Music History, Reviews

Review: How To Listen To Great Music by Robert Greenberg

I was kindly sent a copy of a book by Robert Greenberg to review called “How to Listen to Great Music: A Guide to Its History, Culture, and Heart.”  The book has about 330 pages and is organized into 33 chapters.

The content of this book is mostly about its subtitle than about its title.  It reads like a history book — which is, of course, important to understanding “how to listen to great music.”

I often find history books (music or otherwise) dry and uninteresting; however, Greenberg’s book is more than tolerable — it is a very enjoyable read!  From my years as a college student, I remember that my music history textbooks from college that it was easy to get bogged down in the details and fail to recognize over-arching themes and changes across the centuries.  Greenberg, however, got it right!  He has a knack for indentifying and bringing out those bigger themes to give the reader a better understanding of the historical and musical developments across the time periods.  Continue reading “Review: How To Listen To Great Music by Robert Greenberg”

Composition, Music Camps, Music History

“So, You Want To Be A Composer?” Camp – Now Available!

Hooray, the “So, You Want To Be A Composer?” camp has just been added to the Color In My Piano Shop!

Now, it’s time for me to focus on my next camp: “Music History Blast From The Past.”  Want a sneak peak?  Okay, if you insist:  🙂

Group Classes, Music Camps, Music History, Resources

Teacher Resources @ Clavier’s Piano Explorer site

Picture 2Many piano teachers subscribe to Clavier magazine, and some even subscribe their students to Clavier’s Piano Explorer, the music magazine for kids.  I recently found out that their site contains some great resources for teaching about various composers and concepts in music history.  This month, there have some great resources about Beethoven, including:

  • Links to YouTube recordings, organized by Beethoven’s early, middle, and late compositional periods – click here and scroll down.
  • A pdf worksheet about sonata form, to be filled out while listening to Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata – click here and click “pdf” under Sonata Form.

These resources would be perfect for a summer camp or a group lesson!

Announcements, Composition, Group Classes, Music History, Music Theory, Printables, Worksheets

Just Added! Lesson Plans: Analyzing & Composing Music in the Romantic Style

Picture 2Just added to the Printables > Lesson Plans page:

Lesson Plans & Worksheets: Analyzing & Composing Music in the Romantic Style 

A few months ago, I used these lesson plans during a piano camp where I taught Theory & Composition classes.  This camp is unusual in that it gives the students a chance to work on ensemble music with their fellow campers.  In addition, all the ensemble music are original compositions — composed just for our campers.

In the lesson plans I made, I tried to incorporate both the emphasis on composition and the topic of the Music History classes (taught by another instructor; this year, focusing on the Romantic Period).  So, this year’s lesson plans are all about learning how to compose music in the Romantic style.  By the end of the week, the class had created a Class Composition for piano which was performed for all to hear at the camp recital!  The pieces were humorous, yet surprisingly sophisticated.  Perhaps later on, I’ll post an example of a composition they created, if that would be helpful to anyone.

The lesson plans are designed for classes of 4 – 6 students ranging in ages about 9 to 15, but I’m sure they could be adapted to suit other ages and groups of students.  Enjoy!  Let me know how they work for you.

  Analyzing & Composing in the Romantic Style - Lesson Plans & Worksheets (1.0 MiB, 35,413 hits)