Bridging the Gap

My first blog post was about the benefits of classical music. Research proved that listening to Mozart during a test gives you better results on that test. This shows that the music you listen to correlates to your school smarts. Looking to boost your grades? Try classical! Project 440 is one of the many organizations that empowers students to turn their passion for playing music into a passion for giving back to their community.

LiveConnections ... inspires learning and builds community through collaborative music-making.” “... LiveConnections has re-imagined the landscape of live music and music education through unique collaborations that join artists from different genres to highlight how music crosses cultures and creates bridges of understanding.” Their programs consist of three types: Bridge Sessions, ClassicAlive and LiveStudio. Recorded and performed at World Cafe Live, they are quite an experience. Here is a ClassicAlive concert featuring violinist, Kristin Lee, “... she is commissioning composer/performers to write music for the violin and steelpan, guitar, theremin, and carnatic South Indian singing.”
Lee partnered with Astral Artists, who want “To discover the most promising classical musicians residing in the United States, assist their early professional career development, and present their world-class artistry to the community through concerts and engagement programs.” They believe “... that the future of classical music belongs to today’s emerging musicians, and that empowering their talent and ingenuity ensures a cultural legacy for generations to come.”

LiveConnections’ bridge sessions “bridge gaps between different genres of music to bring together communities. So they’ll take someone like Joseph Conyers… associate principal of the Philly Orchestra, and pair him with a jazz musician or a DJ or a drummer. And they’ll put them together and see what they can come up with… All music can come together…” says Zach, who I interviewed for my original research.


Here is a picture of a Bridge Session. This musician is teaching about tempo. From largo to presto, it’s important to stick to the beat! (Source)

A graduate student at Temple University, Zach is pursuing a Master’s degree in Music Performance. He was inspired by LiveConnections and created a program for an independent study. “It comes from my love of pop music and classical music.” Zach is working with Joseph Conyers, Associate Principal Bassist of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Executive Director at "Project 440". Zach’s program “... touches on the basic fundamentals of music and how they are present in both today's Popular hits and Classical music such as Mozart or Bach…”.

Through his program, he “... strive[s] to make the connection between these two genres, [classical and pop,] through engaging performance and audience participation.” For my Agent of Change, I want this program to be performed to my class and I. It is new, so we would be the test run and give feedback to improve it. Then, Zach could iron out the program and it could be presented to more kids.

Here is the video of the whole interview.

I actually found a whole new organization, Astral Artists, who support the future of classical music and emerging musicians. I was pleasantly surprised especially since I notice that they were connected. For example, I found LiveConnections through Project 440 and Astral Artists through LiveConnections. Zach spoke about his connections with LiveConnections and Project 440 which lead me to researching them both.

I created a survey which you can see here, and wanted to send it out to Musicopia String Orchestra and the All-City Philadelphia High School Orchestra. Unfortunately, it could not be sent out to All-City because the emails of the students were confidential. After realizing this, I sent out my survey to Musicopia too late, and it is a small group so I received only five responses. For this survey, I wanted to see if musical tastes related to (P)SAT scores.

I did not expect my interview to go this well. I am extremely grateful to Zach for letting me interview him and hope he can come perform for us!

Annotated Bibliography