Here are the three winners of our most recent Kid-2-Kid Music Critic Contest! Keep reading for tips on writing reviews and then send us one! If you'd like to hear the reviews, click here!
"Carnegie Hall Concert" Music Review by Andrea Misir
On June 1, 2000, my class and I went to Carnegie Hall for a concert based on Aaron Copland, Charles Ives, and Peter Tchaikovsky’s songs and ideas. The concert began with “ Fanfare for the Comman Man” a song to welcome the president by Aaron Copland. It first began with the timpani drums and a gong, then a few pieces by the trumpet. Then more timpani and the trumpet with the french horn. It kept going like that with the french horn and the trumpet going higher and lower there was a big finish with the timpani and gong. Then there was variations on “America” by Charles Ives. First there was the original version of “America”, then a quiet variation with polenio, a tapping sound from the violin’s wooden part. Then, way different variations with different instruments and different sounds. After a big finish, there was “Appalachian Spring” by Aaron Copland. It was mostly silent. Then there was the 1812 Overture by Peter Tchaikovsky. It had a rhythm like a wave. It goes high and low and quiet then loud. The whole orchestra was playing and also loud cannon noises with a very big finish. After that, the hall kind of sounded like a clap of loud thunder as everyone clapped. I liked it as I clapped along with the applause because the performance was good.
"Carlos Santana" Music Review by Abilash Jilla
Listen up NY Kids. I think that the new Santana CD Supernatural is off the hook!! I really like how Carlos Santana used different music mixed with his guitar and the cool melodies he throws at us. I really like the song “Maria Maria, She reminds me of a west side story, Growing up in Spanish Harlem, she living a life just like a movies star.” And goes on. This song make u want to jump up and dance. I think Carlos gave it his best in this CD. And he deserved all his Grammy awards he won this year. Out of 1-10 I’m going to give the CD Supernatural a 9. This has been an Abilash Jilla music review.
"The Composer’s World: Songs and Ideas" Music Review by Virginia Kim
On June 2, 2000, the fourth and fifth grade classes of P.S. 49, Queens went to a magnificent concert at Carnegie Hall. It was called “The Composer’s World: Songs and Ideas.” The Orchestra of St. Luke’s, led by conductor, John Morris Russel, played music by Aaron Copland, Charles Ives, and Peter Tchaikovsky. The purpose of the concert was to teach how these composers wrote their music. I think that this performance was an extraordinary way for children to learn about different composers. I especially liked “Variations on America” by Charles Ives because of he way that he changed the mood in each of his variations. For example, some parts sounded very whimsical and I kept hearing them over and over in my head. I also liked the way he used all the instruments in the orchestra. They were all excellent, but I really liked the percussion instruments because they played humorously and their sounds stood out. I enjoyed hearing the flutes because they sounded very graceful. I think the audience enjoyed the performance because they were listening very carefully and at they end of each piece they clapped joyfully. I don’t think there were any parts that I didn’t like about the concert. I think the concert was outstanding because of the strong sound of the orchestra when it played together and the clever way some instruments played from the audience seats during “Fanfare for the Common Man.”
WHAT'S A REVIEW?
It's an essay you write to tell other kids what you think about music that you've heard. You might write about a particular song, or a whole CD of music. You might write about a live performance you go to. Some reviews are meant to be read, like in newspapers or magazines. Some reviews are meant to be heard, like on the radio. We want you to write a review you can read on NEW YORK KIDS!
WHAT'S IN A GOOD REVIEW?
All good reviews have these things:
HOW DO YOU WRITE A MUSIC REVIEW?
WHAT'S "RADIO WRITING"?
"TIPS ON RADIO WRITING"
WRITE LIKE YOU TALK.
The best people on the radio sound like they're TALKING to you, not reading to you. So try to write like you're talking to another kid. Then read your writing out loud. If it sounds like you're reading, then it's wrong. So rewrite it and try it again. Here's an example: read out loud these two sentences. Which one sounds more like people talk?
Yesterday, following the concert, the musicians delivered an address to the student audience.
The musicians talked to the students yesterday after the concert.
DON'T USE BIG WORDS WHEN SMALL WORDS WILL DO.
Listeners can understand better if you use simple words instead of big ones. When you talk to friends, do you use words like *harmonious*, *orchestral*, or *mesmerizing*? Probably not. So don*t put big words into your radio review. They won*t impress anybody. And kids will understand you better. Simpler is better. On the other hand, simple words can sometimes be boring.
The music was great!
That sentence doesn't really tell you much, does it? But how about this:
The music was so exciting that I felt my heart beat faster!
Still simple words, but now I really know what "great" means!
KEEP SENTENCES SHORT.
In radio writing, it's better to write two simple sentences than one long sentence. Why? Because it's hard for listeners to remember at the end of a long sentence what you said at the beginning of the sentence. Remember, they can't go back and hear it again! Below is a sentence that's too long for radio. And then a better way to write the same information, in 3 short sentences.
The musicians, who came onto the stage first, began tuning up their instruments until the conductor arrived, which meant it was time for the concert to begin.
First the musicians came onto the stage. They tuned up their instruments until the conductor arrived. That meant it was time for the concert to begin.
People use contractions when they talk. You probably say "I've" instead of "I have." "It's" instead of "it is." "We'll" instead of "we will." Remember, radio writing should sound like people talking. So don't be afraid to use contractions when you write your concert review.
READ YOUR WORDS OUT LOUD.
Why? Because that's the only way to hear how your words sound. You'll hear if you sound like a kid talking or like a book! And you may hear problems your eyes don't notice, like sentences that are too long, or tongue-twisters like this: Britney Spears slowly sang her silly song of sadness. It's easy to read, but hard to say! Remember, what you LOOK LIKE on the radio is not important. How you SOUND is! If you have a tape recorder, record yourself reading to hear how you sound.
AFTER YOU WRITE YOUR REVIEWS, HERE'S WHAT TO DO:
Send your review right away to WNYC by mail, email, or fax. Ask your teacher or parents to help. NEW YORK KIDS producers will call you IF they pick your review to record for the radio. Include your name, address, grade, school, and home phone number. Send your review to:
WNYC/NEW YORK KIDS
FAX: 212 553 0651
Or you can write your own Music Review right here!
AND TUNE IN TO NEW YORK KIDS EVERY SUNDAY!
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