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Music and Literature: How the Two Arts Meet

from Manhattan School of Music

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This program is an exploration into the connection between the descriptive power of words and music. Students are given the text in advance with some preliminary questions, and with guided help during the lecture discover how music can convey deep meaning without the need of words. Recent cultural phenomenon like Harry Potter are mentioned so students can relate to the composers of the past, and their need for interpretation of well known literature through music. We progress from looking at song settings to programmatic pieces, and learn how to recognize the poetry in the music.

Program Rating

   based on 3 evaluation(s).

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About This Program


Point to Point: $200.00
By Request: $200.00

ISDN bridging charges for the network connection test, sound check, and class presentation videoconferences must be assumed by partner school. Please note one exception: Sound check/dress rehearsal charges for the MOVE program will be assumed by Manhattan School of Music.


45 minutes or one regular class period

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 7, 8, Adult Learners

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:


Primary Disciplines

Performing Arts Music

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference - H.323 (Polycom, Cisco/Tandberg, LifeSize, etc...)
Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Skype, iChat, Vidyo, Movi/Jabber, Blue Jeans, etc...)

Booking Information

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Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations must be made at least two (2) business days prior to videoconference session. Failure to do so will result in a cancellation fee equivalent to the program fee.

Weather Policy
In the event of severe, inclement weather preventing a scheduled videoconference session from occurring, Manhattan School of Music and partner will reschedule the conference in a timely manner so that the educational collaboration may continue. Manhattan School of Music and partner agree to notify one another should there be a forecast for severe, inclement weather at their respective location. Please contact David Marsh at immediately to coordinate appropriate action.

Technical Troubleshooting Policy
In the event of technical malfunctions or disruptions that arise before or during a scheduled videoconference session due to network carrier(s) services or videoconferencing technologies on the Manhattan School of Music or partner premises, Manhattan School of Music and partner technical support services will make every effort to remedy these issues in a timely, cooperative, and efficient manner so that the scheduled conferences may proceed as scheduled. If it is determined that the session cannot proceed, Manhattan School of Music and partner agree to reschedule the conference in a timely manner so that the educational collaboration may continue.

About This Provider

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Manhattan School of Music

New York, NY
United States

Manhattan School of Music

Manhattan School of Music is a preeminent international conservatory of music granting Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees. Established in 1918 by pianist and philanthropist Janet Daniels Schenck, the School is dedicated to the personal, artistic, and intellectual development of each of its students, who range in age from the precollege through the postgraduate level. Offering both classical and jazz training, the School instructs students in performance and composition and provides a broad-based education in music theory, history, and humanities. Students come from all over the world, drawn by a rigorous program that reflects the highest standards of musical heritage, and by the faculty, which includes some of the world’s best-known artists. Much of the school’s strength derives from its home in cosmopolitan New York City, and the School contributes to the city’s musical life through an active program of community outreach and with its own program of concerts and performances. These are regularly recognized nationally and internationally as some of the finest events in New York’s musical calendar. Manhattan School of Music’s alumni are active in every aspect of contemporary musical life, and many are among the most distinguished artists performing in concert halls, opera houses and on jazz stages throughout the world today.

Distance Learning

In 1996, under the pioneering influence of Maestro Pinchas Zukerman and President Marta Istomin, Manhattan School of Music instituted a groundbreaking distance learning program — the first of its kind at a major conservatory — devoted to exploring the use of state-of-the-art videoconference technology for music education and performance. Since its inception, the program has connected students, educators, and distinguished artists around the globe for teaching and learning exchanges and currently reaches over 1,700 students each year from Albuquerque to New Zealand.

Through the development and creative use of broadband videoconferencing and related instructional technologies, Manhattan School of Music Distance Learning provides access to artistic and academic resources that enhance students’ education in musical performance while heightening the global community’s awareness of and participation in the musical arts.

Specifically, the program provides interactive videoconference master classes, private lessons, clinics, workshops, coachings, sectionals, colloquia, educational and community outreach, telementoring, professional development, and humanities exchanges to institutions of higher education, K–12 schools, and performing and community organizations around the world. New program areas currently under development include remote auditioning and recruitment via videoconferencing.

K-12 Programs

With over a decade of experience in the field of distance learning and as the first conservatory in the nation to utilize videoconferencing for K-12 music education, Manhattan School of Music has adopted the key elements of presenting successful music education programs via videoconference. In addition to giving students access to world-class musicians and stimulating artistic perspectives, Manhattan School of Music ensures that the quality of videoconference transmissions are of the highest technical standards possible.

Through the Music Bridges and Virtual Music Studio programs, Manhattan School of Music offers a wide variety of standards-based music and music-related presentations to public and private schools throughout the country. The New York State Learning Standards for the Arts are incorporated in program design, content, and assessment, as well as links to core subjects such as social studies and history.

Music Bridges is a selection of music programs that feature distinguished Manhattan School of Music artist-faculty teaching elementary, middle, and high schools students. These interactive videoconference programs are designed to engage students in areas ranging from musical performance, to instrumental and vocal coachings, to developing an understanding of the building blocks of music.

Virtual Music Studio features a variety of videoconference programs developed and presented by a roster of distinguished Manhattan School of Music young artist alumni. These teaching artists -instrumentalists and vocalists who have attained a high level of professional proficiency at their musical craft - are up-and-coming educators who also serve as role models and mentors to students within the context of the dual learning process. Each program includes pre-videoconference teaching materials, one class period–length videoconference presentation, and a post-videoconference development guide.

All of the above programs are fully on-demand. Presentations are scheduled to accommodate the timetable of the requesting school, and can even be modified to better fit certain grade levels, age groups, curriculum needs, or requirements. Please read on for testimonials from past participants on how Manhattan School of Music’s interactive videoconference music education programs have benefited their students.

NOTE: If you reside in Australia or New Zealand and would like to receive MSM content via videoconference, please contact the ANU School of Music at

David Marsh

Program Details


A Manhattan School of Music teaching artist will lead an interactive presentation.


The students will:
- explore the connection between words and music
- learn to interpret literature through music
- draw connections to composers of the past
- discover the meaning behind music without text

Standards Alignment

National Standards

Core Standard: Performing, Presenting, Producing

Anchor Standard #4. Analyze, interpret, and select artistic work for presentation.

(MU:Pr4.2.7) a. Explain and demonstrate the structure of contrasting pieces of music selected for performance and how elements of music are used.

(MU:Pr4.2.8) a. Compare the structure of contrasting pieces of music selected for performance, explaining how the elements of music are used in each.

Core Standard: Responding

Anchor Standard #7. Perceive and analyze artistic work.

(MU:Re7.2.7) a. Classify and explain how the elements of music and expressive qualities relate to the structure of contrasting pieces. b. Identify and compare the context of music from a variety of genres, cultures, and historical periods.

(MU:Re7.2.8) a. Compare how the elements of music and expressive qualities relate to the structure within programs of music. b. Identify and compare the context of programs of music from a variety of genres, cultures, and historical periods.
Anchor Standard #8. Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.

(MU:Re8.1.7) a. Describe a personal interpretation of contrasting works and explain how creators’ and performers’ application of the elements of music and expressive qualities, within genres, cultures, and historical periods, convey expressive intent.

(MU:Re8.1.8) a. Support personal interpretation of contrasting programs of music and explain how creators’ or performers’ apply the elements of music and expressive qualities, within genres, cultures, and historical periods to convey expressive intent.
Anchor Standard #9. Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.

(MU:Re9.1.7) a. Select from teacher-provided criteria to evaluate musical works or performances.

(MU:Re9.1.8) a. Apply appropriate personally developed criteria to evaluate musical
works or performances.

Core Standard: Connecting

Anchor Standard #10. Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.

(MU:Cn10.0.7-8) a. Demonstrate how interests, knowledge, and skills relate to personal choices and intent when creating, performing, and responding to music.

Anchor Standard #11. Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural and historical context to deepen understanding.

(MU:Cn11.0.7-8) a. Demonstrate understanding of relationships between music and the other arts, other disciplines, varied contexts, and daily life.

State Standards

New York
New York State Learning Standards for the Arts
Standard 1: Creating, Performing, and Participating in the Arts
Students will actively engage in the processes that constitute creation and performance in the arts (dance, music, theatre, and visual arts) and participate in various roles in the arts.
Standard 2: Knowing and Using Arts Materials and Resources

Students will be knowledgeable about and make use of the materials and resources available for participation in the arts in various roles.
Standard 3: Responding to and Analyzing Works of Art
Students will respond critically to a variety of works in the arts, connecting the individual work to other works and to other aspects of human endeavor and thought.
Standard 4: Understanding the Cultural Contributions of the Arts
Students will develop an understanding of the personal and cultural forces that shape artistic communication and how the arts in turn shape the diverse cultures of past and present society.

New York State Learning Standards for English Language Arts

Standard 1: Language for Information and Understanding
Students will listen, speak, read, and write for information and understanding. As listeners and readers, students will collect data, facts, and ideas; discover relationships, concepts, and generalizations; and use knowledge generated from oral, written, and electronically produced texts. As speakers and writers, they will use oral and written language that follows the accepted conventions of the English language to acquire, interpret, apply, and transmit information.
Standard 3: Language for Critical Analysis and Evaluation
Students will listen, speak, read, and write for critical analysis and evaluation. As listeners and readers, students will analyze experiences, ideas, information, and issues presented by others using a variety of established criteria. As speakers and writers, they will use oral and written language that follows the accepted conventions of the English language to present, from a variety of perspectives, their opinions and judgments on experiences, ideas, information and issues.
Standard 4: Language for Social Interaction
Students will listen, speak, read, and write for social interaction. Students will use oral and written language that follows the accepted conventions of the English language for effective social communication with a wide variety of people. As readers and listeners, they will use the social communications of others to enrich their understanding of people and their views.