Classical Music Is Undergoing a Revolution – and You’re Probably a Fan Without Realizing It

From film scores to tv commercials and video games to major sporting events, classical music is not only not dying, but rather it is booming. It is also spilling over into other musical genres, says presenter of Mornings on ABC Classic FM Martin Buzacott. “The guitar player from The National, Bryce Dessner, and people like that, they actually play in rock bands, but they are formally-trained classical musicians and they are writing now for classical music,” says Buzacott.

Thanks to YouTube and other online live streaming services, it has become easier than ever to watch a Philharmonic play live, should you ever want to.

Click to read more about classical music’s evolving role in the American entertainment culture, as well as the ways in which the genre suffers in what some call a “branding problem”.

Hands On! Visits France

Last week we visited the country of: France! We visited France on our world map and learned that the Eiffel Tower is 1,063 feet tall! We sang the Allouette, met the French Horn, and perhaps the most exciting of all – the accordion! On the accordion we listened to La Vie en Rose and the Can Can song! For our lullaby, we listened to French composer Debussy’s Clair de Lune to wind down after a very exciting class.

Stay tuned to see which country we visit next!

6 Amazing Women in Classical Music History

From England to Venezuela, from harpsichordists to activists, here are 6 women who have made exceptional contributions to the world of classical music.

Click to listen to some of their compositions and read about their inspirational lives.

Classical Pianist Hunter Noack Reimagines the Concert Hall in the Spectacular Outdoors

Meet Hunter Noack, a pianist from Oregon who tows his 9-foot Steinway piano all across the Pacific Northwest, playing in scenic areas such as the Columbia Gorge and the Alvord Desert. He says that these vast areas are the Pacific Northwest’s natural halls and churches. He performs in landscape spaces with astounding natural beauty and rich history, places where people normally would not have access to classical music. “I hope that they find little moments of magic,” Noack said. “It’s those little moments… that draw people’s emotions, that like give them space to feel something and to notice the beauty around us … And even for an hour, wander wherever they want is something totally worth doing.”

Click to read more about Hunter Noack and his musical tour of the Pacific Northwest.






Piano Lessons in the Panopticon

Interested in learning a new skill? Nowadays, you can find instructional videos for just about anything on YouTube. For Elias Muhanna, a professor of Literature at Brown University, YouTube is how he learned jazz piano, for the most part. Mr. Muhanna has spent hundreds of hours watching the videos of Peter Martin, a virtuosic pianist from St. Louis who is well-known in jazz circles. Though Muhanna started taking classes since the age of 7, he states that his skill level had truly surged only after finding Martin’s videos. Some may find this odd, as learning the piano from instructional videos lacks the interactive feedback and connection made with an in-person teacher, while others could argue that watching videos allows a student to closely watch a pianist’s technique and allow them to replay footage over and over again. Click to read more about Muhanna’s experience with online piano classes and how the internet is changing the educational landscape.

Maestro Neeme Järvi: ‘Every parent MUST introduce their child to music’

According to world-class Estonian Maestro Neeme Järvi, who recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Gramophone Awards in the UK, the importance of music in a child’s life is of utter importance. As he told Classic FM, music needs to be a part of a child’s life from the age of 4 or 5. Järvi is a parent himself, to 2 conductors and a flautist.

Click to listen to Järvi’s interview at the Gramophone Awards.

Around the World – to Great Britain!

During the first week of our Fall session we traveled to Great Britain! We first took a plane to England, where we saw pictures of the London Bridge and the Royal Family. We heard the trumpet play a fanfare when the king arrived.

Image result for trumpet and bagpipe clip art

Next we took a train to Scotland, where we heard the bagpipes play Kenmures up and awa Wullie, a traditional Scottish folk song. We then heard the Tale of the Loch Ness Monster, which is said to live in the Scottish Highlands!

Stay tuned to see where we travel to next week, and who we meet along the way!

10 Children’s Books About Classical Music to Check Out!

Just in time for the new school year, here are 10 children’s books about classical music to check out this weekend, all colorful, creative, and likely to awaken the inner music-lover in everyone. On the list is Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin, which we have for sale at Hands On!

Click to check these books out!

Just 4 Minutes of Mindful Music Meditation Can Change Your Child’s Morning

Between getting dressed, eating breakfast, making sure last night’s homework was completed and catching an early morning school bus, children and parents alike often experience chaotic mornings before the school day even begins.

Thousands of Cincinnati-area students are beginning their school days with 4 minutes of quiet reflection and music as part of the Mindful Music Moments program, created by educator and author Stacy Sims.

Sims, whose work involves programs intended to encourage meaningful social engagement, has designed programs such as MMM to counter the challenging behaviors that educators often find in children – behaviors that are usually rooted in things such as anxiety and depression. Just 4 minutes of practicing mindfulness through listening to music and meditation can help children to calm down and regroup before their long day ahead.

Due to the typical school day’s hectic and overcrowded schedule, MMM was initially met with concern from parents. “One day, I heard the morning announcements, and it dawned on me – this would be the perfect time,” says Sims.

Only 4 minutes at the beginning of the day, before the overcrowded school schedule begins, could make all the difference in a child’s day.

Click to read more about Mindful Music Moments.

Meet the 11 Year Old Girls Whose Music Wowed the Philharmonic

Meet Camryn Cowan and Jordan Millar, 2 composers whose works were performed this Summer in Central Park by the New York Philharmonic as part of their outdoor concert series. There were tens of thousands of audience members, and they received a glowing review by the New York Times.

Here’s the twist – they are only 11 years old!

Camryn and Jordan are students of the Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers program, where they composed their works for a Harlem Renaissance-themed program earlier in the year.

Through this program, students start from scratch – learning the very basics of music – before eventually graduating to writing complex scores. In the process, they learn to become leaders. “They have to defend their pieces”, says founder Jon Deak. According to Mr. Deak, all children are creative. “People ask whether I’ve found the next little Mozart, and I say yes, I’ve found dozens of them,” he said. “They’re all over the place. We just need to listen to them.”

Click to read more about Camryn, Jordan and the Very Young Composers program!