As of Jan 2020, I am enrolled at Eastern Michigan University with the intention of graduating with a Bachelor's in Music Therapy. The intended time is about 2.5 years before internship.
Beginning this journey was fraught with insecurities, questions, and back and forth decision making. Should I go back to school? Is it worth the financial investment? Will I be able to handle being a student again?
Getting put back into a student situation allows me to gain more insight into the psyche of my students - the need to impress, not seeing the end game but finding it necessary to take small steps in the direction the teacher asks, and how we willingly force ourselves into situations where we will be dragged into personal development whether we like it or not. The class which I expect the most personal growth for myself this semester is conducting class. After all, leading bands, orchestras and chips requires a certain amount of human potential that is not easily taught - leadership, authoritativeness, direction, and allowing to be vulnerable enough to admit where we could all do better as a group.
I had a poster in my room when I was a kid. It read, "If you want to lead the orchestra, you must first turn your back on the crowd." That phrase really seems to stick with me during my formative years. Now that life has brow beaten me into compliance as an adult with adult responsibilities, I find myself looking again at this simplistic phrase. I see it as a way of encouraging individuality, putting in more work than others, and not putting too much thought into what others think of you. As I'm finding through various readings for class, a good conductor actually needs to be aware of what the ensemble is thinking of you. (We are assuming an adult ensemble and not a middle school ensemble where it is more important to teach the fundamentals of music.) Adult musicians are just like other people and have differing motivations and drives. You need to be the kind of leader that they WANT to follow. It is all too easy for musicians to just bury their eyeballs in the music and do their own thing, but you must convince them that you have something important they need to know.
My class agreed that the qualities of a good conductor strongly overlap with the qualities of a overall good person. I often tell people that music is a skill that can be taught, and musicians are just that: people who play music. We are MUSICIANS, not MAGICIANS. There is nothing magic about putting in the practice time to add tempt perfection in a piece of music. But there is a bit of magic in a good conductor that brings out the best in its ensemble members.
I'm out to get that, and make it my own.
Ages 0-18 months - Saturdays 9 - 9:45am
Jan 19 - March 9 (8 week class) Check/Cash $160 PayPal $166
Hickory, Dickory, Tickle, and Bounce — Research shows the more you expose your baby to nursery rhymes and songs, the stronger those emerging language-learning skills will be. That’s why these Mother Goose-like stories and rhymes are the main theme of this class. Plus, you’ll develop research-proven communication strategies with your child through listening activities, speaking “parentese,” and sign language.
Home Materials included in price: CD of 33 beautifully arranged nursery rhymes and songs from class, a rhyming picture board book--Hickory, Dickory, Tickle, and Bounce, a set of Art Banners, and a baby fish shaker instrument for music-making at home.
Ages 18 months - 3yrs - Saturdays 10 - 10:45am
Jan 19 - May 4th (15 week class) $65 Deposit & 4 monthly payments of $46.25
OR pay all at once: Check/Cash $250 PayPal $256
Fiddle-dee-dee — We’ll meet many animal characters in our books, activities, and songs—each specifically chosen for a toddler’s emerging interests and physical skills. With silly, bumpy lap bounces we’ll help toddlers develop rhythm while further developing their ever-emerging language skills. With a special stringed instrument emphasis in the music from class, parents can bring home the violin, cello, and orchestra sounds to help their toddlers stay happy and engaged learners at home, too.
Home Materials included in price: Double CD featuring songs from class; two interactive storybooks--This Little Piggy Played the Fiddle and Animal Serenade to develop early literacy skills; a Home Activity Book; a pair of green Fiddlestick instruments; all packaged in a dog-house shaped carry box.
Ages 3-5 yrs (15 week class)
Tuesdays 5:45-6:15pm Jan 15th - April 30th
Thursdays 11:15 - Noon Jan 17th - May 2nd
Saturdays 11-11:45am Jan 19th - May 4th
$75 Deposit & 4 monthly payments of $46.25
OR pay all at once: NEW Student Check/Cash $260 or PayPal $260; Previous Students Check/Cash $250 or PayPal $256
Cities! Busy Places ~ Friendly Faces — In this unit, sidewalks, elevators, skyscrapers, and world-traveling photographers are the theme. Learning through the pretend play that preschoolers adore, we’ll be rhythmically busy playing storytelling games and handcrafting city “buildings” from wax paper at home so we can make a cityscape in class! Plus every activity has some at-home adaptations so the parent can take part in the learning. With a pair of resonator bars as a featured instrument, and a multicultural, jazzy collection of music, preschoolers will develop the social and intellectual skills they’ll need in school.
Home Materials included in price: Two literature books--Razupazu Toto and Down Our Street, Cities! game board set (pretend play manipulative component), two Home CDs featuring a collection of multicultural and jazzy music heard in class, a Family Activity Book, a pair of resonator bars with mallets as the featured instrument, all packaged in an optional Imagine That! backpack.
Ages 5-7 yrs (All classes accepting new students) 15 week classes
Mondays 6-7pm Jan 14th - April 29th
Tuesdays 4:45 - 5:45pm Jan 15th - April 29th
New Students $80 Deposit & 4 monthly payments of $55 OR pay all at once Check/Cash $300 PayPal $308
Previous Students $80 Deposit & 4 monthly payments $51.15 OR pay all at once Check/Cash $285 PayPal $293
Semester 2 — Playing simple musical patterns and songs on the featured instrument from the first session—the glockenspiel—is a central focus this semester. While learning to sing a melody, and then play the pattern on the glockenspiel, we’ll delve deeper into the understanding of musical concepts such as piano and forte through orchestra-style music such as the William Tell Overture and Peter and the Wolf. Music appreciation and understanding continues with a complete introduction to the instruments—and the families in which they’re grouped—of the orchestra.
Home Materials included in price: Children’s folder with stickers, games bag, and Music at Home cards, Family Songbook, and Home CD of music from class. Note: Children who did not take Young Child Semester 1 will need to purchase Semester 2 with glockenspiel and carry bag.
NEW PAYMENT OPTIONS
Now you can pay for 30 min, 45 min and 60 min lessons via paypal, and up to 4 lessons at a time!
Ah yes, fall. Marching band, allergies, back to school - and the month where my work blows up! (In a good way :D ) McCourts Music is very busy in September so I tend to let the first few weeks go by to adjust to new schedules before adding.
This year, I have a TON of availability on Saturdays, and I'm finally adding IN-(your)HOME LESSONS if you're local to Waterford/Clarkston/West Bloomfield areas. I prefer this to be only if you cannot make it to McCourts Music during one of my regular lesson times (Tuesdays, Fri and Sat) If you let me know in advance, I can even deliver a new reed when I arrive!
To view my current available times, go to OBOE LESSONS and SCHEDULE. Where you see the word OPEN - that means you can schedule a lesson for that time!
As you may or may not know, I started this music adventure with piano when I was younger. I have been SO grateful I did!! Playing the piano benefits EVERY musician (there's a reason why music schools require this skill).
So, if you (parent or student!) would like to get a working familiarity with this popular instrument please ask! I truly love what I do, I also have a background with percussion and guitar.
MSBOA District 4 MIDDLE school Solo and Ensemble is scheduled for Friday December 1st and Saturday December 2nd.
Registration forms have been due at the schools.
If you do not yet have a pianist for your solo, I can provide you with contact information for a trustworthy pianist.
I LOVE helping with ensemble performances and can schedule a rehearsal during any of my normal lesson times.
You must bring the original (not a copy) of your solo or ensemble piece and the original of the piano part to the event if there is one.
I will walk you through the exact experience and share tips for overcoming any obstacle you may face - real or imagined!
The Winter Boucke Student Recital is Sunday December 3rd! If you did not participate in Solo and Ensemble, this is the perfect opportunity to get your toes wet in performing. If you DID play at Solo and Ensemble, please grace us with your piece! The audience is mostly families of young violinists and each recital they reach out to me to praise all the oboe players. They love our unique sound and I promise you the performers are varied in ages and experience, this is for fun!
MSBOA District 4 HIGH school Solo and Ensemble is scheduled for Friday January 19th and Saturday January 20th.
Most of my high school students are seasoned pros at events, but if you've never done Solo and Ensemble don't let that deter you.
Remember that high school students are expected to know scales - which scales are dependent on if you are designated Proficiency I, II, or III. The students are aware this is the reason we use scales to warm up with during each lesson.
Sight reading is another addition to solo and ensemble events and we prepare for those as well.
As always, any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact me. I have a personal library of music and have access to a LOT of music and we regularly transpose pieces for our students if need be.