Harmonia

Harmonia, the composition and piano studio of Julie Harris, is a magnet for creativity and talent. Young composers and pianists come to study, share, learn and grow. We enter and win national competitions, but we also give concerts for community outreach, have private piano parties, do special projects for hospitals and schools, and generally have fun while we create musical masterpieces. Come join us!

Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra

Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra

Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra In 1946 the British composer Benjamin Britten was commissioned to write a piece for an educational documentary film entitled The Instruments of the Orchestra.   The piece he wrote for this film has become one of the most popular and well-loved pieces in the classical music repertoire. The Young Person’s […]

Listening to Timelessness – Slow Paced Masterpieces

Listening to Timelessness – Slow Paced Masterpieces

Listening to Timelessness – Slow Paced Masterpieces Listening to timelessness can be a challenge if we are used to a different way of listening.  Slow paced masterpieces require a different mindset than much of goal-oriented, quickly moving classical music we may have grown used to. Music happens in time.  Like the bird in the above […]

Listening for Shape in Classical Music

Listening for Shape in Classical Music

LISTENING FOR SHAPE IN CLASSICAL MUSIC: One way to listen to classical music is listening for shape.  All pieces of music have a shape, and this shape informs the listening experience.  We sometimes use the word “shape” when describing the form of a piece, but at the most elemental level, shape is merely the rise […]

Listening for Texture in Classical Music

Listening for Texture in Classical Music

LISTENING FOR TEXTURE IN CLASSICAL MUSIC: We can learn to be better performers or composers or even become better informed audiences by learning to listen for texture in classical music. Many of us learned the basic descriptions of musical texture, using their textbook definitions: monophony, homophony, and polyphony. We may have even learned a fourth […]

Carnival of the Animals – Something for Everyone!

Carnival of the Animals – Something for Everyone!

What’s your fancy in classical music?   Humorous, tongue-in-cheek parodies?  Lush orchestration?  Fabulous writing for piano?  Gorgeous cello melodies?  Music that appeals to musicians of all ages?   French composer Saint-Saens’s “Carnival of the Animals” has all these elements and more.  In fact, this wonderful piece has something for everyone! Young students love to play simplified versions, […]

Listening is essential to classical music studies

Listening is essential to classical music studies

LISTENING IS ESSENTIAL TO CLASSICAL MUSIC STUDIES: “A thousand suns, all rising”.  My new just-turned-five year old student spoke these words in a matter of fact voice as if we all should understand her meaning.  I looked at her mom and dad and saw they were as puzzled as I was.  It took a few […]

Peter and the Wolf – An Introduction to the Orchestra

Peter and the Wolf – An Introduction to the Orchestra

PETER AND THE WOLF   Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf  never fails to delight us!   This introduction to the orchestra was originally intended for children, but everyone is entranced by his beloved masterpiece. We may be five years old, acting out each character and giggling through growls.  Perhaps we’re ten and just beginning to compose […]

Two Sisters – Nadia and Lili Boulanger

Two Sisters – Nadia and Lili Boulanger

TWO SISTERS – NADIA AND LILI BOULANGER: Their contrasting pictures, their rhythmic names, and their achingly different dates begin to weave a story … Two sisters. One soft and dreamy, poetic and very young. The other, photographed at a much older age, seems to be made of sterner stuff. We hardly remember Nadia as a […]

Joseph Boulogne, Chavalier de Saint Georges

Joseph Boulogne, Chavalier de Saint Georges

Joseph Boulogne, Chavalier de Saint Georges   A picture is worth a thousand words, but it would take many more than a thousand words to describe this amazing man: Joseph Boulogne, Chavalier de Saint Georges. The music in the background of his portrait indicates his status as composer, conductor, and court musician.   He was sought out […]

Living Horizontally: Life Lessons from a Piano Student

Living Horizontally: Life Lessons from a Piano Student

LIVING HORIZONTALLY:LIFE LESSONS FROM A PIANO STUDENT: A gifted piano student learns to “play horizontally” on the piano and “live horizontally” in her everyday life. Article by Emma Armstrong-Carter, originally published on our previous site, March 9, 2011.  Reprinted with permission by the author.               My piano teacher teaches me music theory and technique, […]

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