Are They Listening?
by Dr. Allen Brings, Weston Music Center

Among the more formidable obstacles which our students must overcome in learning new music is their unfamiliarity with the style or expressive requirements of much of the music they study. While a child's teacher can be relied upon to help overcome this deficiency, much more can be done by seeing to it that the child attends some of the professional concerts available in our area, by encouraging him/her to listen to the kind of music broadcast by such radio stations as WMNR, WQXR, or WSHU or to some of the special musical events offered on public television or, best of all, by borrowing recordings from local public libraries that can be listened to over and over again.

Because the music we teach is like a foreign language to most of our students, it is difficult for them to "read" this language aloud when they rarely, except when their teachers demonstrate it for them, hear the language actually "spoken."

From "Teaching is a labor of love for faculty at Weston Music Center"
Weston Forum article by Jerrod Ferraki, Norwalk Hour Staff Writer

WESTON - For 52 years the Weston Music Center and School of Performing Arts has been providing artists with extensive instruction.

"It's not our intention to turn out professional musicians. We want to provide people with a lifelong love of music," said Sue Neilly, the head administrator at the school.

The faculty might not set their goal at turning out professional musicians, but they do. Former students currently perform professionally everywhere from the Mexican Symphony Orchestra to orchestras in Portland, Ore. One alumnus, David Rivel, was president of the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.

Almost all of the teachers hold doctorates in their fields, which adds to the prestige of the school. "It's rare that so many teachers at a music school have their doctorates," said Genevieve Chinn Brings, the center's director. "We offer a great environment to learn."

The school teaches piano, jazz piano, voice, string instruments, woodwinds, brass, harp, and guitar. "One of the nice things is that we get to see a child work up through the levels," said Neilly who instructs the younger students. The Brings teach the more advanced students.

The school is a non-profit organization founded in 1950 by Constance and Franklin Coates. Constance Coates started the school in her home and used to stage concerts for the public in her backyard on Steep Hill Road. The school is now housed in Emmanuel Episcopal Church on Lyons Plain Road.

In today's competitive world the school makes sure that it's the child's choice to play an instrument, and not solely the parents'. "One of the stipulations we have is that the child must really want to do this," said Brings. "We enter into a spirit of cooperation."