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

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.

Feeling Pretty Bad

Sometimes a musical phrase or a single line of lyrics can unlock those bad feelings we've tried to hide. Music can be a powerful way to capture the mood when we feel anxious, chaotic or a little bit numb. This episode features music about feeling bad from Olivia Rodrigo, Beyoncé, Radiohead, Hakki Bulut, Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard. Stuff to think about after you've listened: "Bad" can be a vague description of a feeling. What were some of the "bad"-feeling music selections that stood out to you from the episode? Would you describe the emotion in that music a different way? What's a song you know that you associate with feeling bad? Ready to explore more music about feeling bad? 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.

Ugh. The Sound of Disgust

Disgust is a powerful emotion, but you might be surprised at the nuanced music it can inspire. We'll hear deeply personal statements alongside stunning protest music from artists like Billie Holiday, Anderson .Paak, Billie Eilish, Agnes Obel, Daniel Viglietti and Krystof Penderecki. 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: What sounds would you choose to express the feeling of disgust? What are some things that make you feel disgusted? Can you write a short poem or rhyme to express these things? Ready to explore sounds connected to disgust? 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.

Surprise!

Surprises can be wonderful or shocking, delightful or jarring. And when musicians find clever ways to surprise listeners, things get really interesting. Here's a look at unpredictable music from Björk, Igor Stravinsky, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Claude Debussy and The Yoshida Brothers. Stuff to think about after you've listened: Which of the ideas of surprise in music that were featured in this episode do you want to listen to again? What are some ways to use sound that are surprising to you? Ready to explore more surprising sounds? 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.

Sad, Sad Songs

Grab a box of tissues. This episode of Music Blocks is about the powerful and inventive ways musicians take sadness and turn it into memorable music. We'll hear examples from Four Tet, Charles Mingus, Samuel Barber, Joeboy, Youssou N'Dour and Neneh Cherry. Stuff to think about after you've listened: Sometimes when we are sad, we want to feel that emotion. Are there songs that you play that help you to feel sad? Think about a person or an event that you want to write a sad song about. What kinds of sounds would you use? Ready to explore more sad sounds? 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.

Grrr... Feeling Angry

Angry music can feel potent, like a release of pressure for a singer or a musician. So how do musicians express anger in creative ways? Check out some anger-inspired sounds from Fela Kuti, Alabama Shakes, The Clash, Netta and Coolio. Stuff to think about after you've listened: What is a style of music that you turn to when you are angry? What are some sounds that you associate with feeling angry? Ready to explore more angry songs? 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.

The Sound of Fear

Fear is primal. It's how we react to the unknown. And when composers and songwriters set out to make frightful music, it opens up a world of creative possibilities. We'll hear vivid examples from John Williams, Modest Mussorgsky, John Carpenter, Christian Scott and The Shirelles. Stuff to think about after you've listened: What do you think is the best way to express fear in music? Which song in the episode was the most fearful to you? Ready to explore more frightful music? Check out our playlists on Spotify and 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.

Happy (And You Know It!)

Happiness is one of the most basic human emotions and a feeling composers often express through music. But what makes a piece of music sound joyful? Hear how Pharrell Williams, Ludwig van Beethoven, Red Velvet, Prince Nico Mbarga and John Coltrane have conveyed happiness through their music. Stuff to think about after you've listened: What are some sounds that you associate with happiness? What are songs that you listen to when you are experiencing happiness? What made you choose these songs? Ready to explore more music about happiness? 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.

How To Use Music Blocks (For Educators and Parents)

Music Blocks is a music appreciation podcast developed in consultation with music educators. It's designed to help young listeners to explore music more thoughtfully, or to let parents and teachers introduce their kids to new sounds. It's a fun, quick listen for music lovers of all ages, produced by Colorado Public Radio. And it's free and available everywhere. Teachers and parents, here's how to get the most out of Music Blocks: 1. Play it for young listeners in your life. Each episode runs about 5 minutes, to slot easily into a class period or family time. You can listen to the episodes in any order. 2. Talk and explore more. We'll offer playlists to complement each episode and a few sample discussion questions. 3. Ask your kids to get creative! Have them build their own mood-themed playlists or write their own song to match a certain mood. We'd love to hear their creations. Email us at hello@musicblockspodcast.org. Find Music Blocks on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, MusicBlocksPodcast.org or wherever you listen.

Say Hello to Music Blocks

Music Blocks is a music appreciation podcast that spans genres, cultures and decades. It's about human emotions and the sounds we use to express them. 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 feeling 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. The podcast debuts this August. Hosted by Luis Antonio Perez and Rebekah Romberg, 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.