THIS is what conducting is all about…thank you gentlemen

A Dining Experience for the Concert Hall

Every summer conductors spend time talking with colleagues, culling through scores, listening to recordings and sifting through lists to create a rewarding musical experience.  This process varies by conductor but the end result the same; present an engaging, thought-provoking and musically rewarding collection of music for both audiences and the musicians.  The collect of music or program, is similar to the shuffle feature on an Ipod. However, what makes a well-programmed concert different from the Ipod is the glue, or connections between pieces that bind the entire program together.  This connectivity isn’t the only ingredient in a well-programmed concert, but for me it is very much at heart of the creative programming process.

Now, consider a more expansive focus, the place setting or the items that go into delivering the music.  As classical musicians, the need to connect with audiences has become increasingly important.  Many in society have become increasingly isolated, while at the same time technology has afforded the ability to participate without being present. any in society have becoming increasingly isolated while at the same time, technology has afforded the ability to participate without being present.  With the rise of social media, there is an opportunity and desire for both connectivity and participation.  These two links below provide different approaches to connecting with audiences.

http://nyti.ms/9ifF4g

http://www.loosefilter.com/the_loose_filter_project_/2010/04/good-programs-wind-ensemble-jukebox.html

 

So, the next time you attend a concert, consider what went into selecting the music.  Enjoy both the performance and the larger music education that’s being offered.  Music can be food for all of your senses to enjoy!

Did you know that as an undergrad?

This post concerns something that I find myself grappling with everyday during the school year.

There are two large pillars of truth when speaking of an undergraduate degree program:

1.  It’s broad in scope and provides a large framework of understanding.

2.  It’s cyclical, providing multiple learning opportunities of techniques, concepts and practices.

Before the explosion of the internet in the mid-1990’s, computers were used to type papers, spreadsheets and email was minimal.  When students needed to find answers or to listen to new music, they headed to the library.  Filled with card catalogs, LP’s and reel to reel players, learning was so traditional.

In contrast, today’s students are being trained in a very different educational environment.  While the process of teaching has remained fairly consistent, the resources available to students have changed in almost every conceivable way. Consider this, when a student, or anyone else for that fact, wants to know something, just a few key strokes will open the flood gates of information.  Want a recording?  That’s easy. Want pictures, examples in scores, theoretical analysis, historical perspective?  All easily discoverable and you don’t even need to own a set of encyclopedias!

My question is this, how are we as educators and leaders of large musical ensembles adapting and educating students in this new age of information?

So, did I know that as an undergrad? The answer was probably no, but with today’s technology the answer is always just a few seconds away.

Critical Thinking & Technology in the Arts

Here’s a post I did for The Loose Filter Project blog back in November.
The title is, Critical Thinking & Technology in the Arts.

http://www.loosefilter.com/the_loose_filter_project_/2009/11/critical-thinking-technology-in-the-arts.html#more

Thanks to Stuart for the opportunity and the encouragement!

What’s in a Title?

There’s lots of noise over the “internets” these days. Everyone’s shouting, but who’s listening?  Are we as a society effectively learning, sharing AND listening?  Most of us probably aren’t so great in all three areas.  As Tim Berners-Lee discusses in his TED talk , connecting and linking information is one of the most significant ways we can all learn, as we explore.

Connecting and linking information can help spur learning, growth and imagination, in many creative ways.  The term open source describes practices
in production and development that promote access to the end product’s source materials.  It is the combining these processes that makes for such a fascinating way to experience learning AND teaching. It’s all about listening, creating and sharing!

So, here we go, or as Buzz Lightyear would say, “To Infinity and Beyond!”

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