References - College of Mount St. Joseph

Why Study Music? Musical Pursuits Helps Students Achieve The Benefits of Chamber Music How to Keep Conductors in Line Eugene Ormandy Quotes Musical Links


Music is a Science
It is exact, specific, and it demands exact acoustics. A conductor's full score is a complex chart, a graph which indicates frequencies, intensities, volume changes, tempo changes, melody, harmony all at once and with the exact control and interpretation.

Music is Mathematical
Music is rhythmically based on the busdivision of time into fractions whcih must be done instaneously, not worked out on paper.

Music is a Foreign Language
Most of the terms are in Italian, German or French and the actual notation is certainly not English; but a highly developed type of shorthand communication that uses symbols to represent ideas and even emotions. The semantics of music are the most complete and universal language.

Music is History
Music reflects the time and place of it's own creation as well as the belief systems of the composer, and therefore the greater society that they lived in.

Music is Physical Education
It requires fantastic coordination of fingers, hands, arms, lips, cheeks, and facial muscles in addition to extraordinary control of the diaphramatic, back , stomach, and chest muscles for respiration. All of these physical needs must respond instantly to the sound that the ear hears and the mind can imagine.

Music is all of these things, but most of all, Music is Art
It allows a human being to take all these dry, technically boring (but nonetheless quite difficult) techniques and use them to create emotion. That is one thing that science cannot duplicate: humanis, feeling, emotion, call it what you will.


In 1990, the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Educational Statistics conducted a study of 18,000 high school students from 1,500 schools. It found that music students are nearly nine percent more likely to earn A's or B's in their core subjects than students who do not actively participate in music programs.

Student musicians also score better on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) from the College Board, which sponsors the widely used college entrance exam. Statistics show that among the 1997 test- takers, those whose course work included the arts scored an average of 52 points higher on the verbal portion of the test than students whose course work did not include the arts.

Original story by Ruth DeGolia for The Plain Dealer, Wednesday, February 24, 1999, G1.

Daily CENTERNET messages are written by Fr. Ronald Nuzzi and posted by Cindy Giner, as a service to Catholic educators by the Center for Catholic Education at the University of Dayton.


What does chamber music participation require of the musicians? * Cooperation: each individual is required to contribute to a communal effort
* Communication: in order to perform well, musicians must be clear with each other
* Problem solving: musicians must learn to seek multiple rather than single solutions and take an active role in interpretating and shaping the music
* Personal responsibility: students must prepare individually in order to participate effectively
* Discrimination: students must evaluate what they hear and make reasoned judgements

What are the by-products of chamber music participations?
* Achievemnet of excellence and an ongoing striving to improve
* Improved self-esteem based on individual musical expression and growth
* Ability to convey ideas, emotions, creativity, and imagination
* Increased awareness and appreciation for diversity of ideas andbackgrounds
* Heightened aesthetic awareness
* Discovery of a lifelong source of inspiration, avocation or profession
* Skills transfer into all areas of study, work, and life: creative thinking, problem solving, risk taking and teamwork
* Values connect studens to themselves, ther own culture, and world cultures
* Performance opportunities in community settings not usually possible with large ensembles
* Adult advocacy for chamber music education * Community and philanthropic participation in and support for the arts

What are the advantages of chamber music activity by students?
* Chamber music activities challenge students, especially pianists, to go beyond achieving just technical proficiency - to reach a higher level of musicianship
* The number and variety of performance opportunties for small ensembles strengthens students’ performances and communication skills, teaches them to use their music for others, and introduces them to many possible venues outside of the formal stage setting
* Parents can provide rehearsal space, performance opportunities, transportation, and more. With greater involvement, they become stronger advocates for the overall music and arts programs in their schools and communities

What are the advantages of chamber music presentations by professional ensembles?
* A small group is more affordable and transportable than a large group, ceating an opportunity for a curricular approach rather than an exposure approach to artist in schools activities. That is, a performance can be preceded and followed by performers working in classrooms, involving students in musical processes and activities.
* With a chamber ensemble, teachers and performers can better collaborate to develop educational programs that meet curricular and developmental needs of specific situations.
* Visiting chamber ensembles can perform in venues and provide outreach programs that large performing groups cannot accomodate.

Why is chamber music often a “tough sell” in schools? Chamber music often...
lacks the glamour of larger performing groups
has an aura of elitism
can be misunderstood as “only string quartets”
is often overlooked due to mislabeling: most schools in the United States have solo and ensemble competitions, which are really chamber music festivals
is difficult to schedule given the need to match students by level and temperment
is difficult to schedule during the school day if it is not curricular
requires multiple rehearsal spaces
requires multiple coaches
costs more than larger ensembles because of the low student/coach ratio
generates fear of student behavior if rehearsals are unsupervised fosters competition among faculty over the best students
requires careful repertory selection

What are some solutions to these problems?
All solutions are local; assume nothing. But in general: engage in partnerships, collaborations, ongoing relationships, and marketing of your program.
* Tap volunteer resources - parents, neighbors, civic groups, religous groups, retired music teachers, amateur musicians and ensembles - to oversee rehearsals, provide space, help with transportation, etc.
* recruit advanced students - high school, community college, university or conservatory - as mentors for young ensembles
* Make links with private teachers to encourage chamber music participation while reducing the isolation of those taking lessons outside of schools
* Take advantage of arts agencies and institutions to develop curricula, obtain instruments, bring resident artists, and get tickets to performances
* Advocate with school boards, legislators, parents, organizations, and community boards
* Develop partnerships with local corporations through adopt-a-school programs, volunteer efforts, or direct funding
* Build partnerships with community agencies as performance venues - nursing homes, senior centers, community centers, youth at risk programs, correctional centers, etc.
* Establish ongoing relationships with media - newspapers, radio, television
* Form coalitions with other school or professional organizations

Flying Together - Chamber Music America Newsletter Volume 10, No.1 November 1998

by Donn Laurence Mills

there were a basic training manual for orchestra players, it might include ways to practice not only music, but one-upmanship. It seems as if many young players take pride in getting the conductor's goat. The following rules are intended as a guide to the development of habits that will irritate the conductor. (Variations and additional methods depend upon the imagination and skill of the player.)

1. Never be satisfied with the tuning note. Fussing about the pitch takes attention away from the podium and puts it on you, where it belongs.

2. When raising the music stand, be sure the top comes off and spills the music on the floor.

3. Complain about the temperature of the rehearsal room, the lighting, crowded space, or a draft. It's best to do this when the conductor is under pressure.

4. Look the other way just before cues.

5. Never have the proper mute, a spare set of strings, or extra reeds. Percussion players must NEVER have all their equipment.

6. Ask for a re-audition or seating change. Ask often. Give the impression you're about to quit. Let the conductor know you're there as a personal favor.

7. Pluck the strings as if you are checking tuning at every opportunity, especially when the conductor is giving instructions. Brass players: drop mutes. Percussionists have a wide variety of dropable items, but cymbals are unquestionably the best because they roll around for several seconds.

8. Loudly blow water from the keys during pauses (Horn, oboe and clarinet players are trained to do this from birth).

9. Long after a passage has gone by, ask the conductor if your C# was in tune. This is especially effective if you had no C# or were not playing at the time. (If he catches you, pretend to be correcting a note in your part.)

10. At dramatic moments in the music (while the conductor is emoting) be busy marking your music so that the climaxes will sound empty and disappointing.

11. Wait until well into a rehearsal before letting the conductor know you don't have the music.

12. Look at your watch frequently. Shake it in disbelief occasionally.

13. Tell the conductor, "I can't find the beat." Conductors are always sensitive about their "stick technique", so challenge it frequently.

14. As the conductor if he has listened to the Bernstein recording of the piece. Imply that he could learn a thing or two from it. Also good: ask "Is this the first time you've conducted this piece?"

15. When rehearsing a difficult passage, screw up your face and shake your head indicating that you'll never be able to play it. Don't say anything: make him wonder.

16. If your articulation differs from that of others playing the same phrase, stick to your guns. Do not ask the conductor which is correct until backstage just before the concert.

17. Find an excuse to leave rehearsal about 15 minutes early so that others will become restless and start to pack up and fidget.

18. During applause, smile weakly or show no expression at all. Better yet, nonchalantly put away your instrument. Make the conductor feel he is keeping you from doing something really important.

It is time that players reminded their conductors of the facts of life: just who do conductors think they are, anyway?

Eugene Ormandy Quotes
as collected by the members of the Philadelphia Orchestra.