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AMP and Camp Resources

Information, announcements, tools, and more for Afterschool Music Program (AMP and mini-AMP) and Camp parents and students

Monday, 29 August 2016 07:37

Getting Kids to Practice

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Dear parents,

One of the questions I get the most from parents is how to get their children to practice.  Such a great question!  There are a few things to keep in mind when asking (and you will most likely need to ask) your child to practice:

Choose your words and practice time carefully.  Instead of saying it's time to practice, try saying one or more of the following:

  • Show me what you played in your lesson.
  • How does this song go?
  • Which one is your favorite?

Remember that lessons are teacher guided and while we do teach children how to practice it does take a long time for them to master the ability to practice on their own.  You will have to remind them to practice for several years until they take initiative.  Keep in mind what is age appropriate and even if you don't play an instrument, or read music, you can help your child by sitting in the same room with them and asking questions along the way.  One of the main ideas is to create good habits, and that comes with consistency and positive reinforcement.  Using words like play and show sound different than practice.

The other two questions I get about practicing from parents are how long/often should my child practice and what should they be doing when practicing?  Music Center faculty write lesson notes in a notebook each week with a child-friendly list of practice activities to do.  (After Labor Day we will be launching online discussion groups for faculty and parents where lesson notes and messages can be left.)  Your child should practice twice their age in minutes, so if you have a 6 year old they should be practicing 12-15 minutes a day, 4-5 days a week.  15 minutes is not that long, and if they do everything in their notebook they won't even notice the time.  The point is to have a small goal for each session (as a child, I personally used the three penny game referenced in the article, Getting Kids to Practice, although sometimes it was M&Ms.....) and after a while I forgot about moving over the M&Ms when I did something correctly and just ate them at the end.

This is just a start, there are many, many other ways to get kids to practice their music.   And remember, all faculty can be reached by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Please let us know if you have any questions, we are here.  

Saturday, 20 August 2016 21:00

Decatur Fall Break: American Roots & Folk Music Camp

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It's coming... a great option for students during the Decatur Fall Break

September 12-16  9 am to 4 pm (drop off starts at 8 am, pick up by 6:00 pm)

Full Day: $295 per week

Half Day: morning (8 to 12:30) or afternoon (12:30 to 6:00):  $195

Drop in: Full Day $65 per day, Half Day $45 per day

The CMC Decatur American Roots & Folk Music Camp will focus on great American tunes, melody stories, rhythmic poetry, and music-related folk art.  We've designed the program to be the perfect blend of legitimate training and immersion in a rich musical tradition and good old-fashioned fun.  Elementary school age students (beginners and experienced alike) are invited to join us for a full week, all day, half day (morning or afternoon), or come on one or more selected days via the Music School Day Pass.  Activities will include lessons, classes, singing, and ensemble playing with Center faculty and fellow students.  We'll cap off the week with a showcase and barbecue dinner on Friday, Sept 16 at 5:00 pm.

For the last eight years CMC Atlanta students have had the exciting opportunity to sing and play on the Main Stage of the Atlanta Dogwood Festival in Piedmont Park.  We're taking the stage again this year on Sunday, April 10.  Please join us for the fun!

The performance is on the Main Stage Sunday, April 10, 2016. The Main Stage is located to the west of the Park Tavern at Piedmont Park, near 10th and Charles Allen.  We have the stage from 11:00 am until 12:30pm, and the call time for students is 10:30 am.  The AMP/Core elementary age students' performance will be about 20 minutes, likely from 11:45ish. (And there's a map to the stage here.)

As in previous years, in 2016 we are staging singers from our Afterschool Music Program (AMP), as well as rock and jazz ensembles from our junior high and high school programs.  The K-6 kids will be singing a collection of popular tunes and our rock and jazz ensembles will be filling out the set with familiar covers and jazz standards.

We also are holding an art contest to commemorate our 7th anniversary of participation at the Festival Students enrolled in our programs are encouraged to design an art piece that reflects spring time and music (two of my favorite things). Many children have already submitted art work, but we will accept submissions until Friday, April 1st. Students are creating submissions in AMP throughout the week; submissions made at home can be given to any AMP lead (Diana, Bernie,  Cain).  The winning art will then be recreated on a t-shirt to be worn by all Dogwood Festival participants. Not able to come to the performance? No worries, you can still get a t-shirt. 

This is definitely not an event to be missed! Please help us plan for the show by signing up, and let me know if you have any questions.  See you all at the Festival!


Sign Up and Purchase the required Festival Peformance Tshirt ($15) here 

Monday, 01 February 2016 08:32

April in Paris : Spring Break 2016

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It's coming... a great option for students during the Spring Break 2016

Offered @ CMC Decatur, CMC Dunwoody and CMC Little 5 Points

April 4-8, 2016 from 9 am to 4 pm (drop off starts at 8 am, pick up by 6:00 pm)

The CMC Spring Break Camp will focus on French music and culture.  Students will learn tunes, melodies, stories, rhythmic poetry, and engage in French music-related art.  We've designed the program to be the perfect blend of legitimate training and immersion in a rich musical tradition and good old-fashioned fun.  Elementary school age students are invited to join us for a full week or come on one or more selected days via the Music School Day Pass.  Activities will include lessons, classes, singing, and ensemble playing with Center faculty, guests and fellow students.  

Friday, 25 July 2014 12:32

Transportation Logistics

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The most frequently asked question, "How does the bus system work for AMP?"

For Decatur AMP this year, we have teamed up with Color Wheel and are using bus services provided by First Student.  In Dunwoody and Little 5, we are still using our own shuttles.  Our goals are, first and foremost, for the ride to be safe, second the routes to be efficient, and third, the experience as enjoyable, or at least, hassle free as possible for the children.  

It's easy to take care of the logistics for your child(ren).  How it works:

Thursday, 24 July 2014 10:07

Participation Form

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An up-to-date version of the CMC Atlanta Participation Form must be on file for any minor student who is going to be left in CMC Atlanta care.  The form is available and completed online here.

If you are a new parent, welcome and please let us know if you have any questions about the form.  It takes just a few minutes to complete, so if you are a returning parent, and you aren't 100% sure the info you provided in the past is accurate, please take a moment to complete a new version online.


Wednesday, 25 June 2014 14:39

Student Showcase @ Variety Playhouse

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It's official!  Friday, July 11 we're hosting a Student Showcase at the Variety Playhouse in Little 5 Points. The 8 pm show will feature an intergenerational line up students, faculty, alumni, alumnae, and friends performing a mix of jazz, rock and roots standards, covers and originals. This is an incredible opportunity to be part of a fun show we're producing ourselves at Atlanta's best music venue!  Best of all, through participating in or coming to the Showcase young performers and audience will be supporting our outreach to under-resourced youth.

Monday, 10 February 2014 08:02

Winter Weather Closures and Make Up Days

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The weather forecast suggests there could be more snow and ice across metro Atlanta this week, and most schools have closed in response.  We always post local Center and program closures on our web site.  Please check back for updates.  Our general rule of thumb is to follow the local school calendar, unless circumstances warrant otherwise.    

We are tracking the history of school and related CMC Atlanta program closures this term, and we will post make up options for missed lessons and AMP days as it becomes clear how school districts will adjust their calendars in response to this winter's unusual number of winter weather related interruptions.  

Monday, 06 January 2014 10:26

School Closed? Workshops for Students

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During the winter months local schools occasionally close due to snow, ice or cold.  When schools are closed, it sometimes makes sense for us to offer a Day Camp Workshop.  These workshops provide coverage for moms and dads who either want or need it.  We can almost always provide this service when the main danger to student welfare is exposure to extreme cold and wind.  (Moms and dads bring students by car directly to us from door-to-door, so no one is likely in jeopardy of exposure.)  We are less likely to offer the service if schools are closed due to icy or snow-covered roads or widespread power outages.  

When schools close, AMP and Core program lessons at the local CMC Atlanta facility are cancelled for the day.  Please note: closures affect only the district for the neighborhood CMC location.  For example, CMC Decatur closes when CSD close; a CSD closure does not affect programming in Little 5 Points or Dunwoody.     

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