April 2019 MTNA e-Journal

Brazilian Dances for the Advancing Pianist: Francisca Gonzaga's Waltzes and Tangos for Piano
By Ana Paula Simoes

Francisca Gonzaga (1847–1935) was an important composer in the development of Brazilian music. She was the first female profession-al composer, conductor and pianist of choro groups in Brazil. She composed more than 300 works, and they were very popular during her lifetime. Despite her successful career, her works were largely for-gotten after her death and are still not widely performed or studied. This article introduces Gonzaga’s works and highlights how they can be valuable resources for the musical and technical development of piano students and also add variety to their repertoire. It explores the main characteristics of her waltzes and Brazilian tangos for piano, and presents the most common technical demands encountered in the pieces. [Read More]

Everyday Musical Connections and Project-Based Learning: Bringing Together Music Lessons and Students’ Private Musical Worlds
By Merlin Thompson

How can music teachers strengthen the connection between music lessons and students’ everyday relationship with music? What can studio instructors, band directors and choral conductors do to allevi-ate the potential disconnect between music studied and students’ private musical worlds? This article responds to these questions by articulating a strategy in which music teachers facilitate preteen/teen students’ explorations of their own Everyday Musical Connections through a Project-Based Learning approach. The approach builds on the idea that Everyday Musical Connections include the breadth and depth of every person’s unique musical experiences. At times, music is a companion, a diversion, an interruption, a refuge, a catalyst and a reminder. Project-Based Learning is a well-established educational approach that incorporates student engagement, sustained inquiry, public presentations and reflective evaluation. What stands out is how students’ explorations of Everyday Musical Connections serve to amplify their own musical persona; such explorations also fuel, chal-lenge and champion students’ understanding of who they are, how they learn and what they know of the world around them. [Read More]