Posts Tagged ‘movement’


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!

Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 11.16.49 AM






Bates Dance Festival

April 21, 2012

Theater performance – April 27 & 28 at 8:00 pm

Bates College and Bates Dance Festival collaborating to present “red, black & GREEN: a blues”. A hybrid performance of hip hop theater, poetry, movement, music and visuals that brings together big ideas and moving personal stories to jumpstart a conversation about environmental justice and social ecology.

Marc Bamuthi Joseph is the conceiver/director and performer and has assembled a small cast of contemporary music/dance/theater greats. For more information click here.


Maine Alliance for Arts Education Awards

March 9, 2012


The Maine Alliance for Arts Education is pleased to announce Brian Walsh, Principal at Hermon High School and MaryEllen Schaper, dance educator and teacher at Bonny Eagle Middle and High School as the winners of its annual awards for excellence and service to arts education in Maine.

Walsh was selected as the 2012 Outstanding Administrator Advocate for Arts Education Award, which is given each year to a school or organization administrator who has:
demonstrated outstanding leadership and support of the arts, established exemplary or innovative arts education programs, and promoted the importance of arts in education.

Schaper is the recipient of the 2012 Bill Bonyun Artist/Educator Award which is given each year in honor of Bill Bonyun whose career as a folklorist, storyteller, singer, writer, and educator spanned over half a century. The award is given to someone who has:
made significant contributions to arts education, shown outstanding commitment and dedicated service in arts education, and been an inspiration to students, teachers, and the community.

In nominating Walsh, Cheryl Olson Lorenz said, “In a small community with a high school known as a ‘sports school,’ the support of the principal can make the difference between the arts acting in anonymity or stepping into the spotlight. Brian Walsh has made that kind of difference at Hermon High School through his leadership and support of the arts, arts advocacy, and artistic expression.”

And in her nomination letter for Schaper, Nancy Salmon describes her contributions to dance education by saying, “MaryEllen has provided countless students with their first taste of the joy of dance and movement.”

Schaper and Walsh will receive their awards at a ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion, Blaine House on March 14.

MAAE will also honor Carol Gardien Trimble at the March 14th Blaine House Arts Education Celebration for her dedicated service as its Executive Director. In December 2011, Carol stepped down from her post, having served ten years in this role. During her tenure, Carol guided the organization through a period of program and service expansion and helped the board of directors to make major changes that strengthened MAAE as an important state and national networking and advocacy entity. Under her leadership MAAE created and managed two important programs that offered direct services to Maine students and teachers: Learning in Community – Arts (LINC) in Hancock County) and (with Susan Potters), Building Community Through the Arts (BCTA). To support these programs and other MAAE initiatives, Carol garnered funding through innumerable, federal, state, and foundation grants and corporate supporters. Her administrative skills and gracious presence at the heart of MAAE is greatly missed.

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