Happy Birthday by Beethoven?

Apart from Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,  the best well-known melody is Happy Birthday. But how would it sound if Beethoven had composed it? Or perhaps Chopin? Or Bach? Pianist, Nicole Pesce, shows how.


Music is FUN!

We can learn a lot from children. When it comes to expressing ourselves musically, children lead the way. They move, they wriggle, they clap, they dance and they are totally uninhibited in doing so. Young Jonathan, at 3 years of age, is totally involved in his conducting of the fourth movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No 5. Watch how he uses his whole body to express what he is feeling in response to the music. He has it all: movement, energy, expression, intensity, humour and fun!  Enjoy 🙂

Jazz pianist, Joey Alexander

Joey Alexander is an amazing jazz pianist from Bali. If you heard him play without having seen him, you would probably guess he was a lot older than 11 years old! Joey learnt a lot from his dad and from listening to recordings and imitating them. Joey has just released his first album, My Favourite Things, which is available on iTunes. Check him out and be amazed!

You can read more of Joey’s journey on The Improvised Line – A Blog About The Piano, Improvising and Jazz.

Combining technology and voice: a virtual choir

 How can we incorporate technology in creating a choir? Ask composer and conductor, Eric Whitacre. Eric’s journey into creating a virtual choir began when a fan of his music uploaded a recording of herself singing Sleep. Eric then asked others to send him videos of themselves singing the same composition. These were put together by Eric‘s friend, Scott Haines. Eric was so impressed with the result he decided to do another video, this time with himself conducting. This became the first virtual choir, which performed Lux Aurumque, with 185 singers from 12 countries. From there he moved to Virtual Choir 2, with 2052 singers from 58 countries, performing Sleep and followed later with Virtual Choir 3, with 3746 singers from 73 countries, performing Water Night. Read more about the choir history here.

Eric has refined the process to create each choir. Individual singers record their own voice, singing the part of their choice, and then upload their video to the Eric’s website. Detailed instructions are provided to ensure the resulting videos can be synced with others.  The videos are put together, resulting in a beautiful choir with an amazing sound!

Eric recently presented a TED Talk, with an onstage choir which was later joined by a virtual choir. The choir was slightly different in that it was in real time! Below is a short documentary of the production of the TED Talk.

Want to see more? Click here for Eric’s full TED Talk. For more information and links check out Eric’s website.  Eric is currently preparing Virtual Choir 4 which will feature as part of the Coronation Festival’s Gala performances in the gardens of Buckingham Palace next month (July, 2013).