Today I showed my students a fantastic TED Talk featuring Evelyn Glennie. I found this video to be a goldmine for musicians (young and old). Aside from the fact that she's an incredible percussionist, she really goes into some interesting topics about musicianship. I love how she showed the difference between being a strictly "technically accurate" player as opposed to being a musician and doing a lot more with the notes (and even the instrument itself).
The reason I decided to write about this video, however, is because I was fascinated at how the different AGE of my students affected how they perceived the video. For any middle school teacher out there, you surely know how drastically different 11, 12, 13, and 14 year olds can be. Where Evelyn Glennie was talking about how different people in a space perceive "sound" differently, I couldn't help but think how differently the developing middle school mind viewed and experienced her message. My young, excitable 6th graders practically participated like they were in the clinic themselves, where the 8th graders we as stoic as statues. I do feel that the overwhelming majority understood what she was talking about, but experienced it in their own way.
I really love how she talks about and performs music. I spend so much time trying to teach students that there can be so much more than notes on a page (YES, I do teach that in middle school). It's all about the experience...and that's why I teach, compose, and perform music. And always will.
The musings of a composer that also band directs!! ... or maybe it's the other way around..