Registration has been extended for two of this fall’s offerings at Bay Chamber’s new Community Music School. Music education classes meet at the school’s location in the Shepherd Building, 18 Central St. in the village.

This semester, community members may learn to read music or brush up their music-reading skills with the Reading Music Workshop; or take their interest in music to the next level with a course titled Music Composition: Bringing out the music hidden in the words. Reading Music Workshop classes will meet Thursdays beginning Oct. 7 and run for eight weeks through Dec. 9. Music Composition classes will meet Wednesdays beginning Oct. 6 and will run for six weeks through Nov. 18.

The Reading Music Workshop introduces and explores how conventional notation translates into music. It is offered for music lovers and performers who are rusty or unfamiliar with reading. Drawing from an eclectic range of musical resources, each class will include lecture, workshop exercises, question period and study guides that develop an ability for reading. The course is taught by Bay Chamber faculty member Mary Anne Driscoll of Belfast. The first and last classes are two hours, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.; and the six classes in-between are one hour each, from 7 to 8 p.m. Materials will be provided.

Music Composition: Bringing out the music hidden in the words is a course in composing by using spoken words to inspire melodies and rhythms. Experience in composition is not required, nor is proficiency on an instrument.  Students will be under the guidance of a seasoned composer who has worked with people with varying experience. Through this course, students will become familiar with a process for music creativity, as well as with elements of music theory that can enhance musical ideas. The process is collaborative: in a small group setting, the class will listen to an individual’s recounting of an event or memory, write or type her recollections verbatim and then begin playing with the words and phrases.

Over the six-week session, students will develop full melodies and songs. This ethnography-into-song approach owes its origins to a pre-20th century tradition in which people gathered after an event to compose and sing verses about it. In this way, wisdom and experience were passed on with the impact of emotion and music. The course will be taught by composer Malcolm Brooks of Rockport and will meet from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Tuition is $160 for either course. To register, call the Bay Chamber office at 236-2823 or visit baychamberconcerts.org.

Founded in 1961 by brothers Andrew Wolf and Thomas Wolf, the nonprofit Bay Chamber is dedicated to sustaining classical music as an art form. In concerts and in the classroom, Bay Chamber passes along this rich musical heritage to people of all ages and abilities while at the same time acknowledging the importance, and encouraging the exploration, of all musical languages.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.