renewal blog

A belated happy new year to everyone! As I come back to my normal life after an intensely happy holiday. We have lots to do here. We need to continue the mavericks posts from last month. And of course I want to assess the condition of classical music, as I do every year. Starting, maybe, by citing some ways that — while the mavericks show great change, great success — our normal ways of doing things are failing. But I've realized a few things while I've been away. First, that I've accomplished a lot here, along with all of you who read … [Read more...]

Still room in my online writing course

talk music blog

I'm ready to teach an online course in how to talk and write about music. As I blogged here earlier! The course will be based on the one I'm teaching this fall at Juilliard. Adapted as needed to what the people who work with me want to learn. Among those who've signed up so far, we have one strongly interested in criticism, and one in blogging. But I'm also prepared to work on bios, press releases, and program notes. And on how to describe music in speech! One thing we'll do is listen to music, and immediately describe how it sounds. I've … [Read more...]

Writing tips

tannhauser blog

Juilliard students these days don't seem to be interested in music criticism, or in music critics. I think that's partly because, if they're like most others their age, they may not read newspapers. And thus don't often read critics. But it's also because they don't think critics do a good job. This continues my previous post, about the course on how to talk and write about music that I'm teaching at Juilliard this fall. And about the online version of it I'm eager to teach, as soon as I get five or six people to enroll in it. I'm happy to … [Read more...]

How to talk and write about music

blue ear blog

That's what my Juilliard course this semester is about. And it's what the course should be called, though this year we adopted a title that's a hybrid of what the course used to be and what it is now: "Music Criticism: How to Talk About Music." Because for many years this was a course about music criticism. But then two things happened. First, fewer and fewer students seemed interested in criticism. I might guess that's because they — like so many people under 40 — don't read newspapers, and thus don't encounter music reviews. But as my … [Read more...]

How I can help you write and speak

taking my course

I've mentioned that I'm thinking I should launch a business, in which I help people to write and talk about music. At the end of this post, I'll offer links to previous posts that touch on this, in various ways. But for now, in advance of any formal launch of the business, let me lay out the outline of what I can offer. First: who might benefit? People who want to be music critics, and would like to work on how to describe what they hear. Musicians, who want to talk more effectively at rehearsals, or talk more effectively to audiences, … [Read more...]