"[I]f I had to live my life again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week…The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature." --Charles Darwin

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A couple more good teachers

I have a more complex and ambitious post I have been working on, subject to interruption for Midterm Exams and closing out the marking period. But I am feeling a bit guilty for not updating for two whole weeks. So in the meantime, a couple more examples of teachers I find admirable.

The first is my lovely sister's lovely husband, Don Loprieno, who has long worked as an historian, curator and historical interpreter. He is currently semi-retired, although he is working hard selling this book, which he wrote and for which he provided the photo illustrations.

That's the commercial--here's the show. This is Don not only demonstrating the proper loading and firing of an 18th century musket, but also explaining the derivations of three common phrases in the English language, "flash in the pan," "Don't go off half-cocked," and "Lock, stock and barrel" (hence the title of the video).

Here is another favorite non-classroom teacher of mine, Max Morath. Max has been playing and talking about ragtime for over fifty years now, in the concert hall, theater and on television. I first encountered him in this series (or one like it) on what we called "educational television" in the olden days. I would compare him to Leonard Bernstein in his ability to elucidate musical issues for non-musicians. In this episode he addresses the importance of business in the music business, going back to the early 20th century.

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