Category Archives: Music Blog

The Good Guys (& Gals) of New Orleans Music

If you’re not from New Orleans or haven’t lived here for an extended period, it’s hard to articulate how wonderful the environment is among musicians here, particularly the fellowship and the way they nurture young artists and share the message of the joy of music education.

But let me try.

Several years ago I noticed in the newspaper one Saturday morning that Delfeayo Marsalis (trombonist of the famous Marsalis family) was holding “Cool School,” a session for young kids explaining and illustrating what jazz was all about through story and performance. I entered the small daycare facility and found myself in the presence of about 15 children, a dozen or so parents, and six world-class musicians. I couldn’t help but think that people in New York would line up in droves to watch a program like this. It’s both a blessing and a curse that our expectations of accessibility to great music is so high that we don’t even bat an eye that such a performance is available in such an intimate setting.

A few years later I visited the iconic music club Tipitina’s in New Orleans for the Tipitina’s Foundation Sunday music workshop. Again, 3 world-class musicians – Tony Dagradi (sax), Johnny Vidacovich (drums), and Roland Guerin (bass) played, and this time they mentored young musicians.  The format of the workshop is that the trio performs a couple of tunes as an intro, and then invite children onto the stage to join them.  About 15-20 kids joined the kids with various instruments in hand joined in. The musicians provided a brief tutorial on a simple 3-chord blues, and off they went.

As Sales and Marketing Rep. at LAFARGUE PIANOS, I hear over and over stories of parents who bring in their children for music lessons because they themselves weren’t fortunate enough to play an instrument. Either their parents didn’t believe it was important, they couldn’t afford lessons, the school they went to didn’t have a program or considered it non-essential, they tried but didn’t take music lessons seriously and later regretted it, or they simply never took the initiative. In any case, they make great sacrifices of both time and money to open the door to music for their children.

As we struggle with diminishing resources allocated to music education, kudos to all of the musicians, non-profits, and parents who are helping to fill in the gaps.

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Sleeveface: Fun with Vinyl Album Covers

Today’s post is just for fun. Thanks to my friend Teri for giving me a heads up on this website that features pictures of people superimposing album covers over themselves to create fun faux pics. There’s probably more appeal in this to those of us who actually remember vinyl album covers.

When I interviewed Joe Santa Maria for my book Everything We Needed to Know About Business, We Learned Playing Music, he reflected on the joy of vinyl albums as a boy:

“I can still remember that Christmas my mother got me the best gift in the world, The White Album,” he said. “The double records and the posters and the pictures. I can still remember coming home from Christmas. I couldn’t play the record. I got it, but then I couldn’t play it [until he came home later that day]. I had to walk around with it all day.”

He added, “Coming home Christmas night and crawling into bed and just looking at The White Album! Like ‘I’ve got The White Album!’ Looking at the lyrics and then just playing it really soft so no one could hear it. And to this day, it’s still my favorite album of all time.”

“That is missing from music now,” he said in reference to the purchase of tangible vinyl as opposed to digital downloads. “I can’t wait to see what the cover looks like, and I can’t wait to flip it over and stare at it while I’m listening to it. The bands don’t have that kind of lure to them. You had no money, so it was a big deal that you bought it. It was so much fun.”

Link to the website Sleeveface.com

Music Education in America: Missing the Bigger Picture

A quick word of thanks to The Daily Riff and Catherine Westerberg for inviting me to provide a guest post regarding a new twist on the benefits of music education. Lots of great info and ideas on education and education reform on the website – take a few minutes to take a look!

Link to article

Music Education Advocacy Quick Links

I’ve posted these before, but for quick reference:

“Why Music Education Continues to Lose the Funding Battle” (and why sports programs win)
https://bizmusician.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/why-music-education-continues-to-lose-the-funding-battle-part-i/

“FROM THE BAND ROOM TO THE BOARDROOM…The 9 Common Lessons of Music Education That Translate into Success”
https://bizmusician.wordpress.com/2010/04/06/435/

“CEOs and Business Leaders Interviewed on the importance of music education”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BquzvlLmMYA

Link to Free E-book Everything We Needed to Know About Business, We Learned Playing Music at Google Docs (view or download)

Link to purchase hard copy of Everything We Needed to Know About Business, We Learned Playing Music at Amazon.com

Music Education Blog Carnival – May 2010


Alan Zweibel hosts this month’s Music Education Blog Carnival, a compilation of blog posts related to music education that appears at a different music education bloggers website each month during the school year. Thanks to Alan for compiling this outstanding resource and for including me in this month’s edition:
Link to the May 2010 Music Education Blog Carnival