Anita Molinaro: An Aspiring Artist at 80

Blog
Story by Wesley Orser, one of Barry's former Hofstra students who sat in on some recordings with an aspiring artist in her 80s. There is a long-standing idea, especially in music, that creativity has an age limit. Perhaps the most common concern for an older aspiring artist is that it’s too late to start pursuing their craft. Those mental roadblocks can keep someone from finally taking up an instrument or learning to sing. They didn't stop Anita Molinaro. Anita Molinaro Anita is an 82-year old grandmother from Finland. She starting writing music at a young age, but never received any formal training. Recently, she was inspired to channel her natural talent into recording original songs for the first time in her life. Anita has an advantage younger musicians don't when they're…
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“Rather Be With You” featuring Samantha Kenny

“Rather Be With You” featuring Samantha Kenny

Barry's Projects, Blog
It must have been late December or early January this year when I received a text message from Samantha Kenny, one of my former students at Guitar Center Studios (Danbury, CT), where I taught piano, guitar and bass (and got amazing discounts!) from 2012-2018. Samantha stopped taking piano lessons with me after graduating high school and becoming a student at The New School in New York City. It was great to see her again when she came to hear me perform some unusual, experimental music in Brooklyn with Audible Abstraction in September 2017. Anyway, as I was preparing my syllabi and course content for the Spring 2019 semester at Hostos Community College (Bronx, NY), Samantha reached out to say hello and let me know she was around if I needed…
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A Performance of “Doomed Paladin” by Composition Student Andres Virola

A Performance of “Doomed Paladin” by Composition Student Andres Virola

Blog
High schooler Andres Virola has been taking private lessons with me for the past three years, and he’s come a long way. His school orchestra recently performed a piece that he composed electronically, adapted for strings, trumpet, piano and percussion, “Doomed Paladin.” https://youtu.be/8F-1JnTZ210?t=255 In his spoken introduction, Andres explains that the programmatic piece details a knight’s final fight with vigor and pride, rather than defeat. We can hear a careful balance in the piece between the groups, which often shift in and out of the foreground, and alternate between giving each other space in a patchwork texture, and working homogeneously for the piece’s most triumphant moments. Ascending motifs in the higher strings create an atmosphere of anticipation and determination, while the lower strings play a more mysterious melody. Seizing the…
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Supporting Young Musicians by Sharing Resources

Supporting Young Musicians by Sharing Resources

Blog
A couple weeks ago I got an unexpected, but encouraging email, and I wanted to share the message with you all. “Good afternoon Barry, I just wanted to shoot you a quick email to say thanks. I'm a youth mentor, and one of my mentees…is an extremely talented tuba player. We meet biweekly and go over everything from current homework and projects to his life goals, dreams, aspirations, struggles, etc.  He had a project due this week on Music Theory and your [student resources] page…was a great help to him so we wanted to let you know how much he appreciated it. [My high school student has] started exploring his options in terms of where his musical passion and talent can take him for college. Together we found this really…
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