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bio

portraitJoseph Weisnewski is a creative, vital member of the Seattle music community as well as a respected composer and educator. Over the last 30 years he has composed for orchestra, chamber groups, choral ensembles, ballet and theater, including six years as composer and musical director for the Idaho Shakespeare Festival.

Weisnewski prides himself on the broad range of outlets for his creativity. He has composed a blues musical based on William Shakespeare's play Othello, performed and written for a satirical, socially conscious band called Patriot Act, and recently acted in Lucas Smiraldo's Voice of the Americas. Composition remains Weisnewski's first love. He has developed a technique of composition called Macro-Micro in which small motifs are expanded to define the entire form of a composition.

Weisnewski credits his musical diversity to both his education and experience. Born in 1947, he traveled extensively in his youth due to his father's military career. He began formal music lessons at the age of ten, studying the violin. He then moved on to play electric bass and guitar in rock bands during the 1960's. He attended Palomar College in San Marcos, California where he studied music theory under Howard Brubeck, then continued his musical education at San Francisco State College and classical guitar at the San Francisco Conservatory. Upon leaving school, he continued working privately with composers including Robin Maconie and Sir Lennox Berkeley.

Studying under these talented masters gave Weisnewski a love for learning and teaching. A certified Montessorian and a gifted teacher, he brings music to life for more than 500 students a week in their classrooms. He regularly conducts workshops at local, regional and national conferences for professional educators..

Joseph lives with his wife Mary in the Puget Sound region of Washington State.

 

compositions

Breeding Grounds | Score for Independent Film 2015

The True Artist | Score for Independent Film 2015

The Wish | Score for Independent Film 2015

Transplant | Score for Independent Film 2014

One Day One Hour (1d1h) | score for contemporary urban life 2010

Diabelli Variations | flute, violin, cello, piano 2005

Sed Libera nos a Malo | soprano/electro-acoustic 2002

Balkan Rhapsody | electro-acoustic 1999

Green Screams at Blue | voice/electro-acoustic 1994

Pig Clouds | voice/electro-acoustic 1994

Sweet Willow (Blues Musical) | blues ensemble 1994

Organ Fantasy on a Theme by John Lennon | solo organ 1994

Amazing Grace | electro-acoustic 1994

Quilt Music | soprano/ electro-acoustic 1993

Roulette II | chamber wind ensemble 1992

Music and songs for Twelfth Night | guitar, banjo, bass 1991

Incidental Music for Spring Awakening | electro-acoustic 1991

Incidental Music for Macbeth | electro-acoustic 1991

Songs and Music for A Woman of Means | guitar, banjo, bass, violin 1990

Incidental Music for Troillus and Cressida | e. guitar, e. bass, drums 1989

Incidental Music for Richard II | synthesized score 1989

Tongue Twisters | SATB choir 1989

The Dinner | eight actors 1988

Snow White (arrangement for ballet) | full orchestra 1987

Incidental Music for Pericles | synthesized score 1987

Incidental Music for A Comedy of Errors | electro-acoustic 1987

Dream Horizon | piano, Montessori bells, voices 1986

Gloria | 3 voices/sustaining instruments 1986

Incidental Music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream | percussion/wind instruments 1986

Circuphon II | 4-6 flutes 1984

Tri-Lateral | three violas 1984

S1 and S2 | four whisperers/speakers 1983

Our Cavernous Macrophylum Desires | solo piano 1981

Twelve One Page Studies for Piano | solo piano 1980

Roulette I | woodwind quintet 1980

Sancte Dei Pretiose | voice/ chamber orchestra 1979

Can You See? | soprano/electric delay 1979

Mzrtphsmnyxis | classical orchestra 1979

Five Miniatures for Flute and String Quartet 1979

Circuphon I | 12 SATB choirs 1978

Five Miniatures for Flute and Piano 1977

Twelve Short Hymns | SATB choir 1976

Songs for voice and guitar, student film scores, music for rock bands etc. 1965-1972

 

teaching

"Thank you so very much for all that you give the children. ... Thank you for being another leader in my daughter's life and for showing her the importance of art."

J. Hulse
President, St. Nicholas Montessori Parent Association

Mr. Weisnewski teaches music in the Puget Sound region of Washington State where he sees over 500 students every week. For many of his students, the day that Mr. Weisnewski arrives at their school is one of the highlights of the week. Many parents have reported their children saying, "We can't be late for school today, Mr. Joseph is coming."

Mr. Weisnewski has a way of sharing music with children that they truly respond to. Some of this is due to natural talent, but he attributes much of his teaching success to the Montessori training he undertook in 1981. Techniques such as Isolating Difficulties, The Three Period Lesson and others together with his knowledge and love of music have proven to be a winning combination in the classroom.

He has developed materials and methods that help children to understand and enjoy lessons on music notation, ear training, rhythmic movement, and appreciation.

He has mastered the art of musical storytelling, taking his students through operas as diverse as L'Orfeo, The Magic Flute, La Boheme, Hansel and Gretel and Wagner's Ring Cycle. His classes have also studied Medieval Music, World Musics, Electronic Music and Native American Music.

"Joseph Weisnewski brought music to our children for many years, sharing a wide range of rhythm instruments, composers and their works, operas and a wide variety of music to listen to and move with. Joseph's gift is how he's inspired a love of music in so many children."

Susan Ennaro
retired director and Montessori teacher - St. Nicholas Montessori

 

workshops

Joseph Weisnewski's workshops have always been very beneficial to me. …… He is always professional and an expert in his field. I always come away from his workshops with new and exciting information and things to try in my classroom.

Karen Squires
Eagle Montessori

Since 1983, Joseph Weisnewski has shared his musical expertise with fellow professional educators through a variety of workshops. He has spoken to and conducted workshops for local, regional and national conferences including the Pacific Northwest Montessori Association, the Treasure Valley Montessori Association, the American Montessori Society and the National Center for Montessori Education.

Some of the workshops he offers include:

MUSIC FOR THE NON-MUSICAL TEACHER

In this popular workshop, participants gain the confidence necessary to introduce fun and educational music activities to their students. Joseph shares many of his techniques for successful Rhythm and Movement activities, helpful hints for developing Active Listening and presents an overview of a curriculum called Composers Through the Year.

Music for the Non-Musical Teacher touches on many projects that can be immediately implemented, opening doors for teachers to begin creating their own approaches. Joseph has created materials to facilitate all of the activities in the workshop and offers them for sale at the end of each session.

I attended Joseph Weisnewski's presentation a few years back. I am still using his techniques and materials in my classroom on a weekly basis. The children love the Rhythm & Movement CD and the presentations on the composers and their music. Joseph was an engaging presenter and got the group excited about his subject.

CJ Retzlaff
Eagle Montessori

RHYTHM AND MOVEMENT

This workshop explores the use and development of Rhythm and Movement activities in depth. Teachers learn how to plan fun, successful undertakings, get tips on selecting music and discover how to create new activities as well as how to use the ones presented. A CD of music with a list of activities may be purchased at the end of the workshop.

ACTIVE LISTENING

We live in an age of overwhelming visual stimulation. For many of us the art of listening has diminished greatly if not vanished altogether. Active Listening addresses this issue and employs techniques to reawaken the ability to listen for both students and teachers. Included are activities such as The Listening Walk, Where's the Sound and What Was That?

COMPOSERS THROUGH THE YEAR

This workshop presents an entire curriculum designed to celebrate the birthdays, lives and music of 12 great composers. Various resources, musical examples, biographies, coloring pages and techniques for dynamic story telling are presented to illuminate the lives and works of Mozart, Handel, Bartok, Prokofiev, Monteverdi, Stravinsky, Mahler, Stockhausen, Clara Schumann, Ives, Fanny Mendelssohn, and Beethoven.

 

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