MusicWorks!

  • MusicWorks! @ Deck the Halls

    December 18, 2016

    Well, now I can say I’ve performed on the stage of the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall! On Sunday afternoon, Dec. 11, the kids and I rehearse with the Gulf Coast Symphony and the Fort Myers Symphonic Mastersingers for that evening’s concert.

    Some of the kids in MusicWorks! were chosen to play in the orchestra side-by-side for a few Christmas songs. (I wasn’t picked because I’m not good enough and am just a beginner.) But I do get to sing onstage with a group of over a dozen kids, led by Miss Lois.

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  • Holiday Concert @ The Heights Center

    December 14, 2016

    The holiday concert at the Heights Center is a big deal for the kids, and a personal milestone for me, because I play an instrument in public with other musicians for the very first time! I’ve never played an instrument before, and have only been practicing on the cello for a couple months.

    The beginning orchestra goes first, playing a number of tunes pizzicato – which means plucking the strings. Mr. Greg conducts. They’re simple tunes, using variations of two different notes, but you can follow the melodies.

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  • Bucket Brigade

    October 28, 2016

    I love Friday afternoons – not because the weekend’s coming, but because that’s when Mr. Greg’s Bucket Brigade class meets.

    We each get a five-gallon blue Lowe’s paint bucket that we turn upside down. Then we bang out rhythms on the bottom of the bucket. There’s just something so elemental and visceral about banging on a drum, even if it’s not a real one. It makes me think of that old Todd Rundgren song, “Bang the Drum All Day,” and its chorus: “I don’t want to work/I want to bang on the drum all day./I don’t want to play/I just want to bang on the drum all day.”

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  • The First Weeks of MusicWorks!

    October 10, 2016

    It’s been a few decades since I’ve experienced a first day of school. But I’ve been looking forward to Aug. 10, the first day of MusicWorks! at the Heights, and it finally arrived.
    As arts & entertainment writer/critic for Florida Weekly, I wrote an A1 cover story about the MusicWorks! program earlier in the year, called “Symphonic Delight.” (March 10-16, 2016 issue). I was intrigued and fascinated by how these young kids, 5 to 7 or 8 years old, were learning about music and, in the course of just a few months, could play a song on their instrument — violin, viola, cello or bass. The program was drenched in positive feelings and encouragement, and, not only that, the kids appeared to be having fun.

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