Music Moves Us

October 19th, 2012 § 0 comments

In early May of 2013, nearly 2,500 Hartford Public Schools students will take part in Link Up, one of our most popular education programs.  The theme for the program is “The Orchestra Moves,” and it asks students to think about how music relates to movement.  During the concert, students will hear Beethoven’s iconic Symphony No. 5 as they explore how a musical motive can move throughout the orchestra, while Johann Strauss’s Waltz of the Blue Danube shows the movement of melody through leaps and steps.  Whether we are tapping our feet or listening to a beautiful theme move through the different instrument families, music moves us.

Not surprisingly, this year the Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s theme is Music Moves Us.  We believe that music can move us in so many ways — physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and beyond.  Most of us can recall a time when listening to or performing music has led us to become emotionally moved.  For example, it is hard for me not to be moved when I hear some of my favorite works like Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, arias from Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess, or Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night.   I’m sure many of us could go on and on for quite some time about the different pieces and ways that music moves us.

Late last month, music moved me in a very different way.  The HSO’s Instrument Petting Zoo is a favorite education program for children (and adults) and makes appearances in schools, daycare centers, festivals, and more.  Last month, we had the privilege of hosting an Instrument Petting Zoo at the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford.  In addition to learning about the many instruments of the orchestra, thanks to the amazing staff at ASD, students were also given the opportunity to try to play the different instruments.  As I watched, I was moved as the eyes of a little girl widened and brightened as she felt the vibration of a violin against her neck and shoulder, and a young man laughed aloud after feeling the buzz of a trumpet against his lips.  They were moved by the sensations of music, and I was moved by observing their new and exciting experience.


A young student at the American School for the Deaf feels the vibrations of drawing a bow across the strings of a violin at the HSO Instrument Petting Zoo


A middle school student at the American School for the Deaf tries his hand at playing the trumpet.

As you experience music in many different ways, pay attention to its movement.  Listen to how melodies flow, harmonies progress, and rhythms drive forward.  Allow yourself also to be emotionally moved by music for the impact it has on you, as well as the profound impact it has on others.


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