Connecticut Shoreline Studio for Music Lessons
in Voice, Piano, Guitar & the Fundamentals of Music

All Skill Levels Welcome, Ages 4 -104

Connecticut Shoreline Studio for Music Lessons
in Voice, Piano, Guitar & the Fundamentals of Music

Clef Notes

A Crash Course in Online Core Curriculum

Online Courses In Core Curriculum Are Now Available

Another week, another tech-tutorial!  This Crash Course in Online Core Curriculum will get you prepped and ready to dive into the Crescendo Music Loft Online Courses, a fully online platform currently consisting of three (on the way to 12) course levels instructing in musical rudiments and music theory. Each course is broken down into lessons ending with either a quiz or assignment. (More on these tasks below.) Once these quizzes and assignments are submitted, either Sandy Connolly or John Hurley will respond with an approval and/or feedback.

The Crescendo Music System (CMS) website is the motherboard and your one-stop-shop for all music curriculum and instructional tools. The online courses will regularly refer you back to the CMS website as well as your Student Binder. If you missed it, I recommend starting with the New Student Guide to give you a foundation for the structure of the system and method behind the madness. 

Create an Account

When you visit the CMS website you will see Login or Register as the last drop-down tab on the top banner.  It is easiest to register before you start navigating to the online courses.  Once you select Register, a pop-up window will appear where you can enter a desired username and email.  Upon entering this information and clicking Register, you will receive an email confirmation with what to do next.  When you have successfully created your account, return to the CMS page and Login with your newly created username and password. 

Find Your Course

As a student now logged in, you can navigate to the Classes page by clicking the tab on the top banner or selecting Courses from your Account page. All students will start with the Primer Level then proceed to Level 1 and so on. A listing of currently available courses and pricing is available on the Shop page. (Primer Level is currently being offered for free with the purchase of Primer Level Tiny Books.) A printed curriculum accompanies online courses starting with Level One, including the Tiny Books and CMS’s Core Curriculum of Musical Rudiments worksheets. 

Begin With Your First Lesson

Once you select your course, begin by clicking on the first lesson. The interactive outline that displays on the left side of the page shows the title of each lesson as well as any associated quizzes. While each course was written in a particular order, you do have the ability to jump back and forth among the lessons. There are several ways to toggle from one lesson to the next: at the top of the lesson page, below the lesson itself or by clicking directly on the outline. 

A Note on the Tiny Books…

These are the foundation for the majority of the instructional components of the lessons.  Sandy herself explains them best here.  Students of all ages and ability have found them incredibly useful and simple to follow. 

Lesson Tasks

There are two ways your online course work can be submitted and graded. The first way is in the form of an Assignment. In this format you will see an Upload Assignment box following the lesson that allows you to browse for a file that already exists on your hard drive. Most of the time this means you are uploading a picture of work you completed with pencil on paper. The process of taking and uploading photos is outlined here

The second way your course work can be submitted is in the form of a quiz. A quiz will ask you to provide your answer in a text box where you will either type a response or paste a link. 

You will also quickly become familiar with Vocaroo. This website is a no-frills voice recording service that you will sing and/or play into, then copy the link and submit it as your quiz results. To start, click on the microphone button, it will begin recording immediately. You can pause the recording, then resume or just click the stop icon when you are done. When you finish recording, make sure you have clicked on the stop icon to have the Save & Share button appear. Clicking on Save & Share will show the option to copy (icon with the double squares), then paste the link into the text box for the appropriate quiz. 

Once again, there are live people on the other side of the website receiving your work. Either Sandy Connolly or John Hurley will respond with an approval and/or feedback.

Thursday Night Zoom Detention Class Included for Adult Students

More on this in an upcoming, post, but all students above the age of 21 are invited to join our Zoom class on Thursday nights from 7:30 – 8:30 to ask questions, have a beverage, and try out some sight singing and melodic dictation with others working through the same material.

Tech Support Is Available!

Should you find yourself bogged down in all the technical requirements, please email us at, and you’ll receive a prompt response!


Once you have completed the Primer Level and worked through the logistics, you will, no doubt,  be a pro at the Online Core Curriculum, with smooth sailing through the rest of the courses ahead of you! 

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