The Yale School of Music held its fifth Symposium on Music in the Schools on June 5 & 6, 2015 in New Haven to explore the role of music partnerships. Associate Dean Michael Yaffe invited Polyphonic to attend the opening day session on June 6th, to which New Haven public music school teachers were also invited. 39 partnership programs from across the country also participated, 25 (64%) of which involved a partnership with a symphony orchestra or opera company. The charge of the symposium was to consider ” Why” — to ensure that we have a strong case for the value of music education.Read More
Below is a thoughtful and informative article by Eastman School of Music Director of Admissions Matthew Ardizzone (not pictured!) on why college rankings “get his goat.” He also provides advice for prospective students as they think about which college/university/conservatory may be the best fit for them. This article first appeared on the Eastman School of Music Admissions Blog, and is reprinted here with permission.Read More
In the article below, New Bedford Symphony Orchestra Education Director Terry Wolkowicz summarizes the yearlong educational program that was undertaken by the NBSO this year. The orchestra’s innovative education program aimed to go beyond simply presenting children’s concerts of classical music, and to integrate classical music within the academic curriculum – creating synergies and connections for students and teachers. It sounds like it was a great success!Read More
Polyphonic.org is excited to announce, along with the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, the establishment of the new Paul R. Judy Center for Applied Research. Polyphonic.org will play a key role in publishing cutting edge research and projects undertaken in collaboration with the Paul R. Judy Center. Below is information about the new initiative as well as an initial study, “Alternative Ensembles: A Study of Emerging Musical Arts Organizations.”Read More
Terry Wolkowicz once again gives us an in-depth article about the importance of music in the life of young children. This time she writes about story telling, and discusses in detail the concept of linking prosody in text and music, which shows that music and language have a shared neural perception system and have strong similarities in syntax processing. In other words, pairing music and reading together makes a much larger impact on young children. She describes in detail the New Bedford Symphony’s educational program, Symphony Tales, where a book is read unaccompanied, and then a specially-composed piece is played that would imitate the prosodic elements in the text. It’s an amazing program, put together by a very local orchestra, that deserves attention from all orchestras.
Ann DrinanRead More
In this article, New Bedford Symphony Orchestra Education Coordinator Terry Wolkowicz introduces us to some of her orchestra’s innovative educational programs. Terry talks about some of the current thinking in the educational field and how the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra is creating programs that serve the “real needs of our 21st century students.” Enjoy!Read More
I met Dr. Lisa Wong at the airport in Dallas, returning from the 2012 League of American Orchestras conference. At the check-in counter, I discovered that she was flying to Boston on the same plane, so I asked her which orchestra she was with. When I learned that she played with the Longwood Symphony, I mentioned that I had heard that someone in her orchestra had written a book about it, and could she put me in touch with the author. She unzipped her suitcase and pulled out a copy of her book, “Scales to Scalpels.” And it turns out that she lives quite close to my mother – she and her husband, Lynn Chang, dropped me off, saving me a late-night trolley ride. What an interesting set of coincidences!
Lisa’s book is a fascinating account of the formation and work of the Longwood Symphony, her own passage through music and medicine, and lots of information about the powerful healing aspects of music. She discusses her trips to Venezuela with her daughter as part of her experiences with El Sistema, and gives us lots of information about how the ear works and how the brain processes information and music.
But most importantly, she tells us stories that inspire: about Ruth, who was awakened from a catatonic state by a therapist’s turning on the local classical music station; about the children at the burn center who were so inspired by the famous violinist who himself had survived a terrible fire as a child; about the medical musicians, all with relatives suffering from Alzheimer’s, who were amazed at the reaction to their playing for a group of Alzheimer’s patients. Lisa’s book will truly reinforce your perceptions of the power of music to heal.
Lisa came to Hartford recently to give a presentation at the Medical Society of Hartford about her book and to talk about the many connections between music and medicine. She played a few movements from the Third Bach Suite on her viola during her presentation. The doctors in attendance were rapt, both to listen to her music and to hear her words. I’ve adapted passages from her book, her remarks in Hartford, and our subsequent conversation into an interview about the Longwood Symphony.Read More
Conductor Lauren Denney Wright recently used Skype to include a composer in her college band rehearsal, even though the composer was hundreds of miles away. The composer was able to hear the rehearsal, give feedback, and talk with the students. This is a great example of how new technologies can make an impact on educational situations, and also make certain tasks and objectives more efficient. Certainly listening to a rehearsal via skype is not the same as listening live and giving feedback in the room. However, if the person could otherwise not be a part of the rehearsal, it seems like a great solution. In other words, technology will not replace important human interactions, but will provide a great supplemental tool. Wright’s story is an inspiring example of how we can embrace technology and use it to bring people together.Read More
On Thursday, March 31 and Sunday, April 3, 2011 the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra presented a subscription concert at Meyerhoff Hall featuring a new work for their OrchKids students, an intensive in- and after-school program at two elementary schools in the troubled West Baltimore neighborhood. The kids, all 120 of them, wore their OrchKids T-shirts and played instruments, banged on buckets in the Bucket Band, or sang in the choir. But most importantly, they played with the BSO musicians in a piece written especially for them by NJ-based composer David Rimelis. I’m sure for many of the young performers, it was the experience of their young lives.Read More
I met Matthew Troy, assistant conductor in Winston-Salem, during the 2010 League of American Orchestras conference. He told me how the symphony had spear-headed a project with the school system that collected 50,000 books to create libraries in Botswana. I was intrigued and asked him to tell the story for Polyphonic.Read More