… please?!

I subscribe to emusic.com, and at the moment I just don’t know what to download. Is that silly or what? There are tons of recordings I can choose from. I’m just running on empty right now. So all you folks with free time (hah!), why don’t you check out emusic.com and tell me if there’s anything there you’d really love. Maybe you’ll introduce me to someone or something I’d love. I’m open to nearly any genre.

Enlighten me! :-)

I’ve received some mighty fine recordings via my subscription to emusic.com. If anyone out there wants to join the group, and feels like giving me some free downloads, I’d be happy to email you an emusic.com invitation. But even if you don’t want to do that, subscribing is pretty darn easy, and I’ve found it very handy. I’ve downloaded a lot of recordings I’ve needed for study purposes.

Speaking of little perks of this site, I want to thank someone out there (or is it “someones”?) who purchased music via this site, clicking on the Sheet Music Plus link. I actually received a small dividend because someone ordered music via my site. How kind of a reader. Thanks much!

Sluggish
I’d be so curious to hear from audience members of today’s opera performance. I found it slow and sluggish, but I wonder if that’s only because that’s how I’m feeling. Some colleagues and I were talking about this; sometimes our moods strongly affect how we perceive a performance. Anyone out there attend the show?

26. November 2006 · Comments Off on And For Fun · Categories: imported, Links

Whiteboard Music
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Not worth linking to, but go ahead and read this:

Many of you are painfully aware that I am a music composer. Since I hate most musicians, I call my works “noise concertos”.

Musicians have never liked me. I violate all their prissy little rules, I upset their theories, I delight in taboo knob-twiddling. “Don’t touch that dial,” they shriek with shrill, girlish hysteria, as I spin away and turn the music world upside down.

When I go to classical music concerts, I leave after the tuning up of instruments, which to me is the only music that is made during such events.

I suppose this “composer” finds non-musicians to play his compositions. What musician would want to deal with him? Heh.

Then there’s an interview with the poet, Bill Knott (sorry, I’ve never heard of him; I recognized a lot of poets’ names back when it thought I had poet talent, but these days I don’t know anyone, so if he’s got a “name” so much for me, eh?):

I don’t like music; I try to listen to as little of it as possible. Anybody who reads poetry can see the ubiquitous self-doubts poets evince regarding the validity/value of their art. Compare that to the eternally smug self-satisfied attitudes exhibited by the advocates and practitioners of music. They take it for granted that music is the highest art, the universal art, the only art that transcends all borders and babels. They never question that given assumption. The arrogance of composers and musicians is insufferable. They really believe Pater’s dictum that all the other arts are inferior, that all the other arts “aspire towards the condition of music.” But every military that ever marched out to murder rape and destroy was led by what art: were those armies fronted by poets extemporizing verse — by sculptors squeezing clay — by painters wielding brushes — actors posing soliloquies? No, the art that led those killers forth, the art whose urgent strident rhythms stirred and spurred their corresponding bloodlust, was the art to which they felt closest, the art that mirrored their evil egos. That’s why they have always put music up there at the vanguard of their war-ranks, because not only is it the emblem, the fore-thrust insignia of their purpose, it is their purpose: it is the condition to which they aspire.

Yep. That’s me. I just wanna go to war. I wanna play in the front lines. Yes, indeedy. Heck, I carry my own weapons … give me my knives and razor blades! And of course I’m superior. DUH. ;-)

And finally (for now) … from a teacher I assume is quite well-meaning with her music suggestions:

Music for Management – Classical music does focus the mind and stimulate creativity. How do I know? Because I’ve seen it in my room. I often play classical music as students enter the room. It sets a certain tone. Classical guitar music is excellent for testing situations. Students hear it, but don’t notice it much. It helps to isolate them by helping them focus on what’s in front of them. Testing is smoother (less distractions, inappropriate conversations, student movement) when I use this type of music. Gregorian Chant is great for quieting a room – but play it too long and students go to sleep. I used it during nap time with my preschool children! Lively, exciting music is great to wake students up, or to signal a transition from one activity to another.

Music for Instruction – I also use music in history lessons. You can’t teach the Harlem Renaissance (Caged Bird) without jazz, or World War I (nationalism) without Wagner. Justine Philyaw wrote that she uses music and art with her students because “creating a context for students builds motivation as well as strengthens understanding.” When I teach Gandhi, we listen to Indian music while contemplating important quotations. For world exploration, YoYo Ma’s Silk Road Project is perfect. Music in English class reinforces ideas about language. During Beowulf I found some early Celtic music and now I’m playing English Renaissance music for Canterbury Tales. This year we played Carrie Underwood in English 9 to introduce a discussion of revenge, and Johnny Cash for themes of personal journeys. I’ve invited a very creative student to create a soundtrack for her life for a project on autobiographies – her learning style is not word-based. I’ve used musical instruments as transition tools, or for cultural experience, or for teaching the importance of teamwork. When I incorporate music into my lesson it always gives me “bonus points” on my observations. Sometimes students say “Oh no, Mrs. Denney has music again!” But they always listen, because they’re curious. And curiosity is the first step towards learning.

Music for Pleasure – sometimes music is just for enjoyment. During independent work time I’ve played Disney themes, blues, and contemporary music just because it sounds good. Students are invited to contribute music to listen to. But I’m careful about what I play. I have a 40-minute ride each way to school – so I have car time to review a CD lent by a student before using it in class. That also builds a relationship between the student and myself. I also scout the public library’s collection for new material.

Are you nodding your head, agreeing with her or are you bothered? I wonder.

Me? I’m not entirely thrilled, although i appreciate her desire to include music. I don’t mind using music in class. In fact I would encourage it. But while it sounds as if the teacher is encouraging listening in some instances, she’s using music as background in others. I hate background music—to me it implies that the music is unimportant. And for some of us, music can’t be in the background. I’m afraid I’d find it rather difficult to take a test if music was playing … I’d have to block it out. Am I the only one?

Oh probably. Nothing new, yes?

Okay, enough of this silliness. I just ran across these sites and figured I’d share with readers. I’m nice that way.

Or not.