SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - After being banned since 2006, YouTube is back online at on the campus of BYU. All this month, school administrators talked about lifting the block. They said they chose to life the ban because of the educational value of YouTube.
Along with the access to YouTube, BYU has also created a site, besafe.byu.edu to make sure students and the general public stay web savvy. [emphasis added]
I use YouTube a lot in a college course I've taught since long before YouTube existed. Music Appreciation. My basic responsibility in teaching the course is to get students to obtain a lifelong love of any kind of music, no matter how much exposure or non-exposure they have had to music before they have taken the class.
Each year there are more excellent videos at the site to help supplement the class materials. I've encouraged publishers and authors revising texts and creating new ones to find ways to engage students through audio-visual materials that have some of the punch one finds at YouTube.
I'm in a dilemma this semester. In the course, I usually use two YouTube episodes from Igor Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps. Many regard this 1913 ballet to be the most important musical work of the 20th Century. If you think you know what is generically called "classical music" and you don't know le Sacre, you don't really know "classical music." The work has had a profound impact on thousands of composers, tens of thousands of performers and millions of people who have heard or seen the work. I regard it, along with Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, Beethoven's 3rd Symphony and Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, to be one of the most important advances in musical thinking of all time.
In class, after introductory material played from the course CDs, played by me on piano, and illustrated in a powerpoint presentation, I usually show two YouTubes of excerpts from the ballet.
The first is of the introduction. I use the magnificent restoration of the original sets, costumes and choreography, created by Millicent Hodson, Kenneth Archer and Robert Joffrey, in 1987 (I wish it was available in DVD. I've looked and looked):
Then I play the ending of the work. The entire work shocked audiences to the point of madness, but the ending Danse Sacrale, even more shocking, in which a young virgin, chosen by her peers, dances herself to death, was not at all like The Nutcracker, or Stravinsky's earlier masterpiece, The Firebird.
There are several versions of the Danse Sacrale on YouTube, a couple of them done completely nude. I've use the version, danced by Malao Airaudo, that is performed by the Pina Bausch Wuppertal Dance Theater. In it, the solo dancer's top - by purpose - reveals her breasts.
I've never felt reluctant to show this tremendously powerful performance to college classes, but should I show it to a college class in which a high school student or students are enrolled?
That's my dilemma. Here's the performance:
image - 1913 set design for Le Sacre du Printemps Part One, by Nicholas Roerich