Houston Matters

How to Insulate Your Teenager From Modern Stressors

Posted on · Our summer reading series continues with Judith Widener Muir, author of Live Wires: Neuro-Parenting to Ignite Your Teen’s Brain. Her book explains what makes the teenage brain unique and versatile and how to insulate today’s teens from the stresses of “college frenzy, achievement mania and media explosion.” She also explains how versatile and adaptive the […]

Houston Matters

How to Keep Students Sharp Through the Summer Months

Posted on · It’s long been established that students tend to score lower on tests at the end of summer vacation than they do just before it begins. Efforts to address such summer “brain drain” usually revolve around keeping students engaged in learning through the summer months. A new project at a Houston elementary school seeks such engagement […]

Houston Matters

What’s the Value of Outdoor Education?

Posted on · Fifth graders in Houston public schools have, for nearly 40 years, participated in Outdoor Education Programs at two centers, in Forest Glen and Olympia. But future funding for the programs may be in doubt. We learn about such outdoor education programs, and both their benefits and challenges. Then, we discuss research examining the impact of […]

Houston Matters

How Do Magnet Schools Stack Up Against Other Houston Schools?

Posted on · On past programs, we've explored a variety of alternative forms of education, from Montessori schools to dual language programs. We've talked about efforts to focus education on preparing students for STEM careers – jobs in science, technology, engineering and math. Many public schools throughout Greater Houston offer specialized curriculum. They're what are known as magnet […]

Houston Matters

How Do Disparities in Houston Education Affect the City’s Economy?

Posted on · A new report from Rice University's Shell Center for Sustainability examines disparities in education and income in Houston, and its impact on the city's economic expansion. "Houston Community Sustainability: The Quality of Life Atlas" looks at 24 social, economic, and environmental indicators of sustainability in 88 Houston "super-neighborhoods" and recommends major intervention to encourage more […]

Classical Classroom

Classical Classroom, Episode 38: Stringed Life – on being a quartet, with Enso String Quartet

Posted on · The Grammy-nominated Enso String Quartet puts the "class" in this episode of Classical Classroom. We discuss where string quartets come from, why the instruments in a quartet go together so well, what sets Enso apart from other string quartets, and what it's like to play live (which apparently sometimes includes hitting yourself in the face and dancing to get away from bees).

Classical Classroom

Classical Classroom, Episode 37: George Heathco on Louis Andriessen and Alt-Classical

Posted on · Louis Andriessen is one of the most important contemporary composers you've (probably) never heard of. His work isn't widely played because he's written many pieces for varieties of ensembles that don't exist. In fact, specially created ensembles have sprung up because of Andriessen's pieces, including the famous British ensemble, Icebreaker. Guitarist, composer, and co-founder of Liminal Space Contemporary Music Ensemble, George Heathco, teaches us all about Andriessen and his contributions to the alt classical movement. Or indie classical. Or whatever you wanna call it.  

Houston Matters

Online University Aims to Bring College to More People

Posted on · Back in 1996 a group of bipartisan western governors got together and wanted to figure out how to use technology to bring post-secondary education to a larger number of people. The hope was to make it efficient, affordable and easily accessible — which meant it had to be online. Out of this meeting, a non-profit […]

Classical Classroom

Classical Classroom, Episode 36: Catherine Lu welcomes the Year of the Horse with the Butterfly Lovers’ Violin Concerto

Posted on · The Butterfly Lovers' Violin Concerto was written by two Chinese composers, Chen Gang and He Zhanhao, in 1959. In honor of Chinese New Year - which begins 1/31 - Houston Public Media's Catherine Lu has come back to the Classroom to teach us all about this gorgeous piece, which was based on possibly the most tragic opera ever.

Classical Classroom

Classical Classroom, Episode 35: Percussionist Craig Hauschildt gets fresh with Golijov’s “Ayre”

Posted on · Osvaldo Golijov's "Ayre" - an amazing exercise in contrasts - is unlike any other piece you've ever heard on Classical Classroom. In fact, is it classical music?? Percussionist Craig Hauschildt (who works for a group called Da Camera that brings tons of classical music to Houston) answers that question, plus, we both try and fail at pronouncing a lot of words.

Classical Classroom

My Classical Music New Year’s Resolution

Posted on · Happy 2014 everyone! I feel like it's been ages. You all look great. Well rested. So, I don't know about you, but I have been busy making my New Year's resolutions [see pic above]. One of them is to go to more classical music concerts. But, I can't decide which to go to. So, I need your help! Want for me to come to your concert? Convince me! Here's how: - Submit a 1-2 minute recording of your classical music group/org/laptop-based experimental classical music project to this DropBox: a.soundcloud-dropbox:hover {color: #1896D1 !important; background-color: transparent !important;}*html a.soundcloud-dropbox {background-image: none !important; filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.AlphaImageLoader(src='(http://a1.sndcdn.com/images/dropbox_small_white.png?d53bf9f)', sizingMethod='crop') !important;}/* if you want to have valid HTML, please be so kind and put the style part in the head of your page */ Send me your sounds - Next, drop me a line at dclay@classical917.org. Make sure to include the following in the email: --- Your organization or group's name --- Details about the performance --- How to get in touch with you --- Why you think I should come to your show. If I'm going to come to your show, I'll be in touch! Looking forward to some good shows in the new year. I will make sure to bring my lighter and glow sticks.

Classical Classroom

Classical Classroom, Episode 34: Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with Keith Weber

Posted on · In honor of Beethoven's 240-something birthday, Keith Weber, Grammy-nominated Producer, Director of Music and Organist at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Houston, and Artistic Director of Grace Song, Inc., talks about just who this "Beethoven" guy was, why he was officially excused from having manners at parties, and all about his "Missa Solemnis" mass.

Classical Classroom

Christmas-y Classical-ish Tunes for You!

Posted on · Silver & Gold by Sufjan Stevens I'm possibly overly into this album right now, and you guys might dig it, too. I thought I loved Christmas/the holidays a lot until I discovered Sufjan Stevens' Christmas music. Silver & Gold: Songs for Christmas, Vols. 6–10 is his second collection of Christmas tunes, and it is vast: 58 tracks. (Songs for Christmas, Vols. 1-5 weighs in at a meager 42 tracks.) The dude is absolutely nutty about Christmas. Nut. Ty. While Sufjan is not a classical musician in the strictest sense of the word (he has been called everything from "indie folk" to "baroque pop"), he clearly has an appreciation for it. He plays multiple instruments including the English horn and the oboe, and many of the tunes on Silver & Gold sound like (are?) early music. Stevens has also collaborated with classical musicians like Nico Muhly, which gives him classical music cred in my book. Anyway, take a listen to the track above, and let me know what you think. Early music, right? I love that this exists in this collection alongside tunes like "Christmas Unicorn". This album gives Christmas fresh, new sounds and reminds us of the lovely sounds of Christmas past. Happy holly jolly, everyone!