Inspiration

The Justa Syndrome

Pep talk time. In the past two days, I have had two separate interactions with people in my life that reminded me of something many of us will face at some point or another. I call it the "Justa Syndrome." Our kids will probably face it, too. And if we don't know how to deal with [...]

Building Community Through Music

I travel quite a lot as a conductor. I guest conduct choral festivals in various locations as a part of my musical life. Last month, I found myself working with the New Jersey Treble All-State Choir, an ensemble made up of high school sopranos and altos. These types of festivals are always exciting for me. [...]

Reunited: A Short Film About Music and the Human Spirit

Friends, I've said it many times before, and I'll continue to say it: music is magic. Below, you'll find a short, five-minute film about Edward Hardy, a retiree in Somerset, England, and Sam Kinsella, a young man looking for a few extra bucks. Sam's search lead him to Mellifont Abbey, a residential care facility in [...]

Ben Folds, the National Symphony Orchestra, and Magic: Improvisation Unpacked

You may have recently watched a viral video of Ben Folds improvising a work with the National Symphony Orchestra. It's rather impressive and demonstrates a host of skill sets, not just by Ben, but by the entire orchestra. To create something new on the  spot like this takes knowledge and talent. While Ben is calling [...]

Everyone Can Sing

A recent article, written by Northwestern music education professor, Steven M. Demorest, over at The Conversation, an "independent source of news and views from the academic and research community, delivered direct to the public," explored the idea of musical talent. The most telling fact, one that I have been aware of for most of my [...]