Media Center now available from School of Music

An article about the School of Music’s new Media Center appeared in today’s InsideIllinois. Vol. 28, No. 16, March 19, 2009

UI performances now accessible through comprehensive Web center

Attention fans of UI music makers. Did you miss the “Beyond Cool” performance of Miles Davis’ “Bobplicity” at last year’s Allerton Music Barn Festival? What about the Opera Program’s production of “Cosi fan tutte” last spring at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts? Wishing you could hear – and see – highlights of the Jerry Hadley Memorial Concert one more time?

Those performances – and many more by faculty members, students and guest artists of the UI School of Music – now are accessible online through the school’s new Media Center. A virtual trove of archival performances – some audio-only, some video – recently went live on the school’s Web site.

“This is a concerted effort – no pun intended – to have all of our flagship ensembles and faculty recitals accessible to the world,” said Karl Kramer, the school’s director.

In addition to past performances by faculty and guests artists, the site features concerts by university bands, orchestras and choirs, as well as opera productions. Also featured are selections from programs of annual events, including the Allerton Music Barn and Summer Jazz festivals.

Kramer said the site’s intended audience is broad and diverse.

“There’s a huge audience – from current university students, faculty and staff members to alumni, researchers, prospective faculty and the community.”

Kramer said he expects scholars may be drawn to the site “because as a school, we premiere new works and perform and archive more obscure pieces that are harder to track down.”

The site also includes a niche for showcasing faculty recordings. Kramer said visitors to the site eventually will be able to click on the recordings to sample titles.

Another “coming soon” feature will be a section where visitors will be able to access publications by musicology, music education and theory professors.

Kramer said that while other music schools archive certain elements of audio and/or video, most have “somewhat intermittent,” less comprehensive content online.

“The feedback we’ve been getting from peers at Yale, Eastman and USC is phenomenal,” he said. Kramer added that when he presented the site to deans of some of the nation’s premier music schools at a recent meeting of The Seven Springs Group, “their jaws hit the floor.”

Laptops in the Classroom

Lincoln Spector, The Industry Standard 03.16.2009

Are laptops a useful and appropriate tool in college lecture halls, or are they a grade-lowering distraction?

Diane Sieber, an Associate Professor University of Colorado at Boulder, believes that laptops do harm grades. According to an article in the Daily Camera, she told 17 of her students who used their laptops “intensely” that they performed an average of 11 percent worse than classmates who were not using laptops. After making this announcement, “the number of students on laptops eventually dwindled to a half dozen, and the test scores of students who stopped using their computers during class shot up.”

Gustavo Dudamel and the Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra and more

(Note–when you follow these links the video starts right away with a brief introduction.)

Gustavo Dudamel and the Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra
TED Ideas Worth Spreading*

The Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra contains the best high school musicians from Venezuela’s life-changing music program, El Sistema. Led here by Gustavo Dudamel, they play Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10, 2nd movement, and Arturo Márquez’ Danzón No. 2.

Jose Antonio Abreu: Help me bring music to kids worldwide

TED Ideas Worth Spreading

Jose Antonio Abreu is the charismatic founder of a youth orchestra system that has transformed thousands of kids’ lives in Venezuela. Here he shares his amazing story and unveils a TED Prize wish that could have a big impact in the US and beyond.

On another matter…

Eric Lewis: Striking chords to rock the jazz world
TED Ideas Worth Spreading

Eric Lewis, an astonishingly talented crossover jazz pianist — seen by many for the first time at TED2009 — sets fire to the keys with his shattering rendition of Evanescence’s chart-topper, “Going Under.”

*Take some time to explore the other TED talks–they are on any and every topic and very worth the time to watch.

Folk Song Index online

The Folk Song Index

Oberlin College Libraries and Sing Out! brings us this invaluable resource. “An index to traditional folk songs of the world with an emphasis on English-language songs. Each entry includes the song title, first line of chorus, first line of verse, and full bibliographic information on the source. The index contains over 42,700 entries, and, to date, indexes over 2,225 anthologies.”

Once you find the anthology that has the song you want, search our online library catalog for the song to see if we have it.