CDs, sample copies, and books---another way to find inspiration

by Jane Iverson, President, Wyoming ACDA (January, 2003)

Greetings and Happy 2003 from Windy Wyoming!

I don’t know about you, but by the end of the academic year, my creative juices are completely depleted. The summer months have traditionally been a time to attend workshops and seminars in order to rejuvenate my energy and creativity.


Last year, due to heavy home responsibilities, it was impossible for me to do my annual continuing education away from home. So, I unwrapped all of those 35 CD’s I’d purchased and listened to them. I read through about 350 pieces of choral music, and I read books. Interestingly enough, this

past summer was probably the most re-creative time I’d experienced in a long while. So, I offer a partial list of the books I found to be helpful, and hope they may be of benefit to you as well. Some are purely inspirational, and some are professional resources for the choral director.


The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander
(Harvard Business School Press)
The Art of Possibility offers a set of breakthrough practices for creativity in all human enterprises. In lively counterpoint, the authors provide us with a deep sense of the powerful role that the notion of possibility can play in every aspect of our lives.


The Musician’s Soul by James Jordan
(GIA Publications, Inc.)
The Musician’s Soul is the starting point on a journey beyond the precise techniques of artistry and into a place of self-exploration and soulful spirituality.


Dear People...Robert Shaw - a biography by Joseph A. Mussulman
(Hinshaw Music, Inc.)
Few American musicians have touched more people in more ways than has Robert Shaw. In Dear People, Joseph Mussulman deftly places Shaw and his career against the backdrop of developments in American musical history since the 1940s. Dear People chronicles the career of a remarkable man and a gifted musician, whose foremost conviction is that “to be an artist is not the privilege of a few but the necessity of us all.”


The Musician’s Spirit - connecting to others through story by James Jordan
(GIA Publications, Inc.)
This book offers practical and inspirational words on courage and vision, the arts of listening and trust, conquering the fear of looking foolish, and the importance of story in teaching.


What to Listen for in the World - by Bruce Adolphe
(Limelight Editions, New York)
Bruce Adolphe’s book probes into the heart of such matters as the role of memory and imagination in creative expression, the meaning of inspiration, spirituality in music, the challenge of arts education and how music communicates.


Walking on Water - reflections of Faith and Art by Madeleine L’Engle
(Harold Shaw Publishers, Wheaton, IL)
“To paint a picture or to write a story or to compose a song is an incarnational activity. The artist is a servant who is willing to be a birth giver. I believe that each work of art, whether it is a work of great genius, or something very small, comes to the artist and says, ‘Here I am. Enflesh me. Give birth to me.’” (M. L’Engle)


Up Front! - Becoming the Complete Choral Conductor - Guy B. Webb, Editor
(ECS Publishing, Boston)
“What does it take to become a successful choral conductor? This book shares the experience and knowledge of twelve outstanding professional choral musicians, each writing on just one critical topic. The result is an exceptional resource for all levels of choral conductors!”

Happy Reading.

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