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Lin-Manuel Miranda and Sergei Diaghilev

Posted by Ben on September 16, 2016 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

A core goal of the American education system is to create well-rounded children (and eventually adults). Even in specialized schools such as music conservatories, the curriculum still emphasizes the “a little bit of everything” approach, albeit within the confines of music. While there are of course many benefits to having a wide variety of skills and areas of knowledge, and while it is very admirable when people seem to have across-the-board talent in their field (for instance, M...

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In Defense of Teaching

Posted by Ben on June 29, 2014 at 5:00 PM Comments comments (1)

I'm sure most college students have at some point come across the quote, "Those who can do. Those who can't teach." Though there are some disciplines in which this saying is more frequently used than others, it is particularly pervasive with regards to music. Obviously, as a music teacher who has no desire whatsoever to ever stop teaching regardless of how my future ends up, this is very annoying to hear!

 

I think the people who prescribe to this mindset ultimately have a s...

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Writing History Backwards

Posted by Ben on February 9, 2014 at 9:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Since I just graduated college and am now at the next "chapter" in my life, it is often fun to look back and divide everything else into "chapters" based on school, meeting certain people, being introduced to certain ideas, etc. Once these periods are established, it is fun to think how the lessons acquired from one period showed up applied in the later ones in a kind of linear way. However, the more I think about it, the more I feel like the big changes that have happened in my life kind of...

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Shielding One's Self from Significant Criticism

Posted by Ben on March 3, 2012 at 11:20 PM Comments comments (0)

       I recently began to write an orchestral piece and had a lot of ideas for beginnings and directions to take it. As I tried multiple ideas,  I began to think about how I start writing most pieces, and I realized that I generally have an instinct towards fun and upbeat music. 

       I thought about why I have this tendency, and I realized that writing zany and light-hearted music is a way to shield myself from significant criticism ...

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Constraint in Pop Vs. Classical Music

Posted by Ben on December 24, 2011 at 2:35 AM Comments comments (0)

     **Before I say anything, please note that I love pop music just as much as I love other types of music. I am not intending anything in this post to be a commentary on the quality of pop or classical music.**

     For my latest project, I am collaborating with a senior at my college on her final project as a dance major. One of the sections in her project calls for a pop song, so I have been dabbling around at my keyboard trying to get some ideas. I hav...

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