Check out the complete Musical Innovators series here.
I’m pleased to bring you three more people in my series covering people who are moving the needle in the music world. I’ve been following along with these folks for some time and am continually impressed by their dedication, enthusiasm, and imagination.
Innovator No. 1 – Scott Lang
Scott Lang is an interesting guy to me. As I was getting ready to head to the ASTA National Conference a few months ago (I used to be the Illinois ASTA president), I spent a few moments looking through the conference schedule and cherry-picking what I wanted to check out. The conference was in Tampa, and I knew that it was going to be hard sitting inside a windowless convention center when it was 80 degrees and sunny out! I also knew that Tampa’s craft beer scene had exploded in recent years, so string education sessions faced stiff competition from brewery tours and relaxing in the sunshine.
The first thing I do when heading to a convention is check out the keynote speaker. I’m a big TED Talk fan, and keynotes can be my favorite part of a convention. Checking out Scott’s site led me to this video of him “doing his thing”:
I knew that this was going to be a fun convention!
Scott’s keynote rocked. A former band director for many years, Scott now tours the nation on the public speaking circuit, and he’s got this zany music education advocacy preacher style that absolutely captivates the audience.
But Scott is doing much more than giving great keynotes. He’s on a mission to get one million new students in music programs across the country, and he has launched a two-pronged initiative to help with recruitment: Be Part of the Band and Be Part of the Orchestra.
- Why students should stay in music programs (for parents)
- Parent interviews talking about the value of music in their school
- demonstrations of each instrument
- video for administrators
There are also editable recruitment documents,instrument rental night handouts, sample letters to parents, student info sheets, and much more. It’s one heck of a resource.
Scott also has a leadership training program designed to train student leaders—this is the sort of thing that I’d be pumped to do at my school if I weren’t quitting my job to go blog in San Francisco!
Innovator No. 2 – Musicovation
I’ve known Zachary Preucil for years, and it has been great following along with him through his cello degrees at Eastman the New England Conservatory into his early professional career. Zach developed a passion for entrepreneurship while in school, writing extensively for Polyphonic.org for quite some time.
Zach founded Musicovation with Elizabeth Erenberg with an interesting goal: to promote positive news about the music world. Zach felt that there was a lot of gloom and doom about prospects for musicians in the media (and he’s right), and this site is a refreshing departure from that. Weekly stories include students building a film music empire, a career transition from music performance to marketing, and innovative new orchestras.
Zach and Elizabeth have brought together an interesting set of contributors for this blog, and I look forward to each week’s new post and the fresh perspective that it will bring.
- My Strange Path from Disgruntled Freelancer to Double Bass Guru
- Summer is Coming–Go Study Music!
- When Practicing Goes Off the Rails
I thought about submitting my recent story Who Knifed Me In The Face but thought that perhaps it lacked the positive message that the site projects!
I’m looking forward to watching Zach and Elizabeth grow and develop Musicovation in the coming years! Check it out—it’s good content.
Innovator No. 3 – Project Trio
composers and YouTube sensations on an educational outreach mission
I first became aware of Project Trio when I was playing with Eric Stephenson (the trio’s cellist) in the IRIS Orchestra. Eric, Greg Patillo (flute), and Peter Seymour (bass) are a great example of musicians with traditional classical training (the three of them met at the Cleveland Institute of Music) taking a right where others would take a left. They’ve created their own platform to explore various creative paths.
Project Trio flute player Greg Patillo became a YouTube sensation years ago with his beatboxing flute stylings. Here’s a video (with nearly 30 million views) of Greg beatboxing Inspector Gadget:
These guys are performing all over the place. Folks in music school fretting about winning that “big orchestra job” need to check out what these guys are doing. Does it look like they’re having a good time? Does this look like a creative outlet? This is a prime example of what can happen if you pour your talent and energy into creating your own thing.
I love it.
- “Scatter” for PROJECT Trio and Orchestra by Adam Schoenberg – this is with the IRIS Orchestra – my old orchestra!
- “Linus and Lucy” – The PROJECT Trio – check out that stellar mural behind them! This video will make you happy.
- Can’t Feel My Face on Cello and Beatbox Flute
Watching these guys may call to mind Time for Three, which is an apt comparison, though the two groups have notable differences. I had the chance to interview Ranaan several years ago as well. Frankly, there should be 200 more groups like these guys out there performing their own music and inspiring kids to do their own creative thing. The world needs more of this.
Based in Brooklyn, Project Trio is offering a three day teacher training workshop (July 6-8, 2016). I’d highly encourage folks to check this out and learn more about the new approach these three young musicians are taking with music education and outreach.
Check out the complete Musical Innovators series here.
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