Tag Archives: music

The Comtu Trio at the Rockingham Meeting House, August 18, 2019

Elsewhere on this blog I have written about my good friend Walter Wallace, who serves as a docent at the Rockingham Meeting House in Rockingham, Vermont. Walter has arranged a series of concerts in the Meeting House. This Sunday, August 18th, the Comtu trio will perform a program of early American music arranged for trio, as well as selections from the classical repertoire, e.g. Vivaldi and Telemann.

The meeting house per se is worth a visit, and its warm, resonant acoustics make this event well worth attending. On this occasion, Karen Engdahl, the pianist of the Comtu Trio (and proprietor of the Springfield Piano Studio), will perform on the Meeting House’s Estey Reed Organ, manufactured in nearby Brattleboro.

If you happen to be in the Connecticut River Valley–or anywhere else in Vermont, for that matter, since everyplace here is near everything else–take Exit 6 off I-91 and travel west by northwest on State Route 103 for two miles toward Chester. The Meeting House is on Meeting House Road, and is clearly marked on 103 in both directions.

Noel Coward on an Earlier Post

“Extraordinary how potent cheap music is.”

Noel Coward

Excerpted from: Winokur, Jon, ed. The Big Curmudgeon. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal, 2007.

New Kids on the Block

They were huge in 1990 when I first began working with adolescents. Now I wonder if anyone remembers them. I know the Wahlbergs  (Donnie was a member of New Kids on the Block and his brother Mark enjoyed a solo career as a rapper with the group “Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch; both are now actors) have parlied their success in the entertainment business into a reality show and, of all things, a burger joint franchise called Wahlburgers.

I usually don’t mention such things on this blog, but I find the fact that Mark Wahlberg became a rapper ironic indeed, given his history of racist violence. He also appears to have confused the action-star roles he plays with reality when he made these idiotic comments about the flights that were used as terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, in the United States.

In any case, here is a reading on the New Kids on the Block and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet if you have students who can’t live without this knowledge of this product of the publicity-industrial complex–a brilliant locution for which I thank the peerless journalist Ron Rosenbaum.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

West Side Story

“A much-performed American musical by Leonard Bernstein (1918-90), with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim (b. 1930). It was first staged in 1957. The story is an updated version of Romeo and Juliet set in New York’s West Side dockland area, with the Montagues and the Capulets being replaced by rival teenage gangs, the Sharks and the Jets. The rivalry erupts into violence as a result of the love between Tony, one of the Jets, and Maria, the sister of the leader of the Sharks. The 1961 film version won an Oscar for best picture.”

Excerpted from: Crofton, Ian, ed. Brewer’s Curious Titles. London: Cassell, 2002.

The Weekly Text, July 26, 2019

While I have used the materials in this week’s Text in a variety of configurations, including, most often in a unit on the procedural knowledge necessary to produce research papers, I also keep it around as a standalone, which I call the “Research Paper in Miniature Lesson Plan” I wrote this several years ago after observing, in the school in which I worked, that teachers assigned synthetic research papers without any explicit instruction on the how and, perhaps more importantly, the why of citing sources when preparing such a document.

Today’s Text is, then, basically, a lesson plan on citing sources. I have opened this lesson, for reasons I think I can safely assume are obvious, with this context clues worksheet on the noun evidence; if, for some reason, this lesson runs into a second instructional period, I keep nearby this second context clues worksheet on the noun bibliography in case I need it. Finally, the mainstay of this lesson is this worksheet on the why and how of citing sources.

As I’ve worked with this lesson over the years, I have come to regard it (and you might find this a useful way of thinking about it as well) as an outline or template for a series of such lessons. Depending on what you’re working on in your classroom, an hour or so of editing and reconfiguring would transmute this lesson for use with a variety of short readings. In other words, whatever your domain is, and whatever content you are teaching, it could be adapted to work with this lesson and vice versa.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Rolling Stones

I don’t know how much currency they may or may not have with the students in your classroom, but in my experience this reading on The Rolling Stones is of relatively high interest to high school students. Here is the vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet that accompanies it.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Cultural Literacy: Woody Guthrie

Billy Bragg, an British singer I’ve been listening to for over thirty years, announced yesterday on his Twitter feed that New York City will rename part of Mermaid Avenue on Coney Island (where Woody lived, and which is also the name of an excellent trio of albums of Woody’s songs by Mr. Bragg and the American rock band Wilco) as Woody Guthrie Way. Furthermore, this years Mermaid Parade features Arlo Guthrie as King Neptune and Nora Guthrie as Queen Mermaid. They are, you will perceive, Woody’s children. If you’re in Brooklyn, or anywhere near Coney Island, I urge you to attend this cool event.

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Woody Guthrie in celebration of the events limned above, and of Mr. Guthrie as an American treasure.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.