Stuart's Spectacular Students

This is dedicated to my amazing students. The goal is for each and every one of them to feel unstoppable by the time they walk out of the classroom door for the final time in May. This chronicles their journey; their own Chronicles of Self-Actualization.

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Water Molecule Dance ~ It's Hot

Inside Look at How Ice Melts

By Dave Mosher, LiveScience Staff Writer

posted: 09 January 2008 12:01 am ET

The science of melting ice just became a little more solid.

A new computer simulation shows that frozen water molecules, when heated up, vibrate until they start to spin. The swiveling motion causes the Mickey-Mouse-shaped particles to break free of their ice crystal home, bump into neighboring molecules and start a chain reaction of melting.

David van der Spoel, a computational chemist at Uppsala University in Sweden, said his team's computerized model is based on an actual 2006 experiment in which a laser melted ice, but could not provide the detail that the simulation offers.

"We want to see what’s happening on an atomic level ... but experiments don’t show that detailed structure," van der Spoel told LiveScience. "We’ve done that here with computer simulations, added the picture of how something moves from solid to liquid on a realistic time scale."

That timescale is in fractions of picoseconds, which is less than one billionth of the time it takes for an eyelid to blink. Van der Spoel said studying melting ice may seen inane, but noted that detailed models of basic processes are crucial for life sciences, chemistry and materials science.

"My kids worry that what I'm doing is common sense, but the truth is that chemical companies, for example, always want the best models they can get," he said. "They can use them to tune chemical reactions and save...a lot of money."

In the future, van der Spoel expects the real world to catch up with his team's simulation and verify the findings, detailed in the journal Angewandte Chemie (Applied Chemistry).

The Heart

Powerful Pump

In under a minute, your heart can pump blood to every cell in your body. And over the course of a day, about 100,000 heart beats shuttle 2,000 gallons of oxygen-rich blood many times through about 60,000 miles of branching blood vessels that link together the cells of our organs and body parts. That's a hefty job for a fist-sized muscle.

Heart Mend

A love-torn heart can be painful enough to make you wish you could get a new heart or at least a cardio repair kit. Both of the latter options could some day be realities. Scientists are studying the red-spotted newt to help them develop cell therapies for humans with physically damaged hearts. This amphibian can turn its cells back in time, as if they were stem cells, in order to build up new heart muscle. In another study, scientists engineered a beating heart from embryonic stem cells in the lab.

LOL: It's Good for You

A hearty laugh e the kind that sends a stream of tears from your eyes e does more than warm the soul. Research has shown the guffaw can cause the lining of blood vessel walls called endothelium to relax, increasing blood flow for up to 45 minutes after the laugh attack. Damage to the endothelium can lead to the narrowing of blood vessels and eventually cardiovascular diseases. That's no laughing matter...or maybe it is...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tarringo's Poem ~ Miss Parks

Below are the comments between Tarringo and myself on the "We Can't Do It Alone" post:

You know Adam, I was just writing in some one's blog who pimped out the best poems he has read on MySpace, none of mine were on that list. In the past I would've questioned my own writing, then I realized it was just someone's opinion and everything that he listed were things that, well weren't about real life. And I wrote as a comment that as long as I can touch just one person with my writing, then I feel like I have achieved. This blog is a classic example of why you are a role model and proof that blogs don't have to be about the drama that they are about on here. There are people on here seeking quality and special people like yourself and glad I've encountered you both.

Posted by Tarringo T.

I feel the same way - when I teach I want 2 reach ALL the students...when I write, I want 2 reach one person, even if that one is me......and it truly doesn't matter if 1000 people reject you, if your writing has been accepted by one soul who wouldn't have been reached otherwise.

You have done that for at least me and Raymond and several other students in the class. You're very special Tarringo. Whether or not the entire world sees that doesn't change this. Unfortunately, those that don't see it, are not changed for the better by you.


Fortunately, I saw it in Tarringo, and shared him with my students, who also saw it, and were bettered by him. Here's his poem and pictures of me reading it to the class. They captured a moment in time, when young hearts and minds were captured by the moment. Thank you T! We can't do alone........

Tarringo T. Vaughan

Miss Parks

(his picture of her didn't transfer)

No! No! I will not give up my seat on this bus

My feet hurt so there's no more left to discuss

I've sat up many restless nights

As my people struggled for their civil rights

My eyes have seen too much torture

Cast upon those who share my same culture

I'm worn out and tired of being afraid

My bones ache of distraught and with that being said

No! No! I will not give up my seat on this bus

I want to enjoy this ride just the same and thus

You will no longer take advantage of my skin

Because in life that is the very sin

That thou shall not cast hate on another

For we are all created equal to each other

My old hands have felt too much defeat

On these storied barren streets

So no I won't give up my seat on this bus

My name is Rosa Parks, and I'm tired of making this fuss

©Copyright 12/07 Tarringo T. Vaughan

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

We Can't Do It Alone

I was talking to Kenny's new teacher this week and told him I'd send him the "Happy Valentines Day" post showing Kenny opening the door for his mother. I ending up finding other posts from last year:

"Happy Kenny Day", when the class had learned to appreciate his amazing capacity for love so much that they renamed Valentines Day in honor of his great heart. (Kenny coming back this year to visit....and with great joy and emotion as I write this.......INSPIRE!...without even trying.)

And "My Great Historical Figure" , where after he had been home sick for a week the comments showed how important he was to us:

(This year's class - pictured here with Kenny - know all about him and his accomplishments. At one point last year when we were both just fed up with each other, I looked him in the eyes and told him he was more important to the world than he knew, and that if he would just give me his best he would see it too.

Together we would make the world a better place beginning by making HIS life better than it already much better that he would inspire the world more than he already did. )

Impossible growth and success rarely comes from individual effort. We can do it, but rarely can we do it alone. And if we do do it alone, won't that be sad as we're standing there all by ourselves?
(Kristen hugging me with tears of joy running down her face. You'll see why below)

This is some of Kenny's story........


My Great Historical Figure

During the History on Parade presentations one student had a difficult time paying attention. As inconspicuously as I could, I helped him focus while still focusing on the student doing their presentation. He asked me why I was being mean to him. I told him I was being kind to him by believing he could do better.

After the parents left and the students went to lunch, I had an idea. (Oh, I was dressed as a biker. When I got to school Tricia in the office (a fellow motorcycle rider) said "Ah, you're dressed as a biker". Thinking of the shirt and tie I had waiting for me in my classroom, the fun side of me said "Yes, that's right." And I got to wear my "costume" all day long :-).

If teachers enjoy teaching and have fun doing it, the students are more likely to enjoy learning and have fun doing it. And I just really, really, really wanted to wear my biker costume.

When I brought the students back from lunch I told them there was one more presentation. I had my own great historical figure to talk about.

"Ladies and Gentlemen. I am up here to tell you the story of a great person. My name is Kenny and this is my story. My life changed way back in the 5th grade, when I was put in a regular classroom and I was seen as a regular student by my teachers. I used to think Mr. Stuart was being mean to me sometimes, but I realized he loved me all the time. He and Ms. Wilson saw me as having the same great potential to have the same great life as anyone else. They believed that I could develop talents and abilities and end up giving the world something so phenomenal, making the world such a better place, that I would be remembered forever."

"Kenny, come up here and help me tell your story."

"You're talking about me? But why?"

"Because this is the Kenny I see; the Great Kenny, The Amazing Kenny, The Best Kenny possible."

"Rise with me! There has never been someone exactly like you. The world will never again see anyone exactly like you. Give the best of yourself to the world. See the Great Kenny I see!"

"I see it!"

Ms. Wilson, who also works with Kenny, showing how proud she is of him. You're a great teacher Ms. Wilson. Together with his incredibly loving mother, we are all affecting this child's life in a powerfully positive way. We are doing our jobs.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

kenny you will shine no matter were you are in life. you have lifted your heart and opened the doors for the world to see how specail you are. life will give what you will give your self. I have always enjoyed how your teacher Mr Stuart teaches you and your class. and i know he is very proud of you and your class mates

11/09/2006 01:22:00 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I MISS KENNY (X>X)!!! from Skyler Martin

11/10/2006 02:14:00 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kenny is Back!!!

11/14/2006 01:03:00 PM

What will you and I do that will last forever? Historically the chances are, not much. About 90% of us will stop dreaming and doing big, and as a result not ever becoming as big as we were meant to be.

But 100% of us are all gifted. And it's time to develop those gifts and share them with the world.

I say this and "hear" this inside of me because I have seen just this week how bringing others' gifts into the classroom has helped me reach my students just when I, and THEY needed it most.

After the students had left this past Thursday my son came in and took this pic of me. For a week I've been dealing with a lot, including Shanghai's owner wanting him back. (The day after I posted "Our Love Makes Us Immortal", mentioning maybe Shanghai is my path to learning to trust that not everything I love will be taken away...I got an email saying she wanted him back)

And during the week there had been lying and cheating, skipping school, students giving up and not giving their best, etc.

We all are going to mess up and do stupid things out of anger, fear, panic, pain and self-doubt. If we can't learn to overcome and resist these as children, chances aren't good that we will as adults, when everything gets harder and heavier.

Our children NEED US to have the strength to keep believing in them and not letting go of the high expectations we know they can achieve. (Nick and Shawn, runner-up and first place DARE essay finishers posing with Deputy Drake)

Brosden showed me how terrible I looked and asked what was wrong. When I told him I had just run out of smiles and hugs, he said, "Here, take one of mine", and gave me a such a big hug I literally felt it all the way to my heart (proving that it is true when we give unselfishly and purely we create more giving in return).

We can't accomplish great things alone, and I can't thank others enough.....Officer Deputy Drake, the DARE officer who motivated a very rare 100% participation FOR THE 2ND YEAR IN A ROW,

...My fellow 5th grade teachers, who take my kids once a week for skill rotation, and especially Ms. Bruce, who teaches my son; Mrs. Blackmore, who makes extra coffee for me and whose husband signed his Disney artwork with an inspirational message; Mrs. McNally, who puts up with our banging and loud noises; and Mrs. Gryna, who tutors one of my students and as the school's Teacher of the Year will be representing us to the county.

....Mrs. Lyons, a 4th grade teacher who helped me reach a 5th grade student who wasn't even mine, inspiring the chapter title called "Every Effective School Has a Lyon" for a book I'm working on

....Ms. Mosley and Mr. Pollock, the PE teachers who brought former professional wrestler Marc Mero and his program, Champion of Choices, to our school (Ms. Mosley pictured to Marc's right). well as parents who have given us their time and energy (Mrs. Mason, Mr. Bullard, Mr. & Mrs. Dolsak, Mr. & Mrs. Gaffin, etc).

...And people who don't even know these students who have either directly given something or indirectly by allowing me to share something I've read of theirs that with the class:

Some of these are Liz (SWAT shirts), Serenity (books and Kristen), Marc Mero (class/school visit, inspirational quotes and his signed Dream Big pics of himself, Mohammad Ali, and President Jimmy Carter which can be seen in the Deputy Drake pic with Nick and Shawn)

Alexandra (quote), Brian Blackmore (signed Dream Big artistic work), Robert (poem), Jeff (sending us his book), Tui (Christmas cookies), Red (poster) Dodinsky (something special arriving early next week) and Tarringo (his poem, "Miss Parks", in my hands being read to the students....

....which made even those working elsewhere stop what they were doing and listen intently......this is what engaged students look like....and grabbing their minds AND hearts is what engagement is all about

.....and the key to helping them produce greater results than they have ever produced before! (Raymond had perhaps the best week of school in his life....and I know Tarringo's poem played a part in that)

After my son's hug brought me back to life on Thursday, taking Sofia to her current favorite Date Night With Daddy hangout (Congo River Golf - Sofia wearing Manager Dave's hat), and nearly falling asleep at the wheel on my drive home, I logged on MySpace to keep my promise to answer an email. I saw Tarringo had written me and I opened it wanting to thank him for allowing me to share his poem and excited to tell him the effect it had on the class.....

....and do you know what his message was to me?....That he had included me in a post about positive role models......I didn't know what to say. I just kept hitting the "..........." button, feeling completely overwhelmed.

I'm still stunned by the irony.

(Shaking my head awake - Now where was I? Oh!)

It's the teacher's job to reach ALL his students. Whether or not it's the teacher himself doesn't matter. What matters is if he or she is failing to reach the students, by God he better find somebody who can.

I plan on writing more about so many of you. You have thrown your rock in our pond, and the rippling effects it has had have been extraordinary.

Just as you don't stop lifting a weight when it gets "too heavy", we don't give up on our children just because they are difficult to reach! When we hold on and keep "lifting" UNTIL we find a way.......THAT'S WHEN GROWTH and INCREASE IN STRENGTH and ABILITY HAPPENS!

We MUST do the things we think we cannot do - Eleanor Roosevelt

Throughout history so much emphasis has been placed on looks. Being attractive to someone is wonderful. I love good-looking people. Eleanor was not. Yet besides my grandmother, she and Mother Theresa are the most meaningful and beautiful women in history to me.

So thank you all from the bottom of my heart, because that's exactly where I was this week, at the very bottom of what was left. I want your beauty to be shared with the world as much as it has been shared with us.

You have helped us hold on for just one more day when we felt like giving up, giving us the strength to give the heroic effort needed that produced the shouts of jubilation and tears of joy from improbable success the next day.

(Kristen above telling Serenity about her success. She actually ran barefoot that morning to catch the bus to keep a promise to Serenity that she wouldn't miss any more school. I don't know what was said between the two, but Kristen was crying tears of joy and very touched afterwards.)

May God and Buddha and Mohammad all cover you in as many blessings as they have in talents and gifts, realized and yet to be developed.........especially the gift of caring for and loving children you have never met.

The greatest gift and strongest muscle is the heart, and I love and thank you all for yours. (Kelly, who along with Nick tied for the highest Science class test grade, celebrating with Kristen who received her highest test score ever!)

When I told Kenny that when I called next week expecting his teacher to tell me he was giving him his best, Kenny replied, "Don't worry Mr. Stuart, I won't let you down!".......I once again felt covered in his love and beauty...covered in his gift of the heart...and I felt that I could go on believing in myself and others for at least one more week...that IT DID matter...that IT DID make a difference.... me the strength to mean it when I say back to him ...And don't worry Kenny, I won't let YOU down. I won't give up!

You breathe life back into me.....

And this is why Kenny deserves his own holiday....This is HAPPY KENNY DAY from last year


"Everyone has a genius, a talent, a gift....EVERYBODY! I will argue for this as long as I live because I can see it with my soul and feel it in my bones to be true.

Kenny's is his ability to love, to make others feel better, to enrich their lives with a pureness of honesty, an innocence of love and a bravery to show it that so few of us have the power to take into adulthood.

Here's an actual conversation between the two of us:

"You're funny Mr. Stuart" (I can't remember what I did to make him say this)

"Aiy! That I am. And do yoo know why Kenny?" (said in my Scottish accent)

"No. Tell me."

"Because I am happy. I am a happy man."

"Why are you a happy man, Mr. Stuart? See, you're being funny again."

"Aiy that I am! I am happy because YOO are in my class. YOO make mah day good. YOO fill it weeth love, and weeth joy."

"I do?"

"That yoo do. And very well at that. I want tah thank yoo fah dooin' thees Kenny. Yoo make mah life betta', and yer important to me."

"Ahh, no problem Mr. Stuart. I love you."

"And I luv yoo rite back, weeth every bit of me. Now let's get tah work on developin' that grate mind uv yoors."

Kenny's great power is his ability to love. In honor of this the class gave him his very own holiday last month, renaming Valentines Day "Happy Kenny Day".

pictures to soon as I can find where I downloaded them and on which computer....every one has a gift, and organization ISN'T mine. That's why you don't focus on being better than others; instead you surround yourself with others better than you. Fortunately for me this isn't hard :-)"

- Adam Stuart (November 2006)

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Bizet ~ Carmen Suite No. 1

Georges Bizet

1838 - 1875

Georges Alexandre César Léopold Bizet was born on 25 October, 1838 in Paris. His mother was a pianist, and his father taught voice and composed. It seems likely that Bizet was probably as musically precocious as Felix Mendelssohn or Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

It is said that he could read and write music by the age of four, and with a very encouraging family, his parents actually hid books from him to suppress his literary bent and encourage more diligent applications to music, Bizet's future in music was pre-ordained.

Bizet entered the Paris Conservatoire de Musique in 1848, at the age of nine, and studied:

piano under Marmontel,
harmony under Zimmerman,
organ with Benoist and
composition with Halevy and
composition with Charles Gounod until the age of twenty.

H is years there were punctuated by a series of prizes for theory, piano, organ and composition. In 1855, at the age of seventeen, he composed his lovely Symphony in C. This piece was not performed until 1935 because Bizet was afraid that he would be charged with imitation, it was that strongly influenced by his teacher Charles Gounod. In fact, on careful listening, this piece recalls:

Ludwig Van Beethoven,
Joseph Haydn,
Felix Mendelssohn,
Robert Schumann,
Franz Schubert,
Wolgang Amadeus Mozart as well as
Charles Gounod's Symphony in D.

A lthough Bizet chose not to have this Symphony performed, he did later quote it in 'Les Pêcheurs de perles' and 'La jolie fille de Perth'.

Bizet was a Parisian at a time when Paris was a world centre of opera, boasting some of the
best-equipped opera houses and theatres, including the Paris Opéra. Nearly every 19th-century composer of opera, from Wagner to Verdi, wanted to have his works staged there.
For French composers, writing opera was the one sure way to musical fame and fortune. Like all French composers of his time, Bizet desperately wanted to write successful operas. Bizet did win the coveted Prix de Rome for composition in 1857 with the premiere of his sparkling operetta 'Le Docteur Miracle', and the 1867 Premiere of his opera 'La jolie fille de Perth', was also favorably received by press. But from then on, his career was followed by bad luck, which pursued him to the grave.

His personal life, too, was plagued by bad luck. In 1860, Georges returned to Paris but refused all offers of teaching and a career as a concert pianist. Instead, he dedicated himself to composition. Early into his return to Paris, Georges' mother died.
Georges consoled himself with his parents' house cleaner, with whom he had a son in 1862. The Opera-Comique was rehearsing his one-act 'La guzla de l'emir', which was eventually withdrawn when the Theatre-Lyrique director invited Bizet to compose Les pecheurs de perles (The Pearl Fishers). Bizet finished the opera in four months and it was produced in September 1863, but received an indifferent reception.
Although the staging was a bit stiff, none could deny Bizet's brilliant scoring, especially in the famous duet, Au fond du temple saint.
In 1865, Georges had a chance meeting on a train from Paris en route to the little village of Le Vesinet with a woman who may have been some of the inspiration for Carmen. Celeste Venard (nicknamed La Mogador) was quite a colorful character whose occupations included prostitution, dance hall escort,
writer, stage director and equestrian to name a few.
Celeste had purchased a home near Bizet's and on that fateful train ride; the two discovered they would be neighbors.
At Bizet's suggestion, Celeste bought a piano and gave him the key to her home so he could compose in peace. In Celeste's memoirs, she insists that the relationship was purely platonic and there is no evidence to suggest otherwise.
Celeste was now singing for her living in a cafe' and performed Ay Chiquita by a composer named Sebastian Yradier, composer of the well-known song 'La Paloma'. Apparently, Bizet liked Yradier's music as he borrowed a theme from Yradier's El Arregilito for the Habanera. Celeste and Georges' relationship ended abruptly, perhaps because of the displeasure of his future in-laws, the Halevys.

I n 1869, Georges married Genevieve Halevy , the mentally unstable daughter of his former teacher. Together they had a son who later committed suicide. Their son, Jacques, was born in 1872. The marriage did not bring much happiness to Bizet.
George Bizet was consistently racked by self-doubt and depression, and it was his refusal to give in to his natural inclination to compose from the 'heart', that caused so many of his compositions to be aborted before completion.
During this time, Bizet continued to compose with some of his works being met with modest success, including his incidental music for Alphonse Daudet's play L'Arlesienne.
T he Bizet's were poor and Georges had health problems and began battling with depression.
He also worked on a one-act opera Djamileh that was completed in 1872. That opera met with little success but Bizet was finally convinced he had found his true operatic path. Djamileh did have one success and that was its impression on director Camille du Locle, the co-director of the Opera-Comique.
He commissioned Bizet and librettists Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halevy (his wife's cousin) to write Carmen.
The actual story of Carmen was taken from the 1846 Prosper Merimee novel of the same name. In Merimee's novel, Carmen is a rather brutal character without warmth or depth; a gypsy with a common-law husband (a Rom) who Don Jose kills and eventually replaces.
The novel is told from Don Jose's perspective (he is the narrator) and the reader sees his decline from honorable soldier to deserter, smuggler, and murderer. Micaela and Escamillo are rarely mentioned in the novel but Bizet and his librettists fleshed out their characters to balance the overpowering Carmen and Don Jose.
The somewhat comical Dancairo and Remendado are classic Opera-Comique characters.
George Bizet and his librettists began work in 1873 though problems began from the outset with outrage from Adolph de Leuven the Opera-Comique's other director.
The Opera-Comique was a family theater where marriages were arranged, business was conducted and de Leuven felt it was an inappropriate story with its blatant sexuality and frank depiction of gypsy life.

Bizet's librettists also sided with de Leuven and felt that material (as originally written) was too strong and they feared public outrage. A battle followed with de Leuven and the librettists on one side and Bizet, du Locle and the principal singers Paul Lherie (Don Jose) and Celestine Galli-Marie (Carmen) on the other.
Du Locle, being a practical man, did want the ending changed to accommodate the family atmosphere. Lherie and Galli-Marie threatened to quit so du Locle backed down. Bizet, unhappy with the librettist's version of the Habanera, re-wrote the lyrics thirteen times before he was satisfied.

T he original version (with spoken dialogue) premiered on March 3, 1875 and met with a lukewarm response from the audience. Though not a failure (it ran for 45 more performances), Bizet felt that no one understood his work.
Other musicians, however, recognized Bizet's brilliance with praise from
Camille Saint-Saëns,
Peter Tchaikovsky,
Richard Strauss,
Johannes Brahms,
Charles Gounod,
Claude Debussy,
Edvard Grieg,
Giacomo Puccini,
Frederick Nietzsche ('a perfect antidote to Wagnerian neurosis') and
Richard Wagner ('at last some one with new ideas.')

A fter a succession of failures, Bizet pinned all his hopes on Carmen, what was to be his last opera. At its premiere in Paris on 3 March, 1875, many in the audience were shocked by its stark realism: Carmen and her co-workers from a cigarette factory smoking on stage and the sordid stabbing at the end.
The sheer dramatic power of the music also proved a little too much for those who had come to the theatre simply to be entertained. Today, Carmen is regarded as among the finest examples of 19th-century Romantic music written for the theatre, but Bizet never knew of its grand success. His health and spirit shattered by the critical reception of his Carmen, Bizet retreated to the family home at Bougival.

G eorges Bizet died on 3 June 1875, at the age of thirty-seven. On his death, Carmen became a huge success, and Bizet was hailed as a master. Although chiefly known for his Carmen, he was also as inspired a melodist as Schubert was and knew exactly how to spice a tune with pungent harmonies, catchy rhythms, and instrumental colors.
Many have speculated that his premature death was due to his despondence over the perceived failure of Carmen. While this depression probably did not improve his already failing health, Bizet had long suffered from throat problems and the official medical cause of death was a failed heart due to 'acute articular rheumatism'.

It is unfortunate that Bizet did not live long enough to see Tchaikovsky's prediction that Carmen would become 'the most popular opera in the repertory' come true. Carmen has indeed fulfilled the prediction
and more with its commercial success in Hollywood with the movie version Carmen Jones featuring Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte as well as becoming the score for The Bad News Bears and hundreds of commercials.

The melodies in the Habanera, Seguidilla and the Toreador Song are pervasive, exotic and unforgettable and even 125 years after its premiere, Carmen still captivates audiences and is one of the most produced operas in the world.

His incidental music to Daudet's play "L'Arlesienne" met with approval, and it is now frequently heard as a suite at orchestral concerts. His music possesses great melodic charm, and Bizet had tremendous skill in producing "local color". "Carmen" is full of it, and the whole score is impregnated with the warm glow of the South. He was greatly given to experimenting with his orchestra, and orchestral students with great profit may examine his works.

A fter his death, Bizet's music suffered irreparable damage from his publisher's attempts to cash in on Carmen's success. Unauthorized versions of the music appeared, butchered and altered with new texts and titles, mis-representing the composer's intentions.
Nor can this situation ever be fully rectified, as many of the original autograph manuscripts are now lost. Bizet's struggle for recognition, it seems, continues.

A list of Bizet's works

Chopin ~ Nocturne

"Night piece"; title for romantic miniature compositions for piano, etc

Frederic Chopin

Chopin's beautiful piano pieces earned him a reputation as the greatest composer for the piano. His family was poor and lived in Poland. His mother was Polish and his father was French. He went from Poland to Paris in 1831, and in 1838 he toured England and Scotland though he was very ill.

Chopin was from the Romantic period. He was born in ZelaZowa Wola, Poland, 1810 and died in 1849 in Paris, France, because of steadily worsening tuberculosis.

Chopin received musical training from Adalbert Zywny and then he went to a conservatory where he studied under Joseph Elsner.

Chopin was born to a poor but aristocratic family. His first piano lesson was at the age of six. Chopin played in the public at the age of eight. Field, the style of Hummel and Bach all influenced him.

Chopin wrote music for the piano, orchestra and miniatures such as Polonaise in A-Flat major and Nocturne in F-sharp. Some of his most famous pieces are Polonaise in A-flat major, Waltz in C-sharp minor, Prelude in D-Minor and Nocturne in F-sharp.

We liked Prelude in D-minor because it sounded like a stormy night and then it sounded like a quiet night, it kept switching and sounded very interesting. The MIDI we found is Prelude in D-Minor at Music History 102: Frederic Chopin

by Sara F. and Cecily P. (Grade 5)

Mozart ~ Rondo Alla Turca

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is generally ranked with Bach and Beethoven as one of the greatest composers who ever lived. Born the son of a distinguished composer, Mozart was recognized at an early age as a child prodigy. His chief works include symphonies, concertos, string quartets, a Requiem mass, and a multitude of other forms of chamber music. A popular example of Mozart's music is Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

Sample Works: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik Overture to The Marriage of Figaro

In composing the Rondo alla Turca, Mozart was merely following a very widespread fashion of the day. There was a great craze for everything exotic. It started at the end of the sixteenth and increased in France a11 through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

This craze extended to everything bizarre or strange, but was centered especially in Chinoiseries and Turqueries. Musicians, poets, painters and dancers, couturiers and craftsmen in every art were fascinated by the rich, subtle, rare quality of Chinese and Turkish taste.

Painters were allured by color, musicians by tone color and rhythmic design.The vogue of the Turqueries and Chinaiseies on the stage of the official theaters and the fairs was extraordinary. Muphti, master of the Turkish ceremony in Moliêre's Baurgeois Gentilhomme, played and danced by Lulli himself at the first performance, le Turc généreux of Rameau (Inde Galantes, first Entrée), les Chinois of Couperin, Sultane, Pacha, Osmin, all this multi­colored world sings, dances, has an uproarious time to our delight.

In order to compose the Rondo alla Turca, and later the Janissaries of The Abduction from the Seraglio, Mozart was not inspired solely by the Mecca Pilgrims of Gluck, as we are so often told. One can take it for granted that Mozart was familiar with the very long tradition of Turkish buffoonery. It is to be noted that exoticism aroused most frequently the satiric, comic or bantering vein in the artists of the period.

Mozart will prove it eloquently in his Rondo alla Turca which is truly a janissary orchestra en miniature.

Beethoven ~ Fur Elise

Ludwig van Beethoven

(1770-1827) Unlike Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven was not considered to be a child prodigy. He was twenty-two years old when he first began to make an impression on the Viennese public as a virtuoso pianist. After the age of thirty, Beethoven became progressively deaf and was no longer able to perform. Beethoven's music seemed to reflect his personality -- chaotic and powerful. His chief works include numerous piano sonatas, string quartets, an opera, a mass, as well as nine symphonies. Symphony No. 5 is probably his most famous work.
Sample Works: "Moonlight Sonata" Symphony No. 5, 1st mvmt "Fur Elise"

"Written by the legendary composer Ludwig van Beethoven in 1810 and still surviving to serve as inspiration for thousands of people not least to take up the piano

Learning music is perhaps one of the most interesting and rewarding commitments you can make in life. The art of playing piano has been passed down for many, many generations and is hopefully a skill that will never be forgotten; because while there may well never be another Beethoven, Bach or Mozart, music remains the one thing that can speak to everyone. Whether you're just starting out, an experienced musician, a teacher that strives to share knowledge for countless hours a week, or simply one who pass on advice every now and then in a casual setting - thank you. The world is a better place with music

Brief History of the Piece

Für Elise (which is German for For Elise) was composed by Ludwig van Beethoven around 1810 when the composer was 40 years old and already firmly established as one of the greatest composers of all time. The piece is named Für Elise because a Beethoven researcher claimed to have seen this dedication on an old manuscript which has been missing since, and the name 'Elise' has been the cause of some speculation.

It's a well known fact that Beethoven didn't have any luck when it came to marriage. At the time the piece was written he was in love with Therese Malfatti who was one of several women to turn down his marriage proposal. Some scholars have speculated that the title was misread from 'Therese' to 'Elise' because of Beethoven's terrible handwriting, and that the piece was actually dedicated to Therese who was studying under the maestro at the time. This is quite a far stretch, and thus not a definitive answer to the riddle.

No known records, letters, or accounts from people at the time has any mention of an 'Elise' in Beethoven's life, but that doesn't mean there wasn't one. To expect that all aquaintances from 200 years ago can be accounted for is very unreasonable, especially when the subject is a man who increasingly withdrew himself from the world because of his deafness.

At least unless some new letters or documentation shows up, Elise will remain one of the many mysteries in the composer's life. Another is the famous letter that was discovered after his death in 1827 addressed only to his immortal beloved. Her identity has despite extensive research and speculation never been uncovered either, not that a connection beetween her and Elise is implied.

Other Theories

Another guess about the title is that 'Elise' was a name generally used to describe a sweetheart during Beethoven's time, and this piece was written with that in mind as a general song to all sweethearts. This is however not a very likely explanation either, and it doesn't fit well with Beethoven's composing and dedication history.

Whether Elise was misread, an unknown love or a woman who inspired Beethoven to write this piece, perhaps without them ever meeting, it remains one of many unsolved mysteries left entirely to your imagination. All we know is that even after several years Beethoven re-visited the piece, but it remained as sketches that where never released in his lifetime."
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