Carol of the Day
It is always very interesting to learn the history behind a song, especially when it comes to Christmas carols. Here we will learn more about one of our Christmas favorites - "Hark the Herald Angels Sing." The said song appeared in 1739 in a book called Hymns and Sacred Poems.
Composer of the Day
Dietrich Buxtehude was an organist and highly-regarded composer of church music who influenced other composers such as George Frideric Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach is said to have walked from Thuringia to Lubeck (more than 200 miles) to hear him play.
Today in Music History
On this day in 1990, American composer Aaron Copland passed away in Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A. Copland was an influential composer, conductor, writer and teacher of the 20th century who helped bring American music to the forefront. Copland wrote the ballet "Billy the Kid" and "Rodeo," which were both based on American folk stories. He also wrote film scores based on John Steinbeck's novels, namely "Of Mice and Men" and "The Red Pony."
Suggested Stocking Stuffer
VTech KidJamz Studio - Compare Prices - Inspire creativity while fostering the love of music in this toy for little musicians. Children can play 10 different instruments on the keyboard and there are 20 sing-along melodies to choose from. The lightup keyboard helps teach kids how to play selected songs and the microphone has 4 different voice effects. Another great feature of this toy is that it allows kids to record and playback their creations on a detachable music player. There is also a scratching disc for your little DJ. This is one of the best musical toys I've seen so far for 2008. Recommended for children 3 years old and up.
Inside the Music Education Blogosphere
Over at Catalysts & Connections, blog owner Evan Tobias talks about the recently launched YouTube Symphony Orchestra project, and how music educators and students can participate in this endeavor.