Music makes community

IMG_0649After our celebrity whirlwind yesterday we settled into a schedule of rehearsals and activities. Dr. Moorman-Stahlman is performing with several orchestras while she is here in Brazil. The Primeira Igreja Batista De Rondônia (PIBRO) is the rehearsal home and workshop venue while we are in Porto Velho. Each day Dr. Moorman-Stahlman rehearses with the Villa Lobos Orchestra. She will be performing the Beethoven Concerto #3 and the Rachmaninoff Concerto #2 and also Rachel is sitting in and playing violin with orchestra. It has been thrilling to watch and listen to these fine musicians rehearse each day.

Tonight we attended a bilingual church service at the PIBRO where our students performed with the handbells. At the greeting time in the service, I think every person came up to us and shook our hand and gave us a hug. The Brazilian people are so giving, kind and warm. This was a touching service as we sang both in Portuguese and English. There seemed to be no communication barriers in this church service and you could feel the love all around. There was so much music and people drew closer with each tune, perhaps this is what we need more of in our world.

Here is a little video of the handbell performance.


Celebrities for a day!



Today we are Brazilian celebrities! We had two television interviews today. The first one was for Rondônia TV.  Dr. Moorman-Stahlman and Jéssica Mayumi were interviewed live where they discussed the cultural exchange program between LVC and the Brazilian students and then Abby Stoner,  Rachel Schultz and, Robin McAnally and I played a bucket drumming piece followed by two songs on the handbells in which Dr. Moorman-Stahlman joined. We thought we were all done when another television studio asked us to have another interview. We hurriedly went to the Escola de Música Villa Lobos and had the second interview. This was followed by a lunch snack where we enjoyed “Tapioca” and wonderful fruit juice drinks. We then were joined by some students from Rio de Janeiro, some of which had been involved in our cultural exchange at LVC. We had a rehearsal at the Primeira Igreja Batista De Rondôia and then dinner (at 9:45 pm).  We had a wonderful first full day in Brazil! I will have a live link for you tomorrow! Boa Noite!

Brazil, Here We Come!

Several years ago my colleague Dr. Moorman-Stahlman traveled to Brazil during her sabbatical. She initially went to perform organ concerts and in the process met a group of music education students. She invited the students to visit our campus and learn a little more about music education in America, and this initiated the Brazilian cultural exchange program. Every January a group of 15-20 Brazilian students come to our Lebanon Valley College campus in Annville, PA and participate in music classes, ensembles at LVC as well as visit music classes in area public schools. The highlight of their visit is when they perform in a concert of Brazilian music. Dr. Moorman-Stahlman has taken several groups of LVC music students to Brazil to give workshops in the performance of handbells and tone chimes. This summer we will add boomwhackers and bucket drumming into the mix. We will be traveling to São Paula, Porto Velho, and Jundiai. I will keep you posted on our adventures.

Brazil, Here We Come!

Screen Shot 2018-05-18 at 5.18.52 PMI was very honored when my colleague Dr. Shelly Moorman-Stahlman asked me to participate in a cultural exchange program this summer to Brazil. The students will be presenting handbell concerts and assisting in workshops for handbells, bucket drumming, and boomwhackers. Dr. Moorman Stahlman will also be performing solo piano concerts, master classes and performing with the orchestra of Villa Lobos in Porto Velho and, Mogi das Cruzes orchestra. She is the guest performer at the Festival do Inverno the largest classical music festival in Latin America…

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Video Play Alongs!

On our Study Abroad trip this summer, my students and I  participated in a Musical Futures Workshop where we were introduced to “Just Play” a great program that teaches students foundational instrumental skills in order to be a part of a whole class ensemble. One of the tools used in the workshop was an instrumental play-along video.  We really enjoyed this tool as it was an easy and enjoyable way to immediately enter into music making. Since I have returned to the States I have investigated play-alongs for the ukulele. Dr. Jill Reese has a wonderful YouTube channel with many ukulele play-alongs that I have been using in my secondary methods classes this Fall. I have been inspired by Dr. Reese’s channel and I have created some of my own play-alongs for both keyboard and ukulele. Here is one of my play-alongs for keyboard. Enjoy!


Se Essa Rua Fosse Minha: A Traditional Song from Brazil

For the past two years, Lebanon Valley College has been blessed with a cultural exchange program that has brought Brazilian students to our campus. During her sabbatical, Dr. Shelley Moorman-Stahlman an esteemed professor of music at LVC traveled to Brazil to perform piano and organ recitals, and in the process launched this cultural exchange program which has produced a reciprocal exchange of LVC students traveling to Brazil. The Brazillian students have blessed our campus with concerts and beautiful music making and during their recent visit taught me this beautiful traditional children’s song.

Continue reading “Se Essa Rua Fosse Minha: A Traditional Song from Brazil”