Music That’s Out Of This World

There was an interesting segment on ‘Morning Addition’ on National Public Radio this morning.  It was about how music is used and played by astronauts up in orbit.  An astronaut named Brewster Shaw was interviewed for the segment and had this to say about the one and only astronaut band:  “You have people who are able to quickly pick up and accomplish tasks in areas totally outside their field of training,” he says. “Those kind of people are very likely to have enjoyed music, and been able to play something musical, so you just recruit them into the band.” He adds, “There’s not a lot of pressure — it’s pretty much you just have fun and do it.”

Give it a listen and see what you think about it.  Why does music get the astronauts going in the morning?  Does it have the same effect on you?  Why did the astronauts decide to start a band?  Can you relate to their experience?

Here’s a link to the article and the radio segment.

Written Article:

Louis Armstrong House and Museum

For those of you that live in Queens, NY, you should know that you’re in good company.  Queens, NY was the home to many of the early Jazz greats.  Count Basie, John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald, Milt Hinton and Lena Horne lived in the Addisleigh Park neighborhood of St. Albans, Queens.

Probably the most well known Jazz musician in the world lived in Queens.  Louis Armstrong lived in Corona.  In fact, his home has been made into a museum that you can visit and tour.  One of the great features of the tour is that they play some of the recordings that Louis used to make when he was home.  Here is a video about them.  By the way, there’s a guy in this video named Michael Cogswell, who is the director of The Louis Armstrong House Museum.  When I first visited the museum about 7 years ago, he was the one who gave us our tour.  Cool!

For more info or to go and visit Louis’s home, go to the website for The Louis Armstrong House Museum at

It’s a great summer outing!  Ask your parents to take you!