PLEASE NOTE: Most of these are Topics, not Titles….the Titles can come later…or we can create them together.
- The story and inspiration behind the Listen for Life movement, a global family of music listeners, performers, educators and producers working together to bring about peace and unity in warring regions, preserve/save and share music cultures, promote deserving young artists of all genres, and raise awareness of music’s powerful role in our lives and in our world.
- Either separately or as part of the topic above, Donna can also talk about what motivated and inspired her to put her own global performance career on hold for 16 years, develop outreach projects, and sell all of her possessions in order to fund the Listen for Life movement and its message that she believes is so important for our world today.
- Travels with Music – this is the title of an award-winning online series designed by Donna, offering an experience of the cultures of the world with their master musicians as the tour guides. TWM is now being used by K-12 schools across the USA and abroad to teach the core curriculum subjects of ELL, social studies, geography, literacy, languages, history, citizenship and more, through cross-cultural music videos and interviews. TWM has shown that there are alternative ways to provide a daily experience of music and art in the cash-strapped schools without necessarily hiring a music teacher. Donna has crafted several different presentations and topics around the TWM material, and she shares the inspiring stories of the music masters interviewed in the videos, struggling to keep their cultures (or themselves) alive or, in the case of a female singer in Pakistan, trying not to be killed while she learned and memorized all of her culture’s songs in secret. Donna can use the TWM content to initiate lively debate about curriculum expectations and models in different countries, cultural attitudes vs global music media, choosing which music cultures to feature, and more. She also gives talks about “the making of” this series that has won a 2014 Telly Award, a 2014 Tech&Learning magazine award, several other digital education awards, and accolades from George Lucas’ Edutopia magazine.
- “Composer/creator to Performer to Audience: a Plea for Intentional Listening” – this talk relates to a major questionnaire devised by Donna and sent to 30 prominent composers, asking about their particular beliefs and how they feel those beliefs influence and impact the intention with which they create their music, and also whether they feel that the beliefs and intentions of the performers and listeners impact what they hear in the piece. This presentation has become an audience favorite.
- Ways to use music for healing after war: After the post-election violence in Kenya, Donna was contacted and asked to devise a program that could bring together the seven warring “tribes” using music, which is so all-important in African cultures, especially to communicate with the youth. In this talk, Donna tells the story of the program she designed and where it stands now. She also shares the story of sponsoring a mobile music-therapy unit that visited all of the refugee camps in Bosnia to help still-traumatized victims regain their speech, many years after the brutal wars in that region.
- Innovative ways to create and build collaboration between campus departments of music, sociology, cultural anthropology, broadcasting, ELL/ESL, education, digital media, and more.
- The world is losing music cultures at the rate of five per year. Why is this happening, why does it matter, and what can we, as music listeners, performers, students, producers, DO about it? (this talk is another audience favorite).
- Many of the topics listed in the other categories of presenters, below, would also potentially be of strong interest for your audiences.
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