community

Nominate Your Arlington Charity

It’s one thing to sell a home in town, it’s another to commit to the people and community of the town you work and live in.

Not only is Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team the #1 REALTOR® and #1 real estate team in Arlington – we pay prefer to it forward, and pay it back.

At the beginning of 2015 Steve committed to ‘move forward by giving back’ by donating $10,000 to four Arlington charities over the course of the year. To date we have contributed $2,500 each to Arlington Fuel AssistanceThe Children’s Room and Arlington Eats.

In case you missed it, check out the article, Get $2,500 for your favorite nonprofit thanks to an Arlington Realtor, in the Arlington Advocate last week.

We have one more donation to make and we’re looking to YOU to tell us which charity should receive the final $2,500 of the year.

To nominate your favorite Arlington charity just email your suggestion to: info@yourhomeforsale.com.

 

In the meantime, here is a sampling of how Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team work to find you homes, sell your homes, and improve the community in 2015.

February 13th -$2,500 donation to the Arlington Heating Assistance Program. This contribution was made to help ease the burden of heating costs on our neighbors.

April 18th Arlington Spring Home Expo. A free event at the Whittemore Robbins House to address home buying and selling questions - from the most complex real estate sales to moving fundamentals.

June 9th Free Lunch & Seminar: Planning for Your Future (SPRING). This informative seminar had experts on hand to give insight on everything about downsizing and planning for your future.

August 31st Market Updates. A handy update on market conditions in Arlington and Medford to keep you up-to-date on the latest and ever-changing real estate.

September 12th Arlington Town Day. The Team was out in full force – giving away free water, prizes and plenty of real estate advice.

October 6th Free Lunch & Seminar Planning for Your Future (FALL). This seminar covered all the variables that come into play when downsizing – selling your current home, buying a home to fit your current and future needs, estate planning, tax implications, and financial strategies.

October 16th Tailgate Open House at Appleton Farms. What’s better than football and real estate? We invited everyone to a Sunday Funday at Appleton Farms in Arlington. It was fantastic tailgate open house with lots of food, fun and raffles.

October 23rd $2,500 donation to The Children’s Room. We are proud supporters of the Children's Room in Arlington. This is truly an amazing resource for children, families and the community.

November 17th $2,500 donation to Arlington Eats. When school is not in session, Arlington Eats makes sure kids don’t go hungry. This is a wonderful volunteer organization dedicated to community food assistance.

December 12th – Complimentary tickets to the Ben Rudnick & Friends Holiday Show. Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team has purchased a limited number of tickets for the Ben Rudnick Holiday concert for our clients and friends.

December, 2015 – TBD by YOU!

 

Arlington Storefront Stories

Strong local businesses – like good schools – are a big part of what make a town popular, prosperous, and a preferable place to live. In Arlington, we are lucky to have all of this and more.

Do you ever walk down Mass. Ave. and wonder what makes all these businesses tick? How did they come to be? Why they chose to do business in Arlington?

We are a town that tends to prefer a store where the owner knows our name over a strip mall, a local foodie joint over a chain restaurant, and businesses that focus on quality over quantity over a box stores (although sometimes those are necessary, too).

Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team values and takes pride in the place where we live and work. We believe in giving back to the community, and supporting the people and businesses that make this town great.

This year, we want to share the stories behind the storefronts. We are going to spotlight a new business every month, and shed light on the value that they bring to our town.

The first in our series is on deck. Torch Light Music School is located on Medford Street in Arlington and is run by the renowned singer and musician, Maura Lynch. It is a music school designed to help young musicians and artists find their true voice, as well as cultivate self-confidence and self-discovery.

Sound interesting? Stay tuned for our upcoming post, Torch Light Music School – Q&A with Maura Lynch.

Do you know of an Arlington business that should be covered? Just let us know! Leave a comment or email info@yourhomeforsale.com with your suggestion.

 

Torch Light Music School: Q&A with Maura Lynch

Welcome to the first edition of Arlington Storefront Stories! As we mentioned in our previous intro, we believe in giving back to the place where we live and work, and we’re continuing that trend by focusing on some of the businesses that make Arlington GREAT.

Without further ado, our first story features Torch Light Music School, located on Medford Street in Arlington. Torch Light is Directed by the renowned singer and musician, Maura Lynch. It is a music school designed to help young musicians and artists find their true voice, as well as cultivate self-confidence and self-discovery.

Read our Q&A with Maura to see what makes Torch Light SHINE!

How is Torch Light different from other music schools?

At Torch Light we are committed to training the whole artist; their vocal technique, presentation, confidence and their ability to communicate the story inside the song.  While most music schools are comfortable with a piano and music stand for their studio, Torch Light offers each of our students a professional experience using state of the art audio gear.

Students are able to train on microphones, full PA system and performance lighting and will find that they are prepared for any audition or performance experience they may encounter.

What musical endeavor has had the greatest impact on your own life?

One of the most amazing experiences that I had with music was as the creator of Musicians for Peace in Northern Ireland. I was able to go to Derry, Northern Ireland and work first hand with the peace leaders there. When the conferences started to break down and animosity ran high between the Catholic and Protestant attendees, the leaders chose a song that I had written, One Day at a Time, to bring the group of broken factions together.  In that moment, I realized the profound effect that music could have, not only on each individual person, but on the group and global collective. 

My commitment in owning and creating a music school has been to infuse my students with the love of their own Voice and also to train them to use their Voice to better their own lives and the world that they live in… to be a Torch Light themselves!

Who was your most influential mentor? 

I’ve been blessed with amazing mentors! I’m hard-pressed to choose just one. I realize while writing this list, I have loved many artists such as Pat Benatar, Annie Lennox, Barbra Streisand and Adele, but the most influential of my mentors have been teachers – Valerie Walters as a child, Phyllis Curtin & Allen Rogers for my classical training, and Richard Berberian my high school music director who inspired me to no end and is still a dear friend. Last but not least my dear friend Michael Vaughan who inspired and trained me for years to be the best Music Director that I hope to be!

What would you say to someone interested in music but is self-described as having “no musical ability” at all?  Is ‘music’ something anyone can do? 

When I’m meeting a student for the first time who may want to study privately but may have those feelings, I will offer them a simple test, to sing “mi, re, do” in tune.  If a student is able to even softly sing those three notes in tune and has the desire to sing, I can train them!  If a person tries to sing ‘mi, re, do’ and is unable to hold the pitch, the private lesson route maybe a bit advanced for them.  I would recommend at that point, if their desire to sing is great, to join a group class or a community choir to build up their ability to hear pitch and come to test again.  I do believe music is something that can reach all of us on a soul and heartfelt level…I truly believe music is a universal language and can have profound impact on a person in performance or in a listening setting.

If you had to choose one, which would be your pick for a movie about music:

School of Rock, b) Walk the Line, c) Pitch Perfect, d) Amadeus, e) Almost Famous, f) Other

Wow, again, choosing one is really tricky but I can choose one for each category!  For Classical music – Amadeus!  That movie has brilliant performances but historically it shows that ‘those musicians’ like Mozart were the Pop Stars of their day and real people!  I find this inspires young artists to hear and be open minded to the magnificence of the music. The artists who created the music had a major impact on history itself, and they were not just dusty old men!  For arranging and incredible harmonic singing for younger artists, Pitch Perfect was amazing as it highlights the desire for excellence and transcending daily life trials. The movie Almost Famous was wonderful for showing the ‘less than glamorous’ parts of the music world and how attention to excellence in the craft of music can help a young artist stay on track in a world full of illusion, temptation and bling.

Does self-esteem build confidence in music or does music build confidence and self-esteem?

Music is an amazing tool of self-expression.  A very confident person will approach music as a vehicle for what they may already wish to share with the world and will discover how music will best express themselves.  For a student struggling with self-esteem, music is a fantastic opportunity to gain that inner core confidence. Through a song that reaches them, they will not only learn more about singing, they will find their “Voice”. 

Students who come to me are all welcome to bring their favorite songs to their lessons.  For students craving increased self-esteem, I encourage them to dig deep into the message in those songs and how it pertains to their own lives and circumstances and how those words can help them in their own journey.  If a student is going through a particular issue, such as bullying, we may even write a song from words in their journal that they may fully express themselves in a safe venue about their experience.  Their own personal improvement in their singing absolutely leads them strongly to ‘who they are’ and the confidence that they feeling reaching that goal.  The artists and songs that they admire give them permission to speak for themselves in a way that works for them.

When a student grows from singing in a group to becoming a soloist, I have found that the confidence they earned to be able to accomplish that goal has often stayed with them into adulthood as some, much to my great delight, have shared with me years later!

What impact have shows like American Idol, The Voice and Glee have had on the perception of music and musical performance? 

Simply put, these shows made singing become one of the coolest things you could do! Instead of singing in the Glee Club being what ‘those kids do’ it’s now a cutting edge symbol of confidence and unique expression.  Most students who have the leads or sing solo are often seen as those who will also be very successful in high school, college acceptances and finding a satisfying path for their life.

What should new students expect when they sign up with Torch Light?

Brand new students will immediately be able to sing and train on professional microphones and through a PA system the moment they arrive.  They will have the freedom to co-create their experience by being welcome to bring in their favorites songs and artists that are influencing them at the time.  If I find that their technical advancement calls for a specific training, I have a vast library of songs to choose to teach them. I have discovered that the level of enthusiastic focus is more easily attained when the student feels that their input is most welcome!

A brand new student should know that they come to Torch Light their love of music and desire to find their most excellent Voice has just begun!

What is the one thing you would want every student to walk away with?

A Love of their Own Voice – not just as a singer, but as a person and as a leader in their own life; that their pursuit of their love of music will be a gift that will be with them for the rest of their life.

If you had the chance to perform anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I would like to produce an event through Torch Productions called Power Chords for Peace and I would like the concert to be held at the Muslim center in New York near Ground Zero.  After my experience working with the peace leaders in Northern Ireland, I realized that a group of terrorists are NOT regular folks and that all of us suffer when labels are put upon people that promote prejudice and hatred. 

The world cannot be a more peaceful place if we don’t see the heart of the matter and stand for it.  I would like to align the business world, spiritual world and the artistic world in a global musical endeavor that would gather more of us together who believe in the magnificent possibility of a world at peace.

 

Do you know of an Arlington business that should be covered? Just let us know! Leave a comment or email info@yourhomeforsale.com with your suggestion.

Tracy Wallace Takes Part in Local Fire Department Training Drill

Over the years Tracy and her husband have donated houses set for demolition to the Arlington Fire Department to use for practice and training. This year, our very own Tracy was asked to take part in a search and rescue mission. As you will see, it is an incredible feat of courage and strength. These training sessions give valuable experience to firefighters, thank you to Tracy and David for helping the Arlington Fire Department and our community!

Check out the video!! 

Giving Thanks and Giving Back

Thank you for a fantastic year! We are grateful for the continued support of our friends, family, clients and business partners in the Arlington community.

We enjoyed celebrating with many of you at my 30-Year celebration at The Thoreau Club this past July. And while we love a party, we also believe in giving back to the community that gives so much to all of us.

This year, in lieu of our holiday party, I am showing my client appreciation on #GivingTuesday* through a number of donations on behalf of local charities, including:

The Children’s Room. The Children’s Room creates safe, supportive communities so that no child, teen or family has to grieve alone.

Prom Angels. Prom Angels is dedicated to providing quality and social activities, which empowers the quality of life for our special needs communities.

Arlington EATS. Arlington EATS’ mission is to make sure that our students have healthy, nutritious food over the long summer vacation, February and April vacation and over the weekends.

Arlington Heating Assistance. The Town of Arlington Heating Assistance Program helps Arlington families with home heating emergencies on behalf of donations from local businesses and residents.

Organizations like these make our community a better place to live. On #GivingTuesday, I hope you’ll consider donating to these or a charity of your choice this holiday season.

Thank you for your business and support for the past 30 years. We wish you a happy holiday season and all the best in 2017.

Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team

* #GivingTuesday is a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, November 29, 2016, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together to celebrate generosity and to give.

Nominate Your Arlington Charity

It’s one thing to sell a home in town, it’s another to commit to the people and community of the town you work and live in.

Not only is Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team the #1 REALTOR® and #1 real estate team in Arlington – we pay prefer to it forward, and pay it back.

At the beginning of 2015 Steve committed to ‘move forward by giving back’ by donating $10,000 to four Arlington charities over the course of the year. To date we have contributed $2,500 each to Arlington Fuel AssistanceThe Children’s Room and Arlington Eats.

In case you missed it, check out the article, Get $2,500 for your favorite nonprofit thanks to an Arlington Realtor, in the Arlington Advocate last week.

We have one more donation to make and we’re looking to YOU to tell us which charity should receive the final $2,500 of the year.

To nominate your favorite Arlington charity just email your suggestion to: info@yourhomeforsale.com.

 

In the meantime, here is a sampling of how Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team work to find you homes, sell your homes, and improve the community in 2015.

February 13th -$2,500 donation to the Arlington Heating Assistance Program. This contribution was made to help ease the burden of heating costs on our neighbors.

April 18th Arlington Spring Home Expo. A free event at the Whittemore Robbins House to address home buying and selling questions - from the most complex real estate sales to moving fundamentals.

June 9th Free Lunch & Seminar: Planning for Your Future (SPRING). This informative seminar had experts on hand to give insight on everything about downsizing and planning for your future.

August 31st Market Updates. A handy update on market conditions in Arlington and Medford to keep you up-to-date on the latest and ever-changing real estate.

September 12th Arlington Town Day. The Team was out in full force – giving away free water, prizes and plenty of real estate advice.

October 6th Free Lunch & Seminar Planning for Your Future (FALL). This seminar covered all the variables that come into play when downsizing – selling your current home, buying a home to fit your current and future needs, estate planning, tax implications, and financial strategies.

October 16th Tailgate Open House at Appleton Farms. What’s better than football and real estate? We invited everyone to a Sunday Funday at Appleton Farms in Arlington. It was fantastic tailgate open house with lots of food, fun and raffles.

October 23rd $2,500 donation to The Children’s Room. We are proud supporters of the Children's Room in Arlington. This is truly an amazing resource for children, families and the community.

November 17th $2,500 donation to Arlington Eats. When school is not in session, Arlington Eats makes sure kids don’t go hungry. This is a wonderful volunteer organization dedicated to community food assistance.

December 12th – Complimentary tickets to the Ben Rudnick & Friends Holiday Show. Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team has purchased a limited number of tickets for the Ben Rudnick Holiday concert for our clients and friends.

December, 2015 – TBD by YOU!

 

Arlington Storefront Stories

Strong local businesses – like good schools – are a big part of what make a town popular, prosperous, and a preferable place to live. In Arlington, we are lucky to have all of this and more.

Do you ever walk down Mass. Ave. and wonder what makes all these businesses tick? How did they come to be? Why they chose to do business in Arlington?

We are a town that tends to prefer a store where the owner knows our name over a strip mall, a local foodie joint over a chain restaurant, and businesses that focus on quality over quantity over a box stores (although sometimes those are necessary, too).

Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team values and takes pride in the place where we live and work. We believe in giving back to the community, and supporting the people and businesses that make this town great.

This year, we want to share the stories behind the storefronts. We are going to spotlight a new business every month, and shed light on the value that they bring to our town.

The first in our series is on deck. Torch Light Music School is located on Medford Street in Arlington and is run by the renowned singer and musician, Maura Lynch. It is a music school designed to help young musicians and artists find their true voice, as well as cultivate self-confidence and self-discovery.

Sound interesting? Stay tuned for our upcoming post, Torch Light Music School – Q&A with Maura Lynch.

Do you know of an Arlington business that should be covered? Just let us know! Leave a comment or email info@yourhomeforsale.com with your suggestion.

 

Torch Light Music School: Q&A with Maura Lynch

Welcome to the first edition of Arlington Storefront Stories! As we mentioned in our previous intro, we believe in giving back to the place where we live and work, and we’re continuing that trend by focusing on some of the businesses that make Arlington GREAT.

Without further ado, our first story features Torch Light Music School, located on Medford Street in Arlington. Torch Light is Directed by the renowned singer and musician, Maura Lynch. It is a music school designed to help young musicians and artists find their true voice, as well as cultivate self-confidence and self-discovery.

Read our Q&A with Maura to see what makes Torch Light SHINE!

How is Torch Light different from other music schools?

At Torch Light we are committed to training the whole artist; their vocal technique, presentation, confidence and their ability to communicate the story inside the song.  While most music schools are comfortable with a piano and music stand for their studio, Torch Light offers each of our students a professional experience using state of the art audio gear.

Students are able to train on microphones, full PA system and performance lighting and will find that they are prepared for any audition or performance experience they may encounter.

What musical endeavor has had the greatest impact on your own life?

One of the most amazing experiences that I had with music was as the creator of Musicians for Peace in Northern Ireland. I was able to go to Derry, Northern Ireland and work first hand with the peace leaders there. When the conferences started to break down and animosity ran high between the Catholic and Protestant attendees, the leaders chose a song that I had written, One Day at a Time, to bring the group of broken factions together.  In that moment, I realized the profound effect that music could have, not only on each individual person, but on the group and global collective. 

My commitment in owning and creating a music school has been to infuse my students with the love of their own Voice and also to train them to use their Voice to better their own lives and the world that they live in… to be a Torch Light themselves!

Who was your most influential mentor? 

I’ve been blessed with amazing mentors! I’m hard-pressed to choose just one. I realize while writing this list, I have loved many artists such as Pat Benatar, Annie Lennox, Barbra Streisand and Adele, but the most influential of my mentors have been teachers – Valerie Walters as a child, Phyllis Curtin & Allen Rogers for my classical training, and Richard Berberian my high school music director who inspired me to no end and is still a dear friend. Last but not least my dear friend Michael Vaughan who inspired and trained me for years to be the best Music Director that I hope to be!

What would you say to someone interested in music but is self-described as having “no musical ability” at all?  Is ‘music’ something anyone can do? 

When I’m meeting a student for the first time who may want to study privately but may have those feelings, I will offer them a simple test, to sing “mi, re, do” in tune.  If a student is able to even softly sing those three notes in tune and has the desire to sing, I can train them!  If a person tries to sing ‘mi, re, do’ and is unable to hold the pitch, the private lesson route maybe a bit advanced for them.  I would recommend at that point, if their desire to sing is great, to join a group class or a community choir to build up their ability to hear pitch and come to test again.  I do believe music is something that can reach all of us on a soul and heartfelt level…I truly believe music is a universal language and can have profound impact on a person in performance or in a listening setting.

If you had to choose one, which would be your pick for a movie about music:

School of Rock, b) Walk the Line, c) Pitch Perfect, d) Amadeus, e) Almost Famous, f) Other

Wow, again, choosing one is really tricky but I can choose one for each category!  For Classical music – Amadeus!  That movie has brilliant performances but historically it shows that ‘those musicians’ like Mozart were the Pop Stars of their day and real people!  I find this inspires young artists to hear and be open minded to the magnificence of the music. The artists who created the music had a major impact on history itself, and they were not just dusty old men!  For arranging and incredible harmonic singing for younger artists, Pitch Perfect was amazing as it highlights the desire for excellence and transcending daily life trials. The movie Almost Famous was wonderful for showing the ‘less than glamorous’ parts of the music world and how attention to excellence in the craft of music can help a young artist stay on track in a world full of illusion, temptation and bling.

Does self-esteem build confidence in music or does music build confidence and self-esteem?

Music is an amazing tool of self-expression.  A very confident person will approach music as a vehicle for what they may already wish to share with the world and will discover how music will best express themselves.  For a student struggling with self-esteem, music is a fantastic opportunity to gain that inner core confidence. Through a song that reaches them, they will not only learn more about singing, they will find their “Voice”. 

Students who come to me are all welcome to bring their favorite songs to their lessons.  For students craving increased self-esteem, I encourage them to dig deep into the message in those songs and how it pertains to their own lives and circumstances and how those words can help them in their own journey.  If a student is going through a particular issue, such as bullying, we may even write a song from words in their journal that they may fully express themselves in a safe venue about their experience.  Their own personal improvement in their singing absolutely leads them strongly to ‘who they are’ and the confidence that they feeling reaching that goal.  The artists and songs that they admire give them permission to speak for themselves in a way that works for them.

When a student grows from singing in a group to becoming a soloist, I have found that the confidence they earned to be able to accomplish that goal has often stayed with them into adulthood as some, much to my great delight, have shared with me years later!

What impact have shows like American Idol, The Voice and Glee have had on the perception of music and musical performance? 

Simply put, these shows made singing become one of the coolest things you could do! Instead of singing in the Glee Club being what ‘those kids do’ it’s now a cutting edge symbol of confidence and unique expression.  Most students who have the leads or sing solo are often seen as those who will also be very successful in high school, college acceptances and finding a satisfying path for their life.

What should new students expect when they sign up with Torch Light?

Brand new students will immediately be able to sing and train on professional microphones and through a PA system the moment they arrive.  They will have the freedom to co-create their experience by being welcome to bring in their favorites songs and artists that are influencing them at the time.  If I find that their technical advancement calls for a specific training, I have a vast library of songs to choose to teach them. I have discovered that the level of enthusiastic focus is more easily attained when the student feels that their input is most welcome!

A brand new student should know that they come to Torch Light their love of music and desire to find their most excellent Voice has just begun!

What is the one thing you would want every student to walk away with?

A Love of their Own Voice – not just as a singer, but as a person and as a leader in their own life; that their pursuit of their love of music will be a gift that will be with them for the rest of their life.

If you had the chance to perform anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I would like to produce an event through Torch Productions called Power Chords for Peace and I would like the concert to be held at the Muslim center in New York near Ground Zero.  After my experience working with the peace leaders in Northern Ireland, I realized that a group of terrorists are NOT regular folks and that all of us suffer when labels are put upon people that promote prejudice and hatred. 

The world cannot be a more peaceful place if we don’t see the heart of the matter and stand for it.  I would like to align the business world, spiritual world and the artistic world in a global musical endeavor that would gather more of us together who believe in the magnificent possibility of a world at peace.

 

Do you know of an Arlington business that should be covered? Just let us know! Leave a comment or email info@yourhomeforsale.com with your suggestion.

Tracy Wallace Takes Part in Local Fire Department Training Drill

Over the years Tracy and her husband have donated houses set for demolition to the Arlington Fire Department to use for practice and training. This year, our very own Tracy was asked to take part in a search and rescue mission. As you will see, it is an incredible feat of courage and strength. These training sessions give valuable experience to firefighters, thank you to Tracy and David for helping the Arlington Fire Department and our community!

Check out the video!!