Creative Sparks Program

My choice of the term “Creative Sparks” is inspired by the beautiful brain image here of more than one hundred billion nerve cells, called neurons, transmitting electro-chemical signals to one another. These signals in turn release hormones like serotonin, oxytocin, or dopamine to lift our mood and increase our overall sense of wellbeing.

Scroll down to view samples of the various kinds of Creative Sparks I will be offering for your musical feasts over the year.

The Creative Sparks program offered through our nonprofit Ageless Mind Project is designed to strengthen your brain health through music. Music becomes a truly powerful brain food when you listen with heightened awareness. As you develop a richer understanding of its underlying artistry, you are giving your brain cognitive nourishment as well as visceral pleasure.

You can watch the public Creative Sparks I post on this site as my gift to you. If you sign up to become a Newsletter Subscriber, we will send you news from the Ageless Mind Project, which includes Music Is Brain Food.

When you become a monthly or yearly Donating Member, you will be invited to monthly interactive Zoom sessions where we explore more Creative Sparks together. As an ongoing member, you will also have access to everything in our archives.

At the bottom of this page, you can see some of the proposed Coming Attractions. Your suggestions are always welcome!

Creative Spark Video

In this month’s session, we are going to explore further the unifying fate motif in WEST SIDE STORY and how it functions in the Jets ensemble number “Cool.” At the same time, this number illustrates Bernstein’s immersion in so-called Third Stream —a movement that gained considerable momentum in the 1950’s —a fusion of jazz and Western classical traditions.

This is followed by Bernstein’s “Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs.”

As a Donating Member you will be invited to live monthly Zoom sessions (approximately one hour long) where we listen together to music related to the month’s topic. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and talk in an informal atmosphere. You will receive a separate email notice of each scheduled Zoom session with a personal link. To protect your privacy, these Zoom sessions will not be shared. Of course you will also have access to our archives and other materials.

Coming Attractions

Beethoven’s Magnificent Obsession – the 5th Symphony and Beyond

The Versatile Octave – from Epics to Puppy Love

The Power of Five – Universal Melodic Archetypes

The Blues – Are They Really So Blue?

Alfred Hitchcock and Bernard Herrmann – Fireworks in Film

Devils and Witches – the Supernatural in Music

Duke Ellington – An Orchestral Rainbow

Hildegard of Bingen – Medieval Visionary/New Age Inspiration

Johannes Brahms – Motivic Magician

Louis Armstrong – Smiling Rebel

West Side Story – Star-crossed Lovers

La Paloma – The Tango and Early Jazz

Claude Debussy – An Art Free of “Isms”

Music from the Playground – Children’s Jeers

The Beatles – An Appreciation

George Gershwin – The Many Lives of “I Got Rhythm