1. Sunday Notes from 92Y’s School of Music Staff: Music on the Brain

    Welcome to our new blog series Sunday Notes, which features staff picks from the musical minds of 92Y’s School of Music. Today, private piano and group keyboard and theory instructor Mandy Chiu shares a video she found that illustrates the benefits playing an instrument has on the brain.

    Being a teacher for over 20 years, I always knew that playing music not only makes one feels amazing, it also brings clarity to the mind. I was really excited to come across this video, which shows scientific research on how music playing affects the brain!

    Interested in taking a piano class with Mandy? Sign up here!

  2. Tetzlaff Plays Bach: By the Numbers When you attend an artistic performance, the audience rarely knows the nitty gritty details of all that went into presenting it. For 92Y Concerts’ opening night on September 18, we are breaking down Christian Tetzlaff’s solo performance by the numbers. The German violinist will be performing Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas in full—a marathon achievement. Here’s how the evening stacks up! 2412 bars of music (without repeats).2400 seconds of intermission.1800 eyes on stage.900 glasses of champagne served at intermission.380 calories burned (approx.) by Tetzlaff.212 years since the Sonatas and Partitas were published.130 minutes on stage to perform.64 variations in the famous Chaconne.28 movements.17 years for Bach to compose.12 years old—the age when Tetzlaff first started learning the pieces.6 works.1 violinist.
You’ve seen the numbers, now hear the music on September 18!

    Tetzlaff Plays Bach: By the Numbers

    When you attend an artistic performance, the audience rarely knows the nitty gritty details of all that went into presenting it. For 92Y Concerts’ opening night on September 18, we are breaking down Christian Tetzlaff’s solo performance by the numbers. The German violinist will be performing Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas in full—a marathon achievement. Here’s how the evening stacks up!

    2412 bars of music (without repeats).
    2400 seconds of intermission.
    1800 eyes on stage.
    900 glasses of champagne served at intermission.
    380 calories burned (approx.) by Tetzlaff.
    212 years since the Sonatas and Partitas were published.
    130 minutes on stage to perform.
    64 variations in the famous Chaconne.
    28 movements.
    17 years for Bach to compose.
    12 years old—the age when Tetzlaff first started learning the pieces.
    6 works.
    1 violinist.

    You’ve seen the numbers, now hear the music on September 18!

  3. On September 19, Christian Tetzlaff opens the 92Y Concerts season with a performance of the complete Bach Sonatas and Partitas—one of the monuments of Western music.
While the six individual sonatas and partitas are regularly performed, Christian Tetzlaff is one of only a few artists who present the complete cycle as in a single epic program. In the following Q&A with 92Y, he discusses his thoughts and experience with Bach and the cycle.

So the entire cycle turns on the Chaconne? Yes, it is such a devastating piece of music. It is thirteen minutes long and connected to the other movements in the partita, and yet it towers above everything else. And then after such music—where could one possibly go? Even Bach doesn’t know. In his manuscript, the Chaconne stops and then the next sonata—which is supposed to be in C major—starts directly on the next line in the same register, same rhythm, same tempo, and even by the fifth measure, in the same key—D minor.

Read the full enlightening Q&A here.
Previously: 7 Facts about Bach’s Sonatas & Partitas That Will Amaze You

    On September 19, Christian Tetzlaff opens the 92Y Concerts season with a performance of the complete Bach Sonatas and Partitas—one of the monuments of Western music.

    While the six individual sonatas and partitas are regularly performed, Christian Tetzlaff is one of only a few artists who present the complete cycle as in a single epic program. In the following Q&A with 92Y, he discusses his thoughts and experience with Bach and the cycle.

    So the entire cycle turns on the Chaconne? Yes, it is such a devastating piece of music. It is thirteen minutes long and connected to the other movements in the partita, and yet it towers above everything else. And then after such music—where could one possibly go? Even Bach doesn’t know. In his manuscript, the Chaconne stops and then the next sonata—which is supposed to be in C major—starts directly on the next line in the same register, same rhythm, same tempo, and even by the fifth measure, in the same key—D minor.

    Read the full enlightening Q&A here.

    Previously: 7 Facts about Bach’s Sonatas & Partitas That Will Amaze You

  4. #TuesdayTip: 5 Tips for Putting on a Successful Showby Ann Hoyt, Vocal Department Chair at 92Y’s School of Music In the spirit of our summertime Camp Cabaret here at 92Y’s School of Music, here are five tips to keep in mind for a successful stage performance (or, you know, for the next time you audition for American Idol!).
Know and love your songs.
Hydrate.
Be flexible; with a live show, anything can happen. Go with the flow!
Be your (stage) self. Audiences can spot a faux persona from a mile away and given that most cabaret shows are performed in small venues, they don’t have to look far. Honest, raw performances are powerful and preferable.
Love and enjoy being in the spotlight and your audience will love and enjoy the ride with you!
Master your performance skills and join Ann in one of our Glee Clubs this fall!

    #TuesdayTip: 5 Tips for Putting on a Successful Show
    by Ann Hoyt, Vocal Department Chair at 92Y’s School of Music

    In the spirit of our summertime Camp Cabaret here at 92Y’s School of Music, here are five tips to keep in mind for a successful stage performance (or, you know, for the next time you audition for American Idol!).

    1. Know and love your songs.
    2. Hydrate.
    3. Be flexible; with a live show, anything can happen. Go with the flow!
    4. Be your (stage) self. Audiences can spot a faux persona from a mile away and given that most cabaret shows are performed in small venues, they don’t have to look far. Honest, raw performances are powerful and preferable.
    5. Love and enjoy being in the spotlight and your audience will love and enjoy the ride with you!

    Master your performance skills and join Ann in one of our Glee Clubs this fall!

  5. 7 Facts about Bach’s Sonatas & Partitas That Will Amaze You For one musician to perform all six of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas in a single concert is an incredible feat. Violinist Christian Tetzlaff will perform them at 92Y Concert’s opening night on September 18 in a performance that the New York Times calls “a kind of classical music nirvana.” To prep for this big event, here are seven facts about the complete Bach Sonatas and Partitas that will amaze you. 1. Nobody knows why J.S. Bach wrote these six works for solo violin. The pieces were not dedicated to anyone and there is no record of them being performed in Bach’s lifetime. They were probably not ever intended for public performance. [[MORE]]2. The six works take about 130 minutes to perform. It’s a non-stop, mental, physical and artistic marathon. For this reason, few violinists ever perform all six works in one concert—Christian Tetzlaff is one of few. 3. Violins are rarely played without accompaniment. However, in the fugues portion of the work, Bach makes the one violin sound like four instruments playing four different tunes at the same time! 4. These six works probably ruffled some priests’ feathers. They include three sonata da chiesa (or, “church sonatas” in a “serious” style) alternating with three partitas (basically a collection of dances in a lighter style). It was a slightly controversial melding of tones for the time period. 5. It was one of Brahms’ favorites. The Chaconne—the last movement in the Partita No. 2—is considered by many musicians to be one of their desert-island pieces. Brahms said about it: “On one stave, for a small instrument, the man wrote an entire world of the deepest thoughts and most powerful feelings.” 6. It recently went viral. Remember that busking violinist who played for the morning commuters in Washington D.C.’s metro – the one who turned out to be superstar violinist Joshua Bell? Guess what he played. Yep, Bach’s Chaconne for solo violin. Here’s the story.7. Led Zeppelin, The Eagles, and Bob Dylan all sampled it. The bass line in the Chaconne appears in their music, as well as in Mary Poppins and many blues songs. Journalist Alex Ross provides some listening examples here.
Join us on opening night for this incredible concert experience (and impress everyone in your row with these seven facts!).

    7 Facts about Bach’s Sonatas & Partitas That Will Amaze You

    For one musician to perform all six of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas in a single concert is an incredible feat. Violinist Christian Tetzlaff will perform them at 92Y Concert’s opening night on September 18 in a performance that the New York Times calls “a kind of classical music nirvana.” To prep for this big event, here are seven facts about the complete Bach Sonatas and Partitas that will amaze you.

    1. Nobody knows why J.S. Bach wrote these six works for solo violin. The pieces were not dedicated to anyone and there is no record of them being performed in Bach’s lifetime. They were probably not ever intended for public performance.

    Read More

  6. #MusicMonday The “Long, Long Way” from WWI

    Today is the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, and the unofficial start of the 20th Century. The Great War had a profound influence on music, as it did on every aspect of life, but for today’s #MusicMonday, we’re keeping it simple and asking…

    Just where is Tipperary and why is it such a long way?

    “It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary” was one of the most popular songs among WWI British soldiers. Yet it was actually written in 1912 for the British music halls.

    The opening verse tells of an immigrant from the southern Irish town of Tipperary who has come to the northern English coal town of Manchester. There, all the miners talk about the revelry to be found in London’s Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square. But our Irish lad will have none of that; he will stay true to his sweetheart, far away.

    Just switch Manchester coal mines to French trenches, and “Tipperary” became a huge hit among British soldiers, filled with nostalgia for the music halls—and sweethearts—back home.

    All together now!

  7. Jazz in July’s first group of artists outside 92Y in 1985. Photo by Steve J. Sherman4 Facts You Didn’t Know About the Maestros of Jazz in July
Our six-concert Jazz in July music festival kicks off on July 22, featuring the music of Hoagy Charmichael, Leonard Bernstein, Miles Davis and the songs that kept Fred Astaire dancing. While the concert series readies to debut its 30th season, the New York Times profiled Jazz in July’s original artistic director Dick Hyman (who created it in 1985) and his successor Bill Charlap. Below are four facts you may not have known about these jazz lovers.
Prior to his creation of Jazz in July, Hyman worked with filmmaker Woody Allen and choreographer Twyla Tharp.
Hyman and Charlap are distant cousins.
Charlap’s father, Mark “Moose” Charlap, is the composer of the Broadway musical Peter Pan.
Charlap is an accomplished artist on Blue Note Records.
Learn more about Jazz in July in the Times. Then get your secure your seats and experience the “hot jazz” for yourself!

    Jazz in July’s first group of artists outside 92Y in 1985. Photo by Steve J. Sherman

    4 Facts You Didn’t Know About the Maestros of Jazz in July

    Our six-concert Jazz in July music festival kicks off on July 22, featuring the music of Hoagy Charmichael, Leonard Bernstein, Miles Davis and the songs that kept Fred Astaire dancing. While the concert series readies to debut its 30th season, the New York Times profiled Jazz in July’s original artistic director Dick Hyman (who created it in 1985) and his successor Bill Charlap. Below are four facts you may not have known about these jazz lovers.

    • Prior to his creation of Jazz in July, Hyman worked with filmmaker Woody Allen and choreographer Twyla Tharp.
    • Hyman and Charlap are distant cousins.
    • Charlap’s father, Mark “Moose” Charlap, is the composer of the Broadway musical Peter Pan.
    • Charlap is an accomplished artist on Blue Note Records.

    Learn more about Jazz in July in the Times. Then get your secure your seats and experience the “hot jazz” for yourself!

  8. Inside 92Y gives you the behind-the-scenes scoop on what’s going on at 92nd Street Y. And we give extra meaning to “scoop” this week.

    • 5 things we learned about Blondie’s Debbie Harry and Chris Stein.
    • Ice cream startups Coolhaus and Ample Hills Creamery bring their frozen treats to 92Y.
    • Learn how 92Y brings music education and concert experiences to NYC students.
    • Celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton shares the best advice he’s ever received.

  9. Photo: Meaningfulmama.com
#TuesdayTip Using Your Kitchen to Set the Stage for Family Funby Paul Williams, 92Y School of Music InstructorLooking to add some musical fun to your family time, but aren’t sure where to begin? You don’t need fancy instruments or any specialized know-how beyond a basic sense of rhythm. Just look around your kitchen and follow these easy steps:
Gather some pots and pans (plastic containers work, too).
Grab a wooden spoon or plastic utensils.
Bang them together to a beat, and voila! You’ve got the percussion to lead you through a family jam session.
Set everyone up with a pot and spoon and the whole family can join in!
Most importantly, don’t worry about how it sounds! Just have fun and let your children experiment with the different sounds; learning and growing their familiarity with making sound is what it’s all about.
BONUS TIP: Once you’re all jamming, break out the smartphone and capture it all on video. A quick upload to YouTube and you’ve got your family band’s first music video!
For a little more harmony, throw on one of your favorite recordings to play along to, or if someone in the clan does play an instrument, they can jump in on the action too. Sing along, dance and have a music party!
 (The stuffed animals, trucks, trains and dolls can join as well.) 
Want to take your young one’s music skills to the next level? Join Paul for a class this summer!

    Photo: Meaningfulmama.com

    #TuesdayTip Using Your Kitchen to Set the Stage for Family Fun
    by Paul Williams, 92Y School of Music Instructor

    Looking to add some musical fun to your family time, but aren’t sure where to begin? You don’t need fancy instruments or any specialized know-how beyond a basic sense of rhythm. Just look around your kitchen and follow these easy steps:

    • Gather some pots and pans (plastic containers work, too).
    • Grab a wooden spoon or plastic utensils.
    • Bang them together to a beat, and voila! You’ve got the percussion to lead you through a family jam session.
    • Set everyone up with a pot and spoon and the whole family can join in!
    • Most importantly, don’t worry about how it sounds! Just have fun and let your children experiment with the different sounds; learning and growing their familiarity with making sound is what it’s all about.
    • BONUS TIP: Once you’re all jamming, break out the smartphone and capture it all on video. A quick upload to YouTube and you’ve got your family band’s first music video!

    For a little more harmony, throw on one of your favorite recordings to play along to, or if someone in the clan does play an instrument, they can jump in on the action too. Sing along, dance and have a music party!
 (The stuffed animals, trucks, trains and dolls can join as well.)

    Want to take your young one’s music skills to the next level? Join Paul for a class this summer!

  10. Photo from inneri on Flickr: http://bit.ly/1tAiHWU | Cropped, titled and blurred from original | Used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 | 
#MusicMonday: 8 Songs You Should Never Play at a Wedding June is the month for weddings, and thousands of young couples are discussing what music to choose for their service. Popular songs have long been part of weddings, ever since Fiddler on the Roof’s “Sunrise, Sunset,” Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love.”  As a public service, we’ve put together a list of songs that should probably never be sung at any wedding:
“50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” by Paul Simon
“Another One Bites The Dust” by Queen
“The Blame Game” by Kanye West
“Cry Me a River” by Justin Timberlake
“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” by U2
“Love Stinks” by J. Geils Band
“Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division
“The Thrill is Gone” by B.B. King
What song did you play at your wedding?

    Photo from inneri on Flickr: http://bit.ly/1tAiHWU | Cropped, titled and blurred from original | Used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 |

    #MusicMonday: 8 Songs You Should Never Play at a Wedding

    June is the month for weddings, and thousands of young couples are discussing what music to choose for their service. Popular songs have long been part of weddings, ever since Fiddler on the Roof’s “Sunrise, Sunset,” Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love.”

    As a public service, we’ve put together a list of songs that should probably never be sung at any wedding:

    1. “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” by Paul Simon
    2. “Another One Bites The Dust” by Queen
    3. “The Blame Game” by Kanye West
    4. “Cry Me a River” by Justin Timberlake
    5. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” by U2
    6. “Love Stinks” by J. Geils Band
    7. “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division
    8. “The Thrill is Gone” by B.B. King

    What song did you play at your wedding?