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September 2016
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5 Classical Works to Help You Ease Bach Into School



Earlier this summer, the United States senate passed the Every Child Achieves Act, declaring music and the arts as core subjects. To many, the benefits of arts education are obvious. But did you know that music can also help you as you study other core subjects? Here are 5 pieces of music to help you ease Bach into the swing of the school year.


  1. Hercules at the Crossroads by J.S. Bach
    Believe it or not, J.S. Bach wrote music dramas or – as we call them today – operas. One such work was composed for the 11th birthday of Friedrich Christian of Saxony called Hercules at the Crossroads or The Choice of Hercules. Between what things must our hero choose? Lust and virtue. Bach isn’t the only person to set this story to music. But, his musical dramatization is a great way to brush up on your classical mythology and your philosophy of ethics and morals all at the same time.YouTube Preview Image
  2. Patient Socrates by Telemann
    Need a more comic accompaniment to your philosophy studies? Telemann has you covered. Though he was one of the most popular composers of his time, we seldom hear his music today in comparison with his then friend and colleague J.S. Bach. His opera Patient Socrates, which explores the life of one of the greatest teachers of all time, was the composer’s first full-length comic music drama.YouTube Preview Image
  3. Phonetic Punctuation by Victor Borge
    Victor Borge had a system of “phonetic punctuation.” He added sounds to punctuation marks, with different effects for periods, dashes, exclamation points, commas, question marks, and colons. In this video, he explains his system to Dean Martin, and the two of them perform some very interesting duets!YouTube Preview Image
  4. The Elements by Tom Lehrer
    Need help in chemistry? If you’re having trouble memorizing your period table of elements, Tom Lehrer has the perfect solution (pun intended!). He set the period table to the tune of “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General” from Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance.YouTube Preview Image
  5. First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics by Flanders & Swann
    The first law of thermodynamics: heat is work and work is heat. The second law of thermodynamics: heat cannot of itself pass from one body to a hotter body. And now, you’ll never forget either because Flanders & Swann have created a musical mnemonic device to remind you of both.YouTube Preview Image



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