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Learning About & Listening to Music
Opportunities for This Hunkering Down Time

New items added: July 28, 2020

OUR SVNHM FACEBOOK PAGE for connecting with our members! It is a private page. Thanks, Gail Z Clarinet! (the group is called, SVNHM Members)

MANY musical groups and public radio/TV stations and other places are putting out live or pre-recorded concerts, demonstrations or other learning opportunities. Here a few that have been sent to us. I'm sure you can find something to tickle your fancy when you get tired of Facebook, TV, practicing and even the book you are reading! All of these links will open a new tab/page in your browser so that you can easily come back to this page.

New entries will be marked by new! and be marked as such for about a week. Check back often and email with additions!




The Cabaret Card. An NPR documentary on the law NYC police used to discrimate against musicians of color from 1940-1967. Keeping out of work the likes of Billie Holliday, Charlie (Byrd) Parker and many others. Frank Sinatra protested the law and refused to get a cabaret card. (9:00 minutes)

In the series ‘Keeping Score’ by the San Fransisco Symphony and narrated by their Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas you can watch “The Making of a Performance”. It is an engrossing documentary that demystifies how a performance of a great piece of classical music is created (Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony). It is a viewer’s “behind-the-scenes” pass to witness firsthand how a performance unfolds and the preparation it takes to play this music. Along the way, Tilson Thomas explores the symphony’s four movements, providing commentary on the powerful emotions embodied in the music and how it speaks to audiences today. Long, but I can't wait to watch it!

Marine Band Classroom. Members of the United States Marine Band ("The President's Own") have created short videos (5-10 minutes) with a little bit about each instrument.

Carol Kaye. WHO??? A bass guitar session player who played the bass lines on music like the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations"; Sam Cooke's, "Summertime"; "La Bamba"; "Help, Help me Rhonda"; Simon & Garfinkle tracks and thousand others!! The link takes you to a short news interview with her. AWESOMELY inspiring! Here is retrospective of her work and you get more of a sense of her growth, her influence and her abilities.

Giant Flutes (22 feet long???) A cool 3 minute video of the biggest of the flutes. Includes clips of the (Boston) Metropolitan Flute Orchestra (Elaine, is that you at 0:17??).

The Saxophone Standard (NEW WEB ADDRESS!!!) - "The Concert Band and Jazz Ambassadors saxophone sections of The U.S. Army Field Band present The Saxophone Standard, the latest in the Army Field Band's Instructional Video Series. The Saxophone Standard offers valuable information for saxophone students of any skill level, as well as demonstrations of some of the most important works from the saxophone repertoire." Long video, but it includes an index so you can jump to the spots most interesting to you. Also good for clarinets.

There are great videos presented by members of the US Army Field Band for other instruments as well. Follow the link.

Rob Kapilow and his What Makes it Great series. If you don't know Rob Kapilow's work, this is an EXCELLENT time to learn! Go to the NPR webpage (link above) and listen to a few of his What Makes it Great moments. Rob also has three books out that have on-line music to go with them: His first was, “All you Have to do is Listen: Music from the Inside Out”.  The second, "What Makes it Great: Short Masterpieces, great composers”. The 3rd is just out, “Listening for America: Inside the Great American Songbook from Gershwin to Sondheim". These books make an entire music appreciation course!

Canadian Brass (simply one of the greatest and most fun music groups in the world!!). They are posting their weekly educationals sessions and some performances on their Facebook page - link above.

Learn to play and write the blues!!! Roy Ernst, the founder of the New Horizons Music movement, has always loved teaching about the blues. Here it is all written down for you to start learning! Dig in!

Building Brass Endurance by Wayne Dillon (4:22)

Would Mozart Have Performed for You on Zoom? A New York Times article by Peter Gelb, the General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera (The Met) in New York. Mr. Gelb writes about the intersection of the performer, the audience and the performance hall in the energy of a live performance.

Music For Life - The Story of New Horizons” by Rochester, NY's Public TV station WXXI. This is the story of the Eastman New Horizons groups done in 2014 and includes commentary from Roy Ernst. It's 1:23:00 long. Some of it is fundraising for PBS. Peter commented: “We had a lot of fun making it 5 years ago”.

Conn-Selmer (instrument maker) puts out useful teaching info; this one (2.5 min) is an Articulation Tip for brass and woodwinds, by Beth Fabrizio. It is aimed at teachers, but I think will be useful to our wind players.

And here is one on Jazz Improvisation by the great Jamie Abersold. (3.5 minutes)

Practice With Purpose to Avoid Practice Room Insanity. Some good tips!

The Breathing Gym and Mastery of Breathing. Breathing?? Everyone can breathe, but most of us do not breathe correctly to fill our wind instruments! Linda has done a bunch of research and work with the Breathing Gym, and Randy Kligerman, President of the Toronto NHB and flute player and a former board member of NHIMA (our parent organiztion - New Horizons International Music Association) wrote an article in 2018, available on the NHIMA website ( called the “Mastery of Breath Control”. In it he referred to the YouTube posting of “The Breathing Gym”. If you start now, you may be able to master the breathing exercises by the end of the pandemic.

BSO at HOME The Boston Symphony Orchestra is offering three possibilities. They say, " While our stages at Symphony Hall in Boston and the Linde Center at Tanglewood are temporarily silent, we're grateful to have the opportunity to continue sharing music with you during these unprecedented times through #BSOatHome. Tune in to our social media channels to receive daily offerings of great performances from the BSO archives, behind the scenes content and videos from our musicians as they stay at home."
The concerts are great, but the Behind the Scenes is a look at orchestra life at Symphony Hall and Tanglewood. Then there is BSO at Home: Musicians, where BSO musicians share what life is like offstage while they #stayathome. AND BSO Home School with video tutorials with BSO musicians made to support students and at-home learning. (As of March 24, most of this program is still in the works, but The Musicians - link above - is live with a video, BSO Associate Principal Bassoon Rick Ranti and Oboist Andrea Bonsignore share their favorite forms of #stayathome therapy. Learn more about the music they are playing, the at-home projects they are tackling, and the cookies they are baking!)

The Bulletproof Musician is a wonderful blog by Noa Kageyama (Linda has quoted from it and referenced it many times in her emails). The introduction to his blog is: "How performance psychology can help you beat nerves and perform your very best on stage. Because leaving is not usually an option..." (March 26, 3pm is a free, live Yoga for Musicians webinar. You need to register, but Mr Kageyama does not spam.)

"Exploring Music is an adventure — an expedition through the world of classical music. We pick a theme each week and follow the music wherever it leads us. Over the years we’ve explored Shakespeare and music, have followed the lives of many composers (a sort of five-part mini-series), and visited the music of various locales — Paris, Venice, Spain, Hungary, the Pacific Rim. Each five-episode program is a musical journey that focuses on a particular, genre, music festival, or classical theme. It’s a sort of Outward Bound for music, with Bill McGlaughlin as our guide to make sure we all get home safe and sound." The program originates at WFMT in Chicago, but is broadcast by many FM stations and a link is provided so you can see if it is available in your area. Even if it is not, many of these stations live stream their broadcasts, so you can pick a time that is convenient for you to listen. 

The Making of a Steinway, a video tour of the NY factory, narrated by John Steinway. (8:33 minutes)




new! Our very own Mozart Notturno Virtual Performance is "in the can" and we are thrilled with the hard work you guys put into it!! BRAVI!!!! Follow the link above to YouTube to see the results.

new! Swan Lake Bath Ballet I think is one of the most beautiful of virtual performances. This "Modern Day Bathtub Ballet" is a BBC Arts ballet collaboration from their #CultureInQuarantine series. It includes Boston Ballet principal dancer, Viktorina Kapitonova (she is the very first "swan" and is seen in a bathroom shipped in for the project and put in her living room, surrounded by 100 candles!)

new! Here is an amazing rendition of Bolero beautifully played on one cello, by 4 cellists (at the same time… it gets crowded!) by the Weiner Cello Ensemble

new! And Steve Bass Clarinet sends along this truly humorous Virtual Concert by the San Francisco Symphony doing the William Tell Overture.  Meet their children, family members, pets and the crazy side of the musicians!  Steve said to Linda, “And for your next act…”  She replied, "OK, you organize the project of what videos people should do and what goes where, and I’ll put them together. . .!!

"Pipelinefunk" Armin Küpper. Watch this dude play Jazz Funk duets with the Pipeline! He uses the delay and echo effect to play duets with the pipeline; he really knows his musical partner, too! Very cool! There are several of his videos on YouTube. (3:53 min.)

Richard (Gus) Sebring (BSO Associate Principal Horn and Boston Pops Principal Horn, and a Wayland resident) has several short videos as part of the BSO at Home series. Gus is a great guy as well as a phenominal horn player. I got to know him pretty well when his son was at the Middle School and in my Sound Tech and Recording Crew. Gus came and helped us out as he had a lot of experience in recording. He has many varied life-interests - and if you watch his "Alp Horn Dream" (1:57 min), I would venture to guess that he wrote the piece and that all of the photography is his. He takes many, many breathtaking photos of the Sudbury River. There is also a longer piece, an interview with Keith Lockhart & Gus (35 min).

Clarinetist Anthony McGill Kneels, Pleads And Plays For Justice
A stunning performance of America The Beautiful. NPR says, "With the help of a few 'wrong' notes, the principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic turned America the Beautiful into a solemn protest of police violence."

Falla, Spanish Dance No. 1 for clarinet quartet (link fixed) Clarinetists - a MUST WATCH. This is amazing clarinet playing and very entertaining as well! All musicians will be thinking, "Wow!" (Yes, it is one guy playing all these parts.) (3:22 minutes)

Salut Salon "Wettstreit zu viert" | "Competitive Foursome" OK - when you get tired of practicing, try it like this!! Need a good laugh and feeling of, "WOW! How did they DO that?!?!" This will do it! (The first time it came across my desk, I made the mistake of thinking, "Ho, hum" and only watching the first half minute. Watch it to the end - amazing! 3.4 minutes)

Me and My Euphonium. I'm growing weary of all of these cute things, but this one had me laughing out loud at the end! What a talented young girl!! "Me and my euphonium ... here all alone-ium..." (3 min)

The Laven Family of Wayland plays a piece by Steve Laven. Steve Laven is a cellist, composer and teacher (yes, strings, this is the Steve Laven who has subbed as a teacher in our program in the past); his wife, Cindy Meyers is principal piccolo in the Boston Symphony Orchestra (here, playing flute); son, Andrew is Assistant Principal Cellist of the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra and a graduate of Wayland HS; son, Chris is a bass player, Graduate of Wayland HS and attends Rice University (and played in my jazz band in middle school!). Both young men were on the NPR program, From the Top when they were 15 or 16. This video is a From the Top, Daily Joy. (3:36 minutes) Also part of the BSO at Home series.

Holst Second Suite (12 minutes) played by ONE young man, Sam VanderWoude, who learned the parts on all of the band instruments and plays them amazingly well!!!

All By Myself with KORK: KORK gjør sitt beste for å holde motet oppe når de ikke kan møtes på spillekontoret. (That translates to: "KORK (Norwegian Radio Orchestra) does its best to keep up the courage when they can't play at the office." (3 minutes)

An amazingly beautiful virtual rendition of Leonard Cohen's Halleluah by choir students of the Roedean School in South Africa. OMG... (4 minutes) I recommend listening via headphones or earbuds for maximum effect.

Berklee School of Music (Boston) students' virtual "What the World Needs Now" by Burt Bacharach/Hal David. (NAMEC campers - Burt Bacharach went to New England Music Camp as a student!)

Rich TBone follows Toby Oft, tenor trombone from the BSO and says, "He is super talented and can sure hit the high register.  Take a look and listen to his rendition of Pure Imagination.  Listen with headphones....just awesome......"

A MUST WATCH!!!! Called, "From Us To You", the Rotterdam Philharmonic teamed up with a Dutch healthcare provider to film part of the Finale of Beethoven’s 9th (Ode to Joy) with all the musicians playing their parts by video from their homes. VERY moving!!! (4 minutes)

Not to be outdone, the musicians of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra present Aaron Copland's Applachian Spring from their homes. (4.5 minutes)

Jerusalem Street Orchestra playing Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (3:38 minutes)

There are many more of these popping up. Check the Self-Isolating Choirs and Orchestras page from Classical FM out of London for more.

Also, see the Acapella app in the app section below to see how YOU can create performances like this!! (Apple mobile devices only)


Lansing Symphony at Home: LSO Kids - Target grade levels K-3) Particularly enjoy with your grandchildren (or children!) Tune in to Tuesdays (2:00). Looks at various instruments and always an at home activity. (The first one was about the timpani!!)

Canadian Brass (simply one of the greatest and most fun music groups in the world!!). They are posting their educationals sessions and some performances on their Facebook page - link above.

Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra @ Home Concert Series by many of their orchestra members. (Diane's brother is the Music Director of BRSO, retiring this year - some of you "met" him at one of our SV virtual sessions)

Ellis Marsalis died of the Covid-19. Listen to this wonderful, mellow recording of the Ellis Marsalis trio. Mr. Marsalis was a jazz pianist and father of Wynton Marsalis, Brandon Marsalis, both famous jazz musicians.

 San Francisco Symphony Director, Michael Tilson Thomas, explores the Symphony No. 1 of Gustav Mahler. In this documentary, the first 55 minutes explain how Mahler’s compositions were influenced by life experiences:  the sound of nature, the music in his father’s Bohemian tavern, childhood songs, the death of 8 of his siblings and the marching parades in his town Iglau. The second part of the documentary shows the performance of Symphony No. 1 in D Major by by the San Francisco Symphony.

The Musicians of the Old Post Road have many wonderful educational/musical videos on their YouTube channel.

Here is the full performance of the clip I showed at the Conducting Seminar; Beethoven 9th Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, directed by Leonard Bernstein (1987). Notice Mr. Bernstein has the whole score memorized and does not use music. Watch all the different parts of his body that he uses to communicate to the players! (1:33:49)

For the next 4 weeks, WCRB (99.5 FM, part of WGBH public radio) is broadcasting a Boston Symphony Orchestra Concerts every Monday - Saturday evening, beginning at 8:00. The schedule of performances may be found on the WCRB website.

"In an effort to continue providing opera to its audience members, the Met Opera will host “Nightly Met Opera Streams” on its official website to audiences worldwide. These free streams will present encores of past performances from its famed Live in HD series. The encore presentations will begin at 7:30 p.m. EST each night on the company’s official website and will then be available for an additional 20 hours thereafter. Each showcase will also be viewable on the Met Opera on demand apps.

Boston Baroque is committed to providing solace during this difficult time and will be making its music available for streaming 24/7 on its website Boston Baroque Radio for free 24/7, along with over 30 videos on its YouTube channel.

Cambridge's Club Passim will be hosting live folk music streams to replace its canceled performance schedule. Live stream concerts will be free and available to anyone, but donations are welcome to help support musicians during this time.



ALWAYS, check the ability level before you purchase.
Novice to early intermediate players go for grade 1.5-2.5
or in Pepper, E-ME.

As with everything else, be careful about providing your information to
a "free" site that you know nothing about.

Most of the free sites are music arranged by someone or other and posted there;
quality varies, but worth checking!

new! The Clarinet Institute (BUT NOT JUST FOR CLARINETS!!!) Music for ALL instruments, solo and ensembles (brass, woodwinds, strings. No percussion that I know of), some with accompaniments. Explore the site - some is free, some costs a small amount and you can also purchase a CD with music to print for your instrument. Much is difficult music, so check levels.

new! has lots of free music for just about every instrument, lots of options for different instrument combination and can be sorted by difficulty level. Most don't do that. If you have a subscription (small cost), they will arrange a piece for any combination of instruments you wish.

new! Eighth Note Publications is another good place to check for ensembles of standard combinations of instruments and flexible instrumentations (alternate parts for other instruments). Their arrangements are usually good and have flexible instrumentation. Includes percussion.

new! - worth looking at. This one has a yearly membership, but not too expensive. Give you as many downloads as you wish from their catalog.

new! is another place for free music. Linda says that there are many different piece for many combinations of instruments. It takes a lot of searching, though and it is hard to determine levels.

new! JW Pepper and Sheet Music Plus and Hickey's Music are all reputable music stores for purchasing all kinds of music standard music.

new! Also look for Music Minus One collections (but becareful about difficulty level - some of them are pro level, so check!). In a Music Minus One (MMO) you get a book of sheet music and then also a CD with the accompaniment. (And... If you have the Amazing SlowDowner, you can slow down the accompanment to a speed you can play.) Check standard music stores like JWPepper, SheetMusicPlus and Hickey's for MMO.

new! Play with Shams On YouTube. Includes piano accomaniments (apparently, very well done) for many of the classic (more difficult) sonatas and concerts.

STUCK??? CAN'T FIND WHAT YOU WANT?? Email Linda. She said she would help.



AudioStretch "Power tool for music transcription". I haven't used this, but it comes highly recommended from one of our members who uses it to help learn songs or transcribe (write out or learn from listening) jazz solos and such. It slows down the music without altering pitch, alters the pitch up or down, and will loop sections to help you learn them. Cross platform.

Amazing SlowDowner This is a tool I have frequently recommended to you as a group and individulally. As I said on our Practice Soundfiles page, "you can practice with the soundfile slowed down to where you can play along. (Soundfiles must be on the same device where the Slow Downer resides; you can not use YouTube or soundfiles that are streamed from the web). For those of you cautious about what you download, this software site is safe according to Norton." Using this software, you can practice WITH the soundfiles that I post and go at your own tempo or ours, as we often take a different tempo than the demo soundfile.

Band-in-a-Box This jazz jamming/practicing software has been around a long time (I was creating backing tracks with it 20 years ago!); it is terrific for practicing soloing in any style! Follow the link for a description of what it can do from a guy who creates a lot of backing track YouTube videos. It is pricey, but if you really want to learn jazz, it is worth it!

Jammr Similar to JamKazam below, but a different tech approach. Still in beta form.

Acapella - an app to create things like the playing from home performances above, or to create duets or trios or more with friends (or even by yourself)! Works from your iPhone/iPad (sorry, if you don't have Apple mobile devices). One person plays his/her part and records it, then sends it on to the next person, who when finished, sends it to the third person (I think up to 9 people on the free version). Each time it is sent through the app and the app prepares it to receive the next person's part. When everyone finishes, you have a performance video of your piece! Here is a YouTube video of how to use it (4:42). And here is a supercool 1 minute video of Sharon Clarinet's son, Dennis Licthmann, playing an oldtime, folky quintet with himself - he calls it a "Quarantet".

JamKazam is another type of duet app/program. It is for playing with others in real time. Again, there is a free version and a subscription version. Here is a YouTube video showing how it works.

iRealPro (Jazz, pop, Latin, etc. iPhone, iPad, Android, Apple computer only) This app gives you a backup band to play along with. It has the chord changes for thousands of songs (if not on the app to begin with, may be downloaded from the forums) and you can add the chord changes for any song you wish. Info says it is also good for learning to play guitar, piano and uke. I haven't used it, but Dan TBone swears by it!


BLOGS on specfic INSTRUMENTS & MUSIC to Play

Horn Matters is the leading online resource on the French horn, co-founded by John Ericson and Bruce Hembd. The mission of Horn Matters is: to encourage, inspire, inform, and challenge horn players, and; to promote the best musical instrument ever, the French horn.

International Horn Society - All things Horn for the best of the pros and the novice players.

Norland Bewley Low Brass: sheet music, and instructional videos & blog for low brass, including trombone, euph, & tuba for treble clef instruments. Looking for something new to play. Mary Beth Flute says, "I’ve found a lot of interesting music on the site. The site features a new tune each day, with everything from movements of classic works to simple folk songs.  There are solos, solos with accompaniment, duets, trios, etc.  You can browse the site by title, composer, category, instrumentation,  difficulty,  and key, and there is also a random tune key that will pop up something different each time you hit it. And for anyone tired of playing alone, the site has accompaniment sound tracks that can be adjusted for speed and transposed to be used with other instruments."

 Marguerite Levin's CLARINET blog. Marguerite teaches several of our students and has great ideas! She played flute (a secondary instrument for her) with SV for a while in the fall, helping her husband, David, with his clarinet work.

Clarinet Mentors is another great clarinet site by Michelle Anderson. It includes worksheets, lessons and videos and is highly recommended.

David Werden's Euphonium and Tuba site, Mr Werden, who is a euphonium player, has a very informative site with a blog, forum and articles for euphonium and tuba. (Most tuba players also teach euph and euph players teach tuba. Much is similar).



Staff Working From Home - Two notes, no lines
(source unknown)


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