ARTS & EDUCATION

Maine East Students reflect on Chamber Music experience

Come hear the concert on Tuesday, March 25th at 7:30 at Maine East High School!

"While working with my coach, I have learned to play with more confidence. My coach helped me better understand how my music fits in along with the other parts. Working in a chamber music group has been a great experience so far because it is so different compared to playing in an orchestra. There's only one person from each section, so you can really hear the unique sound each instrument is capable of producing. Also, since there is only a 2-4 in a group, it gives us all a chance to stand out and show off our individual skills. Working with our coach has brought us all closer together; our coach helps us put all our parts together. I hope in the next couple of weeks we can play through the whole piece while playing all the right notes and following the dynamics more closely. I'm looking forward to this concert because I want people to be able to hear improvement from us, as well as to show off all the hard work we put into our piece." - Kathy

"I have individually learned that there has to be music in every note that you play whether it's playing it with vibrato or dynamics, but it must have musicality in it. As a group I have discovered ways of how my part fits with others' parts and how they together create music. These exact things that I have mentioned previously I learned from my coach. The goals for my group are to really make the song as musical as possible and really emphasize dynamics, articulations, etc. I'm looking forward to my performance because it will be a real show of my skills as a violinist." - Simon

"Chamber music and playing in a full orchestra are truly different experiences. Playing in a chamber group has honestly taught me that every instrument, every musician must know and perform their parts in order for the beauty and charm of the music to appear. As a group, collectively we have learned that there are no small parts in a piece, but that every element, accent, note played by each musician is key and has a major impact on the way the piece is performed. My goals for the next two weeks to achieve the style of playing the piece had intended as well as incorporate my own style of playing into the piece and into the group. I looking forward to see how each individual part and musician adds to the piece and how each one of us can influence the voice and effect the piece has on the audience." - Patricia

"As a chamber group, I learned to really practice and learn my part because in these groups, there isn't leeway for error. I learned more on familiarizing myself with the other parts of the song as well because it helps us on when to come in on time and to know how the sound should balance out. Working with a coach is great because they really know how chamber music sounds and how to work on producing a cohesive and strong sound within our group. We learned about the importance of tuning and learning to stay together as a group. Our future goals are to improve our intonation as well as bringing more style into the song to add life to it. When we perform, I look forward to showcasing our efforts and showing how chamber music can be a lot of fun to play." - Christie

District 64 Jazz Festival

We used the $1000 grant to hire the Jazz Community Big Band (contract attached) to perform with our students at the Jazz Festival, and established a mentor/mentee opportunity for our students to “sit in with the pros.” Jazz bands from Lincoln Middle School, Emerson Middle School, and Maine South High School each had an opportunity to play alongside these fabulous professional musicians. While playing alongside more experienced musicians, the students aspired to a higher level of musical achievement in an effort to match the sounds they heard around to them. Students discovered great possibilities when they heard their music performed at a higher level of musical artistry. Students gained a perspective of how a performer’s artistic background and experience enable him/her to convert written musical notation into sounds that convey feelings and emotion through the nuance of style. This kind of learning cannot take place in a traditional learning environment. It used to occur through musical mentoring, jam sessions and apprenticeships, but it rarely happens today. This was a unique learning and performing opportunity for our students, and we appreciate it very much!

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Emerson Middle School Art Department Integrates Technology

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The Emerson Middle School Art Department used grant funding to integrate more technology.  Three scanners are now being used in the art department.  Sixth grade students execute an original drawing, scan it and then use their own works of art to create a book cover as they learn to think like an illustrator.  Text is added in Microsoft Word.