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Take Note Music Department Offers Something for Everyone
Carmen Rodriguez-Peralta, Music Department Chairwoman, demonstrates
proper technique to a student in one of her piano classes.
t a difference 25 years makes. After starting small,
MCC's music program has grown to become one of the
few comprehensive Music Departments in the state community
college system.
It all began in 1989 with just two faculty members. The Music
Department now has 12 faculty members, offers two associate-degree
options, a free concert series, a community outreach program, and an
international fundraising project.
"Our department has become so multi-faceted," said Carmen Rodriguez-
Peralta, Music Department Chairwoman. "We provide fun, engaging
courses for students, individualized training for more serious music
students, and a connection with our community through the arts. It's one
of the reasons students come here."
Each semester, a wide variety of music courses are offered, covering
topics such as music appreciation, world music, music theory, music
business, music technology, and sound recording. Students can also take
applied courses in guitar, percussion, piano and voice. All music faculty
are active performers in the community.
"It's important for students to have active performers as professors,"
said Rodriguez-Peralta. "Students are fascinated by the performing lives
of their instructors. They learn more because they are more engaged
with their teachers."
Students of any level are encouraged to get involved in music by
performing with student ensembles, including the MCC Chorus, MCC
Guitar Ensemble and the MCC Percussion Ensemble. And all students are
encouraged to perform in student recitals, said Rodriguez-Peralta.
In addition to performing, students and music faculty are encouraged to
engage with the local music community outside of the college. "Our
community outreach programs have grown," said Rodriguez-Peralta.
"We want to take music out of the classroom and into the community."
MCC's Music Outreach Program in Lowell began in 2005 and is
coordinated by Music Professor Johannah Segarich. The program offers
"Music is a language. It is a way of communicating with
and connecting people. Students from 17 to 70 always
find a connection whether it be with the music or
with each other through our classes at Middlesex."
Carmen Rodriguez-Peralta
Music Department Chairwoman
a variety of concerts, lectures, demonstrations and workshops to
students at Lowell High School and Lowell Middlesex Academy Charter
MCC's A World of Music Concert Series started in 2001. The series
brings 10 to 12 live concerts to the Bedford and Lowell campuses each
year. Each concert is free and open to the public, and features MCC
faculty, students and/or visiting artists performing a wide variety of
As part of A World of Music, one concert each semester benefits Strings
for Cambodia, a fundraising campaign coordinated by Segarich. The
goal is to help support Cambodia's Royal University of Fine Arts start a
National Symphony Orchestra. Segarich hopes to raise $50,000 to cover
the cost of sending the orchestra carbon-fiber string instruments, which
are more durable than wooden instruments in Cambodia's humid climate.
Most of MCC's music students transfer to study music at four-year
institutions or choose to minor in music, said Rodriguez-Peralta. "Music
is a very demanding discipline," she said. "You have to practice every
day, you can't cram for a piano or a voice class."
While the main goal of the Music Department is to prepare
students to continue their musical education, Rodriguez-
Peralta believes there is something for everyone at MCC.
"Music is a language," she said. "It is a way of
communicating with and connecting people.
Students from 17 to 70 always find a
connection whether it be with the
music or with each other through
our classes at Middlesex."
Tura Linderholm