Category Archives: The Teaching Artist

Missives from the world of teaching music / theater to the young ‘uns

DREAMS and MEMORIES

  A Dream Memory for the Grand-Niece   Our niece Linden is homeschooling her children since the shelter-at-home order took hold in her state, just as it has done for millions of families all over the planet. She sent an … Continue reading

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The TELL-TALE VEGAS / NYC / MOSCOW TRIFECTA that was – and then wasn’t

  Thanks for Nothing, COVID 19   I was supposed to watch “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” in a Moscow movie theater today, in fact precisely while I’m typing this, “sheltering in place” this Saturday morning New York time, … Continue reading

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No First Grade Operas – for now

  Thanks for nothing, COVID19   On Friday I received the following email from one of the first grade teachers at the Brooklyn Children’s School:   Dear Danny, The first grade operas have to be postponed. The DOE and our … Continue reading

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The Knight Marries the Prince

  A Kindergarten Original Blesses a Quaker Wedding   Friday morning I heard a wedding song I realized I would have to sing that night at an actual wedding.  Class K-1 at the Brooklyn Children’s School was the third kindergarten … Continue reading

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FIRST GRADE ALIENS RIDE PEOPLE’S HEADS!

  Another Year, Another Silly First Grade Opera! Actually, another three first grade operas at the Brooklyn Children’s School, created, written, composed and performed by first graders themselves, under the direction of their teachers and their teaching artist Mister Danny. … Continue reading

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3rd Grade Choir Presents Love & Life with the Beatles

  A fainting spell nearly derailed the whole concert.  But it was still a rousing success.   When I plan choir concerts for elementary student performers, I hope to choose songs that will appeal to the age group but also … Continue reading

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TROLL AFFECTION!

  How a genre and boundary bursting Swedish movie brought back to mind a certain LGBTQ friendly First Grade Opera Tune I just saw the movie “Border”, Sweden’s entry for this year’s Foreign Film Oscar, and let me say, right … Continue reading

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BEWARE THE CON! – a cautionary epistolary tale

  The following emails are actual.  Only certain identifying details have been redacted.   Sunday, 7:01pm – Message from D- C- relayed via a service for independent contractors: Hello,My name is D- ,I want lessons for my Daughter,she is 12 … Continue reading

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Another Year, Another Trio of First Grade Operas.

Three first grade operas have performed in their classrooms in front of an audience of parents, grandparents and loved ones.  In three consecutive days 1-3’s “Diamond Kids”, 1-2’s “The Alicorns” and 1-1’s “Imagine” regaled audiences with stories, dialog, lyrics and … Continue reading

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Five Minutes in Lockdown

A few months ago I was conducting a third grade choir class in a Tribeca school, when an alarm sounded. “Lockdown”, one of the two classroom teachers in the room with me and 25 third graders announced. Swiftly, and calmly, … Continue reading

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In the Name of Love on MLK Day

    Today our nation commemorates Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The message and significance of Martin Luther King Jr. and what he represents for the aspirations of our country and the world weigh more heavily, sadly, today, than they … Continue reading

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KINDERGARTEN’S POWERBALLADS

The Unlikely Occurrence of Kindergartners Composing Two Soaring Love Songs (and Their Perfectly Rockin’ Antidote) Usually five year olds consider overt declarations of love yucky.  So when kindergartners create their own original fairy tales operas, these don’t tend to end … Continue reading

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K-2 Presents: THE WIZARD’S REVENGE (featuring the Garbage-Throwing Machine)

The Kindergarten K-2 class of the Brooklyn’s Children’s School just presented their original fairy tale opera, for which the children created the story, the lyrics and the melodies: Once upon a time there was a king, a princess and a … Continue reading

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PRE-K 2 GOES ITS OWN UNUSUAL WAY – a surprise diversion in the ongoing saga of Mr. Danny’s Most Sung Song

  Another year and another group of Pre-K students are learning “We’re Singing” AKA Mr. Danny’s Most Sung Song – this would be the third yearly installment in what is evidently and unexpectedly turning into a continuing series (the first … Continue reading

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN with Notes from a Composer

As Halloween falls on a Monday this year, I think it makes sense to call this a long Halloween Weekend.  Much costumed celebrating and ghoulish goings-on will have already begun yesterday and continue through today and Sunday into the official … Continue reading

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NafC Classic: 5 X FUN with LUDWIG’S 5th

Let’s have some fun with Beethoven!   Specifically the 1st movement of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, easily the most famous piece of classical music in the world.  The indelible Duh Duh Duh DAH motif that opens and shapes the movement may … Continue reading

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