MIOSM: How Does Music Inspire?

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) leads a music education awareness campaign each year during the month of March. This year's campaign is themed "Music Inspires." The month long celebration of music in schools typically includes stepped-up performance schedules for school ensembles, special events, and classroom activities designed to increase awareness of the presence … Continue reading MIOSM: How Does Music Inspire?

When Teaching Music Appreciation, Keep It Simple

I've always had a love for classical music. I'm not sure why, but for as long as I can remember, and my family tells me it goes back further than that, I have pulled myself away from distractions and settled in to enjoy a symphony, concerto, or sonata. With this background, it is not surprising … Continue reading When Teaching Music Appreciation, Keep It Simple

How Do Creativity and Structure Go Together?

Developing creative and expressive thinking is, I believe, at the heart and soul of music education. These two things, creative thinking and expression, are included in the core arts standards, in most arts curricula, and in most defenses of supporting the arts in education. Yet being creative is often misunderstood, and misleading and even harmful … Continue reading How Do Creativity and Structure Go Together?

The Audience is Part of the Performance Experience

Over the last three years, watching NBC produce "live" musical theater, first with The Sound of Music, then Peter Pan,  and most recently with The Wiz, it seemed there was something missing from the live aspect of the broadcasts. Live performances of any kind are preferable to recorded ones largely due to the energy an audience brings, and to … Continue reading The Audience is Part of the Performance Experience

Strong Beat and Driving Rhythm Found in Top Classical Pieces

The popularity of classical music is of interest to those who teach music, and to those who run symphony orchestras. One of the things that attracts audiences to concert halls is favorite repertoire being on the program. Contemporary composers of classical music have at times been at odds with audiences, because their music was not … Continue reading Strong Beat and Driving Rhythm Found in Top Classical Pieces

From Where Does the Pleasure Music Brings Come?

There used to be a slogan going around about music--maybe it came from MENC (now NAfME)--that was "music makes me smile." Arts organizations, including symphony orchestras, have marketed themselves with various claims and slogans over the years. "Music for Life, " "Do It To Music" "Life Is Better With Music," "Priceless Music Absolutely Free," "Got Music?" … Continue reading From Where Does the Pleasure Music Brings Come?

Music Is To Be Seen and Heard

Amid a generation of music listeners who have rarely or never experienced live music, the sonically perfect recorded version, the product of many takes and extensive engineering, is the only kind of music they know. Recordings are so perfect that even if one hears performing artists live, they are either incapable of matching their studio … Continue reading Music Is To Be Seen and Heard

My Lifelong Love of Music: I Wonder Where It Started

Amid the frequent pronouncements of doom over classical music, and the unenthusiastic attitude of many of my general music students toward it, I sometimes ask myself what drew me to classical music. I never became a great musician, yet my love for music has always been great. That's important because when a child is raised … Continue reading My Lifelong Love of Music: I Wonder Where It Started

The Power of Music X 2: What Happens When Music and Video Join Forces?

Though music is always a product of the cultural context in which it is created, American popular music is perhaps more than others genres placed in a position of sociological prominence. Both from its characteristic rebelliousness and its bent toward social commentary, American popular music, unlike other musical genres including jazz and Western classical art … Continue reading The Power of Music X 2: What Happens When Music and Video Join Forces?

Musical Intelligence, Three Systems, and the Creative Processes

Among the nine intelligences identified by Howard Gardner in his Multiple Intelligences Theory, is musical intelligence. An intelligence is a way of knowing, and different people have different ways of knowing and learning. Someone who has a prevalent musical intelligence is able to use rhythms and patterns to assist learning. Such a person will learn well … Continue reading Musical Intelligence, Three Systems, and the Creative Processes