About Charles Zotique

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So far Charles Zotique has created 35 blog entries.

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 czotique@berkshirecountryday.org with any additional questions. Happy Summer 2018!

 

piano-lessons21

By |2017-10-05T11:41:12+00:00July 8th, 2018|

A Behind-the-Scenes Peek at RED: the Musical   

On May 31, the 1st/2nd/3rd Grade Musical Theater class offered us a world-premiere of “RED: The Musical” by Julien Zotique, a local artist and alumnus of the BMI® Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. A new musical play for young people, RED is a heartwarming story about standing up to bullies by travelling to other dimensions. Not only were the book, libretto, and materials composed from scratch by Julien, but he also sought out guidance about the actors’ skill-sets based on our faculty’s deep knowledge of each BCD student.

When we first began preparing the production, Julien had composed all the materials, and we went about seeking to make sensible and strategic cuts. As we went along, we discovered that the kids loved their musical and really felt they owned it. We were blown away by the dedication and intrinsic motivation of some very young actors!

At the 1st/2nd/3rd grade level, most students are in a developmental period Dr. Jean Piaget famously coined the “Concrete Preoperational Subperiod.” In this stage, children begin to think logically but remain very concrete in their logic. At first blush, we were impressed by how rapidly children memorized lines and songs: definitely showing us their ability to learn and retain. As we went along, there were several moments of flexibility and change. If one stage direction didn’t work, we needed to toss it out and try something new. This was even more impressive: the ability of the group to be team players in the ensemble and remain open to any modifications up until the day before the performance.

Most impressively, each and every child in the cast brought their best self to the play rehearsal and performance. Each student met or exceeded expectations based on their own level of musical skill  and development. For instance, in 1st grade it’s no small feat to be in character and onstage for a full hour!

Some BCD community members shared their thoughts in writing, and I thought their impressions were worth including for the benefit of the reader:

  • “an amazing, feel good Lower School Musical”
  • “Words cannot express…what a magical day, seeing my child up there on stage alongside his friends and clearly loving it.”
  • “A wonderful experience for the kids. It was a great show!!

None of this would have been possible without the support and enthusiasm of the BCD community at large. Special thanks in particular to: composer Julien Zotique, co-director Ms. Kay Lindsay, flutist Ms. Andrea Patel, cast parent Maggie Mailer, 3rd Grade Teacher Gill Romano, and the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade class parents.

Bravi tutti! Looking forward to next year’s production already.

Musically Yours,

Charles Zotique

By |2018-06-05T09:13:53+00:00June 5th, 2018|

Two Music Events in the Berkshires

Hello, and Happy New Year to all!

Just want to call our attention to two (free) events taking place as part of the Williams College Music Department.

Coming up at The Clark Museum, there is Kids Make Music! Presented by I/O Fest and Ephs Out Loud. 1PM on Sunday 1/14/18.

At Chapin Hall, the Berkshire Symphony will be offering a special concert for kids and families at 3PM on Saturday 3/3/18.

These both look like a lot of fun, and I hope any interested families can attend and enjoy!

Musically Yours,

Charles/Mr. Zotique

By |2017-09-25T11:06:08+00:00January 2nd, 2018|

A Busy Fall for Young Musicians

The BCD Music program is in full swing for students in grades B2-6 + Arts Block! Creative talents are beginning to bud, manifest, and grow in the new Kim and James Taylor Music/Performance Room, and students are excited to get the opportunity to have dress rehearsals and performances on the Adams Community Bank Stage.

B2s, Pre-K, and Kindergarten are learning about how to create and explore with Orff-Schülwerk curricula for voice, instruments, and movement. Kindergarteners loved working in pairs to invent some original, seated choreography to Ravel’s Daphnis and Chlöe.

Lower School spent some time reviewing music skills, establishing ensemble practice in Lower School Chorus, and asking lots of questions about the upcoming Lower School Musical (Spring 2018).

Middle School were exposed to the revolutionary Deep Listening methodology, and have begun collaborating on a group composition called “Nature Sound Collages,” which involves making and curating outdoor field recordings.  In addition, Grades 4, 5, and 6 have been given the option to choose between Band and Chorus in a new update to the Music curricula.

In Arts Block, students have a wealth of options to study music with Mr. Suters (Band, Strings and Things) and Mr. Zotique (Composition/Sound Design, Vocal Ensemble). I am looking forward to including some exciting new multimedia options in Composition, and Vocal Ensemble is beginning to think about planning a field trip and performance out-of-state. Exciting times!

Ms. Doherty announced last Friday that the BCD Talent Show at Winthrop Theatre is coming back, which at one point was an annual school tradition. This will be a good opportunity for students (and faculty!) to keep thinking about and practicing their performing arts.

Last but not least, our local music professionals have private studios up and running as part of BCD’s extracurricular Private Music Instruction program.

By utilizing a blended pedagogy of Orff-Schülwerk, Music Learning Theory, Deep Listening, and traditional rehearsal, students from all grade levels are deeply and broadly engaged in music-learning and music-making.

 

Musically Yours,

 

Charles/Mr. Zotique

By |2017-09-25T11:48:39+00:00September 25th, 2017|

Darrow School at BCD

MS Chorus students in Grades 4, 5, and 6 were treated to a special performance, on the Adams Community Bank Stage of the Kim and James Taylor Music/Performance Room, by the high schoolers from Darrow, led by their music director Mr. Andy Warba. Students particularly seemed to enjoy noticing multi-instrumentalists who were able to perform multiple songs on different instrument parts.

Thanks, Darrow musicians!

By |2017-04-20T16:42:48+00:00April 20th, 2017|

Five Upcoming Spring Engagements

The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and the blooms are peeking up from the now-defrosted ground.

Time to mark your calendars for no less than five upcoming Spring Music Events! Each one of them will be a strong high-note to help culminate and close out our productive school-year of Music study. BCD community members are encouraged to attend some or all of these:

1. Private Lessons Recital

Date: April 30 2017
Time: 2-3 PM
Venue: Adams Community Bank Stage
Performers: PM on-campus private lessons students (from the studios of Bonnie McCubbin, David Pearlson, Beth Craig, Ron Gorevic, and Charles Martin)

2. Spring Music Concert

Date:May 12 2017
Time: 1:30-2:45PM
Venue: Fitzpatrick Gym
Performers: Pre-K–Arts Block

3. Spring Arts Night

Date: 5/25/17
Time: 3:00-5:00pm
Venue: Adams Community Bank Stage and Arts Classrooms
Performers: Vocal Ensemble, US Band, MS band (+visual artists)

4. Vocal Ensemble in Concert at Monterey Meeting House

Date: May 26 2017
Time: 7-8 PM (5:30pm soundcheck for performers)
Venue: Monterey Meeting House
Performers: Vocal Ensemble
General public, free admission, first-come-first-serve.

5. Wind in the Willows the Musical

Date: June 2 2017
Time: 1:45-2:45PM
Venue: Adams Community Bank Stage
Performers: 1st/2nd/3rd
Max occupancy 100, first-come-first serve.

By |2017-04-14T13:03:25+00:00April 14th, 2017|

4/30/17 Recital Reminder

Happy Spring Break to all!

Just a quick reminder that our BCD Private Lessons Recital is scheduled for 2pm on Sunday April 30, 2017.

Selected students who are part of our After-school Music Program will have the opportunity to share pieces on the Adams Community Bank Stage in the new Kim and James Taylor Music/Performance Room!

If your student is enrolled in BCD afterschool lessons, feel free to connect directly with your instructor and/or myself to learn more. Program repertoire are mostly TBD at this moment.

Hope all our BCD students are having a musical break!

Sincerely,

Mr. Martin

By |2017-03-25T13:21:37+00:00March 25th, 2017|

Music Class has moved!

Starting now, all daytime Music instruction will be given in the new space, the Kim and James Taylor Music/Performance Room. Private lessons will remain as-is.

Thanks so much to my former neighbors, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade!

Thanks also to the Vocal Ensemble, for christening the new space with their talented young voices! What a special treat to hear their rendition of “White Winter Hymnal” with full body percussion accompaniment.

It is going to be such a treat to experience the full range of our P-9 Music instruction in this innovative new space.

Preschool students will find more open space to explore creative movement and small percussion instruments. Lower School students will be able spread out during group composition, and Middle School Chorus to rehearse onstage. Arts Block composers will have better technology to utilize, and Vocal Ensemble will be able to take advantage of our stage lights and sound system for dress rehearsal. Private lessons students will be able to enjoy our new Mason & Hamlin studio piano.

What a blessing! Our kids our going to have a blast here.

Frist day in the Taylor Music/Performance Room

Musically Yours,

Charles Martin

By |2017-03-09T08:56:20+00:00March 8th, 2017|

Music Room Move!

Thanks so much to Paul, and to the Upper School students and teachers, for helping kick the new Kim and James Taylor Performance Room off to a great start.

Thanks to the Upper School, we created a human “assembly line” to transfer our robust collection of drums, Orff instruments, and small percussion from the old space to the new space. Very similar to what was done by Lower School for the Library.

What a momentous and exciting week for Music at BCD. Goodnight, all!

~Mr. Martin

By |2017-03-09T08:45:31+00:00March 7th, 2017|

Viv Caputo, Monument Band, New Room

BCD students in grades 4, 5, and 6 (AKA Middle School Chorus) had the opportunity to go off-campus to visit the Monument Mountain Jazz and Concert Band yesterday, and boy was it a treat!

The high school musicians performed various classics from jazz such as “Take Five,” as well as film score hits from “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Pirates of the Caribbean,” at the campus of Richmond CSD. Kids were delighted to hear some fun, upbeat tunes as well as beloved movie melodies.

Another treat was bumping into several BCD Alumni who were instrumentalists with the band.

Looking forward to MS Chorus’ future musical opportuntities! Maybe some of our MS musicians will end up in a HS Band! Special thanks to Ms. Doherty for finding out about the concert and coördinating logistics! I know our kiddos so appreciated the opportunity.

Other fun facts: Mrs. Vivian Caputo (former BCD Music Teacher and nationally-known Orff-Schülwerk teacher trainer) stopped by for a surprise visit this week during 3rd Grade Music class! What a coincidence that they were learning Recorder… Also, greatly looking forward to enjoying our beautiful Mason & Hamlin studio piano in the new Kim and James Taylor Music and Performance Room.

Thanks, and have a good weekend! ~CM

By |2017-03-02T15:08:16+00:00March 2nd, 2017|