A collection of fourteen short films

Directed by Bert Shapiro

Mission Statement

The core of my mission in producing “Music is My Passion” is to help you bring the joy of music to students of all ages.

I feel that it is vitally important to support the introduction of music to new generations in our schools and colleges, where its enriching power can be so beneficial in unlocking the human potential and spirit. By helping to enable the discovery of it in all its forms, my hope is that these films will serve to inspire the playing and/or study of music, regardless of whether or not it ultimately becomes a career.

Also, screening music films will give added support to the enjoyment that the audiences of music groups in our communities bring with their performances.

I am honored to play a small role in this and welcome your comments and suggestions to continue our growth together on this exciting journey.


Steve Allison

Congrats to Bert Shapiro on a wonderful collection of 14 short documentary films that give a fresh take on music appreciation. Each film is a journey into the musical mind and features an impressive brain trust of musicians from many different backgrounds.

Ella Wilcox

Those who learn to sing and play instruments—especially with each other—reap huge rewards that increase over time. The film series Music is My Passion, directed by Bert Shapiro, offers viewers a window on some of the real joys that result from being part of an ensemble…

Hannah Young

The high quality of the filming and editing once again maintains the standards that Shapiro has set for his invaluable new documentary series “Music is My Passion”. Recommended for all ages as a joyful introduction to early music and the sounds of rarely heard instruments…

Nalini Tranquim

‘Music Is My Passion’ will capture the heartbeat of every parent, teacher and mentor who has an appreciation for the lifelong value of seeing and hearing music played on both ancient and modern instruments…

Mary Ada Poole

“Music is My Passion” is an invaluable documentary that introduces music from the Renaissance to the 21st century. Students, teachers and parents will find the fourteen short films inspiring and fun to watch. The filming, editing and the musicians are outstanding…

Cathy Block

Music is indeed my passion! And it was fun to experience it with so many other passionate music makers and hearing their various voices…


Peter R. Webster, Ph.D.

Listening and watching! What a marvelous film collection on music making. Each segment was thrilling for me to watch, particularly “The Ahah! Moment” that focused on young students performing. Their enthusiasm was joyful to watch…

Helen Ragheb

Watching the inspiring Music is My Passion, I immediately had a renewed awareness of the beauty and joy of making music. The films also reminded me of the pleasures of collaboration and camaraderie that goes into performance…

Steve Best

Bert Shapiro’s films have always spoken to me in magical ways. I’m a musician, but it’s not just his music-related videos that catch my attention: when Bert gets an idea, he is swept away by the possibilities, and his creativity goes in a thousand different directions until the project is finished…

Rodney Jones

It is one of the truest and most beautiful telling of the wonder, beauty, and power of music. I LOVED it – the story told, they way it is told. This film shows the best of music education…


Instruments, rarely seen and heard

The Crumhorn

The Crumhorn is a musical instrument that was popular during the 16th and 17th centuries. It is similar to the recorder, another instrument from the renaissance period that is still popular today. The crumhorn was primarily used to play popular folk music throughout western Europe.

The Dulcian

The Dulcian is the predecessor of the modern day Bassoon. It was one of the most popular European instruments from mid 16th into most of the 17th centuries. In general, this instrument was known for its’ rich, robust, and sweet sounds.

The Erhu

The Erhu, which is often called the Chinese Fiddle in the western world, is a two stringed bowed musical instrument. While it’s origins date back to 600 AD, it is still used today in both traditional Chinese music and western classical and popular music.

The Guzheng

The Guzheng, or Zheng, for short, is a musical instrument that has been around for 2,500 years, and can have anywhere from 16 to 21 strings, that can be plucked or strummed. The modern Guzheng is still predominantly used to play traditional chinese music, complete with it’s own notation.

The Harpsichord

The Harpsichord is one of the few musical instruments from the days of early music, particularly from the baroque era, that is still in regular use today. It shares the same keyboard with the piano, and is played in a similar fashion, but it’s sound is quite unique.

The Lute

Any musical instrument that has a neck connected to a hollow sounding board, similar to an acoustic guitar in shape, can be called a lute. The Lute is probably the most famous instrument used by wandering minstrels during the Renaissance era. They were portable, and most often used to play popular songs of the day.

The Mandolin

A mandolin is a small stringed instrument of Italian origin. There are many styles of mandolin, but three are common, the Neapolitan or round-backed mandolin, the carved-top mandolin and the flat-backed mandolin. Each style of instrument has its own sound quality and is associated with particular forms of music.

The Pipe Organ

The pipe organ is a musical instrument that produces sound by driving pressurized air (called wind) through the organ pipes played from a keyboard. These massive organs are primarily played as a solo instrument in churches, synagogues, concert halls, schools, etc.

The Rackett

There is no contemporary musical instrument that sounds or looks like the Rackett, although it basically functions like a modern Bassoon. It was very popular in the 17th century, and has a unique rumbling sound that compliments other instruments of the Renaissance era.

The Shawm

This instrument dates back to the 12th Century, and is a precursor to the modern day Oboe. Since it was one of the louder instruments of the day, it was mostly used outdoors, often to accompany ceremonies or dancing.

The Sitar

The sitar is a plucked stringed instrument, originating from the Indian subcontinent, used in Hindustani classical music. The instrument flourished under the Mughals, and it is named after a Persian instrument called the setar (meaning three strings).

The Tabla

The tabla is a percussion instrument that has been particularly important in Hindustani classical music since the 18th century, and remains in use in many countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.

The Theorbo

The Theorbo is perhaps the largest instrument in the Lute family. It has 14 strings, a very long neck and was developed in the late 16th century. The strings can be plucked or strummed with one hand, while fingers press on the strings with the other hand, creating different notes.

The Viola da Gamba

This stringed instrument first appeared in Europe in the late 15th century and became one of the most popular Renaissance, and subsequently Baroque instruments. It could be both bowed and plucked, and was placed vertically between one’s legs, as the modern Cello is played.

About Bert Shapiro and “Music is my Passion”

Knowing that I can’t dance, sing, play an instrument and am just about able to manage an iPhone, it’s hard for me to believe that I’ve been able to complete 30 documentary films. Having no background in filmmaking and little experience in movie-going, I’m a most unlikely candidate to do what I do. So, what motivates me to do it?