1. LISTEN BLINDLY. Ask students to listen closely to a musical selection with their eyes open; then listen to the same selection with their eyes closed. Discover and discuss the differences. (See the corollary to this activity in #6 below) 2. LISTENING TEAMS. Divide the class into listening teams. Ask each group to focus on a … Read more
1. Listen blindly. Listen to a work not knowing who wrote it, or the title of it, or the style and when it was written. Just you and the physical music, with no preconceptions or artificial mental expectations or without knowing anything about it’s origins or classifications. 2. Listen bodily. Listen with your gut, your … Read more
To create, one must first imagine; to imagine, one must first learn to see, to listen, to feel, to perceive. Music and the arts are the cornerstone of education in the broadest sense. They open our eyes and ears, develop and transform us personally, connect us emotionally with others, and offer a universal bridge of … Read more
After months of deadly trench warfare, on Dec. 24, 1914, German and British soldiers in Belgium suddenly ceased hostilities and, through the singing of carols, celebrated Christmas together. This film documents their spontaneous musical truce with eyewitness reports, proving that "people who make music together cannot be enemies, at least not while the music lasts" … Read more
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) wrote numerous concertos, many of them for the young ladies who resided in the Venetian orphanage where Vivaldi was employed for most of his working career. (Many of these “orphans” were daughters of affluent noblemen and their mistresses, and they lived in very comfortable circumstances and were given excellent musical training.) Some … Read more
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 … Read more
There’s a lot more to World Cup soccer music than national anthems and the penetrating blare of “vuvuzela” horns. WQXR classical FM station, highlights the top 5 soccer pieces from 100 years of soccer-inspired classical music.
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 … Read more
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. … Read more
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, … Read more
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 … Read more
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 … Read more
The hills are alive with the sound of men singing in Great Britain. Television shows like Glee and The Choir, along with increasing numbers of You Tube videos of barbershop music, may be contributing to the surge of popularity in Great Britain for close harmony singing. This week over 2500 eager singers are heading to … Read more
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.
Will the busy world stop and listen to a subway violinist at rush hour, even if he is Joshua Bell? If only we had the ears and heart of a 3-yr.-old. . .
Mosquito duet leads to love. . .and the perfect fifth. Get the buzz about the musical talents of the pesky mosquito during courtship.
Wynton Marsalis says jazz requires 3 things: creativity, communication, and community. His teaching resources for kids illustrate his philosophy of jazz and classical music too.
How far is an elementary school entitled to go in bringing politics into the classroom?
Fast is fun. But you might be surprised at the subtleties that escape the ear when the music is played too fast.
A cat who plays piano, a dancing cockatoo, a blues-singing dog… who says music is loved just by humans?
What did Proust really hear in the musical phrase that recurs obsessively to his fictional character Swann? Listen to a whimsical speculation by Alex Ross.