Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Music to Teach By

Yes blog, Mommy still loves you. Just don't have much to say that's not 'must do art', 'must work', or 'must stay alive'.

Other things I have been doing include teaching kids. I work as a teacher/assistant at these art camps over the summer, & I've been having a fantabulous time. The other ladies are rather nice & very sweet. Our latest camp consisted of a great group of kids who -LeGasp!- did there work quietly. This sort of silence can be unnerving to those used to the rowdier crowds. So, I was charged with the task of finding mellow, instrumental music to help the kids work & cut the silence.

I think I did a bang-up job, as one of my fellow teachers asked me to recommend some bands. All thanks to the Internet, of course, for providing the perfect hunting grounds for awesome music. So here's my top 10 compilation of instrumental awesomeness for teaching, studying, or just chilling out.

10:The XX- some good mellow, tech-flavored tracks with these hints of grandeur. Best use:

9: Mum- Lovely, slightly creepy, music to inspire creativity without inspiring rowdiness.

8: Rachel's- Experimental band mainly using pianos and strings. Beautiful and calm.

7: Aaron Copland- Had to slip in a classical composer somewhere. Copland really captured the American voice in music beautifully, exemplifying the wonder and valour in the mythos of our country. Perfect for the weekend.

6: Cirque Du Soleil- Apart from mind-boggling visual spectacle, the Cirque's music is to die for. The words aren't in a recognizable language most of the time, it spans musical styles, and it's fun and upbeat to keep energy levels high. Great creative brain-food.

5: Thomas Newman- Excellent soundtrack/instrumental composer. It's so chilled and contemplative. Great for all-afternoon drawing projects.

4: Vitamin String Quartet- The kings of cover artists making original, rich versions of every kind of popular artist from Switchfoot to Kanye West

3: Mogwai- Another great instrumental band. Mellow and cerebral as a guitar gets.

2: Explosions in the Sky- I heard this band of Indie-cuties first on Austin City Limits. Blows my mind.

1: The Assassination of Jesse James Soundtrack- Nick Cave and Warren Ellis made a gorgeous music-baby for this film. I've never seen it, but I'm in love with the sound. May be the most contemplative music for a western ever composed.

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