Dance & Move
Dance and move to favorite songs from the Link Up repertoire! Choose a dance below, learn choreography from the video, and then perform on your own using the audio tracks—all while exploring different musical genres, cultures, and composers from around the world.
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Learn the Brazilian Samba
This samba song was composed by André Filho as a Carnival march in 1935. It was made popular by Carmen Miranda—a Brazilian-born Broadway performer—and has become the official anthem of Rio de Janeiro, a famous city in Brazil.
André Filho (1906–1974) was a Brazilian actor and musician who composed many popular songs. A violinist, singer, guitarist, pianist, mandolinist, and banjo player, Filho was an active performer and composer. He wrote “Cidade Maravilhosa” (“Beautiful City”) for the Rio de Janeiro Carnival in 1935. The song was made popular by Carmen Miranda, a Brazilian-born Broadway singer and actress, and became the anthem of Rio de Janeiro.
Step to a Swing Dance
This jazz standard was one of the first compositions to include the word “swing” in its title. Duke Ellington composed the piece during an intermission at a big band dance performance in Chicago. Legend has it that no one was dancing until he enlivened the mood by introducing this song.
Duke Ellington (1899–1974) is considered one of the most important figures in jazz history. Born in Washington, DC, he began studying classical piano when he was around eight years old. As a teenager, Ellington became interested in ragtime and jazz and began playing in dance bands at clubs and parties. The young Edward—Ellington’s real first name—had an elegant sense of style, which earned him the nickname “Duke” from his friends. He moved to New York City as a young man and began his career as a bandleader and composer. Ellington was hired to lead the house band at the Cotton Club, a famous jazz club in Harlem. He went on to form the Duke Ellington Orchestra—which became known all over the country thanks to radio broadcasts and popular recordings—and toured the world for more than 50 years. Over the course of his long career, Ellington collaborated with many other jazz greats, including Billy Strayhorn and Ella Fitzgerald, and wrote nearly 2,000 compositions.
Listen, Sing, and Move
This upbeat song came from a songwriting session that composer Jim Papoulis led with a group of young children in Acapulco, Mexico. When he asked them if they had one message they wanted to convey to the world in song, their answer was “to listen.” As Papoulis shares, “The translation of ‘listen,’ or ‘listen up,’ is ‘oye.’ This seemed like a wonderful, easy word to sing, and our ‘Oye’ is a result of those experiences.”
Jim Papoulis (b. 1961) lives in New York City and composes, orchestrates, and conducts music for dance, film, ensembles, and choirs. His compositions are known for exploring new modes of musical communication by honoring and connecting classical and traditional forms with non-Western sounds. Through the Foundation for Small Voices, he has conducted songwriting workshops around the world; he composed “Oye” while working with young children in Mexico. Papoulis has worked with a wide range of artists, including Shania Twain, Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London Boys Choir, Beijing Children’s Choir, Faith Hill, Natalie Cole, Snoop Dogg, Slash, and Beyoncé.
Discover the Orchestra
Discover the sounds of the symphony orchestra through this interactive listening map. Learn how to identify the different instruments and their families, and then put it all together and make the orchestra come alive.
Sing & Play
Dive into the basics of singing or playing recorder with tutorials from teaching artists. Learn famous pieces using interactive sheet music and lyrics! Ability to read music is helpful but not required.
Write your own blues or cover song, or even conduct your family orchestra! Step-by-step instructions make these activities perfect for novice or experienced music-makers.