Music for the Community

Welcome to our Music for the Community page! Since we can't take our music out to local nursing homes and libraries at the moment, we're inviting you in to enjoy it here instead. Each day you'll find a new student performance on this page, along with some info about the composer or instrument - and sometimes words too so you can sing along. 

If you're interested in a particular category, you can sort performances by student age, instrument, singalong music, composer and so on - click on the orange tags under the text. We hope you and your family will enjoy watching our students share their music! 

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Displaying items by tag: Beethoven

Wednesday, May 06 2020 00:00

Day 23: Beethoven’s “Für Elise"

Pianist age 11 plays Beethoven’s “Für Elise (For Elise)”

Who was the mysterious Elise for whom Beethoven wrote this short but very famous piece? There are quite a few possible candidates!

One is German soprano Elizabeth Rockel, who sang in Beethoven’s opera Fidelio. She met with Beethoven quite often, and it’s known that he wanted to marry her at one time. Another soprano called Elise Barensfeld has also been suggested, although less is known about her.

But in fact, what  Beethoven actually wrote on the manuscript was not "Für Elise" - but "Für Therese"! It’s widely acknowledged that the Therese in question was Therese Malfatti, to whom Beethoven proposed marriage in 1810, the same year he composed the piece. As further evidence, she was also the owner of the manuscript.

She must have been rather put out when - thanks to a sloppy copywriter who made the 19th century equivalent of a typo - her name on the published version of the work was changed to someone else’s!

Published in Music For Community
Friday, May 01 2020 00:00

Day 20: "Ode to Joy" by Beethoven

Adult violin student plays "Ode to Joy"

People the whole world over are familiar with Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, from the glorious finale of his 9th Symphony. Its message of hope and unity is a fitting one for these very challenging times. 
While theofficial” version features a full symphony orchestra and chorus, with as many as 200 people performing together*, part of the genius of this melody is its simplicity – which makes it very accessible to students even in the early stages. This lovely arrangement was made by this student’s multi-talented teacher, who accompanies him on viola. 
We love our adult students and their willingness to be beginners at a new activity, reassuring younger students that adults still have things to learn! 
*This linked performance of the London Philharmonic Orchestra includes WSM Director Penny Wayne-Shapiro in the first violin section. See if you can spot her on the fourth stand of first violins, outside chair.
Published in Music For Community