Alive Inside: getting the playlist for the music of memory

The 78-minute documentary “Alive Inside” is a fascinating account of the effect of familiar music on eliciting memory in the elderly, awakening them from their otherwise passive state of being. Released in 2014, the film “follows social worker Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, as he fights against a broken healthcare system to demonstrate music’s ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it.”

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Theme from the Titanic for Easy Piano and Flute

Alex (piano) and Jason (flute). N. Virginia, June 1999.

The sudden news of the fatal plane crash of James Horner is rippling through the music and film industries. James R. Horner was a prolific composer of music for film.

As I discover piano transcriptions (also known as piano covers) of his music online, I am reminded that I, too, was once an obsessive fan.

I listened to the love theme from the Titanic over and over again until I configured an arrangement for flute and piano for my friends’ young sons in Northern Virginia in June 1999. Continue reading

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Rose Concert 2015: Father’s Day, the Brain, Alzheimer’s Disease

Two years ago, I gave my first Rose Concert at Roselani Place, a home named after the rose in central Maui for elderly residents. When I ran out of songs about the rose, I ventured into songs about other flowers like jasmine, cherry blossoms, etc.

This time, on Friday June 19th, I also paid tribute to Father’s Day (Sunday June 21st) and National Alzheimer’s Disease and Brain Awareness Month. Call it a concert to celebrate the beautiful minds of Aaron Copland, Maurice Ravel, and Scott Joplin.

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Mother’s Day Concert

Preamble: Usually I blog about a themed concert either before or just after giving it. This year is the first time that I’ve managed to “stick around” to celebrate Mother’s Day on Maui. In addition to playing music relevant to this special day, I added a few pieces to entertain my 76-year old mother who was present in the audience.


Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of each May. Anna Jarvis is credited for her effort to get US President Wilson to issue a proclamation to recognize this day. Shortly after giving this special concert at Roselani Place on May 10, I read that my friend Connie is related to Anna Jarvis. This made my research even more relevant!

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Kickstart Streetlight Cadence beyond paradise: from Waikiki to Los Angeles

The exciting Honolulu-based quartet Streetlight Cadence announced their plans to leave for Los Angeles earlier this year. More recently they launched a Kickstarter Campaign to fund their next album “Beyond Paradise.” Having heard them perform LIVE on Maui and purchased their CDs, I am curious what they are up to next.

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Free concerts on Maui in June and July, 2015

Concerts are live musical performances where the artists and their audiences share the same space. It’s a BONUS to have the additions of the pre-concert talk and the post-concert reception to talk to the artists and the audience.

This July, Yale University’s Ben Verdery will once again come to Maui for his world-famous summer guitar masterclass, now in its 16th year. Three of his top students will give a free concert on our campus. This time, there will be a reception to follow the hour-long concert. Please see the details below — and SAVE THE DATES and SPREAD THE WORD! Continue reading

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Crowd funding Eureka! Orchestra

Could crowd-funding be THE way to ensure orchestra concerts happen?

Or more specifically, to get new orchestras started?

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