Monday, June 3, 2013

Our First Anniversary!

This Spring, we celebrate the first anniversary of this blog. Wow! I am honored to have taught over 100 lessons on classical music appreciation to thousands of fans in 63 countries. The icing on the cake has been the publication of my book, Twleve Quizzes on Classical Composers.

My goal for Year #2  is to finish posting composers - I think we only have one to go, before there is a full twelve months of composers. The next step will be to organize them into their own pages for the ease of  my students.  Beyond that, I'll mostly be checking YouTube links and continuing my search for fresh performances...

...but first, I will be taking some well-earned family time.

Thank you for a wonderful year.



Friday, May 31, 2013

Quiz on Richard Wagner

You may check your answers using this week's study guide, and the Wagner biography. See you next week for our month of Schumann.

Good luck!


1. What kind of music did Richard Wagner compose?

2. When was he born?

3. Can you name some of the musicians who lived when Richard Wagner was a boy?

4. How many characters from the Dickens' novel can you name from memory?

5. In what opera by Richard Wagner is The Prize Song?

6. Who sings it?

7. Tell what kind of a man Beckmesser is.

8. Who was the jolly cobbler singer?

9. What happened to Beckmesser in the contest with Walter?

10. What sort of characters occur in the operas?

11. See if you can describe each of these: Donner, Fafner, Mime, Freia, Wotan.

12. What is the name of the house in which Richard Wagner was born?

13. Tell some of the things he did when he was a boy.

14. Who composed Oberon?

15. What other opera did this composer write?

16. What should we remember about childhood thoughts?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Richard Wagner Study Guide

The quiz will be on Friday. Study hard!


Read these facts about Richard Wagner and try to write his story out of them, using your own words. When your story is finished, ask your mother or your teacher to read it. When you have made it, copy it on pages 14, 15 and 16.

1. Richard Wagner wrote operas.

2. He was born May 22nd, 1813.

3. How long did Wagner study music?

4. His operas, like the novels of Charles Dickens, are full of wonderful characters.

5. Besides people of every day kind there are gods and goddesses, and giants, and other strange beings in his operas.

6. As a boy Richard Wagner went to a classical school.

7. He was always fond of music.

8. He could translate Greek when he was only thirteen years old.

9. Even as a little boy he said: I intend to become a poet.

10. He wrote plays and he read the plays of Shakespeare in English.

11. As a boy he studied the piano and was fond of the music of Von Weber.

12. Among the books that Richard Wagner read as a boy were the story of Die Meistersinger and the story of Tannhäuser.

13. He always kept these stories in mind.

14. When he became a composer he wrote an opera upon each of these stories.

15. Tell something about Wagner and animals.

16. Richard Wagner died at Venice on Feb. 13, 1883.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cedar Rapids Mighty Wurlitzer: a riches-to-rags-to-riches story

The Mighty Wurlitzer Organ at the Paramount Theater in Cedar Rapids, IA entertained generations 'til the unthinkable happened.  Follow this story through videos taken by the dedicated volunteers who saved a piece of music history.  Contributions to restoration of this wonderful instrument can be made here:

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013

Richard Wagner Documentary, Part 5 of 5

Come back tomorrow for our instrument of the month - Organ!