Category Archives: classical music

Happy Birthday, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart!

Young MozartPosted by Elizabeth Devereux


In honor of what would be Mozart’s 257th birthday, I’d like to share a very silly video of Bobby McFerrin and a comedic Polish string quartet called Grupa MoCarta enjoying Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nacht Musik in many new transformations…



Philadelphia All-City Orchestra to be conducted by Yannick!

Posted by Elizabeth Devereux

This weekend high school musicians from across the Philadelphia region who are playing in All-City Orchestra will rehearse with the Philadelphia Orchestra’s new music director, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, who’s proven somewhat of a sensation to Philadelphia audiences, full of energy and verve enough to get even Philadelphia Orchestra audience members excited about their new orchestra conductor.  All-City Orchestra will rehearse portions of Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony, which seems to be a perfect match for Yannick’s vivacity.  This weekend’s rehearsal is in preparation for the All-City Orchestra Concert on March 4th, 2013, which Yannick will also conduct.

Lucky high-schoolers, enjoy!


This weekend’s rehearsal comes days after Yannick’s appearance at Monday’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert, at which the Philadelphia Orchestra was joined by the All-City Choir, Jeri Lynne Johnson of the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, violinist Elena Urioste, and narrator Charlotte Blake Alston.

I love hearing about a city’s music director performing outside of the Kimmel Center and Center City, and conducting the city’s young, talented musicians!  It’s the cynic in me that even has this thought: I hope Yannick’s community involvement this year isn’t just honeymoon behavior but is here to stay…

“Why Arts Education Is Crucial”: Edutopia article by Fran Smith

Posted by Elizabeth Devereux

I work in a program in Philadelphia, Play On, Philly!, which lets me participate on a daily basis in the positive impact that a strong arts program can have on a child’s social and academic development.  Here is an Edutopia article by Fran Smith which discusses in-depth, and with sound statistical support, what I see happening with my students day to day at Play On Philly:

Why Arts Education Is Crucial, and Who’s Doing It Best.



The Edutopia website is an amazing, innovative resource for those interested in the world of education.   One of my favorite series on the Edutopia website is their

“Schools That Work”

series, which has videos such as this one, about a school reform effort in Germany.

Happy Basketball Season, and DID YOU KNOW…

Posted by Elizabeth Devereux

…that Kobe Bryant plays the piano??

Kobe piano

As he tweeted after a 95-83 loss to the Chicago Bulls, playing piano (Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata) calms him down when he reaches his breaking point.

Happy Birthday, Ludwig van Beethoven!


Posted by Elizabeth Devereux





One of my most memorable experiences so far as a violin teacher is the first time I played Beethoven for a classroom full of 3-6 year-olds.  It was in my first year of teaching private violin lessons full-time, and I taught one Suzuki group class of beginner violinists.  Each month I chose a composer whose birthday fell in that month to celebrate; we would listen to their music, read about them, and share what we thought of them and their music.  My goal was to get these young violinists to care about what they heard, not necessarily to get them to like what they heard.  Beethoven, though, made it easy for them to both care about and like the music.

Beethoven was born on either the 15th or 16th of this month in the year 1770.  On the first Thursday…

View original post 119 more words

Joke of the Week

Posted by Elizabeth Devereux, from 50 More Jokes in Four Minutes

What did Mozart and Beethoven turn into after they died?


Flashed and Mobbed by SoundStringS!

Posted by Elizabeth Devereux

After a long spring and summer of hibernation, SoundStringS is back, and ready…

to mob you with


to flash you with


Many of you have heard of flash mobs already, but for those of you who haven’t, I’ll let you enjoy a definition by example:

Sometimes they sing…(in Reading Terminal Market!  One of my favorite spots in Philly.)


Sometimes they’re joyful odes…(WOW, the young girl got so much out of these musicians for dropping what sounded like one coin in that hat!  Must be a recession.)


Sometimes they’re soulful elegies…


Somtimes they’re bustin’ a move…


Sometimes it’s lack of motion that mobs you…


Sometimes you only have your phone to capture a flash mob of over 300 performing Carmina Burana at 30th St. Station…

Sometimes foundations fund them and take better videos than phones do…


They ALWAYS elicit enthusiastic and monstrous applause.  So, who says the performing arts are dying?  I’d argue they’re being reborn in a flash.