When we think about African American music, we tend to think about spirituals, jazz and gospel genres. To be sure, these are genres that have been created and shaped by Black composers and musicians. However, something we often overlook is Black classical music and Black classical composers.
Though I have been trained in classical music my entire life and studied music in college, I never heard names such as William Grant Still or Florence Price until recently. Many Black composers have been largely absent from the study of classical music. Let’s take a moment to learn about three of these brilliant composers and their contributions to classical music.
Continue reading “Black Classical Composers”
This lesson is part 2 of 4 that I’ve released on the Baroque period of music. These lessons are a part of my online course, Busy Kids Do Music History.
Find Lesson 1 of the Baroque Period series here
Find Lesson 3 of the Baroque Period series here
Find Lesson 4 of the Baroque Period series here
In the last lesson, we learned about how the Baroque period was all about fancy, decorative and lavish things!
In this lesson we’ll learn how that style influenced the way instruments were used and music sounded during the Baroque years. Continue reading “The Baroque Period: Lesson 2”
This lesson is part 1 of 4 that I’ve released on the Baroque period of music. These lessons are a part of my online course, Busy Kids Do Music History.
Lesson 1: What was happening during the Baroque period?
- Watch the video.
Let’s take a quick peek at some things that were happening in the Western world at the same time as the Baroque Period.
Continue reading “THE BAROQUE PERIOD: LESSON 1”
Does your child ever ask you, “Why do I need to know this?”
Sometimes it can be a difficult question to answer. I remember asking my trigonometry teacher that question in high school. Every now and then, a piano student will ask me such a question when we’re going over a challenging concept. I might be explaining the theory behind diminished 7ths and a student will politely ask, “Ms. Carly? Why do I need to know this?” Continue reading “Why Music History Matters.”
On the 28th of July, it will have been 269 years since the death of one of music’s greatest composers: Johann Sebastian Bach.
When it comes to teaching my own students and my children about composers (and the way in which I set up my online music appreciation course), I prefer to do it in a certain order. I start by sharing information about a composer’s life, either through a book or video. Then we take the chance to listen and discuss some of the composer’s music (thank you, YouTube!). Finally, we’ll engage in some hands-on activities inspired by the composer.
Here’s some ways you can teach your children about the life and musical contributions of Bach. I’ve presented it in the order that our family explores composers, but adjust it in whatever way will engage your own children!
Continue reading “Learn About Bach: Activities for Kids”
Since 1979, the month of June is recognized as African-American Music Appreciation Month. It’s a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the music of black musicians, singers and songwriters. Continue reading “African American Music Appreciation Month: Nina Simone”
Because March is Women’s History Month, let’s take a moment to learn about and celebrate five great women in music history.
Nora Holt (1885-1974)
Nora Holt was born in Kansas City. She was the first African American in the United States to receive a master’s degree in music. Singing at night clubs and parties in Paris, Monte Carlo and London, she was known as a free-spirited socialite of the Harlem Renaissance. She co-founded the National Association of Negro Musicians and worked as a music critic for the black newspaper, Chicago Defender. Continue reading “Women in Music”