About the DJ: Isabella is currently a freshman at Garfield High School who enjoys spending her time analyzing musicals, staring at maps, learning new things, and playing Casanova, her lovely violin, any chance she gets.
1. Stephen Sondheim
Being a huge Sondheim lover, I felt that I needed to include all of his musicals in this list — which unfortunately wouldn't fit into only five slots — so I've decided to talk about how wonderful his work is. Stephen Sondheim is a composer and lyricist known for his stunning musical works on Broadway he's been contributing for over 50 years. So yeah, he's not new, but definitely notable. A few of my favorites include A Little Night Music, Company, and Into The Woods. If you're looking for a change of pace in the musicals you watch, consider watching a Sondheim musical; they're filled with complexity, witty tongue-twister lyrics, and important messages you'll never forget.
2. Vi Hart on YouTube
If you can barely keep focused in math class, super brainiac mathematician Vi Hart can relate. Hart's videos are made solely around math and music concepts and are filmed in a way that mimics the doodles one makes when they aren't exactly paying attention in class — except 50 times smarter and meaningful. This may sound like too much to watch on your free time, but most of Hart's videos really make you think without pushing you to do so, and her calming poetic voice will keep you hooked. You'll forget math was ever involved in the first place. One of her videos I enjoyed watching was "Twelve Tones," a video for music nerds that explains the atonal structure popularly used by contemporary classical composers.
3. Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35
I love classical music. Although many people dismiss it as a dull genre — and I'll admit to having been one of those people three years ago — there are so many different types of classical music and it's not limited to the seemingly "boring" Baroque styles that most people line up with the genre. In violin repertoire, there are a bunch of huge concertos that are essential for every student to play. Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto is one of the bigger ones and is definitely my favorite concerto to listen to so far. It's one of the only concertos that keeps me hooked from the swooning first movement to the energetic third movement. If you are unfamiliar with Romantic Era concertos, or just want to listen to a rollercoaster of a concerto, this is the one.
4. Button Poetry
I've never really had an interest in poetry until I discovered Button Poetry, a channel on YouTube, which helped me expand into listening to the many awesome things you’ll find in the world of spoken word poetry. Button Poetry features many slam poems from poets around the United States. The poems range from preachy to heart-breakingly beautiful, hilarious, mind-blowing, sassy, and downright depressing — and they're all extremely well performed. If you want to be enlightened, turn off all the lights, fix a warm drink, and watch a good amount of Button Poetry for the remainder of the day.
5. Rushad Eggleston
If you're into bluegrass, wild pink polka-dots, and psychopaths, then Rushad Eggleston is the one for you. Well, he's not exactly a psychopath. He's a wild cellist who plays and performs his instrument in a way I've never seen done before. His music is mostly built around bluegrass styles, with a bit of jazz slipping in every now and then. With a strap slung over his shoulder holding on to his cello to give him the freedom from mobility, he dances, sings, and runs around. And he flies. Not only is he absolutely nuts, but his music — while mostly silly and nonsense — is actually a great listen, even for the serious ones in the crowd. Go find a video of Rushad Eggleston. No really, do it. You'll thank me later.