MTMS Playlist Deadline

Today (10/25) is the deadline for the Halloween Youtube Playlist for MTMS. Please get those submissions in today if you haven’t already!

Our playlist will come out on Halloween (10/31). We’re so excited to share it with everyone because we love our students and we appreciate all of their work to be ready to share with families and friends.

Tentatively planning an in-person recital in January. Stay tuned.

Elevator Music

I always call this kind of background music “muzak” but I didn’t know until today that Muzak is a brand name of background music. It’s been a brand since 1954 with several different channels that mostly use original artists to create the music.

Do you mind music in a shop or a restaurant while you’re in there? It might depend on volume or the type. I don’t mind it much when I’m out in public shops.

There is pushback for music in public places – some societies are reaching for the quiet instead. I wonder what that looks like. Pipedown in the UK is one such organization and they seem to be marketing it as noise pollution.

The other place we hear a lot of piped music is music on hold – every time we’re on hold for a telephone it feels like we have some sort of music with “Thank you for calling. Your call is important to us. You are number (pause) 6 (pause) in the wait.”

Companies are out there to market this to everyone who needs to keep people on hold. I find that’s more annoying than elevator music, but there is that idea that it keeps the customer engaged while they need to wait. Better than total silence? I think that’s a matter of opinion.

What are your feelings on elevator music? Does it make you want to leave public spaces? Does the music on hold make you want to hang up the phone? Or are you engaged more because there’s something there? I would love to know.


Have you ever wondered about musical parodies? I heard one this morning – and while I expected it to be American Pie, it was not. I loved it, and I had to listen to it again- if you want to debate the merits of this song versus the movie I am up for it!

But as far as music goes, what makes a parody allowed? Obviously it’s very much the same music with different lyrics in this case, but sometimes a parody is also the same lyrics but with a different musical style.

Parodies are used in many ways: parodies of earlier music, parodies of musical and performing styles, and parodies of particular performers. This can be for serious or comical purposes. How many different parodies came out to express our feelings during the early COVID days? How many have existed for years and we might not even know the original because we just haven’t run into it?

I know sometimes we’d sing parodies on the way to school from different hymns or other works. But they were school songs, not religious tunes. Parodies are important and they’re protected under the fair use of copyright. It is definitely about the social commentary of the time or the humorous vision of the performers. Think about what parodies you’ve run into and what always surprises you about these things.

Here are the originals of both songs.

October Themes!

October music history: For Music History this month we wanted to cover a more advanced topic. Minor keys, learn about what they are, how they are used in music, and listen to some examples. If you have any questions please ask a lab attendant!

Young Students Blurb: This month we have brand new coloring pages for October! We also have a fun new website with ear training games. Use them to learn about pitch, melody, rhythm, and more!  If you have any questions, be sure to ask your lab attendant!

October composition: For composition this month we are talking about minor keys. Minor keys have a very unique sound that is kinda like Halloween. Listen to some examples of songs with minor keys (including Let It Go from Frozen!) and trying writing your own music. As always if you have any questions ask a lab attendant.