music

Leadership in a time of Crisis: Introduction (II) – Time is not a commodity

I said yesterday that today I would address the matter of discordance. And now I have. But like anybody anywhere, I can’t always do what I intend on a given day. I used to think that leaders had more control of their time than non-leaders. What an uninformed thought. I want everybody to attend every …

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Tune My Heart: Part 3, “Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen” (“Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming”)

When each of us were young, our mothers and/or caretakers instinctively amplified the musical qualities inherent within our native languages. Infants are surrounded by an entirely foreign, complex system of communication. They exist in a state of wonder and we draw on and interact with that state by engaging them with musically creative speech. We …

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Tune My Heart: Part 2, Handel’s “Messiah”

“Handel is the greatest composer that ever lived . . . I would uncover my head and kneel down on his tomb.” —Beethoven quoted by Edward Schulz, “A Day with Beethoven,” The Harmonicum (1824). This Advent season, our family chose to guide our own musical consumption with three beloved Advent classics that merit and reward …

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Tune My Heart: Part 1, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”

All great orchestral concerts begin with a small but important musical moment. The concert master stands and the principal oboist continuously sounds A-440, until each player has tuned all the notes of their instrument to the frequency of that tone. Then the conductor takes the podium, lifts his or her arms, the concert begins, and …

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Stupid Songs and How to Love Them Rightly: A Reflection on Critical Thinking

A great deal is made of “critical thinking” in the general background noise of our culture, especially when people talk about education and what kids aren’t getting. I got thinking about that while I was listening closely to a John Denver song on my way in to work this morning. Being a John Denver song …

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Imitation, Memory, Love: What Classical Teachers Can Learn from Music Lessons

For classical educators striving to “integrate the disciplines,” music provides an invaluable instrument of integration. Music studies harmonize with every core discipline of the curriculum: the music of various periods vocalizes the movements of history, the formal structures of music correspond to the formal structures of poetry, the theory of music applies principles of mathematics, …

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