The Joy of Music

One of the greatest joys in life is music.  Regular readers will know that I love musicplaying it, writing it, singing it, arranging it, analyzing it, launching it into space, etc.  As an art form, I believe music is uniquely suited to communicating ideas and beauty across time, space, and cultures.  It can be intensely nationalistic, yet still universal.

We’re back to distance learning today after a positive case of The Virus, and since it’s the day before Thanksgiving Break—historically the biggest blow-off day of the school year—my administration decided to play it safe and declare today a distance learning day.  As such, I took the assignment derived from The Story of 100 Great Composers and ported it to my high school music classes.  Those classes will share about their composers today.

In hearing the results of students’ research into these composers, it’s such a powerful reminder of the artistry and variety of musical output.  In my first morning class, a middle school student presented on piano virtuoso Franz Liszt, and played a bit of his famous Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2.  We’re familiar with the piece from old cartoons, which is fitting—it’s playful (after its brooding introduction), bouncy, and, of course, flashy, in true Lisztian fashion.

I was grousing quietly to myself on the drive into school this morning about the arbitrary decree from our administration that teachers are to be on-campus for distance learning—why not let me teach from the comfort of home (and with the power of a modern gaming rig)?  Why burn fuel just for the vague opportunity to look over my shoulder?

But then I began to think:  I get to teach music for a living.  I get to spend my days sharing that love of music with students—and watching as their own love for it blossoms.  I get to jam with eager young musicians.  And I get paid for the privilege!

I’m so thankful for music, and for wonderful students.

Happy Thanksgiving!

—TPP

 

The Story of One Hundred Great Composers Cover Page

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