music (n.) ...from Greek mousike (techne) "(art) of the Muses," from fem. of mousikos "pertaining to the Muses," from Mousa "Muse" <as quoted from the Online Etymology Dictionary>
Artists' muses for music are as varied and complex as the creators themselves. Sometimes a musician's muse is a mystery. Take for instance the repertoire of Beethoven's most romantic pieces and the many candidates whose lives and influence are as layered and complex as the notes on a page. Or perhaps these muses are powerful figments of an artist's imagination. Consider what Tchaikovsky meant when he famously wrote, "I sit down to the piano regularly at nine-o'clock in the morning and Mesdames les Muses have learned to be on time for that rendezvous."
Of course, music itself can be the muse. In a New York Times article about Einstein, we learn that Mozart had a profound impact on the world's most famous genius who "was fascinated by Mozart and sensed an affinity between their creative processes, as well as their histories."
Sometimes a muse is not in a personified form, but takes on the shape of something bigger than all of us. Like Nature. Did you immediately think of Vivaldi's "program music" that presents a musical narrative on the Four Seasons? Did the seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter serve as Vivaldi's muse, or was it the pastoral landscapes of the Baroque painter Marco Ricci that served to move Vivaldi's notes as if they were strokes on a canvas?
Last month PBS Newshour explored the life and muses of a composer named Stephen Lias whose muses are our country's National Parks. He calls the album Encounters, and as you listen, you find yourself contemplating how the instrumentation of each composition reflects the intricacies and wonders of these treasured territories.
Take a moment to contemplate your muse and how he/she/it shapes the art and music you create.
The New York Times just posted an article about 2017 spring and summer art openings that are worthy of our attention. Westerhoff's 'Running Wild' group was already ahead of the curve with a trip in the works for March 30 to the Montclair Art Museum to see the critically-acclaimed Matisse & American Art exhibit. We're also really excited to check out the Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends exhibit at the MoMA and the The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s at the Cooper Hewitt. But gas up the car, kids! There are so many more wonderful openings from sea to shining sea, and if you find yourself in any of the locations mentioned in the NYT article, why not throw in a little arts & culture into the mix.
New Jersey is home to so many museum gems, tucked away in picturesque towns. One such find was Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton, New Jersey, just 45 minutes due west of Metuchen/Edison. Currently, the museum is exhibiting RED, featuring works by ten artists who use the color "not necessarily as a predominant color, but because it conjures up a specific emotion or plays a vital role in the work's narrative." You are greeted to the exhibit by a stunning crocheted work reminiscent of a coral reef. The convex stitched orbs play with the shadows on the wall, adding to the three-dimensionality of this abstract textile art. Also on view are ceramic "brickworks" of Adam Welch, landscapes of Wes Sherman, and an impressive and inspiring display of young artists' works on the third floor of the museum space (area schools have rotating exhibitions and the works of art are worthy of the space in which they temporarily call home). Also recommended on your visit to Clinton: The Red Mill Museum Village where you can take in 200 years of history in about an hour's time. Stroll through the quaint downtown area for the shops, and go for a wine tasting at Balic Wines - surprise yourself with a taste of blueberry or mango varietals, or sample the more traditional dry whites or full-bodied reds that they also offer, all locally made. And do not miss out on a meal at an impeccably charming BYOB called The Clean Plate Kitchen (check out the rave review by The New York Times), especially on a lovely warm day when you can take in the view along the river overlooking the Red Mill and waterfall.
So we're going full throttle on social media presence. In addition to our Facebook Page (please like us at http://www.facebook.com/westerhoffschool), we've got a Twitter Handle (@LearnMusicArt) and an Instagram Page (http://instagram.com/westerhoff_school). We even have a few items posted on Vimeo. But because we're also old school, we like to socialize in person, too. Stop by on Monday, February 13th from 4 to 5:15PM to make some Valentines with us ($5 per person includes materials, cider and cookies). Let us know you're coming at email@example.com.
Be sure to check out our new SPRING SCHEDULE. Our music and art classes kick off February 11th with shows scheduled in mid June. Whether you are hoping to take up an instrument for the first time or continue with music lessons, our seasoned professionals are excited to develop our students skills in piano, violin, viola, cello, clarinet, saxophone, flute and classical, electric and acoustic guitar. And for those who want to develop visual arts skills, Mickey Waring is preparing her art studio for an array of classes for students as young as 3 through adult! Check out the ART OFFERINGS this session.
We welcome all students from Metuchen, Woodbridge, Edison, Iselin, Rahway, & Plainfield and their surrounding areas. Want a tour of our facility? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange one. Or inquire directly from our website. We look forward to SPRINGING FORWARD IN MUSIC AND ARTS EDUCATION with you!
Gary Westerhoff's name is on an art and music school building. But what many may not know is that he's an avid nature photographer and his works are simply stunning. Several of his photographs are exhibited on the second story wall of the school. We encourage you to check it out and be inspired by his perceptions and interpretations of landscapes and wildlife spanning the Americas on his website filled with an online gallery of his extraordinary photos.
Gary Westerhoff is a licensed Professional Environmental Engineer and Professional Planner and a national expert on drinking water. Prior to retirement, he provided consulting services to major drinking water utilities throughout the United States and was CEO of a national environmental consulting and engineering firm. Over more than five decades he has developed a passion for outdoor adventures. This passion combines fly fishing for trout and salmon with landscape and wildlife nature photography across North America, Canada, Central America and South America. Many of Gary's wildlife images catch the individual characteristics and habits of the animals and their relationship with the environment in which they live.