Just Captured: Fun at Piano Camp!


Mario Ajero teaches piano camp students a lesson in music technology.

South Shore Conservatory is excited to announce the first annual SSC Piano Camp! SSC Piano Camp is open to piano students of all levels ages 5 to 18.

With a mix of world-class piano educators from SSC and around the country, daily activities include masterclasses, ensembles, music theory, composition, improvisation, songwriting, music technology and more. In addition, students have daily performance opportunities at the end of the day.


Why Music Together?


By Jana Kahn

Many parents and caregivers at South Shore Conservatory (SSC) feel that Music Together® class is the highlight of their week. I know it was for me when my kids were small. It’s quality time with your child, a chance to let go, sing and dance in a community of people that enjoy music and consider music to be a family value. And each new session introduces new songs to add to your family’s repertoire.
So here we go – here are my top ten reasons to come to Music Together class this fall!
1. Quality Bonding Time without distraction of phones, computers, errands and housework. It’s an opportunity to just have fun together.
2. The Music is Enjoyable with songs you will want to listen to and sing along with. And every ten weeks you go home with a new songbook and collection of songs.
3. I Can Sing the melodies which are simple and within a singable range. You don’t have to be Julie Andrews or Mariah Carey to sing along.
4. Participate at Your Own Speed. If your child is more of an observer, then sit and observe. There’s no judging. It’s all about enjoying the class, however that best suits you. Just have fun!
5. Dance and Be Silly without a care in the world for an hour of fun. We could all use more time like that.
6. Meet More Parents and make friends with people who share a love of music.
7. Get a Peek at what’s ahead for your child. Since classes are mixed ages you get to see what your child will be doing in a few months or a few years.
8. Lift Your Spirits; even after a sleepless night or dealing with a meltdown, the upbeat music makes us feel present and grounded again.
9. Learn to Juggle by hanging out with rock-star moms and dads that have two or more kids, and watch how they deal with giving each child attention.
10. Enjoy an awesome learning environment where younger children are learning from the older ones, while you learn about music development and your child, all while having a great time!
Music is truly a universal language that has the power to bring families and communities together in harmony. In fact, some children learn how to sing before they learn how to speak. For me, participation in a joyful musical environment with song, dance, and rhythmic activities, brought my family closer. As a new mother, it was helpful to observe children of mixed ages engage at their own level through the power of the arts.
Visit sscmusic.org for a full schedule of fall music, dance and drama programs for children. And please join us on Sunday, September 10, from 2 to 4 pm at our open houses in Hingham and Duxbury, where you can sample classes and find out more information. We look forward to seeing you there.
Fall Music Together classes begin the week of September 11. For more information on South Shore Conservatory’s programs for all ages and abilities, visit sscmusic.org, call 781-749-7565, or find South Shore Conservatory on Facebook.
Jana Kahn is South Shore Conservatory’s Early Childhood Program Coordinator.

Just Captured: Jazz/Rock/Pop Summer Campers

The JRP Summer Camp is running this week! Each day includes

  • solo and ensemble rehearsals and coaching
  • a break-out session on songwriting, improvisation, and music technology
  • learning and rehearsing a new work composed specifically for the all-camp band
  • a masterclass presented by a JRP faculty member!


JRP camp.jpg

Ukulele at Every Age

Ukulele class at Hingham Senior Center

Ukulele class at Hingham Senior Center

By Barbara Farnsworth
The Hingham Senior Center partners with many different organizations to provide a wide range of programs and services to Hingham’s older adults. We were excited to hear about South Shore Conservatory’s (SSC) new Adult Learning initiative, and interested to see what programs we could offer together at our site. We are always looking for new ways to integrate the six dimensions of wellness into our programming: physical, emotional, spiritual, occupational, social and intellectual. A growing wealth of research shows that the arts are an important ally in wellness, especially the social and intellectual dimensions.

Music is one of those things that every person can do regardless of age or ability. Starting lessons as an adult probably won’t lead to an appearance at Carnegie Hall, but it will challenge, enrich, and maybe even create a community of fellow learners. I see it as a way of staying engaged.

In my opinion, it’s important to continue learning throughout our lives. In 2001, I decided to take up running at the age of 48.  I saw an article in a magazine about running a marathon in Honolulu to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation, so decided to give it a try.  While I will never be fast or in an elite group, I have finished eight marathons along the way, and will run Chicago again in October. I learned a lot about the sport of running and fundraising while making some great friends.

When the Hingham Senior Center first decided to offer a ukulele class through SSC this past fall, we weren’t quite sure if we would have enough interest to run it. There were a couple of raised eyebrows because we hadn’t offered this kind of program before, but most people were excited. What started as one trial six-week session, turned into a string of four sessions. Due to the program’s popularity, we are delighted to offer Ukulele Class to our seniors again this fall.

In talking to participants, it is clear that people look forward to their class every week. One participant told me, “It was lovely to be schooled in the joy and fun in learning a musical instrument.  I was surprised I could play songs.” Others commented that it was a good way to keep sharp: “I need to get out of the house and keep my brain moving forward and this does it!” Everyone agreed that the social aspect of playing in a group was important, “The classes were great, nice mix of people and varied degrees of ability. We laughed a lot! Looking forward to starting in the fall.”

I think it’s wonderful to have a resource such as SSC in our community. We are thrilled that they are willing to work with us to create programs that fit the needs of our seniors in Hingham.

For more information about South Shore Conservatory’s adult learning initiative, contact Anne Smith a.smith@sscmusic.org, or visit http://sscmusic.org/adult_programs.html. Hingham senior residents may sign up for Ukulele Class by contacting the Hingham Senior Center at 781-741-1458.

Barbara Farnsworth is the Director of Elder Services for the town of Hingham.

SVI Conversation Series: Part 2


Sydney is a 15 year old singer from Cohasset. Chris (not pictured) is a 15 year old singer from Duxbury.

What do you think is the most valuable skill you’ve learned at SVI so far? 

Sydney: Probably working within a group to master difficult harmonies. They sound so good once you get them. I think that’s a really valuable skill and this camp really focuses on that.
Chris: So far, I’ve learned how to read bass clef, which was something new for me since I play a woodwind instrument. I’m used to reading only treble clef. I learned (how to read bass clef) from Syd!

What is your favorite piece that you’re currently working on, either at the camp or privately?                                                                                                                                               

Sidney: I like “The Nightingale,” which we’re working on at the camp. It’s really pretty but really intense! My favorite solo song is “Wonderful Guy” from “South Pacific.”                                                                                                                                                                                   Chris: “Freeze Your Brain” from “Heathers.”

What are you most looking forward to about the performance?                                                  
Sydney: Honestly, you all (gestures to the other SVI students)! I love you guys and I love working with you. You guys are all great.
Chris: I’m really looking forward to working on my solos on stage and actually performing the finalized pieces. I’m also looking forward to hearing all my friends perform because I love them so much.

Enjoy the best of Rodgers and Hart

Beth CanterburyBy Beth Canterbury

“I’m wild again, beguiled again, a simpering, whimpering child again. . .”

I was introduced to the songs of Rodgers and Hart as a kid, listening to my parents’ jazz records.  Bewitched, My Funny Valentine, and The Lady is a Tramp: these songs ARE the Great American Songbook!  But when I became a singer and voice teacher, I felt that Rodgers and Hart songs were always eclipsed by the songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein, who had a much longer and more commercially successful partnership.  That changed when I began working at Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick.  Teaching private voice lessons to aspiring musical theatre professionals who needed lots of repertoire, pushed me to dig deeper into songs of the 30s and 40s.

What a wealth of material I found!  I uncovered This Can’t Be Love, I Wish I Were in Love Again, Where or When, all elegant, clever, and snappy tunes, speaking to the universal themes of the comedy of love, memory, and longing.  Now, preparing for South Shore Conservatory’s Evenings Under the Stars performance of musical revue Beguiled Again: The Songs of Rodgers and Hart, I’ve discovered the aching ballad A Ship Without a Sail, the irresistible melody of I’ve Gotta Get Back to New York, and that Rodgers and Hart wrote Blue Moon!   Their prolific musical collaboration spanned 24 years and provided scores for 30 musicals and nine films. Surely everyone must recognize at least one or two of their tunes. Craig Ames created thoughtful and charming arrangements of these songs and so many more for Beguiled Again (released in 1997); songs you have loved for years will sound new and even the most knowledgeable American Songbook fan will discover a new song.

Not only am I thrilled to perform these songs for the welcoming EUS audience, but it’s also a pleasure to be back at South Shore Conservatory (SSC) with old friends Beth MacLeod Largent, Holly Jennings and Devin Morin.  The last time I sang with Neal Harrelson was when EUS presented Carmen in 2007, when I was on the faculty at SSC.  And I’m very excited that some of my former students are singing in the chorus!  I cannot wait to reunite with them. Of course, the amphitheater is such a unique space; it’s a treat to perform for audience members enjoying a beautiful evening out on the South Shore.

If you loved last year’s A Grand Night for Singing Rodgers and Hammerstein revue, or you’re looking for a beguiling evening under the stars, these songs will charm and delight you.  To learn a little background about the production before it begins, join us for a cocktail reception at 6 pm the evening of the concert. See you there!
South Shore Conservatory’s Evenings Under the Stars concert series presents Beguiled Again: The Songs of Rodgers and Hart on Saturday, July 29, 7 pm at One Conservatory Drive. This performance, sponsored by Dorothy Palmer, is the final EUS concert of the summer. For tickets and more information, visit http://sscmusic.org/evenings_under_the_stars.html or call 781-749-7565, ext. 22. Find South Shore Conservatory on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SSConservatory/.

SVI Conversation Series: Part 1

Brooke is a 14 year old singer from Cohasset. Julia is a 14 year old singer from Kingston.

We’ve started an interview series with the Canto singers at Summer Vocal Institute here at SSC! Today, we asked Julia and Brooke some questions about their experience at the camp and their passion for music.

What has been your favorite part of SVI so far?

Brooke: What I love that we do in the mornings is some movement exercises to energize us, and I love hearing advice when we do solo songs so I can improve.

Julia: I love meeting other kids who love music and singing as much as I do.

What are you looking forward to in the days to come? 

Brooke: I’m looking forward to our final performance and seeing how it goes.

Julia: I’m looking forward to learning new skills from my amazing teachers and the solo concert next Thursday night.

What is something you love about music?

Brooke: I love that when you sing high notes, they float.

Describe how you feel about music in one word.

Julia: Awesome, both in the 21st century sense and in the 17th century sense!

Just Captured: Young Performers Move and Groove to Drum Beats


Designed for our youngest performers, ages 4-6, “Curtain Going Up” offers children an opportunity to develop speaking, listening, and social skills through structured dramatic play.  Students engage in creative exploration through participation in theatre games, as well as an age-appropriate “mini-musical” experience, integrating simple song work and movement.

SMF Students Offer an Introduction to Potential Developments for SSC Teens


I had the pleasure of interviewing some Summer Music Festival students recently. Working with Sarah Troxler, Director of Student Engagement, I asked both SSC students and students from outside of the community about the kinds of programs they’d like to see at SSC in the future. Current students and non-SSC students alike expressed an interest in community service opportunities, such as performances at hospitals and retirement centers. Another popular idea was the establishment of more student ensembles, such as jazz ensembles. Stay tuned as we continue to explore student activities possibilities for the 2017-2018 school year and years to come!