The Kennedy Center: a beacon for the arts
education, life, music composition, Uncategorized

Echoes of Hamilton

"Hey, it's Lafayette," I said and smiled as if referring to a friendly acquaintance. I recognized his recorded voice at the gift shop at The Kennedy Center last weekend: the opening song of Hamilton was playing in the background. After the music's dramatic buildup and split-second pause, I sang along with the name "Alexander Hamilton"… Continue reading Echoes of Hamilton

education, Uncategorized

Commencing Music Theory with Meaning

In my first class session of first-semester music theory, I ask my students two questions: "Who are you?" and "What is music?" The first question usually takes the form of name, hometown, instrument or voice part, and a favorite of something. I answer with Dr. Krystal J. F. Grant, Birmingham, Alabama, composition and piano, and… Continue reading Commencing Music Theory with Meaning

education, Uncategorized

Listening to Arrival

I fell in love with linguistics because of a course in my undergraduate second major in Spanish. Our class at Vanderbilt University started in Latin, followed how sounds and spellings became Spanish (distinct from other Romance languages), and further traced dialectal variants from the Mediterranean coast to the Andes mountains. The systematic explanation of how… Continue reading Listening to Arrival