Sunday, March 28, 2010

South America

This is an attempt to get a clustrmap hit from South America. Silly? Yes.

Perhaps I should write about the music of Chile, Costa Rica, or Venezuela. Or maybe I can just hope.

I've been thinking about things to write. I think noteflight, ning, and grooveshark lesson ideas are on the way.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Noteflight and Progress

I introduced noteflight to class a few weeks ago. I have been using it a lot since I found it a few months ago. It is a pretty simple online notation tool. I have been using it to enter choir parts for practice.

Yesterday I was practicing with the two kids who made All-State choir. One said "Yeah, I put the parts into noteflight and I've been working with that".


Thursday, March 18, 2010

To be prepared

I watched with interest the story about a soprano, Marlis Peterson, who had three days to prepare for a role with the Metropolitan Opera. I encourage you to watch the video. She came to New York immediately after singing Medea in Vienna. How tired must she have been?

The first full run-through was at the performance. Now I've done plenty of gigs where the performance was the first time I played the song, but not a serious opera. Amazing stuff.

It also brings to the front two big points about education:
  • She has lots, and lots of years of schooling. She is incredibly prepared for this.
  • We couldn't teach her this online.
As Daniel Pink states, the creative arts and design must be central to the new economic frontier. I would put this lady to work in any company or government project. We can't outsource this work.

We must teach our students how to be ready for anything, just as Marlis Peterson was.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


I usually pause this time of year to try to remember all those we have lost. We seem to lose so many in the Spring. Many of these friends and students were lost before they could be googled and in many ways disappear into history. So I thought I would take a moment to write their names into the google universe.

Joe Borello played bass in Newtown High School's Jazz Ensemble with me. He died in a car accident when he was in high school.

Rick Treffinger played trombone in the Oberlin Jazz Ensemble when I was a freshman. I learned a whole lot from him about music and how to be real cool. Oberlin seniors were really cool back then. He died in 1990 trying to repair damage from Hurricane Hugo.

Shedrick Lewis played alto saxophone in my band in Jackson, Louisiana. He was one of the happiest kids I ever taught. He died in a car accident in 1993.

Fred Underwood died that same Spring. He was tackled at practice when the kids were playing touch football. Later he died when bone fragments entered his bloodstream.

Melissa Rodriquez played flute in the band my first year at Newtown. She died in an accident while traveling out west. She had a head of fire-red hair.

When we play music I believe we honor those that came before us. When we nail a performance the composer and all that influenced him remain alive, if just for a moment. I try before each concert to say these names aloud. Gone too soon, all of them.

Monday, March 8, 2010


I am trying hard to put everything on one iGoogle page. I made one attempt but it had the wrong address and google does not allow you to change usernames at all. This is tough stuff. It is an opportunity to start fresh on google reader and other stuff in my account. Redid my profile as well.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Here is an interesting post from The Strobist about music and photography. Interesting philosophy stuff there. Notice the comments and the conversation that ensues. People expect to make comments now.

When will it be OK to make comments at musical performances? Should we have a "back channel" displayed?

Monday, March 1, 2010


I do think that this blog is largely a self-reflective exercises. It helps me to log ideas and to think things out. Its a good place for people to read about me and get a good idea about my philosophy if they want, but not many do.

It was nice to be included in the Music Education Blog Carnival. I do wonder what the tipping point is to get traffic. My last class was web design and at some point that blog became pretty popular. That was primarily a vehicle for class assignments which I think drove a lot of the google traffic.

Maybe this carnival will drive some traffic, which I think is the point of it all. Two visits so far according to the sitemeter.