Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Spotlight on Josh Chung

Josh Chung
Congratulations to Patel Conservatory violin student Josh Chung who recently celebrated his book one graduation in the Suzuki program.

The Suzuki violin program is a parent-child approach to learning the instrument based on the Japanese violin teacher Shinichi Suzuki's beliefs that every child has talent.

There are 10 Suzuki Violin School books,” explained Patel Conservatory Suzuki instructor Catherine Michelsen

“Dr. Suzuki incorporated a graduation system in which students, upon achieving certain playing levels, would record several polished pieces of music...This was a celebration of accomplishment.”

Josh has been a Suzuki student at the Conservatory for two years, and he is the first Conservatory student to complete the first violin book.

“He and his family have been amazing to work with. Disciplined, dedicated, and supportive, Josh and his family really exemplify the Suzuki philosophy,” said Michelsen.

Josh developed a passion for music at an early age.

“He’s the one who asked to take violin lessons,” said Josh’s mom, Sue Chung. “We really love the whole program and the facility. I just love the environment [at the Patel Conservatory], it’s not only violin, but it’s Rock School and dance, and you just feel that when you enter the building...I walk in, and I just feel calm.”

To celebrate his recent accomplishment, Josh performed selections from the first Suzuki violin book in a recital for family and friends last week in the TECO Theater.

“I feel pretty good and proud,” said Josh.

Learning how to figure out the notes in practice was a challenge as he progressed through more difficult pieces. He’s learning how to play by ear and work through it on his own.

“It was kind of hard, but I persevered and I did it,” he said.

Josh will continue his Suzuki journey and start on the next book this year. The skills he gains from Suzuki - discipline, patience and teamwork - will serve him throughout all areas of his life.

“I’m so extremely proud of him...He’ll always have this love and passion for music,” said Sue.

For more information about Suzuki violin lessons or other instrumental private lessons at the Conservatory, click here.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Observations from the Rock and Roll Forever conference

At the recent Rock and Roll Forever Summer Teachers' Institute in New York City, Patel Conservatory instructor Deborah Lynch studied how to incorporate rock history into standard academic curriculum for middle and high schools.

Patel Conservatory instructor, Deborat Lynch, right, with
with Hugo Burnham, drummer for the post-punk rock
band, The Gang of Four
Lynch is the coordinator and vocal coach for the Patel Conservatory Rock School program. She also teaches the new Vox-Voice Rocks! class offered at the Conservatory.

Here, Lynch shares some observations from the program she attended last month...

“As part of our final project at the Summer Teachers' Institute, my group looked at photos of the Beach Boys, The Beatles and Bob Marley (Killer Bs, as my team came to call them) when they first became popular, and compared them to photos taken later in the artists' careers. Among the changes that took place are the hairstyles of the artists.

We examined whether hairstyles influence music, or if music influences hairstyles.

We then created a lesson plan with the essential question, ‘Are musicians making personal, social and/or artistic statements with their hairstyles and how can these be identified through their music?’

This is just one example of some of the ways we can incorporate rock history in the classroom to help kids get excited about learning.

Overall, I walked away with some really fascinating discoveries about the history of Rock and Roll at the Summer Teachers’ Institute. Here’s a few fun facts you can use to impress your friends:

  1. The word "lyric" comes from the ancient Greek practice of singing poetry to the accompaniment of a lyre.
  2. John and Alan Lomax are known for their documentation of the American folk song before and during the advent of recording devices, primarily by visiting penitentiaries because prisoners sang folk songs to keep busy.
  3. "Punk" rock can be traced, in part, back to British "skiffle" bands that sought to emulate American blues "jug" bands of the 1950s.
  4. Background vocalists on recordings and in concert are really talented people who do not typically achieve fame with solo careers.
  5. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, rock history has a place in social studies, history, fashion, anthropology, literacy, mathematics and music curricula.
Lynch with Phil Galdston, songwriter
who co-wrote Save the Best for Last
by Vanessa Williams.
It was a privilege to be part of the pilot program of "Little Steven" Van Zandt's Rock Institute.  I look forward to being an ambassador of the content when the program goes live on the web at the end of September!”

The curriculum of Rock and Roll: An American Story, which meets Common Core State Standards, will be available online September 23, 2013 to schools, at no cost.

Come train with us at the Patel Conservatory and create your own rock and roll history through our Rock School and Vox-Voice Rocks! classes.

Join Lynch and our other talented artists/instructors, Paul Stoddart and Dean Tidey, at a free Rock School Workshop on Tues., Sept. 3, 2013. For more information, click here.

Free Rock School workshop

Ever thought about being in a band? Want to learn how to take your private music lessons to the next level?

Join us at the Patel Conservatory for a FREE Rock School workshop!

Rock School Workshop
Tues., Sept. 3, 2013
6 to 7 p.m.

The Conservatory’s Rock School program brings students together to form bands according to age and skill level. Bands rehearse weekly and participate in our Rock School Blowout concert at the end of the session. Our fall session begins on Sept. 7, 2013.

At the workshop, Rock School instructors Dean Tidey and Paul Stoddart will demonstrate how the program works. Vocal coach Deborah Lynch will assist with vocal instruction.

Tidey writes, produces and plays guitar for the Muddy Apes. Previously, Tidey played guitar for a dozen years in the acclaimed English rock band, Feeder, which opened for such notable bands as U2, REM and the Rolling Stones. 

Stoddart has taught guitar and music theory/arrangement/songwriting for more than two decades. He graduated cum laude from the Berklee School of Music in 1989 with a major in Songwriting, and has played in, written for and arranged music for several bands around the country. He still plays throughout the Tampa Bay area with his four piece ensemble.

Lynch served as a music director, accompanist, vocal coach and performer in Richmond, Va. before moving to Tampa and joining the Patel Conservatory as accompanist last year. Among many other things, she has taught high school chorus, was a soloist for The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in their masterworks concerts with the Richmond Symphony, and has assisted with District Chorus festivals.

The workshop is for anyone in grade four through adult. Participants must bring their own instruments or drum sticks. Drum set, amps and keyboards are provided.

For those interested, placement auditions for Rock School will immediately follow the workshop. All prospective students are auditioned to determine the best band for them, based on instrument, musical tastes and age. There is a $15 audition fee.

Additional auditions will be held Wed., Sept. 4 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. For more information on our Rock School auditions, click here.

The workshop is free, but RSVP is required. To reserve your spot, please email or call 813-222-6411.

For additional information about other music programs, including guitar classes, vocal arts and chamber ensembles, click here.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Little Mermaid Jr. offers family friendly fun

From left, Caleigh Potter, Teresa Tompkins and Mia Cintron

Don’t miss the Patel Conservatory Theater production of The Little Mermaid, Jr. this weekend!

It’s theater for kids by kids! This entertaining Disney classic features a cast of more than 90 students, performing favorites such as Under the Sea, Part of Your World and Kiss the Girl.

Quentin Darrington, left, works with the cast of
The Little Mermaid, Jr.
The production is a culmination of a three-week theater intensive, in which students worked on theater, dance and vocal skills. Last week, they were able to work with guest instructor Quentin Earl Darrington, of Broadway's Ragtime.

The show is co-directed by Ami Sallee and Audrey Siegler, with music direction by Allison Novak and choreography by Susan Downey.

It’s an event full of music, dancing and fun with your favorite Disney characters!

Little ones can come early dressed as their favorite “under the sea” character and enjoy pre-show activities.

Starting an hour before each show, kids can have their picture taken with a Mermaid, courtesty of YTEevents and SOHO images.

There’ll also be an instrumental petting zoo where kids can touch and experience a variety of instruments and see which ones they like best!

The show will be Fri., Aug. 9 at 7 p.m. and Sat., Aug. 10 at 2 p.m. in Ferguson Hall at the Straz Center. For tickets, click here, or call 813-229-7827.

Bring your friends and spread the word!

Free ballet master classes Aug. 24

The Patel Conservatory will host free ballet master classes on Sat., Aug. 24, 2013.

The classes are a great way to introduce students to ballet for the first time, or, for experienced students to work on technique with Next Generation Ballet (NGB) faculty.

All master classes offer an opportunity for placement in the Patel Conservatory Youth Ballet  program at the Conservatory for the 2013/2014 season.

PCYB is the official school of NGB, an award-winning pre-professional dance company.

Master classes are free, but pre-registration is required.

Intro. to Ballet
Pre-K3 - Kindergarten: 9 to 9:45 a.m.

Beginning Ballet
Grades 1 - 8: 10 to 11 a.m.

Elementary/Intermediate Ballet
Grades 4 - 12: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.            

To RSVP for the free ballet master classes, please call 813-222-1263.

There will also be a free open house on Aug. 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Aug. 24 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It’s your chance to take a tour of the Conservatory and ask questions. To RSVP for the open house, click here, or call 813-222-1002.