Dear Music Teacher,
Thank you for participating in the Bay Atlantic Symphony’s Young People’s Concerts!
I am extremely grateful for and appreciative of the tremendous effort, skill, stamina, and artistry it takes to be a classroom teacher. I believe I have provided all materials that you would need to give students an excellent doorway into the pieces we are performing. The only supplies the classroom teacher should need are the ability to purchase and play CDs or to download mp3 files (Amazon) and play them on loud enough speakers, and crayons if desired. The pre- and post- concert activities have been kept simple in part because I understand that some “classrooms” are not all that well-equipped. That said, this simplicity also fits my educational philosophy. I believe the activities supporting these concerts should not be a distraction from the event of the concert. As teachers, of course, you are in the position of developing many skills and sensitivities that go into music-making and music appreciation. The point of taking students to the concert hall is to reinforce just that non-classroom side of art—the open-ended, slow-breathing, undistracted, concentrated joy of an encounter with something sublime. Once students taste this nectar, they are more inspired to sit down in the classroom and learn about the composer, the instruments, or even math, science, geography and the history and culture that could lead someone to create the Eroica Symphony, Guernica, or Hamlet.
How Music Talks: Constructing a Symphony gets into the nuts and bolts of how a symphonic movement comes to life. From the lightning bolt-chords of the opening of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony to the slow-burn crescendo of the second movement, exploring the tricks behind the magic only makes the whole even more inspiring. We will also feature young piano virtuoso and communicative talent Sejoon Park in the last movement of Chopin’s ravishing 2nd piano concerto. Here we will see how melodies return to form another kind of musical confection. Sejoon is deeply committed to performing for young audiences, and we are thrilled to present him.
Constructing a Symphony continues Bay Atlantic Symphony’s How Music Talks series, ongoing and with constant development since 1998. I have scripted these online guides as well as the concerts, which I will narrate and conduct. The guides are designed to be easy to use, and to work in conjunction with the NJ State Board of Education Curriculum.
Please keep in mind that our orchestra, though doing well in these tough times, runs on a small budget, with a small staff. We don’t have an “education department.” I wrote and put together these materials myself, with guidance from many public school teachers.
On the basis of overwhelmingly positive feedback I am maintaining a feature we introduced in previous years: As discussion becomes in depth, optional discussions are set off in green print, allowing you to quickly choose whether to press on or elaborate.
Jed Gaylin, DMA
Music Director, Bay Atlantic Symphony