Posts Tagged ‘MCMA’

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

September 30, 2019

Ideas

We all know that Maine has had a bottle bill which includes paying a deposit on most bottles when purchased. When my sons were children one of their responsibilities was to count the bottles when the barrel was full and help return them to our local bottle redemption center. And, yes they’d get to keep the money.

Did you know that the Maine Returnable Beverage Container Law has been in place since 1978? It’s a real success story. Maine is one of only 10 states with a law in place. We all know that everyone doesn’t think this is as fun as my children did. We certainly see bottles on the sides of Maine roads periodically.

Collecting and returning bottles is one thing we can do to help out our community but, what about all the supplies and equipment when they outlive their usefulness? What happens to them? Below are some programs and ideas that I know are in place – I’m guessing that you know of others. Please email them to me at meartsed@gmail.com or share them at the bottom of this blog post so others can learn about them.

  • Crayola ColorCycle program – Crayola and schools across North America are banding together to help kids understand the importance of their role in protecting the environment. That’s why we launched Crayola ColorCycle. Through this initiative, students in K-12 schools across the continental United States and parts of Canada can collect and repurpose used Crayola markers. ColorCycle is also a great opportunity for teachers and their students to explore eco-friendly practices. Specially developed standards-based lesson plans are available to enrich instruction and promote lively class discussions. Its easy to create an account with Crayola and send your used markers to them for recycling. For more information CLICK HERE
  • Vietnam Veterans of America accept donations of used musical instruments and will arrange for pick up. For more information CLICK HERE
  • Ruth’s Reusable Resources – Located at 39 Blueberry Rd., Portland. Ruth has been at this for 25 years and if you’ve never been to the store I highly recommend it. Their mission is to ensure that all students, from pre-k through high school, have the basic supplies and creative tools for literacy, STEAM, and health education through the environmentally-conscious distribution of donated business supplies. For more information CLICK HERE.
  • The National Crayon Recycle Program – This “recycling” education, community service has made it possible to stop more than 120,000 pounds of unwanted crayons from going into landfills with the help from schools, organization educators and kids across this country. For more information CLICK HERE
  • MAMM (Maine Academy of Modern Music) will take used instruments off your hands. For more information email Jeff Shaw, Executive Director and Founder of MAMM at jeff@mamm.rocks.
  • The Crayon Initiative collects crayon and recycles them into new crayons and sends them to children hospitals across the country.
  • You can drop off used instruments that are in fairly good condition to MCMA (Midcoast Music Academy) in Rockland. They often use them with their students.
  • Recycle crayons yourself
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Midcoast Music Academy

May 6, 2019

Registration open for summer camps

Every summer, Midcoast Music Academy (MCMA) in Rockland offers a variety of day camps and intensives. Each camp is run by our world-class faculty who fill every day with instruction, rehearsal, music games, encouragement, support and more. Students will have the opportunity to work individually with the faculty and hone their skills as they collaborate with other students musicians. An exciting final performance concludes each week-long intensive.

This year MCMA have expanded our offerings and now offer a total of six week-long camps!

  • Songwriter’s Camp, June 24-28
  • Blues Intensive, July 8-12, performance at NABF July 13 & 14
  • Film Scoring, July 22-26
  • Gig Camp, July 29-August 2, performance at the Lobster Festival
  • Jazz Intensive, August 5-9
  • Musical Theater, August 12-16

Each session costs $375, except for the Blues Intensive and Gig Camp which each cost $425. If your child enrolls in additional weeks and/or enrolls with a sibling, a 10% discount will be applied. For tuition assistance, please contact Jen for more information. Our camps runs Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m at our studio on 279 Main Street, Rockland. We will be meeting in our ensemble room (Studio 6). The day will be approximately organized as following:

  • Morning Session (9:30-12:00): Direct instructional time, guest speakers, theory, improv/music games, group conversations, topics review, listening and writing sessions.
  • Lunch (12:00-1:00): To be held outside every day if weather permits. Feel free to bring soccer balls, footballs, frisbees, etc. Please plan on providing packed lunches for students. We will provide snacks and a pizza party for Friday’s lunch.
  • Afternoon Session (1:00-3:30): Playing time and rehearsals!

In addition to the lead teacher, all camps will have the support of a teaching assistant and specialty guest teachers to make sure students have instrument-specific instruction.

For more information, or to register, visit our website or click below. If you have any questions regarding the camps, please direct them to Abigail Nash.

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MALI Teaching Artist Leader: Joe Cough

March 5, 2019

Teaching Artist – Musician

This is one of six blog posts in 2019 that include stories of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Phase 8 Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artist Leaders. This series includes a set of questions so you can learn a little bit about each leader. CLICK HERE  for more information on MALI. CLICK HERE  for more information on the 96 Teacher Leaders and 11 Teaching Artist Leaders. CLICK HERE  for Arts education resources. CLICK HERE for the MALI Resource Bank. Search in the “search archives” box on the bottom right side of this post for past teacher leader stories. Thank you Kerry for sharing your story!

Joseph Cough is a Music educator with a specialty in Voice, Guitar, Composition, Theory, Piano, Trumpet. He joined MALI this year as a teaching artist and teaches all ages at the Midcoast Music Academy.

I didn’t know right away that I wanted to teach people music.

In fact, for a long time, I was discouraged from pursuing a career in music and performing arts, either directly or indirectly. It wasn’t until I attended the College of the Atlantic where I actually thought that I was able to make anything from a music profession. I was greatly inspired by John Cooper, the professor of music there. His ear for music and ability to abstractly write out pitches that he heard (and sang back) was like watching an artist paint a canvas. I wanted to be able to do that too, if only for myself.

It was because of him that I needed to understand music inside and out. How does it work? Why does it work like that? Why is this pleasing to me aurally and this not? I wanted to know every detail about a piece of music, no matter who composed it. What scales were used? What modes? What chord progressions can be heard?

In large part, I’ve accomplished that.

Not to say that I understand EVERYTHING about music, but I’m now in a place where I have reached one goal. One goal, of many more. There are many things about music that I have yet to think about and discover. The list of what more I want to do is endless. I’ll never reach the end goal of complete musical proficiency and knowledge.

And that’s ok.

I don’t have those kinds of expectations of myself. In fact, I don’t have any expectations of myself. Well, I do expect myself to put all of my effort into what I’m doing, and to keep a positive and open-minded attitude, but I don’t have a master plan, or an end goal that, if not reached, means I’ve failed. I don’t fail.

Even when when I’ve cracked a note on stage, mistook a perfect 5th for a perfect 4th, muted a string incorrectly, or have played the same passage on the piano at a tortoise speed 28 times, I’ve learned from every one of those experiences. Learning what works, what doesn’t, what is challenging, what isn’t, these are all victories. Gaining this knowledge, despite its positive or negative effect is always and opportunity for growth. This is why I don’t fail.

This is why no one fails.

This is the most important message that I have for anyone who wants to listen.

This is more important than knowing your major scales from memory.

This is more important than having perfect singing posture.

This is more important than ‘good’ pedagogical practice.

There is no ‘good’ or ‘perfect’ or ‘best’ in music.

There is no ‘bad’ or ‘imperfect’ or ‘worst’ in music.

Music, to me, is an experiment. The great thing about this experiment is that when something goes awry, laboratories don’t explode, or things don’t catch on fire. Yet, many students that I’ve worked with over the years are so cautious around music as if one of these things might happen. The good news is, I’ve never seen anyone maimed because they squeaked when they sang, or melted because their dynamics were not interpreted correctly. This is how we learn. This is how we discover what we are. This is how we see what we’re capable of. A lot.

We have preconceived notions of what music should be, and what it shouldn’t be.   

If Schubert didn’t do this, it shouldn’t be done.

If Hendrix did this, it’s the right thing to do.

This is nonsense.

When I teach, I don’t show students what they should do to be a musician. We’re all musicians. We’re born that way. I strive to show them what they’re already capable of doing. Take risks, experiment, make ‘mistakes’ (if there is such a thing).

I’m not advocating that we shouldn’t or needn’t learn from the musicians of the past, and learn music in an academic way.

Schubert was a ‘master’ of German lieder, this is what he did and how he did it.

Hendrix transcended the guitar. This is what he practiced and how.

It’s important to learn all 12 major scales backwards and forwards.

It’s important to train your ear to hear all possible intervals on our tempered scale.

It’s vital to practice the physicality of your instrument.

There are many things someone studying music ought to know.

This is how we communicate with other musicians. This is a way to work with and collaborate with other music artists. If we all speak the same language, we can create stories together and understand them. Does this mean if someone isn’t ‘100% fluent’ in music that they won’t be able to speak and be understood?

No.

But the more we learn, the more we explore, the more curious we are, the more we can teach others our language, and they can teach us theirs. We can share our stories.

It has taken me a long time to truly understand this. Nothing about my musical experience came quickly, or easily. But instant gratification to me is cheap, and contains no substance. I’ve enjoyed every moment that I’ve picked up the guitar, sat at the piano, sang a self-created vocal exercise. I’m thankful that I can do it as often as I do. I wasn’t born with innate knowledge of music and ‘how it works’. We all have the ability to be musicians, but do we all have the time to invest in the craft? I’ve been told many times that I’m ‘talented’ or ‘gifted’ because I do what I do.

I’m not talented. No one is. Talent implies some divine deity bestowed a gift to me that I didn’t have to work at. I wasn’t born an experienced musician, but the hours that I’ve put into the craft give me that experience. This is the other message I have for any learners: our mindset dicates how far you can take your musical journey. Your thoughts tell you your story.

I hear this often in lessons. “This is too hard”, or “I’m just not good enough”, or “if only I started when I was 6 taking lessons, then I’d be good now”. These few word sentences are stories, and we often tell ourselves these stories over and over and over again. They become our story, our reality. The story ends, but is played on a loop. Again, and again, and again.

But what if we changed our stories to “this is challenging, but with more time, I’ll get it”, or “I’m not where I want to be yet musically, but I’ll continue to strive toward what I want to be”, or “this is what I’m capable of now, and I take stock of my accomplishments and will continue to add to them”. These stories don’t end. They are ever evolving. They have substance. They don’t just stop.

So, in a roundabout way, this is where I am now. Even for teaching, I continue to write and edit my story of what I want to be as an educator. In anything really. I literally can do whatever I want to artistically, professionally, etc. It just depends on how much time one has/wants to invest in it. I cannot create professional singers, or guitarists, or composers. But with time, anyone can create the artist within themselves. Any student can write the story in their own mind. Once in the mind, it can manifest itself in any way imaginable.

This is but a small sample of my story. A chapter. I don’t have all the answers. I’m not even sure I could give sound advice to a new incoming Teaching Artist. My style is different than everyone else’s. Maybe the only advice I could give would be to be kind to yourself. Teaching is, an art. Like anything, it needs to be practiced, tried, retried, reworked, adjusted. No one is born a ‘gifted’ educator. But I’ve learned and received some gifts along the way from my colleagues and mentors and teachers. This is why I’m happy to be a part of the Maine Art Leadership Initiative as a Teaching Artist Leader. I can learn from other’s experiences, and they can learn from mine.

What I learn from my colleagues and students in the coming years will all be included in the next chapter of my story.

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Midcoast Music Academy

February 20, 2019

Creating new music

Midcoast Music Academy (MCMA) provides strong opportunities for learners of all ages to learn music and in addition, they support and encourage ‘out of the box’ thinking.
An example of this recently took place when instructors Tom Luther and Joe Cough co-taught a lesson with the intention of coaching students to create a new piece of music. Tom and Joe are both Teaching Artists Leaders with the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI). The students, Cameron Pinchbeck (alto sax) and Aili Nell Charland (guitar), improvised and performed an amazing piece. They started with Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time”, and their improvisation took them to a totally new work. Tom said: “I think that this is a great example of what can happen when you give students choice, and help them to believe that their story is worth telling.”

LINK TO THEIR PIECE

Midcoast Music Academy (MCMA) is a community music school founded in January 2012 and located in downtown Rockland, Maine that provides the highest quality music instruction to students of all ages and skill levels in a fun, relaxed, and creative environment. MCMA emphasizes access to music education regardless of financial constraints and combines the fundamentals of music – theory, notation, and ear training – with a contemporary approach to learning. At MCMA, we believe students should learn to play what they love and love what they play.
If you have questions please contact Tom Luther and Joe Cough.
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In Today’s News

May 18, 2017

Looking for a music school?

I visited the Midcoast Music Academy in the winter and included a story about the academy in April on THIS BLOG. The article below is written by Dagney C. Ernest for the Village Soup.

ROCKLAND — The downtown Midcoast Music Academy, which has grown from a one-lesson-room space and 30 students to a 2,100-square-foot suite with a faculty and more than 120 students (plus 40 on the wait list), is looking for a new hand at the wheel.

Founder/director Tom Ulichny and his wife, Anne Bardaglio, MCMA’s programs and operations manager, announced May 16 that they will be relocating to Ithaca, N.Y., this summer to be closer to their families.

“This has been an incredibly difficult decision, but … it’s the right next step for us at this time,” Ulichny wrote in the MCMA spring newsletter.

In the time since MCMA opened its doors in 2012 — those doors being above E.C. Moran Insurance on Main Street — the music school has expanded exponentially. In 2014, it moved into the multi-tenant building at the corner of Main Street and Park Drive; and in 2016, it expanded that space to almost double in order to accommodate a growing faculty and student base.

Last year, the small business also began the process of becoming a nonprofit — a logical step for an organization with a mission “to provide excellent, accessible music education to any committed student” and a policy of never turning one away. From its first year, the school has fundraised to provide scholarships for some of its private students, who have ranged from age 4 to 70-something and study classical to jazz, rock, pop and blues. This year, MCMA has awarded more than $25,000 to deserving scholarship recipients.

Berklee College of Music graduate Ulichny and his faculty also have partnered with 14 schools and organizations throughout the state to provide workshops, seminars and supplemental programming. Since its founding, MCMA has delivered lessons to more than 700 students and forged partnerships with North Atlantic Blues Fest, Maine Lobster Festival, Strand Theatre, Island Institute and RSU 13.

The need to provide support and presence for their family members brought the couple to their unexpected decision.

“It’s amazing how the universe can change things on a dime,” Ulichny said.

This spring, the couple started to realize their priority is to be close to family, he said. And they realized something else, too.

“The school can continue to grow and thrive without us — we’ve laid the foundation, and we’ve modeled it as a community music school, and therefore, it really belongs to the community,” he said.

Ulichny and Bardaglio plan to make a gift of the school and all of its assets to an individual or organization willing to continue the mission and spirit of the school. Facilities include six lesson rooms and one large ensemble room, all professionally equipped and soundproofed. There is a secured lease with Main Street frontage and the ability to expand.

The newsletter indicated the couple are currently in discussions with several nonprofit organizations (interested parties may request a summary of total assets and liabilities by contacting Ulichny). And they promised to remain actively involved throughout the upcoming transition. Their personal transition will include putting their beloved St. George house — “a lovely old fixer-upper that we’ve done a ton of work on over the past five years” — on the market.

Bardaglio, an adjunct professor at Unity College the past two years, has been offered a good position at a charter school in Ithaca doing curriculum development, as well as teaching. And Ulichny is slated to perform his soon-to-be-released EP in coming weeks on WCLZ in Portland. Opening an April 14 concert at the Strand, he previewed a trilogy from the EP that documents the wrenching process that brought him and his wife to their decision.

The three tunes encompass anger, acceptance and gratitude. The latter is reflected in a song titled “Other Hand” and includes the lyrics: “I won’t hold on/Just ’cause I built it/I don’t own it/It’s just borrowed to give away.”

 

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Midcoast Music Academy

April 13, 2017

Making music

I had the opportunity recently to visit the Midcoast Music Academy (MCMA), a community music school located at 279 Main Street, downtown Rockland. I walked in to a space that breathed music like a dragon breathes fire. It was a warm feeling with tons of energy. I was greeted by the director and founder Tom Ulichny. He and his wife Anne Bardaglio established the academy in 2012 and they are fully committed to providing music lessons to community members of all ages. In their words: “And when we say “community music school” we mean it: we believe that an exceptional music education should be available to any committed student, regardless of financial constraints”.

They provide the highest quality music instruction to students of all ages and skill levels in a fun, relaxed, and creative environment. MCMA emphasizes access to music education regardless of financial constraints and combines the fundamentals of music – theory, notation, and ear training – with a contemporary approach to learning. At MCMA, they believe students should learn to play what they love and love what they play.

The academy offers both private & group instruction for all ages on a wide variety of instruments including acoustic and electric guitar, drums, world percussion, bass guitar, double bass, piano, saxophone, clarinet, trumpet, voice, violin, viola, and ukulele. They’ve established a scholarship program to be sure that lack of funding doesn’t get in the way of learning opportunities.

In addition they work collaboratively with other organizations in the midcoast including schools and organizations to support and enhance the existing music education programs. Tom and Anne are also committed to adding value to the community by bringing professional musicians to the area for short visits providing concerts/programs and long term as well.

Tom says: ”Music is truly a universal language, and is one of the most powerful tools we can use to communicate with each other and build community. It breaks down all barriers; whether that’s social, political, racial… and it builds confidence, promotes active listening, and empowers students of all ages. MCMA is passionate about spreading music education and keeping it accessible to all who are interested in developing these skills, regardless of financial constraints.

The midcoast is fortunate to have MCMA as part of the community. Stop by and say hi to Tom and take a tour of their beautiful space with several studios to make beautiful music. To learn more check out their website by CLICKING HERE.

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