This is my TEDx presentation from November of 2014, about my process of memorizing music. All the musical examples are from the Chopin etudes.
Much of classical music is in sonata form; it's a very clear form, like a sonnet or a limerick, and understanding it makes listening to the music much more rewarding. I wrote this silly song, which is both in and about sonata form, to teach the form to my students. Click image to listen. Click here to download a pdf (and please feel free to use it in your study or teaching).
I've complained for a long time about people singing the Alma Mater too slow at my college. I recorded this video to show the tempo--in a nice, brisk one--I prefer, and also to highlight my beginning ukulele skills.
In December of 2012 I was practicing Chopin etudes and thinking of the holidays, and this was the result: the Opus 10 etudes as Christmas Carols. Click on image to listen.
For a few years I played accordion and sang, and even played bass once in a while, in an indie rock band called the Gettysburg Pirate Orchestra.
In 2010 we made an album: Simon von Utrecht Presents the Gettysburg Pirate Orchestra.
I wrote the songs "Okay" and "You're Right."
The last song the GPO ever recorded was "Bird Song." The band donated a commission to an auction benefit for Nicaragua, and my friend Rebecca had the highest bid. She wanted a song for a gift to her friend Nana Jeannie, then 95. It was an honor to write the song for her: Nana Jeannie is the kind of old woman I dream of becoming, and I was thrilled to find out that she requested the song as part of her 99th birthday celebration.
A few years ago, my young friend Zach made this short film about Harry Houdini for a third grade biography assignment. I was visiting his house at the time, so I did the soundtrack.