BuzzFeed and Pop Music

It’s not often I get to use BuzzFeed as a reference for my students. But while learning about international pop musicians, I ran across this post from BuzzFeed.61APcLVzGML._SL1000_
I was blown away by a band call Tricot from Japan and G-Dragon from Korea. Some others were super interesting and have now been added to the rotation of tunes I listen to on a regular basis.
Check out the post 20 Songs From Around The World You May Have Missed in 2013

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Teaching Modern Music

There are times when I think I’m biting off more than I can chew. However, unlike most things I dread doing this could potentially one of the coolest topics I teach this year. I’ve decided to take on introducing three ideas of modern music composition to middle school students.

It give me a chance to explore aspects of music I truly enjoy: Serialism, Minimalism and Electronic Music. There have been many hours spent admiring the processes of some of the 20th century’s imaginative composers. So now I get to indulge in a not so secret vice.

Igor Stravinsky 2sakshy

I get to talk about and research composers and performers like Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Steve Reich, James Brown, Bjork and Hip-Hop artist/DJ’s of the late 80’s and early 90’s. There is potential for students to learn more about my personality through this unit.

Venn Diagram for next unitThe only way to express this for me is a venn diagram and these Youtube videos. Gonna be fun…at least for me.

Back To School

While I recognize the changes that occur in my life around the month of September are major shifts, I can’t help the feeling of running head first into the truth….. that I am an adult. Maintaining stability in two art based professions while dealing with parental and husbandly duties, is a total shift from the summer schedule of stay at home dad while checking off items listed on my “honey do/due list”.

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Having met my “honey do” goals, and satisfied the unicorn adventures with my kid. I now feel the focus of the other parts of my existence starting to flower. At home I get to watch football. As a teacher I go back to my favorite cup to sip coffee out of and listen to copious amounts of Beethoven for our Romantic Music Unit. Finally there is the constant wonderment on seeing the stars.

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Finding those little moments within my work and home duties, seems to be the fun at this point. Almost like stealing a single serving point of personal enjoyment while being an adult.

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Lyman Practical Daily Warm-Ups for Trumpet: Book Review

Practical Daily Warm-Ups for Trumpet by Zachary Lyman is a great set of exercises to add to your practice routine. I don’t often get an opportunity to review the work of a friend and colleague, so I take great delight in writing the next set of words.

I use this book often and I use it with my students to supplement their Schlossberg assignments. The first set of buzzing exercises have been particularly wonderful for my beginning trumpet students.  It has been a great addition to my library. If you want a copy of  this book you should look it up at Keveli Music. While there, look up some of their other publications.

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Rhythm and Art

Recently I was at the Seattle Art Museum with my students. I forgot how walking from room to room experiencing installations of art had it’s own rhythm. Standing in one part of a room only allowed you to see part of the space. If you’re curious and you turn your head, you may see something that may alter your perception. I was as fascinated by the rhythm of the room as I was of the art displayed.

 While sitting alone in a room with pieces of art that were enormous, I took a moment to feel the rhythm of that room. My eyes dances from panting to sculpture and back again. It got so that even then empty spaces were an important part of the experience. I listened carefully to the rhythms the curators at the SAM were laying down.

Below are two of the pieces that I thought were super cool. machu picchu after dark (pa’ victoria santa cruz, macario sakay y aaron.dixon), 2003–2014, William Cordova and The Yellow X, 1965, Al Held, American, 1928-2005, acrylic on canvas, 144 1/2 × 178 in.

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Podcasts

There aren’t many ways to occupy your time while driving to and from work.  Especially with when you have a four year-old diva sitting in the back seat belting out the hits like she preparing for an audition to “the Voice”.  Before my kid, I had time to decompress after a long day, take long phone calls or just think in silence.

Now, I tend to listen to a myriad of podcasts, from the news to music and science.  I guess it’s a good representation of my level of geek.  Recently I marveled at the a podcast about music business and my immediate thought was “my students need to hear this…this is exactly what we’ve been talking about!” So I’ve made it a point to share these moments with my students as often as possible.

The reality is that I am really excited to be excited about things. I am interested in listening to interesting people talk about things they are into doing. Sometimes I feel like I am discovering something new that is only meant for me to observer at that very intersection of time and opportunity.

Here are just a few of the podcast I love listening to…

Radiolab from WNYCNPR_ Snap Judgment Podcast StarTalk RadioWTF with Marc Maron Podcastmza_3470970392302365376.170x170-75His & Hers