I felt like I was stepping back in time to simpler moments where music was a common past time for many as I toured the beautiful new facility of the Upper Valley Music Center in the heart of Lebanon, on the green. The music of the violin, cello, and piano drifted along the hallways and seemed at home the majestic 1800s colonial. A family of three, all bundled up, carried their instruments up the stairs, and I felt welcomed into a musical culture that families continue to cherish.
The Upper Valley Music Center moved in September to their new location: a historic building from the 1800s that was a private home until 1985. The Upper Valley Music Center hopes to preserve its historic charm and will have a good start to that, thanks to a generous grant from Timken.
The Upper Valley Music Center was founded in 1995 to provide a place for music and voice ensembles, learn and practice music, and find information for local music organizations.
Musical Offerings for Little Ones
They offer Music Together, an international program, for children and their parents/caregiver from 0-5. It’s a ten week program where kids can play instruments and even get a song book to practice at home. It’s offered in the mornings. In the middle of the class the kids get to choose from a variety of instruments to play with. Some I had never seen before and made me want to explore and participate!
Once, the kids got to hear adults rehearsing (a mezzo soprano, cello, and pianist); they all went to investigate and listened in awe. So kids get exposed to all types of music while they’re there.
Older children can join Rhythm Kids. This is a drumming class for children ages 4-5. Kids learn patterns, practice, and sing along. There a large selection of djembe for kids to play with.
There’s also classes for babies and music together at the aging resource center with seniors and kids aged 0-5.
Classes start Jan. 5 online registration begins Dec. 13. Classes are Monday, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays mixed ages 9:30 and 10:30 am; Thursdays generations at 10 am; Fridays babies at 9 am, mixed ages at 9:20 am; Saturdays, mixed ages 9 am, rhythm kids 10: 15 am; and Sundays rhythm kids at 3 pm.
There’s a Class for Everyone
Learn how to improve your singing for performances, explore singing in a welcoming environment, learn about pitch and scales, learn Celtic, French-Canadian, and other regional dance songs, join a chamber reading potluck party, and more.
With over 25 faculty in the following disciplines, there’s a wide selection of lessons to choose from: guitar, fiddle, flute, Suzuki lessons, violin, viola, violin, piano, collaborative piano, percussion, and country dance ensemble, woodwind chamber music, trumpet, brass chamber music, voice, cello, accordion, folk/jazz piano, theory/composition/conducting, recorder, early music, oboe, and more. Want lessons in another instrument? They’re open to suggestions.
The Upper Valley Music Center is popular in the community. Last year they had over 800 students. Classes range in length from 4 – 14 weeks. They also offer tuition assistance. Anyone can apply.
The Upper Valley Music Center started the Suzuki program in 2006. Students take individual and group lessons with others on the same level. Students perform in group and solo concerts. Parents play an active role in lessons and practice. They offer flute, recorder, cello, violin, viola, and guitar Suzuki lessons.
Whether you want to expand your repertoire, try something new, or join a musical community, the Upper Valley Music Center has something for you: 1 day workshops, group classes, individual lessons, a community orchestra, and multiple choruses. The center can help you build an ensemble Want to do a string quartet? The music center can help you find others to play with.
Want to give it a try? Call and take a demo lesson. Some classes only require an online registration.
A Place to Enjoy the Beauty of Music
In the Bach Room (featured image) students and faculty put on recitals throughout the year. There are about 30 student recitals and about a dozen faculty. I’m looking forward to listening to our local talented musicians in one of the public faculty concerts.
A Resource for the Community
They also offer a large selection of instructional books and ensemble parts for music teachers, church groups, and choral groups to borrow.
The Upper Valley Music Center is a wonderful resource for the community and I hope you’ll explore one of the many musical opportunities they have to offer, whether as a participant or audience member.