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Colorado Public Radio has launched a new podcast from its Audio Innovations Studio. “Music Blocks” is a music appreciation podcast developed in consultation with Colorado music educators. They are five minutes long.
Each five-minute episode focuses on a basic emotion — such as happiness, sadness or suprise — and how those feelings are expressed in music from around the world.
“A show like Music Blocks is needed in Colorado classrooms,” said Carla Aguilar, Ph.D., a professor of music education at Metropolitan State University of Denver, the music content specialist for the Colorado Department of Education, and the education advisor on the podcast. “Having a space and time to engage with thoughtful listening allows students to critically think about the sounds they are hearing. It allows them to consider music in a way separate from performing. It may also help them connect to each other in new and interesting ways.”
Today’s release consists of eight episodes designed as conversation starters for middle- and high-school students, but they will appeal to younger and older audiences as well. Young people will recognize songs they have heard on the radio or streaming services while also being introduced to music from different cultures, eras and genres. Each episode is accompanied by a playlist with the full-length versions of songs featured in the episode.
“Music Blocks is a special project for us in many ways,” said Brad Turner, executive producer of CPR’s Audio Innovations Studio. “During the show’s development process, educators and parents asked for something like this. Teachers knew exactly what kind of show they wanted to share with their students, and we tailored it to their ideas. The feedback we received from educators and students has been so gratifying. We hope Music Blocks will help spark important conversations about emotions we all feel, and how those emotions can be expressed creatively.”