“Education is not a passive act, it’s an aggressive act.” –Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR)
The last time Daniel was here, he encouraged everyone in the community to take an active role in learning, regardless of what age you may be. He interacted with 13 schools from three counties and over 2,000 teachers, parents, students and community members. We couldn’t wait for him to return and now the waiting is over.
Daniel is back this week to make music with a more intimate group. Over the next three days, he will visit the Steamboat Springs High School Jazz and Concert Bands, the Steamboat Springs Middle School 7th and 8th Grade Bands, the Emerald Mountain School Lower and Middle School Orchestras and the Heritage Christian School Combined Choirs. Each of these groups has chosen to play one of Daniel’s pieces from a work called Hip Hop Studies and Etudes.
Hip Hop Studies and Etudes
All of the famous composers, Bach, Chopin, Schumann, Mozart, wrote studies and etudes. In music, there are 24 different keys. The composer writes 24 etudes, one in each major and minor key, as a learning tool for the students. Completing the entire set gives the student experience with each key, so when they encounter it in a new piece, they are already familiar with it. Most music students, including myself, learn quickly that etudes are a lot of work, difficult to play correctly and most of the time, not very fun.
As a composer, Daniel set out to write a brand new series of etudes in a completely different genre – hip hop. Just like the famous composers, there are 24 pieces in his Hip Hop Studies and Etudes. If you’ve ever heard a classical etude, these hip hop etudes follow the same pattern. First a theme is introduced, then elaborated on, then varied and finally reintroduced. Although challenging and still requiring dedication and practice to perform, Daniel’s music certainly doesn’t sound like those of the famous classical composers.
In May, each music group will perform one piece from Hip Hop Studies and Etudes at a free community concert at the Strings Music Pavilion. But for the moment, Daniel is crafting the young musicians. In the workshops this week he is creating a space where music can be played loudly, alone, in small groups, together but not with each other, all to lead to a confident performance. If you would like to attend any of these workshops, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.