Listen, Perform, Conduct - A Game!

If you have ever participated in a teenage sleepover - or at least surfed on the Internet for random, stupid things - you have probably come across the game that I am going to tweak a bit today. The game has been known for its many forms (some of which I can't type here), but the basic premise is that you're offered three people, and you have to decide which one you'll marry, which one you'd date, and which one you'd kill.

This can be a very difficult game for some people, especially because one of the choices has a very negative result. If you have three people that you like, how can you choose the one you'd kill?

Let's be rational here for a second: you'll never kill this person - and it's highly unlikely that you'd marry or date the other two (especially if they're celebrities). But why don't we take this game and play it to my strengths?

Namely, a music game?

I came up with this when I was flying back from Minneapolis and a great weekend with my family. My downloaded episode of Doctor Who wouldn't play, and so I put on my iPod and listened to some music for the brief flight home to Denver. One of my favorite songs came up, and I imagined myself at the podium, conducting the whole thing from start to finish.

Another piece came up, and I realized I couldn't imagine myself conducting it. I would never have the talent to perform it, either. The only way I could really enjoy the piece was if I was listening to it.

And thus, my new game - "Listen, Perform, Conduct" - was born.

I'll take three pieces each time and categorize them. Are your opinions different? Be sure to tell me below. Give me more music suggestions on my Facebook page,, too.

"Bolero" by Maurice Ravel

I have actually heard this piece performed live by the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra, and I have never had my breath taken away by a piece like I did for this. The slow, deliberate pace set by the snare drum and the soft, passionate notes played by the instruments draws you in, and then before you know it, the whole feel has changed to this rolling, thundering piece while still playing the same themes over and over again! I would watch this piece performed over and over and over again. It's way too much fun to sit back and feel the crescendo and acceleration pound over you!

"Us" by Regina Spektor

The year after I left MLC, I watched video a group perform "Viva la Vida" by Coldplay at the Winter Carnival Talent Show - and they had all the instruments, including the drum, piano, and strings. I thought it was so awesome that they were able to replicate the piece so well, even with the difficult arrangement.

After that, I started picking certain songs on my playlists and arranging them for the MLC stage, and this was one of the easiest. On one side, the piano. In the middle, the string group. And on the right, the singer. I don't really mind which part I would perform, but I will say that I do enjoy singing this song in the car, especially because it's in my range.

Too bad my college days are over.

"Medley: I Saw Three Ships/Joy to the World" by Michael W. Smith

This is the one that I was listening to on the plane. As a matter of fact, I listened to it twice. I could almost feel the conductor's baton in my hand. I know I'm not a symphonic conductor, but you wouldn't need to ask me twice to conduct this piece. 

There is so much to this piece. The crescendo is huge! Then the Celtic woodwinds come in softly! Then the piano rolls on! Then the piece blows open! 

Is it sad I want to do this at a WELS Worship Conference sometime, with the Lutheran Ceili Orchestra and an orchestra of Lutheran musicians? It would be so much fun.

(PS. I know it's Christmas. I just listened to a couple things. Still not full-time.)

Any suggestions for pieces I should categorize in my new game? Comment below and let me know - I'm sure it will be a struggle to find a place for each piece!


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