2013 TAP Projects



Spring 2013

Each semester, graduate and undergraduate students at Longy prepare interactive musical projects that they share with school and other community audiences. Longy students have develped the content of their projects around music that they love to perform and are passionate about sharing. They have trained as teaching artists who are prepared to engage participants of all ages in a manner that goes beyond lecturing and presenting. Their challenge is to bring alive music - and the artistic process of creating music - in workshops that involve the participants themsevles in artistic experiences. Longy students will lead young people - singing, dancing, clapping, stomping, and composing their way to a deeper understanding of what they hear. Please see the list of projects below that are ready to come to your classrooms and engage your students in an unforgettable session of music making.

The Hidden Meaning of Text in Art Songs through Cultures and History (Gately Youth Center)

In this project, we will explore the theme of "Long Lost Love" through the world of folk music. Our goal is to introduce an audience (of ages 17 and up) to African-American folk songs, Korean folk songs, and Latin-American folk songs. More specifically, the following questions will serve as a basis for our exploration: How do different cultures approach the theme of long lost love; what are common aspects between the three cultures; and how is each culture expressed in each song (without accounting for the language itself)? (Brian,

Music in Times of Hardship: Negro Spirituals (North End Music & Performing Arts Center Outreach Programs)

This lesson asserts that music can be a community experience through shared emotions. Using slave music (in solo, duet, and group performances), we explore what it means to be oppressed, and how communal music-making can serve as a form of consolation. Intended for students in grades 5-8, the activities aim to reach students who are studying, have studied, or soon will be studying this era in American history. The lesson involves listening activities, as an initial exposure to the genre, and culminates in an ensemble performance; the students will eventually learn and perform a song together

Connecting the Dots: Musical Voices of the Stars

Do the stars inspire you? Join soprano Samantha Dearborn, cellist Morgan Walsh, and pianist Elizabeth Chladil for a musical adventure! This ensemble will lead the audience in an exploration of the song "Die Sterne" ("The Stars") by nineteenth-century French woman composer and singer Pauline Viardot. Suitable for a variety of ages, the 45-minute interactive presentation examines the interaction of the singer's voice and the two instruments as well as the song's melodic contours. Audience participation through physical interpretation of sound and the creation of visual and verbal representations of the song's musical ideas will help the audience gain a deeper appreciation of "Die Sterne." (Samantha, Morgan, and Elizabeth)

Ready, Set….Opera! (Josiah Quincy School in Chinatown Boston)

Have you ever thought of music as way to express feelings and emotions? We have! And we will show it through Opera. Opera is indeed one of the art forms that uses a music lin and text as a way to enhance various emotions. Through the use of a play script, this workshop will help the student realize that music carries the atmosphere and the expression of emotions. In order to illustrate this idea, we will use specific words and practice it with various emotions. Perform by an opera trio and using the same script, we will show the specific emotion the composer chose. (Elodie

Listening and Interacting through Free Improvisation (Josiah Quincy School in Chinatown

Is free improvisation really free? It's not just about making random noise. There are principles at work that help create a structure that it is discovered as the players go along. There are ways of approaching free improvisation that can make it either as challenging and rewarding as you want it to be, or as simple and meditative as you want it to be. In this workshop we'll go through activities that have students creating music from the perspective of free improvisation. Each student will have the opportunity to assume the role of lead player and accompanist. Students will absorb, through activities, the fundamental principles of listening and responding that allow for creatively productive and enjoyable improvisation. These principles, or building blocks, are transferrable to all aspects of music, and help lead the student to a more open state of listening and playing.

Opera and Art Song (Josiah Quincy School in Chinatown Boston)

This program, designed for students in grades four through eight, will focus on the differences between opera and art song, and what makes each genre distinct.  The concepts explored will be the emotional, musical, and textual distinctions found in each genre.  Students will be guided through activities that will highlight each of these concepts, including one that will connect physical gestures with music and emotion, and one that will explore the differences between reading a dramatic, character-based dialogue and reading a short, single-themed poem.  Their ears heightened by these activities, the students will then listen to and discuss live performances of excerpts and entire pieces from each genre. (Ellen and Shooka)

The Music of Spain Through the Eyes of a French Man

The goal of our project is to introduce the elements of Spanish music and discover the kind of sound that these elements give the piece.  Our project is intended for elementary school students.  Activities will include singing, clapping, and incorporating creative movement to internalize the musical concepts.  The presentation will culminate in a performance of Jacques Ibert's "Deux Interludes" for flute, violin, and piano (Nanako, Eriko, and Stephanie)

Surround Sound (Josiah Quincy School in Chinatown Boston)

In this project, we will discover sounds of the environment – both urban and rural - and explore how surrounding soundscapes become the building blocks of musical composition of diverse styles, from pop to classical. Activities will involve field experiences where students will venture into the hallways, outdoors, or even stay in the classroom, to listen and memorize the diverse surrounding sounds. After periods of intense listening, we will create a group musical composition incorporating the sounds we’ve discovered. I will then convert this experience into an instrumental and vocal composition (with the help of the class!) Following these experiences, my pianist and I will perform a diverse selection of art songs – written by myself and others -that showcase how composers, across the ages, have used the sound of their environment to inform their music. Easily adapted for a variety of populations and age groups, this activity would be relevant for students learning about ecosystems, environments, the science of sound, and literature and poetry dealing with natural subjects. Students will emerge with an understanding of the prevalence of sound in our daily lives, reasons to pay attention to noise (good and bad), the health of our ears and minds in urban environments, and how to make art out of the unexpected (Kaley).

Finding Sound in Words (El Sistema Somerville School)

Through interactive experiences, students will gain an insight into how a composer constructs art songs.  Activities will focus on text painting and melody writing: two main components of composing an art song.   In this presentation, composer Paul Sayed will share the poem used for his latest song cycle Grace in the Wind as a vehicle for students to find the music in the text for themselves.  Then the presentation will culminate in a performance of Grace in the Wind in which students will have an opportunity to contemplate the methods used to create melody and text painting in the piece.  Afterwards students should gain an understanding on how songs are composed and also what to listen for in contemporary art songs (Paul).

May I Borrow That Tune, Please? (Epiphany School)

Many hymn tunes have names that indicate their sources, folk tunes, dances, etc. Starting with more familiar tunes, Greensleeves/What Child Is This?, Ash Grove/Sent Forth by God’s Blessing, and others, this presentation will show some of the more popular ones, and through activities will invite attendees to find tunes for hymn texts. These will form part of a short concert to follow. (Paul

Musical Learning with Messiaen (El Sistema Somerville School)

Provoking 45 minute interactive event focuses students’ attention by engaging all 5 senses (including taste!). The featured musical work, “Abyss of the  Birds”, was composed for solo clarinet by Oliver Messiaen while he was in the Terezín  camp as a French Prisoner of War.  The music tells of the opposing themes of imprisonment vs. freedom.  Visuals of related art, quotes from “The Diary of Ann Frank”, as well as staging and room preparation compliment the presentation.  Students will have the opportunity for reflection during a feedback moment.  This presentation has proven to be powerfully effective with High School Students in New Hampshire where it was premiered.

Life with Villa-Lobos (El Sistema Somerville School)

The purpose of this presentation is to create associations between sound and storytelling.  We will be guiding the creation of a story around the musical ideas in the first movement of the Villa-Lobos Duo for Violin and Viola.  The story will be set in Rio de Janeiro, the city of composition, and it will have two main characters that will be representative of the violin and viola parts.  Through the creation of the story with the music, the students participating in the presentation will have a long lasting connection to this unique duet! (Melissa and Jessica)