Did you know that Note-worthy Experiences offers lessons all over the MetroWest--not just in Sudbury? Because of the studio’s unique approach to in-home lessons, we are able to teach lessons in thirty towns all over the Boston Metro. Our teachers hale from Leominster to Allston to Dover, NH, meaning that even though the studio’s headquarters is in Sudbury, we are able to cater to students all over Eastern Massachusetts. Our instructors travel to all of the following towns to teach lessons:
By Rachel Stroia
Note-worthy Experiences has announced its second annual Scholarship competition. The competition is open to all MetroWest students ages 9-17, all instruments. The competition will consist of two rounds, the first will be a recorded round in which the student will submit two pieces of contrasting style. The second round will be live performances by four students selected by a panel of judges, based on the submitted recordings. The prize for the winner is a $250 cash prize.
Last year’s winner was Catie Siedel, a piano student of Dr. Daniel Dickson. Catie was also featured in GetLocalMA magazine shortly after winning the competition. Read more about her here. She was one of four finalists to perform in front of panel of Note-worthy judges of various backgrounds. The four finalists performed a variety of pieces of all styles from Bach Preludes to Beach Buggy Boogie by Martha Mier.
The competition is an excellent opportunity for students not only to prepare a piece for a formal performance, but also to receive a variety of feedback on their progress. A teacher’s feedback is incredibly valuable to a student, and receiving feedback from others is just as valuable to the teacher and the student.
Please see the flyer below for more information on the competition:
By Jessica Petrus Aird
I'll let you in on a secret: I was absolutely one of these kids. Each week, my mom would drag me to my piano lesson, where my teacher would glare at me in disappointment because, again, I didn't practice. Maybe one song really spoke to me, and I got good at that one. But the scales, technique exercises, and that really challenging one? Often, no.
I understand her approach; she had a disciplined method that worked for many of her students and she stuck by it. Unfortunately, I was just one of those kids with which it didn't really work. I needed a more emotional and creative approach; I needed to first love the music I was playing. I was not really a "10 minutes a day, every day" kind of kid; I did better with less structure. I would go days without practicing (worrying my mother endlessly), but then spend an hour listening, singing, and playing dress-up to all kinds of music in our CD collection. As much as it probably drove my parents crazy, I'm grateful they let me find my own way in piano through various creative expressions. It was through these processes I found the spark to love some of my songs in piano and want to play them.
As you can guess, finding that spark in students can be a real challenge sometimes. My work in private teaching has shown me that the best way to help kids develop a healthy practice habit is to first identify what motivates them naturally. This is where parents' input is invaluable to me. Does your student really enjoy movement? Singing? Patterns? Problem solving? Poetry? Composing? Something else? Let's find a way to build on those natural motivators in their music learning! Below are some ideas.
Find your student's motivators!
Jessica is a voice and piano instructor for Note-worthy Experiences. To learn more about Jess, please visit her Teacher Page.
By Rachel Stroia
Note-worthy has hosted an annual winter recital for the past eleven years, since the studio began in 2007. The first recital was a small affair in a local church in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Eight students performed. Last year, the studio hosted four recitals in one day to accommodate the over 150 students that performed. The Winter recital is the climax of the studio's year, not only because it showcases the skills and hard work of the students, but because it brings the studio together. Students meet other students of their teachers. Teachers meet and network with other teachers. Parents meet other studio parents and see their students perform. They are all brought together to celebrate the musical achievement of their students and children.
It’s 8:30 AM on the morning of the recitals and the venue is already buzzing with activity. Teachers have arrived to help set up for a day filled with musical performances from instruments from piano to voice to electric guitar. Students begin to trickle in. A family carries in an entire drum set. A teacher is testing an amp. The nervous energy is tangible as the student performers take their places. The teachers, and guests settle in to enjoy the performances. The final performer takes their bow, and Renee hands out trophies and medals to the students, giddy with excitement and adrenaline. A relieved an excited aura replaces the nervous energy. The venue begins to clear only as the performers for the next recital arrive, and the cycle repeats three more times before all 150 students have performed, culminating months of practice and preparation.
A six-year old approaches the piano, apprehensive, wary of the unfamiliar keys of a new instrument. His teacher rises to help him but he has already begun his performance of Frosty the Snowman. Finishing, he jumps from his seat and runs forward to hug his family. Little does he realize that his first ever performance has been a success. The recital photographer captures the moment before the child runs back to his seat.
The audience sits in quiet as the drum set is erected. Murmurs float through the crowd; no one knows whether or not they are allowed to talk. They jump in unison as Imagine Dragons “Believe” blares from the speaker, a stark contrast to the amiable piano piece of the previous performance. Heads start to bob as the piece continues. Cheers ring through the clapping on completion. “That was awesome,” whispers a guest. “I was expecting to be bored, but this is great.”
Note-worthy’s Winter Recital is gives students the chance to showcase their hard work and vast variety of skills. It gives them the chance to create memories of success and the motivation to continue their hard work. But most importantly, it brings together a community of young musicians to share their love of music.
Our 2018 Winter Holiday Recitals will be held at St. Anne in the Fields, Lincoln on Friday, December 7, and Saturday, December 8, 2018. The registration fee is $40. We do not charge guests for tickets, and students may invite an unlimited number of guests.
Registration will close after November 5th. Students will be assigned to specific recital times. The Friday evening recital will be reserved for our older and more advanced students if they choose to participate in that recital.
To register, please contact Renee at firstname.lastname@example.org, or speak with your instructor.
Rachel Stroia is the Office Manager at Note-worthy Experiences Music Studio. In addition to working at Note-worthy, she is a student at Suffolk University and enjoys reading, baking, and hiking.
By Rachel Stroia
Earlier this year, Note-worthy embarked on the project of collecting teaching philosophies from all of our teachers. We know that all of our teachers are unique in their teaching styles and goals. Reading a teacher's biography can sometimes not be sufficient information to decide if that teacher is a good fit for your student. We asked ourselves how we could make more focused information about out teachers available to families searching for music teachers. Just as every teacher has a different teaching style, every family has a different requirement for their own musical journey. We asked our teachers to write a teaching philosophy so that we could understand their motives, inspirations, and goals, not just their achievements. The results surpassed our expectations. Not only did we learn about individual teaching styles and methods, but we also discovered the wealth of diversity that the teachers at Note-worthy offer.
One teacher said, "I teach students to focus on achieving the sensations of healthy singing, rather than making judgments about the resulting sounds, which can often be instinctively negative, rather than objective and analytical. Once we free ourselves from negative judgments, singing becomes healthier, more creative, AND more fun! I ask students to view lessons and practice as science experiments; be playful and observant and the beautiful sounds will happen." Another, "My teaching philosophy is to instill a state of constant wonder and curiosity for music of all forms." Another, “"Whether teaching voice or piano, my primary goal is to help students see music as a creative, individual, and fun process! Through my positive and gentle guidance which includes invaluable tools like healthy vocal or piano technique, musical literacy, improvisation and ear training, and appropriate repertoire, I hope to help cultivate a lifelong love of music in my students that keeps them learning and experimenting for years to come."
Our teachers bring a wealth of experience from some of the best music schools in the county. But more than that, they bring a passion to share their love of music with others and to inspire a life-long love of music in their students. For more teacher philosophies, please visit our Meet our Teachers page.
Rachel Stroia is the Office Manager at Note-worthy Experiences Music Studio. In addition to working at Note-worthy, she is also a student at Suffolk University and enjoys reading and cooking.
By Note-worthy Experiences
Have you ever wondered why your instructor was first interested in music? How their musical voyage began? ? What kind of music they listen to on their spare time?
You can now learn all about the Note-worthy instructors in the Teacher Feature section of our website! Every month, we feature a different teacher and learn all about their individual musical journey. Discover the unique styles and stories of the diverse Note-worthy team.
By Alix Raspe
Allow me to introduce Luna, my oldest and best friend. Luna’s not your typical companion; she’s not a beloved stuffed animal or a neighborhood pal. She is a Style 85, Lyon and Healy Concert Grand harp. Now, how did a toddler become attached to an ninety pound, six foot high, widely unpopular musical instrument? My parents definitely weren’t musical. The only performing art they introduced me to was “Big Bird Meets the Orchestra.” Yet, by the age of five, I was obsessed with the harp.
It all began while watching Duchess in Walt Disney’s “The Aristocats.” Though the Scat Cats were entertaining, I was completely mesmerized by Duchess. At that moment, I didn’t want to “Be a Cat”; I wanted to “Be a Harpist”. This dream was a self-proclaimed commitment. Nothing would change my mind; nothing would stop me... except maybe my parents.
Not only was the harp an expensive investment for a five year old; it was three times my size. Mom and Dad tried to sell me on piano lessons, but I remained resolute. As a compromise we agreed on piano lessons for three years and harp lessons thereafter.
My obligatory interest in piano lasted exactly two minutes. Sitting at our baby grand piano, my eyes skipped over the keys and immediately focused on the inner strings. I had to pluck those strings. I dragged the piano bench to the side, climbed up, and started picking at all 230 wires. When Mom arrived home from work, she found me headfirst inside the piano. Afraid that the lid might crash on my head or smash my fingers, Mom insisted that “piano string plucking” become a supervised activity. She assumed that this provision would suppress my need for a harp. Little did she know.
A year later I made an even greater discovery. While rehearsing on my grandparent’s upright piano, I noticed that I couldn’t visibly see strings. But there had to be strings. My grandmother had no rule against “piano string plucking,” so I proceeded to pop the top, pull out the soundboard, and plunge my fingers through the soundboard’s crevices. At that moment my grandmother walked into the room and witnessed a scene right out of “A Day at the Races.” Like Harpo Marx, I had pulled apart a piano and proceeded to play the wires. Though the soundboard didn’t fit back into the piano, my miffed grandmother joined the battle for harp lessons.
Finally three excruciating years of piano lessons passed. I earned the nickname, “The Terminator,” thanks to two destroyed pianos and countless broken wires. My Mom kept her promise and she enlisted former jazz harpist, Ruth Berman Harris, a spunky ninety year old lady with severe arthritis. As I watched her play throughout her pain, my respect and devotion to the harp intensified. Mrs. Harris started my early harp education, leading me to then study with June Han at Juilliard Pre-College in high school, Bridget Kibbey at New York University for my Bachelor’s, and Jessica Zhou at New England Conservatory for my Masters in Music. Stated simply, harp was my calling, and Luna will be my friend for life.
Alix is a graduate of New York University and New England Conservatory. She has received numerous awards as a soloist including: the Annapolis Music Festival Maestro Award for Outstanding Soloist at the age of 13, the NYU Excellence in String Performance and Leadership Award, and the NYU Orchestral Excellence Award. She has taught harp for Note-worthy Experience since May of 2018.
By Leonardo Ciampa
You just had the worst day of your life. You overslept because you set your alarm for 6 PM instead of AM. You were late for work because your dishwasher gave up the ghost. Your conflict-averse boss made you mediate an argument between colleagues so that he could take a day off. In the middle of the meeting, the school nurse called you and told you that your child punched another child, whose mother happens to be a defense attorney. On the way home you got a flat tire on the highway and had to change it in the rain. You decide to cheer yourself up by going out to eat. But when the bill came, your card was declined, because the bank froze your account due to fraudulent activity.
On the way home, you think of the time George Gobel said to Johnny Carson, “Do you ever feel like life is a tuxedo, and you’re a pair of brown shoes?“
You walk in your door, take off your shoes, and after stepping on a Lego with one foot and cat puke with the other, you look at the calendar. It’s only Monday.
At that moment, what do you turn to to relax? A piece of chocolate? A glass of wine? A cold beer? A cup of herbal tea? A few rounds of Tetris or solitaire? A mile on the treadmill? A cigarette or ten?
The thought crosses your mind, “On top of everything else, I forgot practice the piano today.“
Then you think, “I can’t possibly do that now. I’m tired and cranky.“
But here’s what I ask you to do. I ask you to let music be the wine, the chocolate, the treadmill, the pack of Davidoffs. Rather than say, “I can’t practice because I had a bad day,” think instead, “I HAVE to practice BECAUSE I had a bad day.” Instead of thinking, “I’m too angry to practice,” think instead, “I need the music to soothe my anger.“
And if you think, “I can’t practice because I’m not focused,“ what better way to focus than to play music! It is a chicken or the egg thing: rather than wait to be focused before practicing, use practicing to focus you.
No matter how hard work is, don’t forget that life consists of bread and roses, and both are equally important. Because you need the roses to carry you between loaves. You need the job for the bread, but music is the most beautiful and fragrant rose of them all.
Lastly, turn the ringer off your phone while you’re practicing. With the kind of day that you’ve been having, whatever the news is, you don’t want to hear it.
Leonardo Ciampa is a composer/pianist/organist and instructor with Note-worthy Experiences Music Studio. Leonardo is also the founding director of MetroWest Choral Artists, an all-professional choir and Honorary Music Director (Maestro di Capella Onorario) of the Basilica di Sant'Ubaldo in Gubbio, Italy. From 2009-2016 Ciampa was the artistic director of organ concerts at M.I.T. For more about Leonardo please visitLeonardo's teacher page.
By Rachel Stroia
As part of the studio’s dedication to providing a variety of teaching methods and opportunities for students of all ages and interests, Note-worthy Experiences is offering a wide selection of group classes and workshops this coming Fall. These classes cover material that may not be available to students during their regular music lessons. The studio has hosted many successful group classes in the past, including a Jazz workshop and Musical History class, and we are thrilled to introduce these new courses and to offer even more options for our students.
Please see the Group Classes page on our website for more information about the following courses.
Musical Theater in America: An Interactive History
Through this course, students will become familiar with some of history's most important musical theater productions. Each 90-minute class is divided into two 45-minute sessions. During the first half, we will discuss the shows' plots, music, composers, actors, and the socio-political circumstances surrounding their premiers (including, for example, the Great Depression and Vietnam War). During the second half, students will have the opportunity to perform, as soloists or in groups, selections from any of the musicals discussed the previous week. Music will be available for students playing any instrument. These performances will be treated like master classes, where both the instructor and other students in the class will give helpful feedback to improve the performers' artistry. Musicals from Showboat to Hamilton will be covered and everything in between!
Our Music: Early Childhood Class
Our Music is caregiver-and-me style class that explores the many wonders of the voice and aims to foster a lifelong love for music for everyone! Through its eight weekly sessions, Our Music introduces babies and pre-schoolers to timeless classics and lesser-known folk songs from all around the world. Children will learn to listen to, sing with, and play music with instruments in every class, and build a musical vocabulary along the way. Our Music is committed to giving children the gift of music, and even gives participants a chance to be budding composers themselves; each group within a course will create and record a brand-new song that will be recorded at the last session and that will be shared with all to keep for years!
The series is for students who have already attained an intermediate level of skill on their instrument and are looking to engage in group playing and live performance opportunities, in addition to further developing their technique, repertoire, and improvisational abilities. While working towards live performances at Note-Worthy events, students will also learn about the stylistic and cultural conventions of many styles of music that have influenced the rock idiom, and play a wide variety of music from the 20th century. Students will also participate in writing original music with the ensemble to perform live.
Advanced Music Theory I
This course will guide students through topics such as intervals, chords & keys; scales and chords; introduction to chordal analysis; cadences and non-chord tones; introduction to secondary dominate and Neapolitan chord.
Exploring Pop Music
Have you ever thought that you could be the next Taylor Swift? Justin Bieber? Shawn Mendes? Using their imagination and creativity, they have created some of the most popular music in history. How did they do this? They practiced and followed their instincts. This class will look at some of the popular music from the last few years and discuss, compare, and analyze them. Students will have the opportunity to create their own song over the duration of class. Each enrolled student will select 3 popular songs that the course will revolve around.
Chamber Ensemble Sessions
This Chamber Music series is for our wind and string students and especially great for students that don't have an instrumental program in school, are home schooled, or need a more motivating group experience. Students will receive music in September based on who has signed up and what instrumentation is available. The goal is for the groups to perform at our upcoming events.
Rachel Stroia is the Office Manager at Note-worthy Experiences Music Studio. In addition to working at Note-worthy, she is also a student at Suffolk University and enjoys reading and cooking.
By Rhoda Bernard
Arts Better the Lives of Everyone
One of my great joys is experiencing the arts. I am a singer and pianist, specializing in Jewish music in Yiddish and Hebrew. I gig regularly, playing this music that I love at private parties, synagogues, and folk festivals whenever I can. Playing music keeps me grounded in what I love, focused on my passion, and in touch with the most meaningful part of my life.
I have been told that I sang before I spoke – and if you know me, that says a lot, because I am quite a talker! My fondest childhood memories are of singing – songs from the radio, show tunes, melodies I made up on the spot, and songs that I learned at our temple.
My parents, though not art makers themselves, were true arts lovers. When I was growing up, we regularly went to exhibits, concerts, plays, and performances – whether they were in our suburban community or twelve miles away in Boston. I grew up being a viewer, a listener, and an audience member, in addition to being a performing musician.
It is no surprise, then, that I have devoted my professional life to ensuring that all individuals have meaningful access to and participation in the arts. I am the Managing Director of the Berklee Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs, a new Institute that stems from the recent merger between Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory. The Institute is a catalyst for the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in all aspects of visual and performing arts education. Our work has three main pillars, all of which focus on increasing access to arts education for all students: Arts Education Programs for individuals ages 3 to adult; one-of-a-kind Graduate Programs in Music Education and Autism; and Professional Development for the field. We are dedicated to ensuring that all people receive a meaningful arts education, and that they are taught by educators who have the tools and support that they need to reach every student.
Our various Arts Education Programs include:
And coming in Fall 2018:
We will be piloting a theater program for students with disabilities that will become a full-fledged program in the spring of 2019.
We will be piloting a duet program to prepare students to play music in ensemble settings. This program will be an official program beginning in spring 2019.
These programs are taught by our dedicated staff of instructors, all of whom are students or alumni from our Graduate Programs in Music Education and Autism. I am very, very proud of the outstanding teaching by our instructors and the fantastic training and support provided by our consultants.
Currently, we serve more than 160 families every Saturday in these programs. If you’re interested in learning more about our work, please follow the links and go to our website. You can sign up to be on our newsletter mailing list, where you will learn about our programs, events, and initiatives. You can fill out an application for the program you are interested in by clicking the red APPLY button at the bottom of each program’s web page. Please also note that financial aid is available for families who qualify. There is a link to the financial aid application on every program page.
At the Berklee Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs, we truly believe that the arts better the lives of everyone, and we are deeply committed to making it possible for every person to learn, experience, and participate meaningfully in the arts. We feel that access to the arts, arts learning, and arts experiences is a civil right, and we work hard every day to spread the great joy of the arts to every single person.