One Sentence

Dear Students,

As we get our final project together for the May 22 event, I am planning on incorporating one representative sentence from each of your reviews in our display. What constitutes a “representative sentence” is, of course, determined by you.

Choose one sentence from your review to represent your work. Perhaps it is a particularly descriptive sentence that captures the music you heard, maybe it is your opening line, or maybe it is a sentence that encapsulates your experience in general. Whatever you wish.

Leave you sentences in the comment thread!

Presentations Tomorrow

Dear Students,

Two things:

Tomorrow’s class will be dedicated to short presentations of your concert reviews (no longer than 5 minutes). You are welcome to read something, or speak more off the cuff, if you wish.

You might consider focusing your presentation on: 1) a major take-away from your concert experience; 2) an explanation of why you chose to attend this concert and the ways in which your experience matched/did not match your expectations; 3) the most exciting thing you learned in attending the concert/writing the review; 4) or something else entirely!

You may choose to include a short musical example.

Secondly, here is a great, 15 minute TED Talk that might help you prepare. In this lecture, Harvard social psychologist Amy Cuddy talks about “power posing,” and the ways in which our body language affects not only how others perceive us, but how we perceive ourselves. Watch it here:

See you all tomorrow,


Musical Google Doodle: May 4


Check out today’s Google Doodle in honour of the 360th birthday of Bartolomeo Cristofori–the man most widely credited with inventing the piano.

You can play around with the dynamic level of the cartoon performer (who, by the way, is playing a simple version of Bach’s famous cantata, Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring), and his physical performance style changes! It also highlights the internal hammer mechanism of the piano, in cartoon form of course.

Here’s a related article if you’re interested:

Music Students: Summer Mentorship Program

Dear Students,

As we discussed in class, the Futures Initiative will be hosting a two-day mentorship workshop this summer (August 18-19). This is a great opportunity to take on a leadership role, as well as pass on your experiences with the learning methods used in our Music class. Also, it’s a great addition to resumes and CVs!

The application takes about 15 minutes to complete and is due this upcoming Friday–May 8. Mentors will be announced at the final May 22 event! Those taking part in the workshop will be paid $200 for the two days and will be given round-trip Metrocards!

If you have any questions/thoughts/concerns, I encourage you to comment on this post. In the meantime, apply for mentorship positions here:

See you Tuesday,


Orchestral Instruments: Videos

Dear Students,

Take a look at the link below–players from London Philharmonia Orchestra released a series of YouTube videos, each dedicated to a single instrument, highlighting its features and unique qualities. This is a really great, informative resource, and you can hear all of the instruments in action, both solo and as part of an ensemble.

You may find these videos especially helpful as we move into our discussion of Beethoven and the expanded performing forces of the 19thC orchestra. They might also serve to inspire some of your descriptions in your concert reviews.

Concert Review Guidelines

Dear Students,

Given our productive discussion this week on the structure and content of various sample concert reviews, I thought it would be beneficial to compile a short recap of the main points we addressed so that you may review these as your write your drafts this weekend (and beyond). Many excellent points were brought up in the groups that we didn’t get a chance to discuss as a class, and this post would be a great place to share those insights.

The prompt: What were the most successful aspects of the review your group “graded?” The least successful? How did this in-class exercise inform the way in which you’re approaching your concert review?