This is the time of the year that Immersed In Music has always held our annual Spring Open House. So because we have to forego that for the immediate future, we thought everyone might like to take a virtual tour of our operation.
IIM rents space from The Londonderry School on Mondays and Tuesdays between 3:30 and 8:30pm. Located at 1800 Bamberger Road, off of Elmerton Avenue, just minutes away from the Cameron Street exit of Route 81 South, this makes the IIM programs easily accessible from most parts of the Greater Harrisburg area.
You enter the school building through the lobby, which also doubles as a stage for both IIM and school performances. Turning right takes you to several rooms, where Titus Irvin teaches individual lessons in bass and guitar, and Rick Batley meets one night a week for Rockers Masters Classes, working with established bands to help them take their operation to the next levels of performance, business, and recording. At other times on Mondays and Tuesdays, Rick also teaches individual guitar lessons, Music Theory, and Songwriting classes.
During the Spring semester, Jay Kirssin, IIM’s premier Sound Engineering instructor, works in one of these rooms with students who are learning hands on sound editing and mixing techniques. Many of these tracks are from the recordings that were done by IIM’s Rockers bands each Winter in a professional recording studio.
Walking back through the lobby to the other wing of the building, you go past the room where Camela Kraemer holds her individual vocal instruction lessons. Then you hear bands rehearsing their songs, as they prepare for live performances. Depending on the hour, Young Rockers, Advanced Young Rockers, Rockers Prep, and Rockers bands are practicing in several rooms.
The Young Rockers and Advanced Young Rockers bands are for students 8 and above who are still deciding on which instrument they like best. They have the opportunity to try several different instruments as a way of learning where their musical passion might lie. IIM staff members teach them what they need to know on a given instrument in order to play on a particular song. They also guide them through the challenges of learning how to work together as a musical team, listen to each other’s ideas and parts, develop a group sense of rhythm, learn how to differentiate parts of a chosen song, all while having fun and developing friendships.
Rockers Prep and Rockers bands take all of these skills to higher levels. By this point, these students are concentrating on one specific instrument (or ability, as in the case of vocals). Most are receiving individual instruction, either from IIM teachers or from outside instructors. For these levels, students are taught how to develop their own musical charts, as well as how to rely on their sense of listening to fit their individual parts into each of their band’s songs.
During the first semester, Rockers Prep and Rockers bands are choosing material for our first live show, which happens in December of each year, as well as preparing for their recording studio experience, which occurs in January and February of each year. Sound Engineering students are also working with Jay to learn the basics of live and studio sound mixing so they are ready to handle the responsibilities of sound engineering for both experiences.
Finally, if you head upstairs on a Monday evening, you will see Anwar leading a team of writers, illustrators, and editors who are preparing the next edition of IIM’s community arts magazine, Making Notes. Students curate, write, edit, illustrate, and publish, both online and in print, articles and columns of community interests pertaining to visual arts, theater, movies, music, and writing.
Now that you have “seen” all that we have to offer, visit our website at immersedinmusic.com to get more information about these exciting opportunities. We are still accepting new students in most areas, as almost all of our instruction is continuing in an online format during this time of social distancing. We remain committed to our students having fun, learning new skills, and developing musically until we can resume the full operations described above.
Check us out! It’s fun, it’s rewarding, and it’s educational!