Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The 6 most insane pieces of classical music in existence

Hello students and parents,

I thought I'd share this article with you. The 6 most insane pieces of classical music in existence.

Happy listening - or not.

Mr Kozak

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Hard Drive crash statistics - what do you own?

Hello musicians,

The good folks at Backblaze have put out another report with crash statistics on the different makers of hard drives that they use. See the chart below and take heed.
Hard Drive Failure Rates by Model
Remember, always, always back up your data. One external HD is not enough, and cheaper is not always better.

Mr. Kozak

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Teaching meter the easy way

Fellow Teachers,

My very first trial lesson for a music teaching job, the administration wanted me to teach meter. Nothing could have been easier.

Meter is one of the elements of music, and students can grasp this concept at a very early age. It can be mastered by grade seven without problem. Here's how.

Play a sample of music with different meters and have students clap the beat. This prep exercise has nothing to do with meter, but warms up their ears by listening to the pulse of the music (which is the exact definition of beat, by the way).

My song list includes:
- 15 Step (Radiohead)
- Take Five (Dave Brubeck Quartet)
- The Blue Danube (Strauss)
- any pop song (let's say "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" by The Beatles) or my begrudgingly favourite non-song to trot out and whip once in a while (for so many reasons-remind me to do a whole plog post on it), which is unfair, but a lot of fun - "Friday" by Jessica Black
- a polka
- and the grandaddy, The Rite of Spring

I usually leave the last one out until a few classes later. The idea is to build confidence, not confusion.

After the listening activity, we move to the clapping.

Pat your lap with your left hand (weak beat) with a constant tempo. Stress the downbeat (strong beat) with your right hand. Demonstrate 4/4 meter first and tell them.

Now the fun begins.

Call each student out of the room and tell them to demonstrate a meter of your choice. That new "conductor" sits in a chair at the front and taps out the meter while students count and figure out the meter. All students get a chance to be the conductor.

As they grasp the concept of strong/weak beats, eventually you can have someone do mixed meter. For example, a bar of 4/4 and a bar of 3/4.

That's a simplified lesson plan for you. The next lesson, they write basic quarter note rhythms with mixed meter and melodies on manuscript paper.

Mr. Kozak

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Don't Be A Litter Bug - Mr. Eco

Students of Music,

This is a wonderful song promoting the environment. Don't litter!

It's from the site Mr. Eco. Check it out.

Mr. Kozak

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Music and fire

Students of fire (and music),

This is a 2D Ruben's tube with sound.

"Yes, I really want to light it up."

Mr. Kozak

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Singing to a Greener Tune - UNEP Environment & Music Initiative Report


This report is four years old already, so the lists must be much longer by now of green companies, festivals, and bands that want to make a festival green and sustainable.

Mr. Kozak

Monday, April 14, 2014

United Nations Environment Program & Music Initiative

Some simpletons have excluded this possibility.

Don't be one of them.
If you think music education and the environment are separate issues, then read the report and comment bellow.

Be the positive change instead of the danger.

Mr. Kozak

Friday, April 11, 2014

Creativity again

Great article about creativity.

In my experience, it is undervalued, if even mentioned.

Mr. Kozak

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

11 Eco-Friendly U.S. Music Festivals

This is a great link to eco-friendly music festivals. They include:

Telluride Bluegrass Festival
Outside Lands
Austin City Limts
High Sierra
West Beach
Lightning in a Bottle

Mr. Kozak

Green screen movie-making Part 5


It's not really part 5, but there really is a lot to learn with video editing.

We have found out that putting a background into iMovie FIRST works best. Then adjust the length of time to match the time of your video. Drag and drop your video onto the backdrop. That should prevent any weird overlaps.

This guy has has great tips.

Mr. Kozak

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Eco-friendly music festival script writing - Part 4


You are writing three conversations about an imaginary music festival that focusses on being green.
Make sure that each conversation has 3 points of learning about the environment. Put those points in dark green font.

Format each conversation in your Music Journal like this:
Conversation #1:
Jack: Hey, this band is really groovy!
Jill: Sure is. They are my favorite band in the world.
Jack: Say, I’m getting hungry.
Jill: etc. etc.

Mr. Kozak

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Voyager's Golden Disk


Cosmos is back! Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan's legacy continues with the help of Niel deGrasse Tyson.

Listen to at least three songs from the Voyager 1 golden disk.

In your MJ, make notes (in bullet point form) about the elements of music relating to each song
how the song makes you feel.
Also, see if you can tell me the main instrument and genre/type of music.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Eco-Music Festival Site Requirements - Part 3

Grade 6,

In your Music Journal, write a detailed description of what your eco-friendly music festival requirements are. Think of allllllllllllllll the things you need to have a successful, safe, environmentally-friendly, fun music festival.

Think about the variables for your festival:
- What will be the food?
- How many bands will there be? How many stages?
- How many volunteers will you need?
- Where will it be?
- When will it be?
- How will you advertise?
- How many port-a-potties will you need?