By Max Bowen
Posted Mar 20, 2018 at 12:52 PM
Updated Mar 20, 2018 at 12:53 PM
On a chilly March afternoon, the sound of piano and violin can be heard as one enters the Dedham Community House.
Within the first-floor classroom, sisters Molly and Maisie Crummet work on their respective instruments to the encouraging instruction of teacher Baekyu Kim.
For the last decade, such lessons have been a common sight at the DCH, and in this momentous time, the Dedham School of Music is working on an expanding clientele of local schools and ensuring that what’s been launched recently meets the needs of students. Director Amy Fichera said teacher submit annual reports that look at how their students are progressing and what can be done to see that this continues.
“We want to make sure we’re constantly refining what we do,” she said before a class on Monday.
The DSM was started as a result of the school’s instrumental classes being cut due to budget shortfalls. While this is no longer the case, the nonprofit organization maintains a strong partnership with four of the Dedham Schools, as well as one in West Roxbury, and most recently, the Channing School in Hyde Park. Fichera said this offers the chance for those in the Boston area who might not be able to afford what other schools charge the chance to see if music is for them. Last year, the DSM launched several new classes for children who want to play the clarinet, cello and saxophone.
“They get their feet wet without feeling like they’e making a huge financial commitment and can then transition to private lessons,” she said.
Oftentimes, a student will switch to different instruments to something that may seem completely different, but Fichera said the drive and push them to make it effortlessly. She cited two students who played the cello for four years each, and then abruptly changed to the drums and saxophone with the goal of making the jazz band at their school. Weeks later, it was mission accomplished.
“In some ways, what they did applies to a new instrument,” said Fichera. “Another is the faculty, they have the students’ interests in mind. Sometimes a teacher will notice when the kid hits a wall and see about getting them a new instructor. In order to grow they may need someone new.”
In addition to the new programs for young musicians, the DSM recently kicked off the Community Band, which allows those that may not have played for years to dust off their guitar or trombone and get back into the rhythm. Members meet each week for rehearsal and perform concerts a few times a year.
“I think they’ve all surprised themselves with how advanced they are how much they remember,” she said. “When emphasis is placed on community, really helps their playing.
After so many years in the DCH and nearby Mother Brook, Fichera said getting a storefront for the DSM is still a goal, but she also likes that one nonprofit can help two others in Dedham.
“We walk that line — want to appeal to a large amount of kid, but not at the expense of the kids.”
The Dedham School of Music will be hosting its annual Off Key Comedy Club fundraiser on Saturday, March 24, to mark the 10th anniversary. For more information, visit www.dedhamschoolofmusic.org.
What a year it has been! And boy, did DSM wrap it up with a bang. There has been nonstop activity and fun in the past two weeks alone, beginning with one of our new annual fundraisers.
Our first-annual Comedy Night on May 19th was a huge success! With the company and support of our guests, we were able to raise a substantial amount to go toward our programs and its students. Additionally, we drew the winner of our first-annual music raffle, which was also a huge hit! We hope if you were unable to be a part of either of these, that you will next year.
Just two days after our fundraiser, DSM students partnered with the Parkway Orchestra to perform a piece from Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt Suites, In the Hall of the Mountain King. See an excerpt of their performance below:
Our Summer session of Music, Mommy, & Me has been a sight to see; it is hard to believe that with all the fun that grandmas, mommies, daddies, and nannies are having with their little ones that music is also being learned!
This past Wednesday evening, three of our talented faculty members performed our quarterly performance at the Newbridge Senior Center. It is always a joy to appreciate seeing our teachers show their skill together. Here is a movement from one of their pieces:
This evening marks the final recitals in the 16-17 year, and we are excited to celebrate our student's successes this year. Registration is open for Summer as well as Fall semesters.
Thank you for a wonderful year, and we hope to see you this Summer and/or Fall!
Happy Spring, everyone! Mother Nature seems to be unable to make up her mind about the weather, but we will take this beautiful 80 degree day. In fact, though Spring is just showing itself, families have already been scrambling to finish up Summer plans. With so many exciting upcoming dates, we are having trouble keeping up too!
Latimer Studios, an incredible videography company based in southern NH, has been so gracious and has donated their time and talent to shooting a video for the Dedham School of Music! We just finished our first day of filming yesterday, and participating students are very excited to see themselves.
Our Spring session of Music, Mommy, & Me only has three weeks left already! The time flew by, and it seems like the little ones have already grown so much. Using bubbles, homemade shakers, and fire hats, it is hard to believe that they are learning having so much fun! Our Summer Session already begins in just 3 weeks. Bring a friend and grab a spot.
We are very excited to offer Intro to Piano classes for children ages 4-7 this summer. If you think your child would enjoy learning piano but isn't quite ready for private lessons, this is the perfect opportunity for them to learn basics!
Our raffle fundraiser is going very well, but there is still some time to get in on it for yourself! Purchasing 1 raffle ticket for $10, or 3 for $25 enters to you for the chance to win 2 tickets to see James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt at Fenway, plus an autographed guitar! That could be the cheapest and best highlight of your Summer. Click here to purchase yours. Drawing is held at our Off-Key Comedy Night fundraiser, coming up on May 19th.
We really hope you'll join us for some of the special musical happenings taking place in the near future:
April 26th: We've added a one-night Pop-Up Bluegrass Jam!
May 4th: Music, Mommy, and Me Summer Session begins
May 6th: Special Recital, featuring our Concerto Competition contestants
May 7th: Open Studios Recital
May 19th: Off-Key Comedy Night Fundraiser
May 21st: Parkway Orchestra Concert
June 2nd: Final recital
June 10th: Town-Wide Yard Sale fundraiser
June 29th: Summer Session begins
Days are just flying by! Can you believe it is March already? We can't!
Spring Session of our Music, Mommy, & Me! class is already underway, the All-Town String Concert is coming up quickly, and Summer enrollment is open!
Check out our Summer Programs page to find out more about what we will be up to, and come visit us this Saturday at the Discover Summer! fair at Avery Elementary School, from 11:30 - 1:30. Admission is free!
Shout-out to our fantastic cello teacher, Ji Kwon, who decided that instead of missing a lesson with her student due to a snow day, she would teach him via Skype! Not only did they have their lesson, but her student was excited to have it in his pajamas!
I have to tell you, I sit here writing this outside of our DSM classroom at the Motherbrook Arts and Community Center, where a Music, Mommy, & Me! class is going on. It is so. stinking. cute.
Until next time!
DSM was generously asked to speak at the Dedham Rotary Club on December 22nd. We thank them for having us, and showing interest in our mission!
Our fantastic string faculty organized a beautiful holiday gathering for their students. Both teachers and students sight-read holiday music while parents looked on, everyone exchanged gifts, ate yummy treats, and enjoyed each other's company. Thank you to Kenneth Mok for the video!
Our Music, Mommy, and Me class kicks off next Thursday morning, January 12th...if you haven't registered, do it today!
We were proud to be featured in the Dedham Times last week, and wish to thank the Dedham School Committee for continuing to support our partnership. Article featured below.
The holiday season is proving to be full of music! On Tuesday, DSM faculty pianist Heeyeon Chi, violinist Kenneth Mok, and flutist Linden Wu, performed a rousing performance of French music for the residents of NewBridge on the Charles.
On Wednesday of this week, 6th grade cellist Noah Young (Dedham Middle School), 7th grade flutist Vivien Boudette (Dedham Middle School), and 6th grade flutist Eitan Levy (Rashi School), performed two Haydn movements for the Dedham Public School Committee and its attendents. They did a fantastic job.
Next weekend, the Unitarian Church will be performing the classic Amahl and the Night Visitors, featuring our own faculty Linnea Bardarson, and Narine Babadjanian on piano. This event is open to the public, and is free of charge.
On January 12th, we begin the Spring semester of Music, Mommy, and Me! Though new to us here at DSM, teacher Viviana Vilches has had almost 20 years of experience teaching little ones and their loved ones the joys of music through play. See for yourself the fun and memories you'll have, and enroll today!
We are excited for DSM's first recital of fall semester this week! Our first round of talented students are ready to show off their efforts this Friday evening at St. Paul's church at 6:00pm. We would love to see you there!
DSM will be participating in this year's Dedham Trunk-or-Treat! And lest you think it is just for kids: parents, this pre-game Trick or Treat opportunity is not only another chance to score more candy that you know you're going to sneak from your child's stash, but also a chance to get more use out of their costumes.
It's a fun weekend activity for the whole family! Come find our decked out Trunk, get some treats, and chat with us!