The Real School of Music Blog

Real School's Top 10 Articles of 2016

Written by Jim Keenan | December 26, 2016

2016 was an amazing year at Real School. To celebrate the new year, we decided to look back at the most popular articles on the Real School blog - because it's one of the places we celebrate our students, instructors, and share the latest trends in music education.

Over the past 12 months, we published 50 articles from 13 different authors (all written by staff or instructors), generating over 3,500 visitors. The articles were focused on four core areas: 1) special news and announcements (new programs, milestones, employee awards), 2) a faculty spotlight series, 3) a student spotlight series, and, 4) general interest posts and 'how to's.'  

Not surprisingly, the two most popular areas were the faculty and student spotlight series (both launched in mid-2016). Highlighting the stories and experiences of Real School students, families, and instructors, both series offered a special 'behind the scenes' look at some of the people who make Real School special. 

With all of these articles, we wanted to find out what resonated best with our readers. Here are the top 10 most read, shared, and most linked-to posts of 2016. We hope you enjoyed reading them as much as we enjoyed writing them! 

The Top 10 Real School Articles for 2016 

#10  Andover Yamaha Instructors Shine at National Yamaha Training Seminar

Real School of Music instructors Everly McCormack and Michele Cronin recently returned from a week of intensive teacher training at the Yamaha Music Education System (YMES) center in Buena Park, CA. In completing the 6-day seminar, Everly and Michele joined an international network of Yamaha teachers devoted to sharing the joys of music making for pre-school through elementary ages. Continue reading.


#9  5 Reasons Hamilton the Musical is Worth Our Time

In case you haven’t heard, Hamilton the Musical is taking the world by storm! Tony Award-Winner Lin Manuel Miranda’s musical has done what few musicals have been able to do: it has mainstreamed. There are only a few contemporary musicals that have managed to do that. But why is Hamilton different than say… Rent? Continue reading. 


#8  A High Five from the Beatles

As one of the more “historically saturated” (i.e., OLD) members of Real School, I became a musician as a direct result of The Beatles appearance on American Television in 1964. Conventional wisdom at that time was that they were a silly fad and would be all but forgotten in months. Continue reading. 


#7 Behind the Scenes at RealJams Academy

RealJams Academy, The Real School of Music’s premier week-long summer music program, has fostered the growth of more than a couple thousand young musicians since its inception in 2009. We sat down with the Director of RealJams Academy, Bill Doss, alumni Leighann Hodgkins, and instructors James Towlson and Chris McKenney to chat about their experience with RealJams. Continue reading. 


#6  Student Spotlight Series: Elizabeth Bond

What happens when you've grown up at Real School for the past seven years? You're a part of it and it's a part of you. For guitarist and vocalist Elizabeth Bond, the experience has ranged from being a member of a Real School a cappella ensemble in her early years to playing with a RealJams Academy band at the Hard Rock Cafe. Continue.  


#5  Student Spotlight Series: Ashley Koman

Burlington High School (MA) rising junior and multi-instrumentalist Ashley Koman shares her journey from voice lessons in elementary school to performing at the Hard Rock Cafe Boston with her Real School ensembles Band Aide Inc. and Compliment Break, and how being in bands has made all the difference. Continue reading. 


#4  Student Spotlight Series: amplifi Student Davis Raymond

Cotting School (Lexington, MA) student Davis Raymond has thrived in a class environment that is accessible, engaging, collaborative, supportive, and enjoyable to enhance and accelerate learner-centered education. Davis is one of the inaugural members of Real School's amplifi Adaptive Music Program — the nation’s first-ever provider of music and performance-based extended learning programs designed specifically for those with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Continue reading.


#3  Real School Announces 2015 Employee Awards 

The Real School of Music recently announced the 2015 Employee Awards for staff who demonstrate exceptional commitment, contribution, and achievement in the areas of teaching, customer service, and program leadership. Coming from the full spectrum of roles at Real School, the awards recognize new instructors through seasoned employees in the instructor and administrative areas. Continue reading. 


#2  Faculty Spotlight Series: Managing Partner + Guitar Instructor Nick Vecchio

Running a music school has its rewards, but it can be very challenging. Between hiring and managing instructors, recruiting and enrolling students, maintaining the facility, and keeping a busy teaching schedule, Nick Vecchio does it all. Continue reading.


#1  Faculty Spotlight Series: Guitar Instructor Chris McKenney

"Chris McKenney consistently leads ensembles in a creative and inspiring way. Every time I listen for a minute to one of his ensembles, I'm amazed by the level of skill and musicality they express." - fellow music instructor at The Real School of Music in Burlington, MA. 

Guitar instructor, ensemble coach, and RealJams Academy faculty member, Chris McKenney, shares his story about starting music very late and finding a way to make it the perfect career.  Continue reading.

What were your favorite Real School articles of the year? Share them in the comments!