Monday, December 31, 2012

Concert Attendance

Earl recently wrote about concert attendance for his jazz groups at the University of Connecticut.

Ever Up and Onward: Rethinking Concerts

What do you think?

I know that Earl works very hard on outreach.  When I was at Derby he brought his group down to our school to perform.  He reaches out to directors all the time.

But is this a UConn issue?  Shouldn't the concerts be filled with students and professors?

I know it was twenty years ago but I remember hundreds of people attending our Oberlin Jazz Concerts.  Orchestra concerts were usually sold out.  There were 5-6 concerts or recitals every day.  You just went to concerts all the time.

Has the paradigm shifted?  Do students not go to concerts any more?

Monday, December 17, 2012


Its been a rough weekend.

I grew up in Newtown.  I live a few miles a way in the neighboring town.  I used to mow the grass at Sandy Hook Elementary school.  I know many of the people involved.

But... its not about me.

I hope we can remember how hard it is to be a teacher or para next time there is a fight about unions and benefits.  We need to think long and hard about why teachers go through this training as do movie theaters personnel, hospitals, and malls.

Lets hope changes are made.  Above all, lets get the guns out of the homes.  The problem isn't that Sandy Hook needed a security guard.  The problem is there was an arsenal in Lanza's home.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Technology Assignments in Choir

We have 5 iPad2 and 14 iPad1 for students to use.  Two PCs and a macBook.  Today I need to have some structure, some exploratory time, and some drilling. Here are todays assignments:

Choir Assignments (do one half today, one half next week):

1.  Complete your reading assessments in Smartmusic.  You get one attempt on each exercise.  You can do the assessment in solfeg or on LA.

2. When all students have completed the reading assessments you will complete your Per La Gloria benchmark.  You can do this multiple times to get the best version.  

3. In both assessments please do your best.  Show evidence of posture, breathing, open vowels, closing consonants.

4.  While waiting to sing you should have your headphones on listening to Per La Gloria using the iPad or your phone.

Additional work (choose one):

1.  Complete the “Winter Concert Evaluation” form on the Seymour High Music Website.  This is a test grade.  Be sure to give complete, thoughtful answers.

2.  Watch any Broadway, opera or classical singing show on the PBS app.  Check out the “Great Performances”.  Have discussions with the teacher about what you see, how the performers use their mask, breathing techniques, and performance attributes.

3. Go to and practice note recognition for ten minutes.  Show teacher.

4. Play in a music app like voicejam, garageband, beatwave, etc... Show teacher.

Opposite assignment:  Create an iMovie trailer. We want to get used to this program. You can create a movie on any fun subject.

Rules: Be polite, do not disturb classes, follow school rules.  Make it fun(ny).  Complete in one period.


Chorale: Complete your video performance of Jingle Bells. Be sure to work on facial expression, vowel placement, and most of all PITCH.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dr. Isaacs

The great Kevin Isaacs came to work with the choir this morning. I could listen to him all day. Brilliant.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Getting ready for our composition concert. Every student is composing on Madpad app. Composition must be in ABA form.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Things we are working on

1. CONCERT!! On December 11.  Due largely to the disruption of Hurricane Sandy I have pulled back a bit on the repertoire.  We will bump some songs to the Spring.
2. Open Mic Night.  We are working on establishing a once a month open mic night in the auditorium.
3. Dr. Isaacs will be visiting our choir on December 12.  Can't wait!
4. Hip-Hop.  I really, really, really have to start planning and fleshing out the Hip-Hop music class I am teaching next semester.
5. Even worse I am teaching a graduate class for the first time at University of Bridgeport.  So I have two classes to prepare from scratch.