SoBe Music Institute Newsletter August 2007
in this issue
:: Register for 2007/08 Fall through Spring Progams
:: Guest Article - Music Education in America - Willie Anthony Waters
:: Parent's Post - Lilian Vigil
:: Parent's Post - Jaye P. Shaw
:: Farewell Nadia De Leon
:: Summer Farewell (Repost from MiamiArtZine) - Ray Breslin
:: Blast from the Board - Carson Kievman
:: Fundraising - Experience a Cool Breeze
We hope you will enjoy the August Newsletter of SoBe Music Institute.  There is so much to tell about this summer's programs and about our plans for this year, we had to postpone some wonderful articles until our September issue.  I would, once again, like to thank everyone who has participated in the growth of this vital organization and invite those of you who can do so to give a generous contribution to keep our mission and vision alive and growing into the world-class institute of the arts that we all hope for.  I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Nadia De Leon, our Administrative Manager, who has been instrumental in helping this organization develop over the last year.  Nadia is returning to her home in Panama and we wish her all the best.
Thank you and cheers,
Carson Kievman,
Executive Artistic Director
SoBe Music Institute
Register for SoBe Music Institute's Fall/Winter & Spring Programs
Starts in September (through May)


SoBe Music Institute's Fall Programs start in September and continue throughout 2007/2008.


We offer a complete and unique music study & performance immersion program for children, adults and seniors provided by some of the finest musician/instructors in South Florida. 


Our After-School Program for children ages 6-17 begins in September and is available to children from all area schools.  The program will be in groups of similar ages and levels and will be offered 2 days a week for each group.   Scheduling is now underway and will be posted on our website early next week.  If you would like to receive an email update send an email to

World-class private and group instruction also available for all wind, brass or string instruments, as well as classical and acoustic/electric guitar, concert harp, voice, composition, musicianship, theory and more (including performance opportunities and master classes.
Saturday Classes & Workshops for all ages, as well as Travel/Study Programs for professional musicians, are also being scheduled.
Our wonderful OPEN FRIDAY PERFORMANCE and WORKSHOP OFFERINGS will resume in late September and continue throughout the year.

TO REGISTER FOR OUR 2007/08 PROGRAMS Email to receive updates and information as it is released.

Willie Anthony Waters
Artistic Director -Connecticut Opera

Willie Anthony WatersAs General and Artistic Director of Connecticut Opera we are constantly frustrated...  The elimination of music from the public schools in the 70s was the worst thing that could have happened to our society.  Fortunately, and admittedly in a rather small way, arts organizations have been able to pick up the slack, by bringing arts education programs into the schools.  Many corporations and foundations, and some individuals, "get it" and support us in our efforts.  This is where we have failed and Europe has succeeded - by exposing young people to the arts when they are "young," rather than waiting until they are adults, when they have already formed opinions (often negative) about classical music, art, etc. 


If our society is serious about classical music (which we aren't nearly enough), we must continue to support education and exposure to the arts from a very young age, and KEEP DOING IT.  One-shot deals are useless.  In many school systems, there are many teachers who are assigned to TWO OR THREE SCHOOLS, which means they don't see all the kids even once a week.  This is scandalous.  In Hartford, we try to pick up the slack by bringing a fully-staged and -costumed opera to most schools every year, and try to tie it to the school's curriculum (not just the arts curriculum, so the administrators will buy into it and support it).  It's an arduous and expensive process, but we think it's worth it.  If only we could get more of our city and state governments, as well as the federal government, to follow suit, and support these efforts, our goal would be more reachable.


I could go on and on, but I think you get my point.  Education and exposure are the keys.  If there could be a groundswell of "largesse" in this country, what an impact it would make.  Meanwhile, we keep struggling with administrators and legislators to understand the importance of the arts in our schools and in our culture, and hope that we can make a difference, and encourage them to come to live theater.  I would hate it if the only live performances a kid saw while growing up was Miss Saigon, Phantom of the Opera, or a rock concert!  The arts DO matter, for all of us!


Willie Anthony Waters (Artistic Director, Connecticut Opera - Former Music Director, Florida Grand Opera) - This article was edited specifically for the SoBe Music Institute August Newsletter at the invitation of Jack M. Firestone, a member of our Board of Advisors.

Parent's Post

Lilian Vigil
Daughter - Vanesa (violin)
"It is just amazing!!  It is just amazing how the hard work and dedication of all the staff, faculty, students and parents of SoBe Music Institute made the Summer Gala Concert on Saturday, August 4, such a great day!!

We could see all the happy faces of the students screaming "in silence" how much they enjoyed participating this summer in such a wonderful program. It was wonderful to see their faces light up the stage and send a glow throughout the entire hall - which spoke more that thousand words...


Every teacher's effort paid off when all of the kids and teenager performed on the stage; every minute of that long day was well worth spending; it was a reward for all of us...teachers, students, proud parents, and all the parties that in any way had helped to make this summer program possible. We only hope for our kids to have the opportunity to continue with this kind of program in Miami Beach, together we can make it possible...but only together...


Our kids, our community, our city deserves this opportunity!!!!"


Lilian Vigil

Parent's Post
Jaye P. Shaw
Son - Sammy (guitar)

"JPfaceThis summer, my son attended the summer program at the SoBe Music Institute wanting to learn how to play the guitar.  It would be his first experience with the guitar.  I heard about the summer program and went directly to their website to read about the program which included music theory and chorus.  After reading about the staff and who would be teaching my son to play I knew this was the place for him.  During the summer program I observed the students playing many different instruments and watched them throughout the day.  Many students had traveled quite a distance to be part of this program since an opportunity to learn on this level is not available elsewhere.  By the end of the summer I sat and watched as they performed what they had learned in eight weeks.  Most of the students had not ever played an instrument before and this was a first.  I was amazed at what could be learned in such a short time. During the performance one student's mother came and sat next to me. I learned her daughter was playing the piano for the first time and she was performing a solo. We spoke for awhile after and she had told me she could not believe how much, and how well, her daughter had learned from this program.  The need for a program like this is greatly understated.  I hope that you continue with this program as it would be a substantial loss to the community if it were not. Thank you."
Jaye P Shaw

Farewelll Nadia
Nadia De Leon

"As of August 20th, I will longer be the Administrative Manager at SoBe Music Institute. Due to circumstances beyond our control, I must return to Panama, my home country. I am sad to leave Miami Beach and the wonderful staff with whom I have been lucky to work in the past months. Nevertheless, I am also eager to return home after many years abroad. My long term plans include pursuing graduate studies in both Dance and Arts Management.  I firmly intend to eventually return to South Beach, hopefully to join what I am certain by then will be the Miami Beach Institute of the Arts. I will not only continue to be in contact with the Institute and involved in the progress of our vision, I will also continue to work as a consultant from oversees, as a grant writer and in other functions whenever possible. I am in no way abandoning the ship.  I firmly believe in our mission and plan to remain involved in its development for many years to come. Thanks to all of you for your kindness - stay in touch!" Nadia

Partial reprint of article from
SoBe Music Institute's Summer Farewell
Organization Finds Hidden Venue in CANDO Arts District

Story and Photos by Ray Breslin


Amber Keates

Amber Keates plays guitar at the SoBe Music Institute recital

On Saturday August 4, SoBe Music Institute bid farewell to their summer eight week intensive workshop with a wonderful recital and concert held at the 21st Street Recreation Center.


The raised stage, complete with a curtain, was perfect for friends and family to see their beloved children perform what they had leaned over the eight week program. Many of these kids had never picked up an instrument let alone play it before the program.  They not only played for their families but they learned to read the music as well. The school was broken into two age groups, with age 12 being the mid-point. The recital alternated the children and teens to keep a good mix.


ViolinkidssmallThe afternoon began with instructor Rebecca Diderrich's violin students. Although what they played may seem to be simple pieces, we must remember everything starts with basics. In this case, the basics were "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and "Mary Had a Little Lamb." It was interesting to hear the different tempos that were played and every parent was certainly proud of their child's enthusiasm and visible happiness for what they had accomplished.                            Amber Keates plays guitar at the SoBe Music Institute recital

The second group of students showed off the guitar skills they leaned from instructor Paul Martin. Each of the young students played the selection of their choice. "Twinkle" again was the song of choice, but Jailene Hinojosa played "Happy Birthday" to anyone who might have been celebrating that day. The advanced students played more classical pieces.

The recital continued with teens playing saxophone led by instructor Wim Forstmann. Then there were the piano recitals with the little ones guided by instructor, Ariana Ochoa. The only teen, Danae Hunter, was instructed by Ciro Fodere.  By far the largest number of students took voice lessons. The little kids were instructed by Kathleen Bell and the older ones by Cassandra Claude.

Listening to them made me realize what these eight weeks meant to them and also made me wonder what they might have done had this terrific program not been available to them. It is a scary thought, when there are so many unpleasant things that these kids could have been doing but weren't. They were singing and their voices were happy and melodious.

In one of the moments when the stage curtain was closed and they were setting up for the next group, Dr. Carson Kievman, executive artistic director, explained to those present how very important it was for them to write, call, or e-mail the mayor, commissioners, and city manager to let them know how important this program was to them this summer and how it affected or influenced their children. The City played a huge part in the success of this program. In fact, without the City of Miami Beach, this would not have happened. It is always important to tell the funding sources that they made a great decision and hope that it continues.



Student musicians get ready to perform at the SoBe Music Institute recital

Even though I did not have a child in this program, I felt eminently proud that in some small way, I made a difference in these kids' lives. I hope that anyone who donated time, energy or money to this very worthwhile cause feels as I do. Just seeing the kids beam from ear to ear made it all worthwhile to me.

However, there were further rewards. When the kids were done, there was a short break and then a fantastic concert was played by the Faculty Ensemble with a reception after. It was a great summer. Hopefully, the SoBe Music Institute will become a permanent part of our diverse community and the CANDO Arts District.

If you want to help, contact them at 305-674-9220 or e-mail them at They will be happy to hear from you. Remember, children are our future and we must nurture them if we want them to become productive and be a creative part of our society.

Ray Breslin is a community neighborhood activist, president of the Collins Park Neighborhood Association, board member of the CANDO Arts Neighborhood, advisory board member of  SoBe Music Institute and advisory committee member for Miami City Ballet School.


carsonfaceBlast from the Board
Dr. Carson Kievman

It has been a great year for SoBe Music Institute.  And next year stands to be even better as take our first step towards building the Institute of the Arts we all desire - this spring we plan to expand our Programs  to include Theater for Youth, in addition to our highly praised Music Programs for children, adults and seniors.  There are so many people to praise and thank for their endless support, work, intelligence and optimism that has helped us establish our Institute.  Our Board of Directors, albeit small, has done an outstanding job, especially Mark Needle who has been instrumental in our development.  Our fantastic Board of Advisors, espcially the incaculable help of Ray Breslin, Nancy Liebman, Jack Firestone and Charlie Cinnamon, Gustavo Matamoros, Horst Kohlem, Laurinda Spear, Edward Villela, and Diane Camber.   The City of Miami Beach especially Commissioner Saul Gross, Mayor David Dermer, Vice-Mayor Matti Bower, Commissioners Simon Cruz,  Michael Gongora, Jerry Libbbin and Richard Steinberg and City Manager Jorge Gonzalez.   And a very special thank you to city officials A.C. Weinstein, Ana Cecilia Valasco, Gail Thompson chair of the Miami Beach Cultural Arts Council, and every active member of the Mayor's blue ribbon CANDO committee
Also our thanks to Hilda Fernandez, Assistant City manager, Ela Goldfarb, Jewish Community Services of South Florida, Chief Donald De Lucca and the Miami Beach Police Department, Max Sklar, Director of Tourism and Cultural Department, Kevin Smith, Director MB Parks & Recreation, the entire Department of Property management and last, but certainly not least Douglas Tober, Miami Beach Convention Center who made our Summer Gala Concert possible by donating 200 chairs and parking for the event. 
Carson Kievman, Ph.D.
President of the Board of Directors,
Mystery Park Arts Company, Inc.
A 501 (c)(3) Non Profit Arts & Educational Organization
Executive Artistic Director
SoBe Music Institute (Miami's Institute of the Arts)

We need your help to succeed with our mission

 anthonyopenThanks to generous contributions, over 80 children and many seniors were able to study music in our intensive 2007 Summer programs. 
With your help we can offer free or reduced cost high quality music education for children and seniors, as well as low cost instruction for adults (all based on talent and promise and not socio-economic circumstances) during our fall through spring 2007/08 programs. 
 Your tax-deductible contribution will also help us build a Musical Instrument and library fund to help our students to continue developing their abilities at home and on weekends.
Please contact our administrative staff (305) 674-9220 or make an online donation at
Thank you in advance for your generous contributions. 

SoBe Music Institute is operated by :
Mystery Park Arts Company, Inc. a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit arts and arts education organization (all company information is available upon request)