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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!