Evaluate or Judge?

One of the mainstays of standards for music education has been to evaluate musical works. Whereas evaluating is a generally well understood concept when it comes to student work, evaluating artistic work has often been more problematic; it has been confused with editorializing. Under this confusion, if I like a musical work, then it is … Continue reading Evaluate or Judge?

Understanding Polyrhythms

Polyrhythms are defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as "the simultaneous combination of contrasting rhythms in music." In the Harvard Dictionary of Music, one learns that a polyrhythm is "the simultaneous use of strikingly contrasted rhythms in different parts of the musical fabric." In Western art music, the term is most often used not in reference … Continue reading Understanding Polyrhythms

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?

A Personal Tribute to Pierre Boulez

Pierre Boulez died around 10:30 a.m. this morning (January 6, 2016) at the age of 90 years. There are many ways in which Pierre Boulez influenced and shaped art music in the twentieth century and beyond. As an innovative and even rebellious composer and conductor, he forced us all to look at music in a … Continue reading A Personal Tribute to Pierre Boulez

How Can Video Be Used To Develop A Young Classical Music Audience?

While there are any number of what I would call novelty classical music videos on the internet, these can only peek an interest in classical music. They do nothing to bring a person to a live orchestral concert or even to introduce the novice to a symphony orchestra. The forest xylophone played by a rolling … Continue reading How Can Video Be Used To Develop A Young Classical Music Audience?