This month’s composing challenge has students making up their own spooky song in a and d minor. With two rhythms as starters we hope you take the composing challenge this October and make something Halloweeny!
Getting back into the swing of things can be challenging but maybe we can help! Check out these composing and practice challenges!
This year we have been learning about the value of giving back to our community through our art. We are all aware of the World Aid concerts that raised both awareness and money for the famine in Ethiopia, but there are a number of composers who were doing benefit concerts well before Bob Geldof got a bunch of pop stars to donate their time and musicianship.
Handel is probably the most known philanthropist in the classical music world. He raised money for the London Foundling Hospital from 1749 until his death by performing The Messiah. Overall he raised over $1, 000,000.00 for the hospital for orphans.
We often think of Beethoven as a grumpy man, but he raised money with the premier of his Symphony No 7 for Austro-Bavarian soldiers and traveled to Baden Germany after a fire gutted the town to raise money for the rebuild.
Little known English composer Abraham Fisher composed the oratorio Providence to raise money for the Middlesex Hospital which premiered on July 3 1777 in Oxford. This hospital became one of the leaders in treating V.D.
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach raised money for a medical poorhouse in Hamburg by performing parts of the Mass in B Minor written by his father and parts of the Messiah.
In 1824 a 12 year old Liszt played a benefit concert supporting widows and orphans of deceased musicians in England. Both Berlioz and Dvorak also performed at later events put on by the same organization.
Last in our classical music philanthropy list is Edward Elgar who wrote two pieces as fundraisers. The first was in support of residents of Belgium after the occupation of Germany in 1914 and then composed the piece Poloina for Polish refugees performed in the summer of 1915 in London’s Queen’s Hall.
So when you come out to support our students at the September 29 event know that they are following in a strong tradition of using music to raise both awareness and money for good causes.
Listen to our Spotify playlist for the music composers of the past used to raise some much needed funds for important charities.
Bono says that “music can change the world” and we believe that it can at least raise awareness so that’s what we are doing with our Composing for Good project.
Last spring our students began composing music to the theme of weather. The idea was that they would compose their pieces, record them and then perform them at a concert benefiting children who did not have access to musical instruments or musical instruction.
On Saturday, September 29 our students will be performing their original pieces at Paulin Memorial Church. For the first time we will be charging admittance to the recital ($5.00 per person not including performers) and we will have songbooks and CD’s for sale (also for $5.00 a piece). All funds raised will go to the Windsor Essex County Children’s Aid Society music room.
We are super proud of our students and if you would like to support our performers, please get in touch via the form below and we can get you tickets.
Music really can change the world!
Part of the experience of composing music is to listen to music by others and learn from those pieces. To that end, I've compiled a Spotify playlist for students to listen to music about the topic "weather". We have listened to most of these pieces in lessons, but students seemed really keen to listen to them again. I'll keep adding pieces as I find them - but please enjoy!
This winter and spring our students will be composing their own music. We are super excited about this project because it was the brainchild of a student of Emily's.
On a particularly troubling news day, one of my students expressed in both exasperation and frustration that he didn't know how to make a difference. He said that he was only a kid and he was taking piano - what could he as a kid and a music student do to change the world. I thought about the problem and then suggested he look at music from Band-Aid and the benefit concert for Haiti, suggesting that music can make a difference, even if just raising awareness about an issue. I came home and was still bothered by the "I'm only a kid" part of my student's frustration and spoke with Greg about the problem. After some discussion, we landed on a benefit concert. We were going to have all of our interested students either compose or arrange music on a theme (of their collective choosing) and then we would compile all of the sheet music into a book and record all of the students performing their pieces. Later in the year, we would have a concert where we would sell tickets for a small fee (something we don't do for our regular concerts), and at the concert sell the compilation CD and music books of original work. Students would perform their original compositions for an audience - making them truly the stars of the event. All money raised from this process would be donated to either a school needing new musical instruments or to the Children's Aid Society Art Therapy program.
The students grabbed onto this idea with enthusiasm! I was inspired by their commitment. About a month before Christmas we collected ideas for 2 weeks and then voted on the ideas every week until the break and the theme the students reached was "weather". All of the compositions and arrangements will be based on a weather theme.
Throughout January and February we will be composing our own music, in March and April we will record and then in May or June , we will have our concert. We are super excited about this project and will keep all of you updated on what we are doing!