I am so happy you are reading this post tonight! This is my 21st post in a row, and they say that it takes 21 days to build a habit. So I am really hoping that the habit will become solid after this post & I will continue to invest time every single day into reading articles and/or writing/editing. Okay, so on to the actual Music Ed Info!
Tonight, I had the extreme pleasure of attending a performance by The Navy Band at the Navy Memorial. This was a very special performance because it was the very last concert conducted by one of my good friends before he moves on to a fantastic professorship.
I loved the concert for so many reasons, but let me tell you just a few that relate to what we do:
- Play Outside! This concert was held completely outdoors in a very popular area of DC. The Navy had set up chairs for people who would like to sit in chairs, but anyone was welcome to sit anywhere from the floor, to the monument, to the steps leading down to the monument. So there were people EVERYWHERE! Children dancing, people walking past taking photos as they headed home from work, and the best part was seeing people unplug for a minute or so as they listened to the live music on their way home from work. I LOVE this aspect of this concert & the audience did too. If you don’t have outdoor concerts, you don’t know what you are missing!
- Carrots – Cupcakes – Carrots – Cupcakes. My husband commented on the brilliant programming of the concert and how it was as if we were being fed carrots (classical-ish music like sea shanties and patriotic tunes) followed by cupcakes (Taylor Swift, Michael Jackson, etc.) so that the concert was paced beautifully for a public audience such as this. This kept the attention of the audience for over an hour in spite of multiple helpings of carrots!
- Interaction – The final reason that I truly enjoyed this concert was that the audience was encouraged to interact with the performance. I will never forget working with an incredible music teacher who made sure to involve the audience in some way with every single concert. Whether the audience was popping blown up paper bags to mimic the sound of cannons for the 1812 Overture, or they were creating a rainstorm through body percussion, she always had the audience involved. I believe very strongly that one of the primary roles of a music educator is to involve the community in music-making. And this is exactly what was done! We were clapping along, singing, and then… And then… They did Thriller… Like, not just Thriller like you would expect from the Navy, but Thriller with the Singers dancing and limping into the audience like zombies. I was just as excited about it as anyone else in the audience! This kind of interaction is such a beautiful thing to a teacher such as myself. I just wanted to go join them!
And so, that was my wonderful evening. And here in Post 21, I have just summed up much of what my own concerts are (except there are usually more carrots than cupcakes:) ). So, until tomorrow, eat your carrots & live musically!
(My friends & I at the concert with The Captain)