Music to their ears: Summer brings extra classes to the Music School of Delaware

Central Delaware comes alive in the summer with music and comradery as the sun comes out to play. The birds are chirping, squirrels scurrying, and songs can be heard from platforms in nearly every town.

The Music School of Delaware hopes the summer brings with it hopeful musicians who will experience music in a new way this year thanks to innovative programming.

“Summer is a great time to get started for a lot of reasons. First, most families have fewer things on their respective schedules, allowing more time for other things. We also find that people often have more energy, both physically and mentally, to devote to extra activities,” Director of the Milford Branch Violinist Amos Fayette said. “However, the Music School also uses the summer season as a way to try new things, gathering feedback that helps us better serve our public during the regular season.”

From musical playdates to participation in local festivals, the Music School of Delaware works hard to encourage residents to test out new musical offerings.

Summer camps will highlight musical opportunities for kids of all ages. A longstanding partnership with local dancers from Tatiana Akinfieva Dance Academy will help tie music with dance for active musicians.

“We’re thrilled to revisit our partnership with TADA in the development of our new Hawaiian Luau Camp. It’s a terrific collaboration that brings a logical and seamless marriage of two disciplines,” he said, adding that the camp will tap right into the recent popularity of the ukulele. “The ukulele is a very popular instrument for us statewide. This summer program is just a new extension of that demand.”

The Milford branch will also continue partnering with Mispillion River Brewing for their drum circle happy hour, offering unique community activities Saturdays, July 6 and Aug. 3.

“We’ve had a past attendance of about 25-30 people. Most people aren’t really aware of what the drum circle is, but it’s exactly what it sounds like – drums and beer. Who doesn’t want to do that!? And we send a big thank you to Mispillion River Brewing Company for their support of this event. We’re happy to bring it back this summer,” Mr. Fayette said.

Private lessons will run throughout the summer, as well, but some classes will be new this year in hopes of giving local learners a new experience altogether.

The Summer Soapbox series will offer one such opportunity, allowing curious minds to explore genres such as opera or orchestra music, or even entrepreneurship.

Music School of Delaware faculty and guest artists will help run the series which will feature three workshops later in the summer in July and August: Opera for beginners, Orchestra leadership from behind the curtain and Musical entrepreneurship.

A Paint-Along Live event will help locals not only feel the music, but see the music played by Mr. Fayette and a guest guitarist, Christopher Braddock, as well. For a night out at $65 each from 7-9 p.m. Friday, July 26, participants will get to paint out their interactive experience from the Music School of Delaware in Milford.

The Summer Music Master Series will offer a traditional break to the summertime heat as locals hear Parisian magic from Mr. Fayette and guest piano virtuoso Alexandre Abdoulauv for $10 a seat Friday, Aug. 2 at 7 p.m.

“I’m most excited about our August 2 concert where I’ll be joined by guest pianist Alexandre Abdoulaev – a fabulous musician who brings a great deal of talent to the performance ‘table.’ We’ll perform works by Poulenc, Chausson and others – all of which we believe have never been presented in Delaware,” he said.

The music school, still relatively new in its current location in downtown Milford, moved about a year ago to a larger facility that could better accommodate families, individuals with disabilities and other needs.

“When I took over the school, we were an organization in transition, and that is true as much today as it was two years ago. However, we are still the same hometown music school that Milford has loved and supported for 30 years,” Mr. Fayette said.

“The most substantive changes have more to do with perspective and direction. Our role and function in the state of Delaware is to share musical excellence with as many people as possible. Contextually, we now have a dual role, serving both Milford AND southern Delaware, and we accomplish this role by treating Milford as a central hub for the arts. Approaching this goal in this way is good for us, but more importantly, it’s good for Milford, and it allows us to offer more programs and performances that might otherwise avoid Milford altogether.”

Reach staff writer Jennifer Antonik at jantonik@newszap.com

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