Music Blocks A music appreciation podcast about the building blocks that make up your favorite sounds. Music Blocks explores how songwriters and composers use sound to express their emotions and share their experiences. Each episode runs about 5 minutes to fit easily into family time, classroom discussion or your podcast queue. Hosted by Luis Antonio Perez and Rebekah Romberg, the show spans genres, cultures and eras to inspire listeners to explore music more deeply. Music Blocks was developed with middle and high schoolers in mind, but it's fun for listeners of any age.
Music Blocks

Music Blocks

From CPR News

A music appreciation podcast about the building blocks that make up your favorite sounds. Music Blocks explores how songwriters and composers use sound to express their emotions and share their experiences. Each episode runs about 5 minutes to fit easily into family time, classroom discussion or your podcast queue. Hosted by Luis Antonio Perez and Rebekah Romberg, the show spans genres, cultures and eras to inspire listeners to explore music more deeply. Music Blocks was developed with middle and high schoolers in mind, but it's fun for listeners of any age.

Most Recent Episodes

Yes You Can! Stories of Empowerment

Sometimes you need a little extra motivation, and music is a great place to look for it. A well-crafted song can tell a story that makes listeners feel confident, carefree or powerful. If you love uplifting choruses and pounding beats, check out these empowerment anthems by artists like Run-DMC, Koji Kondo and Jane Zhang. Stuff to think about after you've listened: What kinds of sounds are empowering to you? How would you include them in a song you are creating? When you want to feel empowered, what song is your go-to? What story does it tell? Ready to explore more empowering musical stories? Check out our playlists on Spotify or Apple Music. This is one of eight Music Blocks episodes exploring how musicians use sound to tell stories about our lives. You can listen in any order. Find more episodes, discussion questions and playlists at MusicBlocksPodcast.org. Tell us how you're using Music Blocks in the classroom or at home, or share your playlists and music creations inspired by the podcast! Email us: Hello@MusicBlocksPodcast.org Music Blocks is a production of Colorado Public Radio's Audio Innovations Studio. Hosts: Rebekah Romberg and Luis Antonio Perez Lead producer: Rebekah Romberg Education Advisor: Carla Aguilar, Ph.D. Additional production and editing: Jo Erickson, Erin Jones, Emily Williams Executive Producer: Brad Turner Thank you: Monika Vischer and David Ginder at CPR Classical, Willobee Carlan at Indie 102.3, Jodi Gersh, Kim Nguyen, Mia Rincón, Clara Shelton, Hart Van Denburg, Jon Pinnow, Doug Clifton and all the teachers, parents and students who listened and helped us develop this podcast.

Gone But Not Forgotten

We all struggle with how to cope when we lose someone we care about. So how do musicians use those universal feelings to tell stories about death and grief? This episode looks at some moving examples, including music from songwriter Chalino Sánchez, composer Benjamin Britten and the musical Dear Evan Hansen. And just a quick note: this episode is a little sadder than most of our episodes, so you might feel some strong feelings if you listen. Stuff to think about after you've listened: What musical sounds represent death to you? How might that be different from another person you know? Which song from the episode stands out to you as a way to think about death? Ready to explore more musical stories about death? Check out our playlists on Spotify or Apple Music. This is one of eight Music Blocks episodes exploring how musicians express emotions through sound. You can listen in any order. Find more episodes, discussion questions and playlists at MusicBlocksPodcast.org. Tell us how you're using Music Blocks in the classroom or at home, or share your playlists and music creations inspired by the podcast! Email us: Hello@MusicBlocksPodcast.org Music Blocks is a production of Colorado Public Radio's Audio Innovations Studio. Hosts: Rebekah Romberg and Luis Antonio Perez Lead producer: Rebekah Romberg Education Advisor: Carla Aguilar, Ph.D. Additional production and editing: Jo Erickson, Erin Jones, Emily Williams Executive Producer: Brad Turner Thank you: Monika Vischer and David Ginder at CPR Classical, Willobee Carlan at Indie 102.3, Jodi Gersh, Kim Nguyen, Mia Rincón, Clara Shelton, Hart Van Denburg, Jon Pinnow, Doug Clifton and all the teachers, parents and students who listened and helped us develop this podcast.

Stand Up! Stories of Protest

Protest music is about highlighting problems in society and calling for change. And telling a story through music is an especially powerful way to move a listener to action. Check out some potent sonic storytelling about human rights, the environment and anti-colonialism from artists like Yothu Yindi, Hurray For The Riff Raff and Joni Mitchell. Content warning: This episode covers some topics that might be unsettling for some younger listeners. It's the kind of material you might learn in a high school history class, rather than in elementary school history. You might want to listen to a different episode of Music Blocks if you're around younger ears. Stuff to think about after you've listened: Is there something you want to protest? What sounds would you use to communicate your protest? What songs do you know that would support something you want to protest? Ready to explore more protest music? Check out our playlists on Spotify or Apple Music. This is one of eight Music Blocks episodes exploring how musicians use sound to tell stories about our lives. You can listen in any order. Find more episodes, discussion questions and playlists at MusicBlocksPodcast.org. Tell us how you're using Music Blocks in the classroom or at home, or share your playlists and music creations inspired by the podcast! Email us: Hello@MusicBlocksPodcast.org Music Blocks is a production of Colorado Public Radio's Audio Innovations Studio. Hosts: Luis Antonio Perez and Rebekah Romberg Lead producer: Rebekah Romberg Education Advisor: Carla Aguilar, Ph.D. Additional production and editing: Jo Erickson, Erin Jones, Emily Williams Executive Producer: Brad Turner Thank you: Monika Vischer and David Ginder at CPR Classical, Willobee Carlan at Indie 102.3, Jodi Gersh, Kim Nguyen, Mia Rincón, Clara Shelton, Hart Van Denburg, Jon Pinnow, Doug Clifton and all the teachers, parents and students who listened and helped us develop this podcast.

Ceremonies & Celebrations

Music gives us a soundtrack for some of the most memorable moments in each of our stories, from graduation ceremonies to holiday celebrations. Here's a look at festive sounds and traditional stories from around the world. Each song might not tell a story of its own, but this music helps frame our own personal stories in potent ways. Stuff to think about after you've listened: We mentioned weddings, sporting events, graduation, and holiday ceremonies in our episode. What kinds of ceremonies do you think deserve their own kind of music? What is a favorite song that you hear at a ceremony? Ready to explore more music from all kinds of ceremonies and celebrations? Check out our playlists on Spotify or Apple Music. This is one of eight Music Blocks episodes exploring how musicians use sound to tell stories about our lives. You can listen in any order. Find more episodes, discussion questions and playlists at MusicBlocksPodcast.org. Tell us how you're using Music Blocks in the classroom or at home, or share your playlists and music creations inspired by the podcast! Email us: Hello@MusicBlocksPodcast.org Music Blocks is a production of Colorado Public Radio's Audio Innovations Studio. Hosts: Luis Antonio Perez and Rebekah Romberg Lead producer: Rebekah Romberg Education Advisor: Carla Aguilar, Ph.D. Additional production and editing: Jo Erickson, Erin Jones, Emily Williams Executive Producer: Brad Turner Thank you: Monika Vischer and David Ginder at CPR Classical, Willobee Carlan at Indie 102.3, Jodi Gersh, Kim Nguyen, Mia Rincón, Clara Shelton, Hart Van Denburg, Jon Pinnow, Doug Clifton and all the teachers, parents and students who listened and helped us develop this podcast.

The Sound of Heartbreak *Sob*

A great song might not heal a broken heart, but it's a moving way to tell a story when someone or something leaves you feeling shattered. Here's a look at the clever techniques musicians use to share stories of heartache. Get ready for sad, weary sounds from Ella Fitzgerald, Katy Perry and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Stuff to think about after you've listened: Are there particular sounds, artists, or songs that you connect with feeling heartbreak? Which of the songs in the episode stood out to you with a connection to your experience with heartbreak? Ready to explore more music about heartbreak? Check out our playlists on Spotify or Apple Music. This is one of eight Music Blocks episodes exploring how musicians use sound to tell stories about our lives. You can listen in any order. Find more episodes, discussion questions and playlists at MusicBlocksPodcast.org. Tell us how you're using Music Blocks in the classroom or at home, or share your playlists and music creations inspired by the podcast! Email us: Hello@MusicBlocksPodcast.org Music Blocks is a production of Colorado Public Radio's Audio Innovations Studio. Hosts: Rebekah Romberg and Luis Antonio Perez Lead producer: Rebekah Romberg Education Advisor: Carla Aguilar, Ph.D. Additional production and editing: Jo Erickson, Erin Jones, Emily Williams Executive Producer: Brad Turner Thank you: Monika Vischer and David Ginder at CPR Classical, Willobee Carlan at Indie 102.3, Jodi Gersh, Kim Nguyen, Mia Rincón, Clara Shelton, Hart Van Denburg, Jon Pinnow, Doug Clifton and all the teachers, parents and students who listened and helped us develop this podcast.

Welcome Home!

Music is a powerful way to tell a story about the place you call home. A composer could write music about a place using a simple and evocative melody. A songwriter might write an anthem to evoke a sense of unity and pride. In this episode, we hear musical stories about home from artists like Jean Sibelius, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Bruce Springsteen and Howard Shore – along with a pair of memorable national anthems. Stuff to think about after you've listened: Is there a song that reminds you of home or a place where you really feel like you belong? If you created a song about your home, what sounds or musical ideas would you use? Ready to explore more music about home? Check out our playlists on Spotify or Apple Music. This is one of eight Music Blocks episodes exploring how musicians use sound to tell stories about our lives. You can listen in any order. Find more episodes, discussion questions and playlists at MusicBlocksPodcast.org. Tell us how you're using Music Blocks in the classroom or at home, or share your playlists and music creations inspired by the podcast! Email us: Hello@MusicBlocksPodcast.org Music Blocks is a production of Colorado Public Radio's Audio Innovations Studio. Hosts: Luis Antonio Perez and Rebekah Romberg Lead producer: Rebekah Romberg Education Advisor: Carla Aguilar, Ph.D. Additional production and editing: Jo Erickson, Erin Jones, Emily Williams Executive Producer: Brad Turner Thank you: Monika Vischer and David Ginder at CPR Classical, Willobee Carlan at Indie 102.3, Jodi Gersh, Kim Nguyen, Mia Rincón, Clara Shelton, Hart Van Denburg, Jon Pinnow, Doug Clifton and all the teachers, parents and students who listened and helped us develop this podcast.

An Honest Day's Work

Work is a big part of life. Sometimes you have a dull job to do, and music helps take your mind off it. And sometimes we like to hear stories that celebrate hard work and achievement. Here's a look at how musicians like Harry Belafonte, Merle Haggard, Drake and Dolly Parton use their songs to tell stories about work. Stuff to think about after you've listened: Do you have a playlist with your favorite style of music to listen to while you work or study? If you created a song about your work, what sounds or musical ideas would you use? Ready to explore more musical love stories? Check out our playlists on Spotify or Apple Music. This is one of eight Music Blocks episodes exploring how musicians use sound to tell stories about our lives. You can listen in any order. Find more episodes, discussion questions and playlists at MusicBlocksPodcast.org. Tell us how you're using Music Blocks in the classroom or at home, or share your playlists and music creations inspired by the podcast! Email us: Hello@MusicBlocksPodcast.org Music Blocks is a production of Colorado Public Radio's Audio Innovations Studio. Hosts: Rebekah Romberg and Luis Antonio Perez Lead producer: Rebekah Romberg Education Advisor: Carla Aguilar, Ph.D. Additional production and editing: Jo Erickson, Erin Jones, Emily Williams Executive Producer: Brad Turner Thank you: Monika Vischer and David Ginder at CPR Classical, Willobee Carlan at Indie 102.3, Jodi Gersh, Kim Nguyen, Mia Rincón, Clara Shelton, Hart Van Denburg, Jon Pinnow, Doug Clifton and all the teachers, parents and students who listened and helped us develop this podcast.

We Love a Good Love Story!

Love is a favorite topic for songwriters. That's partly because music is such a great way to tell a love story. Here's a look at how artists like Taylor Swift, José Alfredo Jiménez and Giacomo Puccini use sounds to tell stories of romance, longing and unabashed adoration. Stuff to think about after you've listened: What are sounds, artists, or songs that you associate with feeling love? This episode mentions romantic love and familial love. What other kinds of love have you experienced? Can you name a song that captures that kind of love? Ready to explore more musical love stories? Check out our playlists on Spotify or Apple Music. This is one of eight Music Blocks episodes exploring how musicians express emotions through sound. You can listen in any order. Find more episodes, discussion questions and playlists at MusicBlocksPodcast.org. Tell us how you're using Music Blocks in the classroom or at home, or share your playlists and music creations inspired by the podcast! Email us: Hello@MusicBlocksPodcast.org Music Blocks is a production of Colorado Public Radio's Audio Innovations Studio. Hosts: Luis Antonio Perez and Rebekah Romberg Lead producer: Rebekah Romberg Education Advisor: Carla Aguilar, Ph.D. Additional production and editing: Jo Erickson, Erin Jones, Emily Williams Executive Producer: Brad Turner Thank you: Monika Vischer and David Ginder at CPR Classical, Willobee Carlan at Indie 102.3, Jodi Gersh, Kim Nguyen, Mia Rincón, Clara Shelton, Hart Van Denburg, Jon Pinnow, Doug Clifton and all the teachers, parents and students who listened and helped us develop this podcast.

In Season 2, Hear The Stories Of Our Lives

Music Blocks, the podcast about the building blocks that make up your favorite sounds, returns Aug. 16 for a new series of fun sonic explorations! In Season 2, hosts Rebekah Romberg and Luis Antonio Perez explore how musicians help us tell The Stories of Our Lives. You'll hear romantic melodies, inspirational lyrics and songs about the places we call home. Music Blocks is a music appreciation podcast that spans genres, cultures and decades. Developed with input from educators and students, each episode runs about 5 minutes to fit easily into family time or classroom instruction. Every "lesson" explores a different type of musical storytelling and is accompanied by a playlist and discussion questions to inspire more sonic exploration. We designed the show with middle schoolers and high schoolers in mind. But anyone can listen and enjoy. Music Blocks is a production of Colorado Public Radio's Audio Innovations Studio. If you're excited about the show, have questions or want to tell us about how you're using Music Blocks, please drop us a line: Hello@MusicBlocksPodcast.org.

Feeling Really Good

It doesn't get much better than feeling confident, triumphant and optimistic. Translating a really good feeling into music opens the door for lots of creativity. Here's a peek at how musicians like Janelle Monae, Lil Nas X, Shania Twain, Jimmy Cliff, Gustav Holst and Nina Simone made incredible sounds about feeling great. Stuff to think about after you've listened: What is a groove that you want to hear when you feel good? When we feel good, we often want to move and dance. What are songs that make you feel good and want to move or dance? Ready to explore more music about feeling good? Check out our playlists on Spotify or Apple Music. This is one of eight Music Blocks episodes exploring how musicians express emotions through sound. You can listen in any order. Find more episodes, discussion questions and playlists at MusicBlocksPodcast.org. Tell us how you're using Music Blocks in the classroom or at home, or share your playlists and music creations inspired by the podcast! Email us: Hello@MusicBlocksPodcast.org Music Blocks is a production of Colorado Public Radio's Audio Innovations Studio. Hosts and Producers: Luis Antonio Perez and Rebekah Romberg Editors: Jo Erickson and Dennis Funk Education Advisor: Carla Aguilar, Ph.D. Executive Producer: Brad Turner Thank you: Monika Vischer at CPR Classical, Bruce Trujillo and Willobee Carlan at Indie 102.3, Jodi Gersh, Kim Nguyen, Mia Rincón, Clara Shelton, Hart Van Denburg, and all the teachers and students who shared feedback and attended virtual focus groups as we developed this podcast.