Archive for February 25th, 2015


Who Are They?: Bay Chamber, Part 5

February 25, 2015

Musical Explorations

This blog post is part of a series called Who Are They? where information is provided for the Maine Arts Ed blog readers to learn about community organizations and institutions that provide educational opportunities in the arts. You will learn that they are partnering with other organizations and schools to extend learning opportunities, not supplant.

Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 7.58.04 PMBay Chamber Concerts and Music School is the first organization being highlighted. Located in Rockport, they provide rich music opportunities for students of all ages in the mid-coast area. Monica Kelly is the Executive Director. You can learn more at

The following post was written by Jessica Day, instructor and can be reached at

Please provide information on your background so the Maine Arts Ed blog readers can learn about you Jess.

I have been an active educator and facilitator for over 20 years. Over the years I have participated in Music, Movement and Wellness programs with my children, now 8 and 7 years old, and they are in part the inspiration behind my launching my business in 2008 as Owner, Director and Teacher of Midcoast Music Together and JAMMM (Jess’ Music, Movement, Mindfulness Programs).

I joined Bay Chamber School of Music as it opened its doors in 2011, to support the School’s development of its early childhood music and movement program which today offers a variety of programs, including Music Explorations: Hum, Strum, Drum and Play, and Music Together Family Classes to over 150 Families per year.

I am passionate about the power of music and working with children and families.

What are your major responsibilities at Bay Chamber Concerts and Music School?

I brought Music Together, an international early childhood music and movement program for children from birth through age 7—to Bay Chamber in 2011 when the school opened in Rockport. It was a wonderful synergy and now I feel that Bay Chamber is the heart/center of my business! Since I started teaching at Bay Chamber- we have served approximately 150 families a year at Bay Chamber alone – just in the early childhood program. It’s a wonderful space for our local communities near and far to gather, learn and play music together.

By 2012 we expanded the Music Together programs to “Big Kids” for 5-7 year olds as well as a Music Together “Guitar for Grownups”. Monica encouraged me to create a class for Bay Chamber – for children ages 6-9years (1-3rd graders). Passionate about the work- I was thrilled at the opportunity.

Tell us about the Musical Explorations curriculum for children ages 6-9.

Jessica Day

Jessica Day

In the fall of 2014- we created Hum, Strum, Drum & Play- Music Explorations for children ages 6-9 years old. A natural next step for children growing out of early childhood music programming into deeper and more directed musical explorations and instrument study. This class was created to compliment and prepare children for formal music instruction and school based music education, while giving them a strong foundation for a lifetime of music enjoyment. It is meant to be an enriching, fun, affordable/accessible afterschool program. Also for families whose focus might not be on music – to allow their children to learn, play and explore music and themselves in a different environment.

This group class allows children to explore the world of music by making (singing, playing & listening) music in a group setting. We introduce basic music concepts and skills through exploration with a variety of percussion instruments, ukulele and recorder. Children will learn fun and age-appropriate ways to sing and express themselves. Students sing, move, play, improvise (ensemble and solo work) and listen to a wide range of music. All students are allowed to develop at their own pace, and are encouraged to reach toward their potential. This class is a great choice for students who are considering lessons or as a companion to private instruction- and/or want more exposure to music/musical instruments. We provide a musically rich environment that welcomes participation with songs in a range of musical styles from lyrical to blues and world music and folk.

When children are young, music has a tremendous power to enhance, not only their love of music and the joy it brings, but also their overall development. In addition, they are building life skills such as leadership, decision-making, active listening and teamwork along with their music skills and understanding.

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 4.57.46 PMKEY COMPONENTS:

  • Fun – children learn through play- musical games/challenges
  • Engage all the senses- active listening, seeing, moving, and playing of instruments- addressing all learning styles
  • Introduces children to other peers outside of school
  • Gets children moving, thinking, and listening differently- trying themselves on in new ways, improvising, leading, playing together. Group dynamics.
  • Practice specific skills- tonal and rhythm patterns, singing, matching pitch and beat
  • Ukulele intro- chords, strums, instrument parts, tuning
  • Recorder Intro- holding, playing, notes, positions
  • Percussion- leading and playing in drum circle, dynamics, tempo, intro to various types of instruments

Limited to 10 students, our first class filled immediately this Fall- Wednesdays afterschool 3:45-4:45pm. We had children from St George, Waldoboro, Camden, Lincolnville, Hope, Rockland and Rockport.

Have you observed benefits to children when they begin exploring music with you?

I have noticed a greater overall confidence, risk taking, musical skill development, and overall joy and pride. They are able to engage, improvise/create, and there’s an enthusiasm to learning. They were left wanting more!

  • Music Learning and Development
  • Basic Music Literacy
  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Cognitive, Physical and Motor Development
  • New approaches to Learning

I use Carnegie Hall Educator Toolkit as one of my sources for teacher tools and assessment.

I hope to provide children with an enthusiasm, curiosity and love of music. Brain research shows us that music taps a part of the brain’s “musical memory”- if I can help in providing our children with music and positive musical memories- they will have this for the rest of their lives!

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