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Items by Bart Brush

Results: 141
Title Author Date
Comment: Re: Choral music for Civil Rights commemoration?
How about something sung by the Civil Rights demonstrators on the march, in the style that they sang it?  We Shall Overcome has been mentioned, and there are many others.  Spirited, in-tune unison singing is always appropriate, especially when historically accurate.  You could add simple harmonie...
Comment: Re: "Orisons" (prayer songs) for children
Rise Up Singing! is a best-selling book of lyrics and chords to hundreds of songs--folk, pop, broadway, standards, rock, etc.  It's published by Sing Out! magazine, which was begun by Pete Seeger in the 1950s.  The songs are arranged in categories, and I think you would find many possibilities in ...
Comment: Re: Volume Issues
After 14 years, I am really appreciating having YouTube access in my room for the first time.  It is not feasible for me to get my students to a live performance, so this is a wonderful resource, though I often have to adjust the computer/projector volume to avoid distortion.    Your suggestion...
Comment: Re: Volume Issues
Please elaborate for this music teacher who has had no formal voice training.  I am confused by what seems to be a contradiction between "forward or focused", "feel the ringing in the mask of the face";  and my efforts to have my students increase resonance by lifting the rear of the oral cavity b...
Comment: Re: Middle School Choir- Rehearsal Help
1.  I'm a K-6 teacher (14 yrs) with a computer projector in my room this year for the first time, and I love showing my 3rd - 6th graders short YouTube videos of children and adults around the world, amateur and professional, singing as soloists, groups or choirs; also demonstrating vocal technique...
Comment: Re: Holiday repertoire for middle school choir
Street cries are, in  my opinion, an oft neglected but fascinating genre of music...or is it speech?  Actually, both--right on that primordial boundary between the two.  I've seen a few arrangements of street cries as rounds or with other simple harmonies, but I make my own adaptations on rare oc...
Comment: Re: 3 Part for Beginner High School Choir -- very strict school!
My suggestion would be to find another job, but I understand this may be easier said than done, and not practical for you.  This is reallly outrageous that you, the music specialist, should be dictated to in this manner, and that your school would not stand up against whatever threats are being mad...
Comment: Re: Sacred Christmas Stomp/Body Percussion etc for Youth Boys
Hi Greg,  Saw your post earlier and am just now, after school, able to respond.  I agree with Matthew in recommending African Noel, also know as Sing Noel or Banuwa (with different words but same tune).  Dr. Will Schmid has arranged this (the Banuwah version) in his World Music Drumming curriculu...
Comment: Re: First Year Teaching, Need Curriculum
Regarding Boomwackers, try giving only one of each note to your eight best behaved students.  Say something like, "I'm looking for eight students who can treat this instruments with respect, and after they demonstrate the lesson/tune/proper use, I'll pass out instruments to others who show me they'...
Comment: Re: a cappella patriotic music?
I suggest a medley of God Save the King (later changed to America, "My Country 'tis of Thee"), followed without pause by Chester.  Perhaps the first in unison and then Chester in 4 parts.  The tyranny and the American response.   "...Long too reign over us, God Save the king!   Let tyrants sha...
Comment: Re: First Year Teaching, Need Curriculum
P.S.:  I didn't mention it, but as we play these instruments, I'm also trying to teach--at an age-appropriate level-- performance standards, the elements of music, music and world history, human migration and cultural influences, geography, acoustics, etc.
Comment: Re: First Year Teaching, Need Curriculum
I know what you mean.  Fourteen years ago, at the age of 50, I started teaching general music K-6 with no experience or training.  I had just finished my MEd in elementary education, and was looking for a 3rd or 4th grade job in upstate NY, but competing with 30-50 other candidates, many with expe...
Comment: Re: Winter Pieces
Thank you Stuart, I enjoyed listening to it, and recommend everyone check out your arrangements.   I teach at the elementary level, and my comment above was related to my interests in hearing what composers might have come up with had they chosen different settings for favorite pieces.  Kodaly, B...
Comment: Re: Winter Pieces
I wish someone would make selections from Die Winterreisse and arrange it for 2-4 voices.    What I would recommend is Jon Krumm's round "Fly, fly, fly".  It's a short musical nugget that descends one octave on the natural minor scale.  Beautiful melody, words and harmonies.   "Fly fly fly; ...
Comment: Re: Getting individual voice lessons in the school day
For fourteen years, I have been holding extra rehearsals during my lunch and prep periods, and before and after school.  It's not ideal, it's not fair, I don't get paid for that time, and I eat lunch at 3 pm, but it works for me.  The time is there.  There are additional favorable circumstances i...
Comment: Re: Music as Protest
Finlandia?   I don't recall the circumstances of it's composition.   Also, there must be songs of this type from the American Indian tradition.
Comment: Re: Multicultural Theme
Both of the major textbook series for K-8 (Macmillan and and Scott-Foresman) are loaded with multicultural pieces suitable for those grades.  Each includes CDs with performance, accompaniment, and pronounciation tracks.  Indiana professor Mary Goetze is one of the multicultural consultants for the...
Comment: Re: HS candlelight processional
The Boston-based Revels group has a book Celebrate the Winter with a whole section on processionals.  Most are in unison, but good unison singing can be nice contrast and is always appropriate in my opinion.   Also, there might be other arrangements of these available.  The Revels book includes: ...
Comment: Re: Most challenging song(s) for you personally that you were proud of yourself for learning and performing well!
I never had any type of voice training and was not allowed to sing in my high school choir (after successfully passing the audition) because I would not play in the marching band (was a school requirement).  So, when I got to college, everything in choir was new, challenging and exciting, particula...
Comment: Re: Favorite Lullabye
Dmitri Kabalevsky: Good Night; in Doreen Rao's book We Will Sing!  Unison with optional 2 part in the B section; one octave range.
Comment: Re: Favorite Lullabye
All the Little Horses.  ("Blacks and bays, dapples and grays, coach and six little horses...")
Comment: Re: General Music - Grade 6 Curriculum - Will This Idea Work?
   Joyce's time line is a great idea.  I don't have a commercial version, but make my own as each year proceeds.  I mounted century dates from 1100-2000 above the whiteboards on the long wall of my room, one century every four feet.  These are simply black cut out numerals glued on half sheets ...
Comment: Re: Repertoire & Schedule for TINY HS chorus w/ Learning Disabilities
Three of my favorite short, easy, and musical rounds are Peace Round (words by Jean Ritchie to an old English melody), Ah Poor Bird (English?), and London's Burning (Great Fire of 1666).  Publications and recordings by the Boston based Revels group contain many "short and sweet" pieces of many type...
Comment: Re: Exemplar Choirs from Around The World
Correction: second group should be Soweto Gospel Choir.  Also add African Children's Chorus and their wonderful choreogreaphy.
Comment: Re: General Music - Grade 6 Curriculum - Will This Idea Work?
If time permits, students should gain some awareness of world music and the similarities and differences between cultures.  For example: the same elements (melody, rhythm, harmony, timbre, dynamics, form) are used in different ways; same instrument families and acoustical properties used differentl...
Comment: Re: Exemplar Choirs from Around The World
Ladysmith Black Mambazo, South African Gospel Choir, Kecak--the Balinese choral monkey chant, contemporary American Indian small choral ensembles, authentic Sacred Harp groups (not "regular" choirs singing Sacred Harp), The Red Army Chorus (listen to their back-to-back renditions of the Star Spangle...
Comment: Re: Curriculum for class of 50, 5th/6th graders in General Music?
You might also find Nick Page's Sing and Shine On very helpful.
Comment: Re: songs about birds for a unison children's choir
At a Kodaly workshop a few years ago, Philip Tacka taught us a beautiful song "Someone Told The Wild Geese It was Time to Go." 
Comment: Re: Differentiating in the choir rehearsal
Whether we are musicians, music educators, music professors or directors of music degree programs, we must continually insist that the people demanding differentiation actually have experience doing this in a music classroom in a musically relevant way.   What a concept!  Can you imagine if we we...
Comment: Re: Unfamiliar curriculum
For non classic guitar classes, Dr. Will Schmid's classroom method published by Hal Leonard is said to be the most widely used.  He teaches reading, melody playing, improvisation and chords, and there are 4 CDs that come with it.  Several years ago, while taking Dr. Schmid's 5-day summer World Mus...
Comment: Re: making up classroom absences
Good suggestions Thomas.   This sounds like another instance where the priorites are sports, "academic" subjects, everything else, and music, in that order.
Comment: Re: Bluegrass for Choir
I agree with Kevin, that "published pieces are not very good bluegrass," and this causes the problems mentioned by Elizabeth.  For example, bluegrass rhythms are straight forward, not tricky (other elements of blegrass style certainly are), and bluegrass banjo players play with three fingers, not c...
Comment: Re: Winter Holidays Around the World
Neesa, Neesa is an elegant, simple round with beautiful harmonies.  It's on one of Libana's CDs, derived from Seneca Indian traditions, and means "Winter moon, we thank you." The various grade level books of the Macmillan music series Spotlight on Music (grades 1-8?) each have at least one "winter...
Comment: Re: Building a program from the ground up
I second World Music Drumming.  Go to the website and make arrangements to attend one of the 5 day summer trainings held around the US.  One of the most important sessions when I attend eight years ago, was an evening presentation of fund raising methods to cover the $3000+ cost of drums.  Some o...
Comment: Re: We need songs with names of states in the title
Sweet Wyoming Home by Bill Staines; and State Laughs by Tom Chapin (...and in Idaho, they go "ho, ho, ho....and in old Kentuck', they go "nyuk, nyuk" ......and they ro-o-o-o-oll on the ground."
Comment: Re: Journey songs
Further tentative historical information: the Sacred Harp setting was made in the 1830s, from a Negro Spiritual.
Comment: Re: Children's Choir songs about STARS
Here are more specifics regarding my earlier post.   Star Canon was written by Mary Goetze using words from Firefly by the Chinese poet Li Po.  "I think, if you flew up to the sky, beside the moon, you would sparkle like a star."   It is in the 5th grade book of the Macmillan music series Spotlig...
Comment: Re: Children's Choir songs about STARS
Oh Watch the Stars is a beautiful traditional Appalachian song with only one verse.  I think I got it from one of The Revels' publications, but don't recall for certain as I always teach it by rote.  Mary Goetze composed a round which I have used with success, but I can't find it right now as my c...
Comment: Re: Journey songs
Climb Every Mountain and When You Walk Through a Storm are well known but never fail to move me.    I'm not sure if Maggie's suggestion is a version of, or derived from, the Shape Note hymn Traveling a Mighty Rocky Road, as I couldn't get to youtube from this computer.  But I would recommend th...
Comment: Re: Mozart and trombones
Could any of you brass players advise me on a distantly related topic?  My background is in woodwinds.  When school resumes, I will have a small group of 10-12 year olds with no previous experience, learning to play standard alphorns--about 13' long, fundamental note F.  Is there a particular mou...
Comment: Re: Conference Morsel: Fine Tuning
Could someone with more vocal and theoretical knowledge than I have, please explain the relationship between vibrato and tuning?  How is it even possible to fine tune when a group of singers are all varying their pitches slightly?  Is proper vibrato a pulse in dynamic level rather than a variation...
Comment: Re: Choir and IB?
The threats to a quality, well rounded education are constantly changing, but always present.
Comment: Re: Percussion Instruments for General and Performing Middle School Choir Classes
Thomas,      How do you support practice pads for 20-25 students?  Do you have enough stands, or use tables?  Is it practical and advisable to put the pad on a lapboard while seated?  I'm not a trained percussionist, but I teach the first 10 or 12 rudiments to my small 4-5-6th grade drum cor...
Comment: Re: End-of-Year Choir Games
This is not music specific, but there are books of "new games" (cooperative games) for various numbers of participants, widely used by Outward Bound, summer camps and youth organizations.   How about using youtube videos to to show the diverse ways the human voice is used: overtone singing, hog c...
Comment: Re: Touring with children: Cell phones & Electronics
Before the proliferation of these devices, I ran a summer outdoor adventure program for a dozen kids at a time, with bus trips of up to 3 hrs to our destinations.  These were mostly 10-12 year olds with a few older and younger.  I had a couple boxes of puzzles that circulated on the bus, including...
Comment: Re: Percussion Instruments for General and Performing Middle School Choir Classes
This forum is over two years old, but here are my thoughts:   I also recommend considering Remo tubanos along with Dr. Will Schmid's World Music Drumming curriculum.  This is a singing as well as a drumming program.  Every upper elementary and middle school music educator ought to take the 5 da...
Comment: Re: English language learners in choir
Please keep us posted on this, Sharon.  In AZ, all teachers have to take up to 90 hours of "Structured English Immersion" or SEI.  This requirement was enacted by the state legislature because they felt State Ed. was doing a lousy job preparing those students.  The textbook does not have the word...
Comment: Re: Scheduling Ideas
I don't know how scheduling works at the middle school level, but for 12 years, in 3 elementary schools, I have made time for various select music groups during lunch.  At the schools I've worked at, the cafeterias are small and lunch has always been served in multiple seatings, every 20 minutes. ...
Comment: Re: Greek repertoire for treble choir?
Henry--   Your first choral instructional video was one of half a dozen materials that were most helpful to me when I was a new teacher in 2000, with no specific choral training other than participation in high school and college choirs.  (And useful still!)    Thank you,   Bart Brush
Comment: Re: Taking the "Christ" out of "Ubi Caritas"?
I agree that we should  "let religions coexist rather than whittle them down until they all look the same,"  but I disagree with your comments about public schools.  We most certainly can pray in school, we simply have to do it on our own and in our own way because we live in a society of many f...