang to Rock Out With Sis-Boom-Bah

Monday, September 11, 2017

Music Conservatory of Westchester faculty member John Lang (bass) and his band Sis-Boom-Bah have a rockin’ upcoming performance on Saturday, September 30th at 8pm at the Saw Mill Tavern in Ardsley.



Sis-Boom-Bah is a high energy rock band playing 5 decades of crowd-pleasing tunes for audiences to dance and sing along with! Jennifer Justice (vocals) has sang professionally for 20 years from San Francisco to NYC and uses her background in stand-up comedy and musical theater for a dazzling performance. Tristan Clark (guitar) has played with jazz legends Dave Holland and Oscar Peterson and is one of the most in-demand guitar players due to his versatility and musicianship. Alan Eicher (keyboards) is an accomplished jazz, classical and rock player that effortlessly switches between genres to teach and play on multiple stages around town. John Lang (bass) has sat in for various Broadway shows and is an established jazz bassist at Birdland, Smalls and The Silver Lining. Brian Fishler (drums) has played with Ween's frontman Aaron Freeman's solo project and has been playing with multi-Grammy nominated singer Richard Cheese along with being an familiar face in many wedding bands around the greater New York metro area.

Lang has taught Bass, Electric Bass, and Group Guitar lessons as part of the Jazz/Pop/Rock program at the Music Conservatory of Westchester since 2015.

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.

MCW student in the Broadway show "School of Rock!"

Monday, October 17, 2016

(Rachel 5th from left in black with "68" shirt)

The Music Conservatory is pleased to announce that Rachel Katzke, electric bass student of MCW faculty member Al Renino, has been cast in the role of "Katie" in Andrew Lloyd Webber's "School of Rock-The Musical," at the Winter Garden Theater on Broadway! She will be making her debut on November 7th, 2016.

"This role is unique in that it also requires her to play the electric bass live in an on-stage rock group," said her teacher, Al Renino. "Rachel came to MCW last year (at age 10) specifically with the goal of auditioning for this role, never having previously played or owned a bass. She worked incredibly hard, and I am extremely proud of her!"

Congratulations Rachel, break a leg! 

Photo courtesy of Playbill.com. For the Playbill announcement click HERE.

 

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Introducing a More Extensive Jazz/Rock/Pop Program this Fall!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Music Conservatory of Westchester will roll out several brand new classes for those interested in new and contemporary music. The offerings are aimed to expand musical horizons by learning the basics of jazz theory, harmony and improvisation. Additionally, students can explore their unique compositional voice and write original music. A music appreciation class is also available as are new large and small ensemble options including, respectively, Latin Jazz and Jazz Big Band and Jazz Combos and Rock Band.

“We offer groups of every shape and size, from rock or jazz band, to Latin Jazz and Big Band,” explained Doug Bish, Dean of Students and Faculty. “We’ll match you up with compatible players, and you’ll receive weekly coaching with a member of our outstanding professional faculty. You’ll grow as a musician and have opportunities to perform at the Conservatory and in the community.”

"We offer groups of every shape and size, from rock or jazz band, to Latin Jazz and Big Band..."

For those jazz lovers, there’s also a Jazz Theory and Improvisation class in which students will learn the evolution of improvisation, and discover how jazz greats like Charlie Parker and John Coltrane mastered their art. “You’ll develop new ways to practice your instrument, understand the Blues, use complex harmonic ideas and structures, and improvise in styles such as Bebop and Cool Jazz,” said Assistant Dean Jake Robinson.

In addition to those enhancements, the Conservatory is offering a songwriting workshop (grade 7 to adult) which will enable students to create and perform their original compositions. (There is also a young songwriters class for those in grades 6-8.) For those who simply want to share their love of music, music appreciation class “Cover to Cover” will discuss a different classic album – from Bowie to the Beach Boys – each week.

The Conservatory will also hold group classes in guitar and piano for teen and adult beginners. There is also a new “Top 25 Classics for Bass” class for students who can read music, and want to perform classic tunes by the likes of The Beatles, Temptations, Van Morrison, and other top artists.

The Conservatory offers instruction in all styles of music, on all instruments including piano, voice, strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, harp, harpsichord and organ. “Our highly qualified teachers use an individualized approach for each student, based on age, goals and learning style. Lessons are available throughout the year, including summer,” Bish said. Tuition to the lessons includes free music theory classes, discounted performing ensembles, and free student performances including rehearsals with a professional piano accompanist.

Photo by Alye Carlevaro

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