My students are currently learning about 20th century composer George Gershwin, and here are some fun, additional facts.*
1. Gershwin dropped out of school at age 15 to work for a music publisher, playing songs.
2. Gershwin never attended a music conservatory. He did take lessons from private teachers, though, for five years, and studied music theory and piano throughout his lifetime.
3. Both George and his brother Ira became excellent painters.
4. Gershwin's outstanding opera Porgy and Bess, when first performed in 1935, was a flop.
5. Gershwin never married. He said he was "too busy," but he did enjoy dating a lot.
6. Gershwin died young, at 38, of a brain tumor.
Want to learn more? Check out:
* the highly entertaining children's series: Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers: Gershwin by Mike Venezia. I use this book with my students as we study four great composers each school year.
* for video links and more, see: http://www.cmuse.org/most-interesting-facts-about-george-gershwin/