Concord Community Music School prepares for new year
What’s that you say? Twenty-three different instruments aren’t enough to choose from? Five choruses, a dozen children’s programs and a half dozen other classes just won’t do it for you? Well it’s your lucky day, because the Concord Community Music School is adding even more musical offerings this fall. And you’ll never guess what they’ve got in store. Think The Sound of Music, “Love Me Do” and “Aloha Oe.”
Actually, scratch that part about “Aloha Oe.” Once viewed as the guitar’s geeky little sister, the newest instrument on the music school scene has got a hip new attitude. Thanks to pop musicians like Train and Jason Mraz and virtuoso Jake Shimabukoro, the ukulele has found quite a following of late. And it’s worthy of its newfound respect, says David Surette, who will teach a ukulele class for kids and another for adults as well as offering individual lessons in the instrument this fall.
“It’s really an enjoyable instrument to play, and it’s all over the place, in all different kinds of music,” he said.
One of the great things about the ukulele is that it’s easy for young people to handle, Surette said. “The idea for the kids’ class is to give them an introduction to the world of fretted string instruments,” he said. “It has just four nylon strings, and they’re tuned more or less the same as the top four strings on a guitar. A lot of things will translate right over. . . . I think it fits with the school’s mission of getting kids involved early.”
Along those same lines, the school is offering a new program called Harmony Road, designed to give children a solid background in music. “They have a lot of fun, but it’s a serious program,” said Marie Mendelow, who will lead the Harmony Road program. “It’s not just dancing around to music.”
One of the key elements of the program, which will be offered to children ages 3 through 11, is copious singing. “Right from day one they have to sing,” said Mendelow, who has taught the program in Nashua for many years. “They develop good pitch and they don’t grow up being inhibited about singing.”
Classes features a lot of Solfege singing – that is, do re mi and so forth – and heavy parental involvement: parents are asked to attend the classes with their kids. Students learn basic keyboard techniques as young as 3, and skills build on one another so that participants are well prepared for individual lessons if and when they choose.
Also new to the music school this year is a Beatles ensemble for enthusiasts of all ages, a teen vocal ensemble and a women’s vocal ensemble.
All the old music school favorites are back too, including children’s Music and Movement classes, Suzuki violin instruction, African drumming and the Songweavers a cappella
chorus for women. A Songweavers open sing will be held next Tuesday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and next Wednesday from 9:30 to 11 a.m. for those considering joining the group.
Individual instruction begins next week, with choruses, ensembles and other classes starting up in the next few weeks. Visit ccmusicschool.org for information.