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Pianist and UCSD Professor of Music, Cecil Lytle, discusses the process of performing and explores voice in music.

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  • Music as Narrative--explores the story behind the music and discusses how musicians bring their own experience to music
  • Improvisation--emphasizes the importance of improvisation in everyday life
  • Creativity in Life--creativity is not limited to art and can be found in everyday life (when driving a car or interacting with people, for example)
  • Music as Emotion (non-narrative expression)
  • The process of performing--the importance of seeking the voice within the music; the necessity of performing as a composer and not as a replicator or interpreter
  • How musical devices are used to tell a story and express a theme
  • How culture influences musical development
  • Introduces the music of Franz Liszt and John Coltrane to explore improvisation and narrative
Discussion Points
  • How can two performers play a composition differently? What freedom does a performer have when playing a piece of music?
  • How can your culture and history affect a piece of art?
  • When you play or hear music, what do you think about? If the music has words, do you listen to the words? Do you ever listen to music because it makes you feel a certain way?
  • How important is knowledge of the artist's background in appreciating a creative work?
  • Listen to or play a new piece of music. Next, reveal the composer's background and possible goals when writing this piece. Now play the piece again in light of this new understanding. Did it sound different? Discuss the ways students could play music differently to better express mood and the composer's intention.
  • Listen to a piece of music and try to identify the devices ("hooks") used to express a specific theme throughout the piece.
  • Compare paintings of an identical setting drawn by different artists. Discuss why each painting looks different. How might the differing social and personal backgrounds of the artists have influenced their individual interpretations?
  • Listen to a piece of music and write about possible reasons the composer wrote the piece--what might be the story behind the music?
  • Listen to a piece of music, then write a fiction story inspired by it.

Introduction to Musicians and Middle Schools |
Using the Videos in the Classroom |

What Creativity Means: Anthony Davis, Cecil Lytle, Steven Schick,
Bertram Turetzky, Chinary Ung & Susan Ung |

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