Interview with Drew Burns, creator of SongTorch

Drew Burns is a music education specialist from Perth, Australia, known for his innovative teaching tools including Black Belt Recorder Karate. He has recently released a cool new music platform called SongTorch, which he’ll demo at the upcoming Texas Music Educators Convetion in San Antonio on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, 1:45pm – 2:45pm. We interviewed him about … Read more

Tennis Ball Fun! Guest Post by Denise Gagne

Tennis Ball Fun! Tennis Ball Fun and Relative Note Values Create a chart that includes a whole note, two half notes, four quarters and 8 eighth notes.  This activity is from the resource, Rhythm Instrument Fun.  This is a great resource – click to see a demo on Rhythm Instrument Fun. Introduce these note values to … Read more

Metropolitan Opera at the Movies, 2011-12 Season

Take advantage of “front row” seats at the Met’s new 2011-12 HD Live opera season, and watch opening day performances (or encore evening showings) at local movie theaters throughout the world. Although nothing beats a live performance at the Met in Lincoln Center, these simulcast live performances on screen are the next best thing, and … Read more

SING ME A STORY: The Musical Approach to Children’s Literature

Jill and Michael Gallina share news of their exciting new musical that highlights the importance of literature and reading: If you are interested in a musical that takes place entirely on risers and integrates music and children’s literature into one easy-to-produce package, we hope you’ll consider our latest “Rise and Shine” musical SING ME A … Read more

Christmas in the Trenches: The “Silent Night” Truce

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

George Gershwin – Sept. 26

True music must repeat the thought and inspirations of the people and the time. My people are Americans and my time is today.      – George Gershwin Born Sept. 26, 1898 in Brooklyn, New York Died July 11, 1937 in Hollywood, California George Gershwin, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, is the quintessential American composer. … Read more

Dmitri Shostakovich – Sept. 25

Born Sept. 25, 1906 in St. Petersburg, Russia Died Aug. 9, 1975 in Moscow, Russia A product of the Bolshevik Revolution, Shostakovich was the most famous of all  Soviet composers. He led a politically and personally troubled life, yet produced some of the century’s most celebrated and frequently performed works even today . Born into … Read more

Autumn from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

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

Opera for Kids: Free Resources from the Met

 Educator Guides to the Operas Plan an opera study unit for your students based on one of the operas in the 2010-11 Metropolitan Opera season, climaxing with a Night at the Opera in a local movie theater or at your school. The Met Live in HD series offers free opera-specific educational guides you can use … Read more

Catch the Met’s 2010-11 Operas in Movie Theaters

The fifth season of the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series is coming to a movie theater near you! Enjoy front row seats at these live opening night productions. It is so easy to feel more engaged with opera on a large screen, where you can see everything “up close and personal.”  Feel the pre-performance … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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, … Read more

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 … Read more

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, … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

Picasso and Music

Three Musicians by Picasso  After a day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, mostly spent in the special Picasso exhibit (the largest ever), I was virtually blinded by “the embarrassment of riches” he left to the world. The chronological exhibit of his works gave cohesion to his life and his many artistic … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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, … Read more