Join us for a selection of seminars open to adults and students. Feel free to invite friends and family from near and far to see our offerings and register! Register here.

Developing Intrinsic Motivation In Your Young Musician rescheduled to March 9th  $20
Led by NYS Conductor Jessica McNamara, this session will help parents move from, "Mom, if I practice for 30 minutes can I have this chocolate?" to "Mom...I'll be in my room practicing for the chamber group that I just formed with my friends!" A conductor, a teacher and a mother, McNamara will share her techniques to nurture and motivate your young musicians to develop productive, enjoyable practice habits.

As parents, we have all used extrinsic motivators to encourage our children to take certain actions, e.g.”If you clean your room, you can have 30 minutes of screen time.” While these motivators certainly have their place in parenting, we can all agree that it would be preferable for our children to be self-motivated, for example, to clean their room on their own. When we signed up our child for music lessons, we envisioned them happily taking out their instrument on their own accord to play for enjoyment or to express themselves. The reality of music practice, however, is often more parent-driven than most of us imagined. Drawing on current research in the fields of motivation, grit, mindset and habits, Jessica’s talk will give parents concrete strategies to help children develop intrinsic motivation in music.

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Women and the American Sound Jan. 18, 2020

Music educator Sigrid Karlstrom, DMA explored the 20th century’s impact on classical music in the United States and described a time marked by a growing excitement and appetite for classical music. Newspapers and magazines were transfixed by the idea of how to come by a truly American classical tradition, a sound that would rival European musical trends and yet somehow be evocative of the United States. This “American sound” evolved from imitation of a German Romantic style with nationalist elements attached, to a more avante garde and modernist aesthetic. Men dominated the early 20th century music landscape, but women composers were beginning to emerge and take their place in the movement. This lecture touched on the struggles and triumphs of American women composers and highlighted the important and often overlooked role of women in establishing a classical music tradition in the United States. 


Practice Techniques for String Players Jan. 10, 2020

NYS Conductor Rafael Videira, DMA led a seminar for string students to familiarize them with efficient practice techniques. It also emphasized the importance of healthy practice habits in order to avoid playing-related injuries. This class included both a lecture/discussion and a “workshop” with instruments to demonstrate the correct techniques. Through this seminar, string students gained self-management and instrumental practice techniques to aid in developing their artistry and skills


1000 Years of Music in 60 Minutes! Jan. 13, 2020

Have you ever wondered what people mean when they talk about Romantic or Baroque music? Did Mozart and Tchaikovsky ever have brunch together? Making sense of music history can sometimes seem as esoteric as paleontology.  NYS Concert Orchestra conductor Russell Ger guided us through the whole past millennium of music in mere minutes. As the musical history unfolds, his audience came to understand how this whole intricate puzzle has contributed to the music we listen to and enjoy today. 

Art and Music: The Fascinating Life of Alma Mahler Jan. 21, 2020

NYS Music Director Jonathan Yates and his sister Carolyn Yates, an art historian for the Arts in Embassies program of the U. S. State Department, analyzed the life of Alma Mahler, one of the most remarkable figures in the rich artistic scene of early 20th-century Vienna. Widely admired for her charisma, beauty and artistic gifts, and a fine composer in her own right, Alma was either married to or romantically involved with a stunning array of the major cultural figures of the time. She was married to composer Gustav Mahler, architect Walter Gropius, and writer Franz Werfel and was in romantic liaisons with the painters Gustav Klimt and Oskar Kokoschka and the composer Alexander Zemlinsky. Jonathan and Carolyn used Alma as our window into the art and music of this decadent time, and explored the specific challenges she faced as a woman composer who was primarily defined by the men to whom she was connected. 

How the Met Uses Media Feb. 1, 2020 

Mary Jo Heath, radio host of the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts and a former NYS parent, explained how The Metropolitan Opera, one of the world’s most prestigious venues for opera, reaches a wide audience with its music. Her talk covered the history of the Met’s radio and television broadcasts, the Live in HD broadcasts, and the Met’s initiatives to keep opera audiences engaged during the pandemic.


Art and Music: The Roaring Harlem Renaissance Feb. 4, 2020

NYS Music Director Jonathan Yates and his sister Carolyn Yates, an art historian for the Arts in Embassies program of the U. S. State Department, took us through the thrilling world of Harlem in the 1920s. The explosion of artistic activity represented by the Harlem Renaissance encompassed Black artists and thinkers across all disciplines, including writers such as Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston and Claude McKay; musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Ma Rainey; and visual artists such as Aaron Douglas, Richmond Barthé and James Van Der Zee. Jonathan and Carolyn investigated what led to this most exciting period of cultural and intellectual ferment, its long legacy, and its continuing influence as still reflected the social movements of today. 

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