World Cup Music: Shostakovich’s Soccer Match

Don’t underestimate the power of either sports or music when it comes to exciting a crowd. Even as a tormented composer writing under the harsh restrictions and demands of Communism, in his 1929 ballet  The Golden Age big-time soccer fan and sometime soccer referee Shostakovich recreated a soccer match. In this ballet, a communist soccer team… Continue Reading

Hidden Musical Code in Plato’s Writings

A scholar in England just announced his discovery of a secret music code in the writings of Plato.  As a closeted follower of Pythagoras, whose heretical beliefs threatened traditional religion, Plato believed that music and mathematics were closely related, and that music was a reflection of the mathematical principles that governed the universe. Pythagoras codified… Continue Reading

Copyright Laws vs. Teens: The Battle Rages

When famed Broadway songwriter Jason Bert Brown discovered his songs were being “traded” freely online by those who had never purchased a legal copy, he thoughtfully requested that the traders stop the illegal trading. Read this fascinating exchange with a recalcitrant yet extremely bright and articulate teenager. Eleanor’s teenage sense of entitlement is absolutely breathtaking.… Continue Reading

Jazz Festivals 2010

Here are links & dates for jazz festivals around the world, so plan a trip around an  enticing jazz venue that beckons you to kick back and enjoy live jazz at its convivial best. Jazz Festivals in USA Jazz Festivals in Canada UK Jazz Festivals European Jazz Festivals Worldwide jazz festivals are also listed geographically,… Continue Reading

Vienna Vegetable Orchestra: Veggies Never Sounded So Good

Since 1998, the Vienna Vegetable Orchestra has performed on musical instruments they make from fresh vegetables. (I couldn’t make this up.) They shop for veggies at the local produce market, spend a few hours making their vegetable instruments, then after their concert, they throw them into the pot and serve up vegetable soup. Contrary to… Continue Reading

The Met Brings Opera into the Classroom

Bring full-scale Metropolitan Opera productions into your classroom! The free Live in HD school program from the Met is now available in some school districts around the country, and online educational guides put the icing on the cake.  Teaching guides for each Metropolitan opera production include classroom activities, musical highlights, story synopses, accompanying audio clips,… Continue Reading

The Fine Art of Listening: for Musicians & Audiences

Listening skills should be stock in trade for musicians, but experienced musicians face the same challenges of concentration and active listening that audiences do.  Timothy Walker’s keynote speech at Great Britain’s ISM (Incorporated Society of Musicians) hopefully didn’t fall on tin ears. Walker, Chief Executive of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, realistically addresses the difficulties musicians… Continue Reading

Arts & Language Requirement for High School Graduation at Risk in California: Fight Back!

These are hard times, especially in nearly bankrupt California. But are we content to see the California legislature gut the heart (i.e., the arts) out of education? The arts and foreign languages are fundamental to education, especially in the world we live in today. If creative thinking and global communications were ever needed in this… Continue Reading

Enjoy Operas from the Met: At the Movies or Online!

Can’t go to the opera? Does your busy schedule or a pinched pocketbook or an illness make you miss the magic of the live performance? While there is nothing like the excitement of being in the theater for the real event, there are now 2 wonderful and affordable alternatives: Option 1. Opera Night at the… Continue Reading

Boomwhackers on Steroids: Plastik Musik

If you thought boomwhackers were just for kids, think again. Better still, listen to the percussion group Plastik Musik in their astounding Boomwhacker performance: The first time I met Craig Ramsell, creator of the Boomwhackers, was  in Phoenix, Arizona, about 15 years ago at a music education conference.  At the time, I knew his newly… Continue Reading

King Henry VIII: Better Musician Than Husband

King Henry VIII, famous for his marriages on the rocks (and the blocks), is lesser known for his talent as a musician and composer. Tall, handsome, and charming in his youth, he played several musical instruments, and was a skilled singer and dancer. Some of his musical compositions are still performed today. Continue Reading

Opera/Ballet Live in Cinema series: Dallas metroplex

This took a little research to find, but thought that opera and ballet fans in the  Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex would find this theater schedule handy for upcoming productions from major opera/ballet companies around the world. How exciting is this! Gather up your friends or your music class and plan a night at the opera, Texas… Continue Reading

See Live European Operas in Local Movie Theaters

Enjoy front row seats at the latest operatic productions from Milan’s La Scala and Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu, as well as from other European venues, all in the comfort of your local movie theater.  Join opening night audiences throughout the world to experience these outstanding operas in digital HD.  Oh brave new world that… Continue Reading

Kids Interactive Music Link: Xploring Xtremes

ArtsEdge, Kennedy Center’s interactive website for music and arts education, is a free online resource  every teacher, librarian, parent, and caregiver should know about, but probably doesn’t.  One of my favorite features was Xploring Xtremes. Kids can explore and analyze musical extremes in dynamics, tempo, and other elements of music, through a variety of listening,… Continue Reading