The Film that Changed My Life                                                     

"My God, it's full of stars!......."

-Arthur C. Clarke, 2001: A...

A good friend and colleague, who was preparing to teach a music theory class for the first time contacted me this morning. She asked a simple question:

“What’s a good ice-breaker to get my theory class started?

Here’s the best one that that I know…….

I teach at a small liberal arts institution. Many of the students come to us from small towns in Ohio. Some of these students have benefitted from quality instruction in the arts; mo...

Admit it; you have laughed at cartoons like the one above. My wife Joan thinks that this cartoon is hilarious. Those of us who have been fortunate to play this unique instrument know the truth; inside this strange machine is an entire universe, waiting to be explored. Now you understand why there are pictures of accordions on this website.

Closets all over America are cluttered with accordions from days gone by. How did they ge...

The picture is larger on the page, to match the man’s outsize personality.  This is what Scott Huston looked like during my years of study with him at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. Doc passed away in 1991; my last lesson with him was several years earlier. I may have been one of his final doctoral students, as I finished up my DMA requirements in 1988. Doc came to my hooding ceremony; I sti...

Grad school: composition seminar. This was a chance to talk shop with your fellow student composers, led by a member of the composition faculty at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, where we were diligently working towards the completion of our various degrees. We met once a week to examine the big picture; discuss new pieces, contemporary techniques, and/or what life might be like in the real world.  I still rem...

"When I compose it's an inner discipline that controls me. No concerts, rehearsals, interviews! It's another way of living and I prefer it in a way. If you want to skip dinner and work all night, sleep all day, you just do it ... it's another person that emerges, more absorbed in an interior world. But it's hard to make the transition between the two lives [conducting and composing], and to clear everybody else's music out of...

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© 2017 by Douglas McConnell

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