A Neighborhood Christmas Concert

We always love to try new ideas in our studio, and this year we thought it would be cool to expand our annual Christmas recital into a Neighborhood Christmas Concert as a way to get to know our neighbors better and share our musical selections with them. So we printed up invitations about a month ago and hand-delivered them to our neighbors.

Our theme for the evening was “A Time for Joy.” We greeted our guests at the door with some warm candlelight and a program adorned with the winning cover art for this year (each year the students are invited to draw and submit artwork that corresponds with the theme and then all the students vote for their favorite at our rehearsal).

We ended up with a nice turnout for the evening even though it was bitter cold and icy. One of the perks of having the guests coming from next door and across the street!

Unfortunately, one of our students who comes from out of town was unable to make it in for the occasion due to the road conditions. Here’s a group shot of everyone who participated in the program:

Following the musical performances and narration we enjoyed some hot drinks, delicious refreshments, and lots of time for visiting!

At the last minute we decided to live stream the concert for some of the neighbors that had hoped to come, but couldn’t make it, and some out of town family. (In the years since I first experimented with livestreaming recitals, it has become so incredibly easy that all you need now is literally a smart phone and an app – Ustream is what I started with and it works great!) Unbeknownst to us the iPhone that was doing the recording got bumped part way through, so the view moves to the ceiling, but for anyone who wants to get a glimpse into our event, here’s the recording:

Live streaming video by Ustream

I hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas season and eagerly looking forward to a New Year!

Listen to Carnegie Hall Recitals Live

A partnership with WQXR and American Public Media and Carnegie Hall presents the Carnegie Hall Live series so that music lovers everywhere can listen in on world famous concert artists! Check out a recording from the February 15 concert featuring Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes. Here’s a rundown of his program (thanks to Piano Street’s Classical Piano Blog!):

Haydn: Sonata in C Minor, Hob. XVI:20
Bartók: Suite, Op. 14
Debussy: Images, Book I
Chopin: Waltz in F Minor, Op. 70, No. 2
Chopin: Waltz in G-flat Major, Op. 70, No. 1
Chopin: Waltz in D-flat Major, Op. 70, No. 3
Chopin: Waltz in A-flat Major, Op. 42
Chopin: Ballade in A-flat Major, Op. 47
Chopin: Nocturne in B Major, Op. 62, No. 1
Chopin: Ballade in G Minor, Op. 23

Chopin: Waltz in A-flat Major, Op. 34, No. 1
Granados: Spanish Dance No. 5
Rachmaninoff: Etude-tableau in C Major, Op. 33, No. 2

It looks like if you stop in for the live virtual concert you can also participate in a chat session on the website. The next live broadcast will be on Saturday, February 25 with the Berliner Philharmoniker performing the “Resurrection” Symphony by Gustav Mahler.

BAM Radio Music Broadcasts

The BAm! Radio Network has recently posted two of the shows for which I served as an on-air commentator. Initially, I actually declined participation in this first one because I hold a different position than the group that was being interviewed. After being assured, though, that the network welcomed and encouraged opposing viewpoints, I agreed to participate. Here are links to the two shows:

Singing Green: Can Music Save Our Planet?
Maryann Harman with The Banana Slug String Band and Natalie Wickham

The Message In the Music
Maryann Harman with Tom Chapin, Red Grammer, Natalie Wickham

How Early Do Children Benefit from Music?

Several months ago I was contacted by BAM Radio Network about being an on-air host for a new Thought Leaders and Change Agents channel they were launching. A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to participate in a broadcast titled, “Starting Too Early, Starting Too Late? What’s Right?” The show primarily featured Carla Hannaford, Ph.D., educator and biologist.

The information Dr. Hannaford shared from her research was absolutely fascinating! I am familiar with some of the studies regarding a baby’s capacity to hear sound even while still in the mother’s womb, but I was in awe of the specific statistics that she shared. The show is a short 15 minutes or so in length, so it’s a quick listen, but I think every parent, musician, and teacher will benefit greatly from it! You’ll have to let me know what you think.