This past Thursday, December 5th, NEC’s Student Activities Center hosted a physical therapy/injury prevention clinic. This clinic served to educate musicians on how to avoid playing with injuries in the first place, how to practice effectively and cautiously while injured, and how to help one’s self heal as quickly as possible after getting injured. At NEC, this clinic couldn’t be more helpful. It is common knowledge here at NEC that the pianists and string players spend hours and hours on end hidden away in a practice room perfecting their craft. For some people, this works just fine, but for others, sometimes their fingers, hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, etc. just can’t keep up with that intense of a practice session, but more often than not, the players keep on playing. This is a horrible habit considering these musicians have their careers resting on those hard working hands!
Of course, injuries can happen to any instrumentalist, and injury prevention can be just as effective for a trombonist as it is for a jazz bass player. I only use string players and pianists as my example because of how many cases of tendonitis, broken fingers, and stress fractures that my friends have experienced in this past semester alone! I, being a singer, don’t really have to deal with this much stress on my body when I’m practicing; the occasional crick in my neck, sure, shoulder tension, you bet, but that’s nothing that a little massaging and stretching can’t fix! I couldn’t even imagine how devastated I would be if I hurt one of my ribs, or a lung, or worse… if I got nodes!
Injury prevention is such an important topic for musicians and I am so glad that NEC is able to hold a clinic like this! Productive practicing is NOT just spending hours in a room playing the same phrase over and over. Productive practicing is being aware of your body while you’re playing; how does it feel? Does it hurt when you reach for that note? Do you feel confident of the music within your body?
Be engaged and aware fellow musicians! We need you to help keep our art alive!
Stay healthy my friends!
School of Continuing Education Office Assistant
Phone: (617) 585-1701
Actions for iPad is a remarkably simple way to control your classroom computer from your iPad. The best thing? You set it up the way that you need it to work. I wish tis was the way professional development worked at our school.... The english department gets the info they need while us music teachers get something meaningful and directly related to our classroom teaching!
- Sondra Radvanovsky: an immensely effective singing actress! (operaorganic.wordpress.com)
Here’s a post from one of our great student workers, Eric Stilwell, after attending the song-writing workshop at NEC during Elvis Costello’s visit to NEC!
“As a performer and composer for almost 40 years, it’s hard to believe there are awards and titles that Elvis Costello has not yet earned. This past friday, The english singer-songwriter was awarded a Doctorate of Music from the New England Conservatory‘s Contemporary improvisation department. Dr. Costello’s visit started with a workshop with students, and ended with a live interview in Jordan Hall. Wether working with The Attractions, The Roots, Paul McCartney, or college students, his love for music and creativity is clear.
In the work shop, Elvis sat in front the bands, next to CI department chair Hankus Netsky and CI ( and SCE) Faculty Eden MacAdam-Somer. The three gave advice to the performers on how to make their songs better. Having not been trained classically or formally, Dr. Costello’s advice was often in a much different style than a conservatory professor would give. While there was a clear respect for the way music is studied here at NEC, he did not stray from his own beliefs. He spoke about how textures in music can change the intensity, or paint a different picture. At one point he observed the difference between a group of people each playing their instruments, and a group of people performing together to create an image through sound.
Dr. Costello held a genuine interest in each performance, and made sure that he had an understanding of what message the performers and writers were trying to convey. His first album is titled My Aim is True, and after 40 years, the title still holds its meaning. Listening to him speak to each group, I could tell how invested he was with each one, and how invested he is in music in general. It’s amazing that after all these years he is still so passionate about creating and revolutionizing music.”
NEC School of Continuing Education Work-Study Student
B.M. Jazz Studies ’16
- Elvis Costello at N.E. Conservatory class (boston.com)
- Elvis Costello Named Honorary Doctor of Music (rollingstone.com)
- Elvis Costello Picks Up Honorary Doctorate (contactmusic.com)
- Elvis Costello and the Roots: Wise Up Ghost (Review) (popmatters.com)
How do you score a movie with little or no noise??
Last week, Alfonso Cuaron’s movie “Gravity” was released in theaters all over the United States. The movie takes place in space, hovering above earth, where two astronauts have been lost due to debris damaging their ship. Not only is the movie incredibly unique because of its two person cast (Sandra Bullock and George Clooney), the film score had to be captivating and had to capture the essence of space – silence.
The 36 year old composer for the movie, Steven Price, told Huffington Post in a recent article about his experience working on the movie, “With a lot of action scores, you’re competing with a lot of noise,” Price said. “Say there’s a big explosion: the music would conventionally have a lot of Hollywood-style percussion or brass, because that’s the only thing that will cut through. You’d hear stuff within their spacesuits,” Price said. “If they touched something, you’d hear the vibration that they’d hear, but you don’t hear any exterior noises. We kind of knew the music would be responsible for all the other things. I was asked to try and tonally represent things that would ordinarily be sound. You don’t hear an explosion in the film, but you might hear some pulsation in the music that reflects it. The score is doing the job of traditional sound, while the sound crew was able to do an interesting job on their own.”
To me, this concept is fascinating. As musicians, our ears are constantly listening and analyzing the things we hear, but how often do we take a step back and analyze or appreciate the silence? Can you imagine having to write an entire film score based on complete, isolated quiet? Or better yet, can you imagine being an astronaut going from a ridiculously noisy environment, to only hearing the singular sounds that you produce? Astonishing!
In another Huffington Post article, a former astronaut, Jerry L. Ross, recounts his experience on his multiple space-walks and how the silence only emphasized the beauty of the silent vacuum that he was observing.
If space is your thing, follow the links provided for both articles and be amazed at what you will read. And if you have the time, pop into your local movie theater and witness “Gravity” for yourself!
NEC School of Continuing Education Work-Study Student
Eric is a second year Jazz Studies major with a focus in Trombone Performance. He first picked up the horn in 4th grade, and knew immediately he was going to be a musician. Hailing from the South Shore of Massachusetts, he has studied with several CE faculty members at the prep-school, including Joel Yennior, Peter Kenagy, and Mark Zaleski. When Eric’s not tearing it up on the band stand, you might find him at the beach, working on his skating at the local ice rink, or playing frisbee or soccer with his friends. He has a passion for all things Boston sports. Eric is a dog person, and his favorite food is candy.
Eric is super cool!
-Jenn CaraluzziRelated articles
- NEC SCE Students amped for the Fall! (necmusicsce.wordpress.com)
Another wonderful work-study student we’re so lucky to have serving you in the SCE!
Lizzie Wendt is a soprano here at NEC studying vocal performance. This will not only be her second year attending the school, but her second year working in the School of Continuing Ed.’s office! I guess you could say she’s an expert, veteran, genius, etc. Lizzie is originally from Dallas, Texas where she graduated with honors from a performing arts magnet school. She doesn’t have an accent, but she does have a Texas-sized sweet tooth, and a permanent hunger for Texas barbeque and South American food from Central Mexico, Argentina, and El Salvador. If Lizzie wasn’t pursuing music she would either want to have a career as a Linguist or as a voice-over actor with her goal of being the next Disney princesses‘ voice! Feel free to pop by the office and say hello to her on Monday and Thursday afternoons! And definitely check out her wicked bulletin board decorating skills!
We love our work-study students here in the SCE. These NEC undergrads make it possible for us to give you all your SCE needs!
A little about our wonderful work-study Jessica Rost…..
Jess is currently a sophomore soprano at New England Conservatory studying Voice Performance. She is completely obsessed with everything French and wants to be a fluent French speaker one day, ideally living and singing in Paris (or the Palace of Versailles if that’s not possible). If being a Parisian doesn’t work out, Jessica would settle for being a Disney princess. Jessica is also a very passionate baker and food lover. She’s currently working on perfecting a macron, but she makes a mean cookie meanwhile. Don’t ever ask Jessica where she’s from, she won’t have an answer (but it goes back and forth between Texas and Connecticut!).
We love Jess!
reinforces your confidence in the ability to create.”
Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft
In this article by the New York Times, the author equates success with the discipline, confidence, and creativity that years of music study instills. Paul Allen also is quoted talking about his turn to music after a long day of programming. He said, picking up his guitar was “the emotional analog to his day job, with each channeling a different type of creative impulse.” How many times do we find ourselves searching for that outlet after our 9-5pm? Whatever it may be, there is something special about where music can take you.
The author cleverly points out that many industries have musicians at the helm. Is it a coincidence?
I think not!
“And their experiences suggest that music training sharpens other qualities: Collaboration. The ability to listen. A way of thinking that weaves together disparate ideas. The power to focus on the present and the future simultaneously.”
I agree, what do you think?
- The music/success correlation (heylooksomethingshiny.blogspot.com)
- Music matters (cannonadmission.wordpress.com)
- NYT: Music is the key to success! (horninsights.com)
“A Contemporary-Bluegrass Prodigy”
Powerhouse, Sarah Jarosz, is rocking it out on her new album, “Build me up from Bones.” With superior ease, clarity and depth in her sound, this NEC Contemporary Improvisation alum is representing NEC alright!
This album is certainly a must listen. The melodies will move you, the lyrics will ground you, and her voice will bring you home.
Check her out!
You don’t need to overpay for a great MIDI controller keyboard! Musicradar.com is an amazing website that keeps us posted with the latest tech news and products available. Their budget lists provide us with great affordable products that are essential to your music technology setup. From the beginner just stepping out into the music production and technology world, to the advanced music “techie,” this list has the goods for everyone!
Our NEC Certificate students take the Music Production and Technology class as part of the requirements for each different certificate offered. Students gain hands on experience in our music lab as the artist, composer, producer and recording engineer with a final product produced as an online electronic portfolio. Also offered as an online course, you can big your music technology skills from anywhere in the world with NEC!
More information on online courses at NEC, visit: http://www.necmusic.edu/continuing-education/classes/online-classesRelated articles
- What is the best midi controller (gearslutz.com)
- MIDI Controller (chrisryan949.wordpress.com)
- Choosing the Best MIDI Keyboard Controller (leisastevens87.wordpress.com)
“The instrument I liked the best was the violin because it can be delicate or harsh.”
There is something so powerful about music, the connection that may not be made otherwise, the joy, excitement, and even sadness that one can experience all in one movement, verse, or even phrase. Sometimes it’s difficult to focus on the beauty in our world today complete with distractions and everyday struggles and conflicts. Are children, maybe not yet exposed to sometimes harsh realities, able to see beauty and joy more easily than some of us adults? How does music effect them and what does it mean to them when they hear a voice, a guitar, a violin communicating a story?
This short video provokes such thought about music and its power. It reiterated the importance of sharing beautiful music, and in this case, a classical symphony, with our youth. Being the sponges they are, children can be extremely perceptive and and pick up on the subtleties and complexity of music. As you watch the short video, you can see classical music they heard in Sao Paulo completely blows their minds! Their initial understanding of classical music may have been different, as you can see in the video when they are asked. However, the pure excitement and joy they show as they are watching and listening so intently, is beautiful. There’s a gratitude I felt as I watched this video, knowing although there’s still a long way to go, we are bringing music to our children. Through El Sistema based programs this music is being heard and being played. I am so proud to say we have at NEC through our Continuing Education division, our El Sistema Fellows. Through their work all around the country and abroad, they’re able to bring their this music to communities that otherwise wouldn’t have music programs at all.
Children respond to music and we must continue to help them know and experience the beauty of it all.
I hope you enjoy the video, it certainly brightened my day! Stayed tuned for a post from one of our very own El Sistema Fellows here at NEC!Related articles
- “The instrument… (necmusicsce.wordpress.com)
- Music Eases Pain of Kids With Cancer (medindia.net)
- In Venezuela, Music Eases Pain of Kids with Cancer (venezuelanalysis.com)
- Yovani Barrera (7th period) Blog #3: El sistema (dacarne.wordpress.com)
- Arts are essential elements of education (juneauempire.com)
What a success our fall welcome orientation was! Not only did we have our students, both in the certificate program and taking private instruction, but some of our faculty stopped by to show their support and excitement about the new year! Special thanks to Sam Adams, Mark Lee, Jennie O’Brien, Rebecca Bogers, Anne Howarth, our assistant director Dan Schmunk, and director, Sean Hagon. Hope to see everyone soon and at our next event! Stay tuned!
We had an amazing time last night at our Fall Welcome Orientation!! Students both domestic and international came out to have a great time mingling and getting to know new students!!! Hosted in NEC’s Pierce Hall, it was filled with food, drinks, laughing and fun facts about the SCE program!
- “I have emerged… (necmusicsce.wordpress.com)
“Sigh” This article really hit home for my colleagues and I, being a classical trained singer myself. With the US premiere of Anna Nicole, I was confident in the survival of this staple of American opera. There was no way such a powerhouse and beacon in the opera community could fold. After many breakthrough productions and exciting experiences I still hope that someday the “The People’s Opera” will be somehow be brought back to life.
Noted on their website,
For seventy years, since Mayor Fiorello La Guardia established it as “The People’s Opera,” New York City Opera has introduced generation after generation of young singers who are stars in the making, brought the public exciting new works and compelling, fresh interpretations of classics, acted as a champion for American composers and performers, and ensured that every New Yorker can experience the live art of opera.
- New York City Opera Musicians Blast “Egregious Mismanagement” in Wake of Bankruptcy (blogs.villagevoice.com)
- City Opera’s farewell note (artsjournal.com)
- More bleak news: New York City Opera has filed for bankruptcy (artsjournal.com)
“I have emerged from the Professional Studies program a much more confident and capable musician than when I entered.”
If you’re a musician looking for a full range of training—and the certificate to show for it—you’ve come to the right place.
NEC’s School of Continuing Education offers a variety of credit-bearing programs: the Skills Certificate in Music for Media, the Certificate of Merit and Professional Studies Certificate in Music Theory & Composition, Performance, Music History, Conducting, Jazz, Contemporary Improvisation as well as studies in Music Technology and Music-in-Education. Weekday evening and Saturday classes make SCE certificates ideal for adults who want a conservatory education and have grown-up lives to accommodate.
Registration is STILL OPEN!
“The classroom environment is extremely supportive. The instructor makes sure that it stays that way throughout the semester and works hard to eliminate anything that might compromise it.”
Questions? Get in touch at ContinuingEducation@necmusic.edu.
Our very own NEC SCE Jazz faculty, Eyran Katsenelenbogen!