Piano student and teacher

Workshop Weeks

Spring Workshops are here!

Saturday, March 21, 2020 – Friday, March 27, 2020

Scroll down to view the full list of our Spring 2020 workshops. Click the dropdown arrow to read a description of each workshop and see the details of when and where it meets.

FREE Sessions!
This spring, we’re holding three sessions for you to learn about changes and improvements coming to Powers. These sessions are completely free for both Powers students/families and the general public:

  • “Powers Certificate Program” – Saturday, 3/21, 2:00-3:00 pm, Room 1
  • “Powers Certificate Program” – Wednesday, 3/25, 7:15-8:15 pm, Room 2
  • “Meet the Director” – Wednesday, 4:45-5:45 pm, Room 1

Registration

Ready to sign up for a workshop? Just click the button below to submit our online form, checking off the box for the workshop you’d like to sign up for. (Please submit the online form once for each workshop you would like to attend.)

Sign up for a workshop!

Then, if you are NOT a currently registered Powers student (or a family member of a Powers student), please click here to pay the $5 workshop fee ($5 for each workshop you sign up for).

Pay Workshop Fee

 

What is Workshop Week?

Twice each year, we’ll throw open the doors to Powers so YOU can experience the joy of music for yourself!

Powers is excited to announce “Workshop Weeks” for our community and our students – two weeks of fun and interactive classes taught by local and regional teaching artists. These weeks encourage creativity within our faculty, bring accessible music and arts programs right to you, and provide a fun way to learn about music together.

Who can attend a workshop during Workshop Weeks?

Anyone! We’ll have a variety of hand-chosen workshop topics for all age groups, including adults, seniors, young children, K-8 and high school students, and parents. Everyone from novices to aspiring professionals will find something they like. Don’t see anything interesting in the schedule? Let us know what suggestions you have!

What does it cost?

The fee for one workshop is $5 for the general public and free for currently registered Powers students! We hope that the low cost will allow you to sign up for as many workshops as you like!

Can I bring a friend?

Absolutely! In fact, we encourage your friends and family to also sign up for one or more workshops so you can share your experience together AND learn about things that interest you.

What are people saying about Workshop Week?

“I liked the community and the level of professionalism.”

“The teachers are so sweet, professional and touching. You can feel their love in music.”

“It was a great chance to break out from routine and try something different.”

“THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for opening up the workshops to the public. I appreciate the numerous workshops that were made available to adult learners.”

“It was fun and appropriate for both of my children (ages 5 and 7). It got them excited about new instruments and kinds of music.”

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Music Pups®

9:00 – 9:45 am, Cabot Room, 380 Concord Avenue
10:00 – 10:45 am, Cabot Room, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Jennifer Choe
Best for: Newborn – age 3 and a parent/caregiver

Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers (and a parent or caregiver) are invited to sing, dance, move, wiggle, and try some instruments in this fun drop-in session of our regular Music Pups® class!
Click here to learn more about Music Pups®.

Viola Repertoire Class

9:00 – 10:30 am, All Saints’ Church, 17 Clark Street
Instructor: Jenny Shallenberger and Natacha Rist
Best for: middle school, high school, adults

First, enjoy a concert performance of some of the standard pieces viola students learn, followed by a brief discussion. Then take part in an opportunity to play part of a solo piece with faculty pianist Natacha Rist and receive feedback!

Harmonization

10:15 – 11:15 am, Pavarotti Room, 396 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Jei Yern Ryu
Best for: Elementary school

Practice finding the chords (or notes) to harmonize a melody!

Suzuki Violin Book 1 Play-Down

10:45 am – 12:15 pm, All Saints’ Church, 17 Clark Street
Instructor: Sarah Bacon
Best for: Powers Suzuki Book 1 students only

Students who have completed the repertoire in their current Suzuki Book will participate in a “play-down” recital to perform the entire book and celebrate their accomplishment.

Yuck! Beginning Bucket Drumming

11:30 am – 12:30 pm, Cabot Room, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Susanna Fiore
Best for: Elementary school

It’s bucket drumming time! In this workshop, you’ll sing some rhythms, practice “air playing,” and then try playing different drumming parts on a bucket. At the end, we’ll bring all the parts together to play a piece called “Yuck!”

Introduction to Music Theory

11:30 am – 12:30 pm (Elementary/Middle school), Stevens Room, 396 Concord Avenue
12:45 – 1:45 pm (High school/Adults), Stevens Room, 396 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Rebecca Sacks
Best for: Elementary school through Adult (see times above)

Participate in rhythm and singing exercises in this fun introduction to music theory. Hear about the many aspects of music theory (sight singing, music appreciation, improvisation, composition, and more!) and learn about the overtone series with a special handmade instrument called a polychord.

Youth Chamber Music Masterclass

12:45 – 2:15 pm, Cabot Room, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Kay Jang
Best for: Current youth chamber musicians

We invite existing youth chamber ensembles (from Powers and from the community) to participate in this masterclass. Faculty member Kay Jang will offer a new perspective on the repertoire you are currently preparing and help take your group’s playing to the next level.

Learn an Irish Jig!

2:00 – 3:00 pm, Room 2, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Ellery Klein
Best for: Elementary school, middle school, high school, adults

Boston is a great city for Irish music! We’ll learn a tune by ear, exploring the rhythm and simple ornamentations that are a feature of the music. This workshop is geared towards string players, but flute players, banjo players, and others are welcome.

Powers Certificate Program (Sneak Peek!)

2:00 – 3:00 pm, Room 1, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Gavin Farell, Executive Director & Daniel Acsadi, Director of Education and Community Programs
Best for: All ages! / Parents of Powers students especially encouraged

For the 2020-2021 academic year, Powers is introducing an optional new, comprehensive, and goal-oriented educational track for students ages 18 and under. Join us for this informational session to see if the program is a good fit for your child. We will describe key program components (including juried examinations) and answer any questions you may have about this exciting new initiative!

Piano Workshop

3:00 – 4:30 pm (Ages 10 – adult), Cabot Room, 380 Concord Avenue
4:30 – 6:00 pm (Ages 5 – 10), Cabot Room, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Natacha Rist
Best for: Ages 5 – adult (see times above)

Perform and get feedback on a recital-ready piece or a work-in-progress, or just listen and learn from others!

Faculty member Natacha Rist will give tips and lead discussion about the pieces being played. Topics might include musical forms, performance styles, practicing, technique and music theory, ensemble playing, sight playing, and more.

We will also celebrate J.S. Bach’s Birthday, March 31, 1685, and discuss the importance of his music and the formative role it plays, musically and technically, in the study of many instruments.

Participants who are not ready to perform will be encouraged (if willing) to do some sight-playing, two-hands or four-hands. Participants who just want to sit in are also welcome… Questions about any musical topic are encouraged!

Improvising String Quartets

3:00 – 4:00 pm, Room 2, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Ellery Klein
Best for: Middle school, High school, adults

Learn techniques to collaborate, listen and respond to another musician’s ideas through improvisation exercises and games. Then, try your hand at improvising in a string quartet without music! Violin, viola, and cello players welcome.

Adult Chamber Music Masterclass

4:30 – 6:00 pm, Callas Room, 396 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Jenny Shallenberger
Best for: Adults

Learn from faculty chamber coach Jenny Shallenberger and other participants to improve your chamber group’s playing. We’ll also discuss aspects of chamber music specific to adult learners.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Intro to Music Therapy

4:00 – 5:30 pm, Cabot Room, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Xingyu Yao
Best for: Middle school, High school, Adults

Come to join this 90-minute journey on how music heals and how music therapy can uplift our spirit, eliminate pain, and transform lives across the life span. We will be sharing and discussing cutting edge neuroscience research, music therapy programs, clinical cases, as well as experiential music-making activities. Bring your questions and curiosity! Handouts with further resources will be shared at the end of the workshop.

Playful Practice

4:45 – 5:45 pm, Room 2, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Sarah Bacon
Best for: Elementary school

Energize your practice time with new games and ideas! Learn creative ways to make practicing fun and engaging.

Meet the Ukulele

6:00 – 7:00 pm, Cabot Room, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Tev Stevig
Best for: Elementary school, middle school, high school, adults

Try your hand at the ukulele in this fun workshop for all experience levels! The ukulele is a very accessible and affordable instrument you can use to perform a wide variety of music. Many of the techniques from fingerstyle guitar performance are much easier on the ukulele due to its smaller size and more comfortable string tension. We’ll learn pitches and chords in the first position, basic right and left hand techniques and perform a tune together as a ukulele orchestra.

Please note: Attendees must bring their own ukulele, but no prior experience is necessary. Ukuleles can be purchased for about $50-$100.

Music as a Catalyst for Social Change

6:00 – 7:30 pm, Room 1, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Xingyu Yao
Best for: Elementary school, middle school, high school, adults

Besides entertainment, music has been the crucial media for us to express our unique voices, cultivate unity and promote social change. Let’s feel inspired by artists from a diverse background across the world and broaden your horizons about what music can do. As we draw inspirations from selected artists, we will create a piece of music together! You are welcome to bring your own instruments for the live composition activity!

Breathing Gym for Winds

6:00 – 7:30 pm, Pavarotti Room, 396 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Allison Lacasse
Best for: Wind players of all ages

An interactive breathing workshop for wind players. Bring along your instrument and see the difference that focused, healthy breathing can do for your playing. All levels are welcome. Dress in comfortable clothes, be ready to learn with an open mind, and come ready to inhale!

World Music Series: Understanding and Applying Makam

7:15 – 8:45 pm, Cabot Room, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Tev Stevig
Best for: High school, adults

In this workshop, we will explore the world of makam, which is the basis for much of the modal music traditions of the Middle East. Through an informal discussion, attendees will learn some basic ideas encompassed in makam which will be followed by a short performance demonstrating these concepts. We will then all learn a piece (or several pieces) in one of the makams in the Turkish music tradition. Attendees will learn through call and response and working on concepts together in small groups.

Attendees should have a general understanding of basic western musical concepts such as scales, chords, and rhythms. Instrumentalists who wish to get a true appreciation of makam should bring instruments capable of performing non-tempered pitches (not a piano or fretted guitar, for example).

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Music Pups®

10:00 – 10:45 am, Cabot Room, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Jennifer Choe
Best for: Newborn – age 3 and a parent/caregiver

Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers (and a parent or caregiver) are invited to sing, dance, move, wiggle, and try some instruments in this fun drop-in session of our regular Music Pups® class! Click here to learn more about Music Pups®.

Duets of Lassus and Morley on the Viol

11:30 – 1:00 pm, Cabot Room, 380 Concord AvenueInstructor: James PerrettaBest for: High school, adults

During the 16th century, it was considered a rite of passage for young composers to write a volume of contrapuntal duets to demonstrate that they had mastered the craft of composition. In this workshop, we’ll explore bicinia and canzonets by Lassus and Morley and discover how these composers crafted beautiful counterpoint with only two parts. Open to any viol players interested.

Viola da What? The Beautiful Sound of the Viola Da Gamba

4:45 – 5:45 pm, Room 2, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Jane Hershey
Best for: Middle school, high school, adults

The viola da gamba may be unfamiliar to many but it is a beautiful instrument from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. It comes in three sizes, like the violin family, but has 6 strings and frets. Come and hear the sound of the viol and give it a try.

Improvisation for Young Musicians

4:45 – 5:45 pm, Cabot Room, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Michael Shea
Best for: Elementary school, middle school

Improvisation is a part of every musical tradition. Using games and familiar melodies from all over the world, we’ll try out a variety of musical elements for structuring our own pieces. Bring your instruments – all participants are encouraged to try out these ideas!

Improvisation for Advanced Musicians

6:00 – 7:30 pm, Cabot Room, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Michael Shea
Best for: High school, adults

Intermediate and advanced players – interested in improvisation? We’ll be looking at – and playing through – harmonic and rhythmic elements used in structuring improvisation within a variety of musical traditions, including American jazz, assorted World folk styles as well as modern western/European art music. Bring your instruments – everyone is encouraged to try out these ideas.

How Do I Improve My Piano Playing?

6:00 – 7:00 pm, Room 1, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Tamara Medoyeva
Best for: Elementary school, middle school, high school, adults

Everyone has moments when a technical problem arises. Sometimes even a lot of practicing doesn’t solve it. Why? We will help figure out the solutions to different technique problems. Fingering, coordination skills, amount of practicing, clear thinking, good concentration, and the ability to know what is needed for success will all be covered.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Calling all Watch City Singers! Singing & Creative Aging

11:00 am – 12:30 pm, Waltham Council on Aging
Instructor: Xingyu Yao
Best for: Adults, Older adults

Learn the benefits of singing in a choir, and strategies to improve your vocal health through instruction and hands-on activities.

We welcome all returning members and newcomers to the Watch City Singers program as we introduce our second session, beginning April 13.

Dance Forms in Suzuki Violin Repertoire

3:30 – 4:30 pm, Cabot Room, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Guan-Ting Ku
Best for: Middle school, high school, adults

We’ll play, listen to, and discuss various dance forms in Suzuki Violin Repertoire such as minuet, gavotte, courante, and more!

Meet the Director

4:45 – 5:45 pm, Room 1, 380 Concord AvenueInstructor: Gavin Farrell, Executive DirectorBest for: All ages!

Here’s your opportunity to meet our Director, Gavin Farrell and learn about all that is in the works at Powers. From new classes and programs, to our work in the community, you can ask questions, share your insights and influence the course of things to come!

How Do I Practice?

4:45 – 5:45 pm, Cabot Room, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Kathryn Rosenbach
Best for:  Elementary school, middle school, high school, adults

Learning how to practice is one of the great challenges for any instrument or voice. This will be a fun hour of practical advice on practicing.

This workshop is for all levels – please bring your instruments and current music. Parents are welcome!

Beginning Jazz and Blues Keyboard Ensemble

4:45 – 5:45 pm, Pavarotti Room, 396 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Susanna Fiore
Best for: Elementary school (Grades K-5)

Have fun playing jazz and blues songs on the keyboard. 3-4 songs with different parts will be taught by rote. Students will learn notes first on resonator bars and rhythms on percussion instruments and then on keyboards. We will put all the parts together and perform the songs at the end of the workshop. Sheet music and audio tracks will be provided to all participants.

Suzuki Violin Book 4 Play-Down

5:45 – 6:30 pm, Cabot Room, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Sarah Bacon
Best for: Powers Suzuki Book 4 students only

Students who have completed the repertoire in their current Suzuki Book will participate in a “play-down” recital to perform the entire book and celebrate their accomplishment.

Preparing to Perform

6:00 – 7:00 pm, Room 1, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Kathryn Rosenbach
Best for: Elementary school, middle school, high school, adults

Learning how to prepare for performing can sometimes be a mystery. We will cover new ideas on pre-performance strategies. Please bring your instruments and any music you’d like to work on.

Suzuki Violin Book 2 Play-Down

5:45 pm, All Saints’ Church, 17 Clark Street
Instructor: Sarah Bacon
Best for: Powers Suzuki Book 2 students only

Students who have completed the repertoire in their current Suzuki Book will participate in a “play-down” recital to perform the entire book and celebrate their accomplishment. Book 2 students – 5:45 Play-down, 6:30 Pizza, 7:00 Movie!

Latin Jazz Ensemble

7:15 – 8:45 pm, Cabot Room, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Susanna Fiore
Best for: Middle school, high school, adults

Have fun playing 2-3 Latin Jazz standards along with percussion. After practicing and putting parts together we will perform the pieces at the end and do some improvising. Open to all instruments – Intermediate level and up.

Powers Certificate Program (Sneak Peek!)

7:15 – 8:15 pm, Room 2, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Gavin Farell, Executive Director & Daniel Acsadi, Director of Education and Community Programs
Best for: All ages! / Parents of Powers students especially encouraged

For the 2020-2021 academic year, Powers is introducing an optional new, comprehensive, and goal-oriented educational track for students ages 18 and under. Join us for this informational session to see if the program is a good fit for your child. We will describe key program components (including juried examinations) and answer any questions you may have about this exciting new initiative!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Strengthen Your Violin Bow Hold

4:45 – 5:45 pm, Cabot Room, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Sarah Bacon
Best for: Elementary school, middle school, high school

Learn physical exercises and bow exercises to strengthen your right hand and fingers and refine bow control.

Playing By Ear

4:45 – 5:30 pm, Room 2, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Ben Fox
Best for: High school, adults

Learning to interpret musical notation is obviously essential to being able to play most music. However, there are some styles of music in which aural learning is integral to rehearsal and performance. We will start with identifying and playing basic intervals, move to simple imitation and playing by ear, then finish with some improvisation exercises. Join us to sing and play your instrument!

A Singer’s Vocal Tune-Up

4:45 – 5:45 pm, Pavarotti Room, 396 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Emily Romney
Best for: High school, adults

Do you love to sing in your choir or chorale? Why not devote an hour to your voice? Learn some new ways to warm up and practice that can help you maintain and enhance your unique voice. We’ll do some simple vocalizing, try out new techniques, and do a vocal “tune-up” on posture, breathing, and vocalizing. Bring a bottle of water!

Sensational Sight-Singing Strategies

6:00 – 7:00 pm, Pavarotti Room, 396 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Emily Romney
Best for: High school, adults

Learn techniques to help you orient yourself to a new piece of music, as well as strategies for reading with more confidence. We’ll sing scales and intervals, practice rhythmic patterns, and learn our way around a vocal score. Bring your music-reading questions!

Intro to Guitar

6:00 – 7:00 pm, Cabot Room, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Daniel Acsadi
Best for: Elementary school, middle school, high school, adults

Have you been fascinated by the guitar but unsure of how to get started? Join this friendly and fun introductory session to begin learning the basics: holding the guitar, strumming, finger picking, pressing the strings, and playing your first melody or song. Guitars will be provided if you do not own one.

Practicing with Your Young Child

7:15 – 8:30 pm, Cabot Room, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Amy Beshara
Best for: Parents

In many ways, parents become the “teacher” during home practice with their very young children! In this workshop we will look at ways to be an effective helper at home during your child’s practice. We’ll look at how young children learn music, what to expect from your young child in lessons and practice, how to work with your child’s teacher to foster the best working relationship between you, teacher, and child, common behavioral issues that might come up, and anything and everything else that you might want to know about how to work with your child at home to create happy, healthy practice habits.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Music Pups®

9:30 – 10:15 am, Cabot Room, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Jennifer Choe
Best for: Newborn – age 3 and a parent/caregiver

Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers (and a parent or caregiver) are invited to sing, dance, move, wiggle, and try some instruments in this fun drop-in session of our regular Music Pups® class! Click here to learn more about Music Pups®.

Intro to Afro-Caribbean Drumming

4:45 – 5:45 pm, Cabot Room, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Nurudafina Abena
Best for: Elementary school, middle school, high school, adults

Explore the music and rhythms of West Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Try West African drums, congas, and small percussion instruments in this popular, fun workshop!

Scale Class for Violinists

6:00 – 7:00 pm, Cabot Room, 380 Concord Avenue
Instructor: Morgan Scagliotti
Best for: Elementary school, middle school, high school, adults

In this scale class, musicians will have the unique opportunity to practice performing scales for one another. Techniques such as tone development, intonation, shifting, bow planning and musical phrasing will be discussed at the beginning and end of this class. Musicians should bring their instruments and be prepared to play a scale individually and as a group.