Recently, there have been two events in my life that inspired me to post about music literacy and the benefits it can have in the school atmosphere:
First: After 2-3 years of only seeing my trombone when I opened the closet to get the vacuum cleaner, I joined up with a community band. I have very much enjoyed getting "the chops" in shape again and performing with a group.
Second: I've attended a number of Minnesota Orchestra concerts where the ensemble plays the score of a popular film while the movie shows on a big screen behind them (the most recent outing being 2009's "Star Trek"). Every single time, I'm blown away by how instrumental music combined with visuals can produce such strong emotion.
I grew up immersed in the culture of music (from the not-quite-dulcet tones of middle school band to the professional group I'm with today) and can easily see how much it has enriched my life. As such, I would like to recommend some new titles for classroom/library collections that promote similar experiences for our young people. This post will mostly feature instrumental music/ensembles, as that is what I'm most familiar with musically (I'll have to find someone here at Mackin who was in choir to do a vocal music post!)