Parents’ Association

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Parents’ Association Blog

BCD’s Parents’ Association is off to a great start!

PASC 2016

All parents are members of the Parents’ Association. Active participation on the Association’s committees and their projects gives parents opportunities to become better acquainted with one another and with the life of the school. Though volunteering is not required, the expectation is that each parent will volunteer to work on two school functions. Volunteer activities contribute substantially to the well-being and overall healthy environment at BCD. Over the years, the School has been fortunate in having all parents give willingly of their time and talent to enrich BCD.

We had a wonderful turnout for the first PASC meeting of the year. It was great to catch up with old friends and meet new people – all while getting good work done!
Thanks to everyone who came. A special thanks to our fearless leader, Terri Sash, and to everyone who signed on to co-chair or volunteer for our exciting list of upcoming events:
– Grandparents’ / Grandfriends’ Day (Oct 7)
– Photo Day (Oct 17)
– Thanksgiving Soup (Nov 22)
Please keep an eye out for volunteer sign-up opportunities and pitch in to help these wonderful co-chairs in any way you can. These events contribute to making the BCD experience so special for our children, and your help makes them possible.

“Let’s Talk About”
This year, Mayra Rodriguez will be facilitating six talks in our popular “Let’s Talk About” series – thanks Mayra! These gatherings are a great opportunity for BCD parents to gather together to learn about and discuss topics that interest us as parents. Previous talks have covered topics like: discussing sexuality with your child, understanding testing and supporting our kids at home, and technology use. This year, Mayra would love to hear “talk” ideas from you. Please click Here to let Mayra know what you’d like to discuss.

PASC Meetings
We hope to see you at our next PASC meeting – October 21 at 8:15 in the library. If you would like to participate, but an evening meeting would suit you better, please email Lucie Stites Here. Also, let us know if having childcare would make an evening meeting more feasible. If there is enough interest, we’ll add evening gatherings to the rotation.

Here’s to a great start to the BCD school year!

By | September 19th, 2016|Categories: Parents' Association|0 Comments

Simple Music Practice Tips from Mr. Martin!

Music is a rewarding and lifelong journey that can begin at any time and place. Oftentimes the joys of music-making can be lost (for some!) by the dread of regular practicing.

I know our returning musicians are probably thinking about their private lessons for the year and (potentially) cramming in some last hours of practice time before Wednesday, September 14!

Please see below for a few simple practice tips for aspiring musicians of any age:

 

  1. Drink water and take care of bodily health. It’s good to stay active, but also make sure you feel relaxed and centered before beginning practice time. This is important to make sure no injuries occur, as well as to ensure a productive session!
  2. Warm up before practicing scales or repertoire. This could mean playing/singing long tones, taking deep breaths, or another warm-up technique given by your private instructor.
  3. Slow down! It is common for musicians to practice tricky sections of music at an inappropriately fast tempo. When learning or practicing a new/challenging section, make sure to take the tempo down to a crawl. Then work your way  up to the faster tempo.
  4. Quality over Quantity. There are a lot of varying opinions about practice time. For an adult, 1 hour of great practicing is worth 4 hours of mindless practicing. Or for a younger student, 15-30 minutes of daily practicing could do the trick. If you have more questions about developmental appropriateness and practice time, feel free to reach out.
  5. Be mindful of repetition. From an outside perspective, great practicing probably sounds like lots of repetition of various musical snippets of a piece. What the musician’s brain does, however, is practice getting one thing right (i.e. hand position or a tricky accidental note) and building on another element, in order to bring the piece closer to concert-ready.
  6. JOY. What a great privilege and opportunity to have the chance to play beautiful music! Even when playing a scale, we can bring expression and joy to that by thinking about how much we love what we do.
  7. Take time off. One mantra could be: Practice 6 days straight, and then give yourself a break on 1. Private instructors can give more specific advice on how to best take breaks and avoid burnout.

Thanks for  reading, and happy practicing to our BCD performers!

Musically Yours,

Mr. Martin

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Here’s a fun photo of me in soundcheck, preparing for a 2014 performance in Beijing, China.

(Feel free to reach out to cmartin@berkshirecountryday.org with any questions.)

 

 

When to start private music lessons?

This is a question asked frequently here at BCD and in my private studio.  There is no “magic age” to start and no one correct answer to this question.  Generally, brass and woodwind lessons are given to students around 4th grade. Guitar is most often taught starting in 3rd grade. Piano, violin, viola and cello are great choices for our students to begin as early as 3 years old.

I had the opportunity to begin with piano lessons at 4 years old, and that’s an experience I wouldn’t trade for the world. Having said that, there’s a dialogue between teacher, student, and parent that informs these choices. My mom says I made it abundantly clear piano was an early passion!

Begin lessons when your child is ready to take direction from an adult, take responsibility for practicing and when the family is ready to devote time, money and energy into this wonderful new adventure.

 

Feel free to reach out to me at cmartin@berkshirecountryday.org with any additional questions. Happy Summer 2016!

 

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BCD Parents’ Association

All parents are members of the Parents’ Association. Active participation on the Association’s committees and their projects gives parents opportunities to become better acquainted with one another and with the life of the school. Though volunteering is not required, the expectation is that each parent will volunteer to work on two school functions. Volunteer activities contribute substantially to the well-being and overall healthy environment at BCD. Over the years, the School has been fortunate in having all parents give willingly of their time and talent to enrich BCD.

Fun & Field Day 2016
Many Thanks – and Photos!

Dear Volunteers, Families, Faculty, and Staff,

Thank you for your generous contributions of service, food, time, energy, and spirit to this year’s Fun & Field Day. It was a joy to see our community at play.  This event is a highlight of the year and your enthusiasm and effort brought it to life.

Please CLICK HERE to see many pictures of this extraordinary day.

With gratitude,
Sharon Alpert
Robin Seeley
Jennifer White
PA Chairs – Fun & Field Day

Salon Talk – “Taking a Script from Page to Screen”

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Tuesday, February 23, 6 PM
Courtney Hunt
“Taking a Script from Page to Screen”
No. Six Depot Cafe, 6 Depot St., West Stockbridge

Read event details, plus a description of Courtney’s career in film here.