Much like a writer of prose, a poet or a composer ought to have an intent in mind when writing a poem or musical work, respectively. The use of language in a poem can be quite expressive, going beyond the literal meaning of prose, and the notes in a musical work are always expressive because … Continue reading Poetry and Music: Steps to Composing
Some years ago, when I was leading a music rehearsal for our church worship team, often tried to stop the band from rushing tempos, while they for their part tried to stop me from dragging those same songs. I remember trying to teach them the groove I was feeling, but without consistent success. They naturally … Continue reading That Elusive Groove
School is a social environment. Learning takes place in classes where groups of children are gathered, usually 20-25 at a time. When everything is going smoothly, students are listening to a teacher and to each other, are asking and answering questions, responding to prompts, understanding what is being said or done, and keeping their attention … Continue reading What Does Music Have To Do With Social Development?
In my post on June 26, I defined melody as a sequence of tones, each of which has pitch and duration. We saw that melody did not have to have beat, rhythm, meter or tonality, just pitch and duration. I ended that post by suggesting that birdsong qualifies as melody, but questioned whether or not … Continue reading Is Melody Always Music?
In 1958, Leonard Bernstein gave a Young Peoples Concert entitled “What Does Music Mean?” In it, he said that music doesn’t mean anything in the ways language does, but instead means what it is. Today, I will take up the matter of musical meaning, restricting myself to developing Bernstein’s points, and avoiding deeper aesthetic and … Continue reading What Does Music Mean–Revisiting Bernstein’s Lecture
Every now and then I'm reminded that there are some hints I take for granted that are perplexing to some students. The learning activity for fifth grade classes was to listen to the first ten minutes of Maher's fifth symphony and make a list of each emotion they heard expressed moment to moment. The activity … Continue reading Music, Emotions, and Student Listeners
When I play classical music for young children they love it. They delight in its energy, in its ups and downs, in its quiet moments followed by sudden surges. It is notable that as they are enjoying the music, are unaware of what they are listening to, and they don’t know what an expositions or … Continue reading Much Appreciated