Category music

Book Review: Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, by Oliver Sacks

Dr. Sacks has devoted a large part of his career to bringing the relationship between music and the brain into the public consciousness, and this book is a distillation of his core message: music is not simply an aesthetic pastime; it is essential to the human experience, down to the very physical structure of our brains.

On Creativity

“Whether you’re a writer, a sculptor, a designer, or a banjo-player, showing up, staying open-minded, asking for help, and not being obsessed with the tools at your disposal will ultimately make you a better creator.”
— Jory MacKay, “Demystifying the Muse”

I’ve been thinking a lot about those four “elements” of becoming a better creator in the context of musicianship. Whether it’s practicing, working with a chamber group, teaching/taking a lesson, or performing, the qualities MacKay lays out are essential to the musical process.

Love Notes: Musical Expressions of Affection

Happy Valentine’s, dearest readers! In honor of America’s most loved/hated holiday, I’ve compiled a “Top 5” list of my favorite musical expressions of love.

Sound Bytes: Love and Death in Puccini’s “La Bohème”

One of the primary reasons for La Bohème’s tenacious hold on generations of hearts and minds is its deep exploration of the relationship between desire and disease — or, more broadly, between Eros and Thanatos: love and death.

Why Teach Music?

I can’t change a student’s race or economic background or their opportunities later in life by myself. But what I CAN change on a day-to-day basis is whether these students get the encouragement and affirmation they need, from a young age, through music.