What's happening at Cincinnati Center for Adult Music Study

I know there is a saying: "life happens to you while you are busy making plans".  I have always made plans, and despite life happening, with work-arounds and other creative maneuvers - just made it all work. Staying nimble (both literally and figuratively) is not my strong suit.

In July I returned to the beloved MUSE where I spent 18 years before I retired in June 2013. 1 month to help them through a transition of personnel - morphed into 4. It was a great time and I loved being back, but certainly not in my plans.

I guess I never thought my parents would get old - I certainly didn't plan for that. My Dad had some health issues that required my going to St. Louis - I am glad I could make the trip, but really sent the October plans into a tailspin. The trip to Eastern Illinois University - my Alma Mater - was planned and what a gift to celebrate the 90th birthday of Catherine Smith - my piano professor for 6 years through my Bachelor's and Master's Degrees. It is certainly my plan to be that active at 90!

The plan was to retire from St. John's UU Church with Catherine Roma in June 2015 - plenty of time to plan for that transition - but unexpectedly we are leaving in December - not what I planned for - not sure how I feel about that. This is the end of a 20-year collaboration and incredible journey. When I was practicing Beethoven in college and teaching "little fingers to play" - I had no idea the twist of fate would land me with this opportunity - glad I had the forethought to stay nimble and persevere - even though it wasn't in the plan.

CincyCAMS has peculated in my head for years and years - it is literally a dream come true. I am not giving up on it and I am ready to re-engage, re-energize and re-launch!   The plan is to be ready at the start of the New Year!  There are many of us who have plans to do things - start voice lessons, start piano lessons, start guitar lessons, meet up more with friends, read more, cook more - it's life - balancing the dreams with reality - the plans with life - it can be done!

Now, back to my plans....

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Good morning world and thank you for another day of rain - mess.   My basement was not meant for all this rain!  It occurs to me that most things in life we are not meant to deal with and if everything went along smoothly - then, well, where would the fun and the hot mess be?   I am someone who thrives on more things to do and more drama than not.  So, I should be happy that there is a slow start-up to our new business!   Well, I should be, but I am getting slightly nerouvs that we are planning a party and no one is going to come!    So, readers - if you are reading this - truly - there is someone you know who would enjoy one of our first three classes:    April Showers Brings the May Festival, the 4-part a cappella men sing-in and the British Invasion!    These are terrific classes taught by some uber terrific people in great spaces - and it's affordable!  It is easy to register it is going to be a great time and we really need these first three to "go"!  Thanks for reading - sign up and get your people to sign up!    See you out and about!  

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I am so excited to see our CincyCAMS website and Facebook page up and running, and to be receiving all your support and feedback.  It’s hard to believe that it was only 5 months ago that Rachel first pitched this idea to me.  Actually, this wasn’t the only idea Rachel sent my way when she heard I was looking for new opportunities (that’s not surprising—Rachel is bubbling over with ideas all the time—just take a look at the list of CincyCAMS programs for proof).  But CincyCAMS was definitely the project for me.  There’s so much going on in the greater Cincinnati music world, and Rachel knows so many of the people involved, I couldn’t wait to be a part of it.   This week we’ve shared the vision with you.  Soon we’ll be inviting you to sign up for classes and become a part of it, too.   Judging from the pace we’ve set so far, it won’t be long!

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When I was little, my parents will tell you that I never wanted to leave the room when "grown-ups" were visiting.   I thought I was a "grown-up" too.   I have always migrated toward older people and have always been interested in teaching and working with adults. 

When I was a graduate student at the University of Michigan I ran the adult group piano program.   When I came to Cincinnati to work at Baldwin Piano & Organ Co. I insisted that we start an employee piano class.   When I went to work at MTNA (Music Teachers National Association)  I was the representative to the first Recreational Music Making for Adults conference in Wisconsin.  I am teaching group piano at Wilmington College, both to students and to the faculty and staff. 

I also spend a good amount of time with kids, too and in fact teach about 80 people under the age of 10 each week - that keeps me young(er) (although they think my head is going "rotten"! - What do they know?)  

Anyway, I love teaching adults - I love the joy they find in even their first accomplishment - I love the passion they have for finding out information about how music works and how composers write music and the sheer excitement of seeing them make their own music.  So, always in the back of my mind has been the idea that I would someday have a "grown-ups"- only music program - a place where adults - young and old - could come together and make their own kind of music.  

I know that adults are busy and so I also know that it can be frustrating not to learn anything in the first class - so we have designed workarounds for that in hopes more people will make music faster.   We also know that there are lots of adults who already study with great teachers here in the tri-state area - so we are offering programming that can be "ancillary" to current lesson study - classes that will enhance their experience - not replace.   We also know that lots of people like to sing and play - but don't have time and can't find other people - so we have created an entire series of "Ring, Sing and Play-Ins" - people will come together in one day to make music together. 

"What About Mary?" (not the movie - Mary Chaiken).   For 18 years I was the Associate Director and Accompanist for MUSE, Cincinnati's Women's Choir and Mary Chaiken is an Alto I.  In August, 2013 I retired from MUSE and my last duty was to play for auditions.   Mary was there representing the Alto I's and she said that she was leaving her career/day job - Cancer Researcher (PhD Molecular Biologist) - I can't even spell all that - let alone know what it is - but, nonetheless, Mary said she was looking for something new in her life - ahah - my moment - I asked her if she wanted to start this with me and sure enough - she did!   My lucky day!   Mary is great - she keeps things sane and organized and let's me dream.   

So Mary and I are off on an adventure - CincyCAMS - we are excited, nervous and hopeful that everyone will love it and flock in!     Here's to a great time and wonderful music making!   See you soon!   

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We're all celebrating!    Cincinnati Center for Adult Music Study is about to launch!  CincyCAMS is more than lessons for adults!   It's about making dreams come true, it's about unlocking a passion for music, it's about connection and it's all about music!   Classes, performing opportunities, meet-ups and more will be offered year 'round.    You will want to check back often and of course sign up to be on our mailing list!  Classes will not be more than 6 weeks long and will meet in venues all over the tri-state area!   Classes are unique and on topics not normally presented.    There will be performance opportunities to drop in to sing, ring and play!  Literally, there is something for everyone.   CincyCAMS has partnered up with some of the best Cincinnati has to offer - facilitators, teachers, musicians, friends, neighbors, and colleagues!   We are raising our hands in cheer to what promises to be one of the best things coming to you this year!

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