Face the Music: September is Classical Music Month on hoopla!

We’re past Labor Day Weekend now, and autumn is in the air. For some of us, the transition may bring back memories of previous Boston Symphony Orchestra seasons, which typically begin in September. But while the concert hall may be dark this fall, the music hasn’t stopped. Not only is there much to sample on the BSO at Home website, but one of hoopla’s latest collections will be music to your ears!

With its Classical Music Month collection, hoopla offers everything from themed compilations to acclaimed artists’ recordings to child-friendly albums. You’ll find the top 100 or top 40 cello classics, songs from musicals, and “most relaxing” pieces. If your chief goal is stress relief, then Classical Music for Relaxation (featuring Beethoven, Mozart, and Chopin) might fit the bill. You can thrill to the best of the best with recordings from the likes of superstar pianist Lang Lang, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and violinist Hilary Hahn. If you or your little one is having trouble drifting off to dreamland, press play for Beethoven at Bedtime: A Gentle Prelude to Sleep. Or perhaps you’d like to share some creative downtime with the kids. If so, the rather unique album Color Me Classical: Calming Classics for Coloring can help you get into the flow!

For opera buffs, there are a few fabulous albums to take you to another world for a while. Bask in Diana Damrau’s rich coloratura soprano performances, Andrea Bocelli’s Passione, and the late, great Luciano Pavarotti’s Greatest Hits. And if you’d like a helping of pop with your classical, consider a couple of crossover titles: Classical Beatles with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, which features many of the greats (“Michelle,” “Hey Jude,” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” to name a few), and Sarah Brightman’s A Winter Symphony

By the way, once you’ve found an artist that you love, you can always click on the hyperlinked name and get a collection of his/her available albums. And don’t forget that hoopla offers at least 23,860 classical titles, so you should never be at a loss for inspiring listening!

If you’re new to hoopla, please do have a look at our FAQs section to get started. Need a Marblehead library card? You can go here to get one!

Music, Museums, and More!

If the coronavirus has cancelled that dream concert you’ve been waiting FOREVER to get tickets to, then it’s time to start that family band and get the show on the road (or at least your living room). Check out these great resources to get inspired and groovy at home with music!

Boston Children’s Museum Drum Circle

Make glass xylophones to learn about sound and vibrations, make a guitar using your body and string, or participate in a virtual drum circle with the Boston Children’s Museum.

Listen to professional musicians play from the Museum of Fine Arts’ collection of over 1,300 instruments, including a harpsichord from 1736, a 19th century fiddle from China, and a slide trumpet from 1835.

Learn from the masters with the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Home School, which includes instrument demonstrations, Youth Concert lesson plans for mini Mozarts and tiny Tchaikovskys, virtual lessons with BSO members, and episodes from WBUR’s Circle Round podcast in partnership with the BSO as part of their Concerts for Very Young People series.

And speaking of Circle Round, check out this excellent, award-winning podcast created for children ages 4 to 10. Each episode adapts a folktale from around the world and turns it into a sound- and music-rich radio play. Listen to Episode 21, ‘What Am I Hearing?’ with composer Eric Shimelonis as he goes through all of the instruments he uses to create music for the podcast.

For further exploration into music and the people that create it, take a look at these great titles for children, available through Libby and hoopla:

On hoopla

Bats in the Band by Brian Lies
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss (audiobook)

Plus check out the hundreds of albums, from Raffi to Disney, available on hoopla Kids

On Libby:

Pete the Cat’s World Tour by James Dean
Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln by Margarita Engle
Who Was: Popular Musicians by Various (audiobook)
When the Beat was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop by Laban Carrick Hill

On hoopla & Libby:

Trombone Shorty by Troy ‘Trombone Shorty’ Andrews 
Check out the ebook or audiobook on Overdrive/Libby and the ebook, movie, or Read Along on hoopla. 

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle
Check out the ebook on Overdrive/Libby or the audiobook, movie, or Read Along on hoopla.