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By Chris M. Bernotas,
Concert Band Composer

Being in the world of music almost automatically makes us all involved in the trends of technology. With the many notation, sequencing, and recording programs available to our students, they can easily immerse themselves in the creation of music. While facilitating and fostering our students’ creative minds there is another way we can guide our students in technology.

The other major development that has changed the face of communication is e-mail. Since the introduction of e-mail, communication with people from all over the world has never been easier! We are no longer in the days of the “Pony Express” (available from Alfred!). A lesson I am planning to use with my students is going to involve having them select one of the pieces in their folder that particularly appeals to them and have them conduct some research. Their research will include investigating the background of the piece as well as the composer.

Luckily, many of today’s composers have websites that include tidbits of inside information about themselves and their music. As a part of my students’ research, I am going to suggest to them to contact the composer via e-mail and ask a question. The question can be about the composition, the composer or compositional technique.

I am excited to hear back from my students to see/hear the results of their info-quest. The goal is for my students to expand their understanding of music, connect to an artist and develop their communication skills. I believe that composers will enjoy hearing from students that are performing their music!