Lesson 2: Michael Jackson

January 12, 3018

Maravilloso! Yes, the song is weird :) The goal is to widen the aperture on the scope of music. 

 

Please show the boys this video: "Bad" - Virtuosic Piano Cover by Peter Bence.

 

Please pay attention to how engaged the pianist's entire body is -- his face; how all of it changes as he makes different sounds on the piano. Pay attention to how his WRISTS do not wobble side-to-side even though his fingers do (left hand in the intro). Notice at minute 1:12 how his entire body is still for the brief moment of the silence! Pay attention to how everything changes at 1:20 -- not just the sound, watch the pianist! PRACTICE changing your facial expressions and body movements in different ways while playing the same song a few times. Exaggerate your movements big and also try to make them really small too. Listen to the differences in the sounds. 

 

Afterwards have a listen to the original Michael Jackson song and -- if you feel like it -- explain a little about who Michael Jackson was and why he developed a "cult-following" not only as a musician but, in the greater sphere encompassing musician, as an artist. (Can draw concentric circles and talk a bit about that.) i.e. 

 

Even though his personal life was very strange and conflicted, not just the millions of people in our one country but many more millions of people in the whole world wept the day he died. Why? Why do regular people feel such deep sadness when big celebrities like this - who they've never known or even met - die? Can you think of answer why this may be? 

 

What a good artist/musician does, is express important qualities of living, feelings of being alive, and provide opportunities (with music and other art forms) for other people who have those same qualities inside themselves as well. This creates a sensation of connectedness, and this is why artists are very valuable people in the world: Because the feeling of connectedness is one of the most, if not the #1 most important thing in life. With someone like Michael Jackson, he was more than a musician and an artist, but also an entertainer -- which is another lesson for another time, but the quick definition is that an entertainer does not just create artwork outside of their "person" (character and appearance) -- their person is also a work of art that they share with the world. So, when Michael Jackson died, these millions of people did not only feel the loss of him as a person from the world. He created a portal in their lives into an experience that only he could create, and when he did the portal closed, and that is the loss they wept for. (Remember talking about songs as "places" -- "Portal" is a word that means a magical entry.) 

 

We could spend a lot of time studying Michael Jackson, but we won't. Personally I don't really like more than a few of the hits. My ears prefer the solo piano adaptation in the video above! But it is important to study these artists who have such profound and important impacts on the world. When we say we study them, we mean that we ask lots of questions:  "Why are they important? How did they become that way? Do I agree that these contributions are important, or do I disagree with this consensus? [Also ok.]" When we say studying, it means first observing/listening/absorbing, and then asking questions and looking for their answers by observing and listening again and in different ways (to find different answers). This kind of studying, as you practice it, becomes a great source of fun for your mind, makes you brain grow, and can be done with anything! 

 

 

I'm also attaching a very quick clip of me singing on stage with a band. The song is "Ain't Misbehavin'" - one of my favorite jazz standards. Let's listen with the blindfolds to Fats Waller's version! 

 

The video is from my time in Córdoba - Here in BsAs I'm doing nothing but tango tango tango, and speaking Spanish! I'm getting very good at both and having an unbelievably good time! Best wishes til next time! 

On Wed, Jan 10, 2018 at 11:03 AM, Ke.Gr.<xxxxxxx@yahoo.com> wrote:

I just played that song for the boys Cassandra.  (Got that Spotify app).  Alex said that it felt like he was in a mansion and it was comfy.  Kiren felt like he was in a church or warehouse.  They will try to play it on the piano.  That song had a lot of jarring noises in it!  The boys were intrigued.