• Student Login

  • Blog

    Some Reasons To Be Happy About Music

    FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

    We recently read about music instruments stolen from a middle school in Pasadena. It was a heartbreaking to story to read. The children had two big performances that week and only had a few instruments to play.

     

    It just seemed especially cruel that someone would steal from kids. They not only stole an instrument, but stopped them from making art while dampening their hopes and ambition.

     

    Needless to say, we’ve been in a sour mood.

     

    Then, as if the writers for Music.Mic were reading our mind, they posted some inspirational stories about music. Stories ranged from children making instruments out of trash to a group that brings people from warring countries or cultures together to make music. It lifted our hearts.

     

    So, in the spirit of Music.Mic, we came up with a list about the good things that are happening with music in Southern California.

     

    Enjoy!

     

    Yes, the children’s instruments were stolen but the Pasadena community rallied around them and raised $16,000 to replace the instruments and buy a secure locker for storage.

     

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic is bucking a national trend among symphonies. The Phil has one of the largest budgets of any symphony in the country and has an endowment of $222 million. The Los Angeles Times published a series on the Phil’s success and it’s definitely worth a read.

     

    We learned that Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has an Expressive Arts and Therapies Department. As KPCC reports: “The department offers clinical and non-clinical services to help patients manage pain and other challenges with their illnesses. On the clinical side, therapists help patients build coping skills to manage their pain and moods. On the non-clinical side, patients can attend art workshops, watch theater performances and more.”

     

    Some of the pictures just pull at your heart strings. We are so happy that people realize the healing power of music and other forms of art!

     

    The Music Junction offers piano and voice lessons at our Burbank and Hollywood locations. Call us today to learn more.

    See Our Rates Contact Us

    Are you ready to sign up for lessons? See Our Rates. | Questions? Contact us.

     

    Read more...

    A Big Thanks!

    Your support has made “Annie’s Dream” a reality. Thank you!

     

    Nearly a month ago we shared the good news that our dear friend (and Charissa Vaughan-Wheeler’s sister) Savannah Wheeler wanted to make an EP of original music. Savannah launched a Kickstarter campaign so she could get inside a professional recording studio to record, mix and master songs about heartbreak. She aimed to raise $6,000.

     

    Savannah did everything from singing in backyards to baking apple crisps to volunteering to sing on donors’ voicemail greetings — all in support of her art. And, you listened. You gave $5, $100 and one of you even donated $1,000. By the end of the campaign, Savannah had 109 backers and raised $6,450!

     

    “Thank you for believing in me,” she wrote on her Kickstarter page. “Thank you for supporting me.  Thank you, a million times over.”

     

    Now that her journey as a professional recording artist is about to begin, visit her Facebook page for updates.

     

    The Music Junction offers piano and voice lessons at our Burbank and Hollywood locations. Call us today to learn more.

    See Our Rates Contact Us

    Are you ready to sign up for lessons? See Our Rates. | Questions? Contact us.

    Read more...

    Surprised? Cats Like Cat Music

    As you’ve read before, dogs can be soothed by the sounds of human music but leave it up to cats to be more finicky.

     

    Recent research shows that cats do not care for human music and much prefer music tailored to their heartbeats, personal interests (e.g. birds) and vocal range. If you have ever been awakened late at night by a yowling alley cat, you know what we mean by vocal range. Researchers, hailing from the University of Wisconsin, Madison created a medley of tunes, catering to the cat’s playful side (what they call sonic catnip) as well as more soothing tunes. One is even aligned with the rhythm of purrs, which is remarkably consistent among all cat breeds.

     

    The research team’s website, which is appropriately titled Musicforcats.com, includes music samples and you can download three full-length songs for a fee. The sonic catnip tune is way too fast for our liking, although we thought the tweeting of birds was a nice touch. We much preferred Rusty’s Tune, which is slower.

     

    What makes this music different from the other cat CDs and music-centered television shows that are already available?

     

    According to the Musicforcats website: “To the best of our knowledge, this marks the first time that an art form has been shown by scientific test and observation to engender the measurable appreciation of any species other than human.”

     

     

    In fact, a study revealed that cats rubbed the speakers with their faces when cat-centered music played while Bach’s music did not elicit a response.

     

    The Music Junction offers piano and voice lessons at our Burbank and Hollywood locations. Call us today to learn more.

    See Our Rates Contact Us

    Are you ready to sign up for lessons? See Our Rates. | Questions? Contact us.

    Read more...

    The Positive Effects of Singing For Those Who Stutter

    What do B.B. King, Mel Tillis and American Idol contestant Lazaro Arbos have in common?

      

    If you said they were singers you would only be partly right.

     

    They also live with a speech impediment: stuttering.

     

    You wouldn’t know it if you only heard them belting out beautiful tunes. Their stuttering seems to miraculously disappear once they begin to sing. This “miracle” has intrigued scientists and speech therapists who want to help people work through their impediment.

     

    Here is what they discovered:

     

    • Talking ignites activity on the left side of the brain while singing sparks the right hemisphere. In short, stuttering is a problem that originates from the left hemisphere.

     

    • Singers tend to know all the lyrics to the song they’re singing and don’t have to search for the right words to say. Word retrieval may be another cause of stuttering, according to The Stuttering Foundation.

     

    • Other activities such as whispering, speaking in unison, and blocking out their own voice also makes the stuttering disappear.

     

    We included a video of Mel Tillis early in his music career to show you the remarkable difference talking and singing has on those who stutter. In this clip, you’ll see Tillis talk to host Porter Wagoner and the audience. He stutters a few words that causes the audience to laugh. It is a brief moment but it’s a bit heartbreaking. Wagoner assures the audience that “He has a little speech defect that doesn’t bother your singing at all or writing at all. You’re fine man.”  Those are some wonderful words of encouragement and, of course, Tillis sings with his deep, beautiful voice and just wows the crowd.

     

    Based on our limited knowledge, there is no cure for stuttering. However, various therapy options are available, including singing, to make the impediment more manageable. If you or your child stutters talk with your doctor about voice lessons. You can foster your love of music and build confidence while overcoming a personal challenge.

     

    The Music Junction offers piano and voice lessons at our Burbank and Hollywood locations. Call us today to learn more.

    See Our Rates Contact Us

    Are you ready to sign up for lessons? See Our Rates. | Questions? Contact us.

    Read more...

    3-D Technology and Music

    There has been an explosion of 3-D art and printing that has infused a new kind of creativity. Thanks to technology more people can draw replicas of the Eiffel Tower, create prosthetic limbs, and more.

     

    It is like the Wild West for the 3-D world and who knows what will become of this. Yet, we are already curious how our favorite subject — music — factors into all of this. Well, we saved you the time and did the research for you. Enjoy!

     

    Printing music

    For all the practical value 3-D printing is expected to bring to the world, there is a group of artists who like printing for non-utilitarian purposes. Search YouTube and you will find videos of 3-D printers “playing” Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, even Star Wars’ Imperial March. The printouts from the music is also considered art and hanging in art galleries now. See the video above to hear an example.

     

    Printing instruments

    Entrepreneurs and companies have been trying to find ways that 3-D printing can make products more economical. Printing musical instruments have had varying levels of success, some are good and some are bad. Still, we like the idea that low-cost musical instruments can allow more children to play music.

     

    Writing Music

    While 3-D pens are better suited to visual expression, we were intrigued to learn about a blind doctoral student who used a 3-D pen to write a musical composition so other blind students can play. Unfortunately, the amount of Braille sheets music is much smaller than what’s available to musicians with sight. Again, we like the idea of a low cost way to bring music into people’s lives.

     

    The Music Junction offers piano and voice lessons at our Burbank and Hollywood locations. Call us today to learn more.

    See Our Rates Contact Us

    Are you ready to sign up for lessons? See Our Rates. | Questions? Contact us.

     

    Read more...

    News Apps Will Help Medical Researchers Study How Music Affects Our Bodies

    We know music therapy can help reduce pain, treat autism and uplift the spirits of Alzheimer’s patients. But are there ways music can heal the body that we don’t even know about yet? Technology has improved so much that you too can help new scientific efforts to study of music.

     

    The Sync Project, based out of Boston, has created an app to see how music affects the human body and is looking for volunteers. Basically, you just listen to your favorite music and it records pertinent biological information such as your heart beat. This approach vastly increases the number of people being studied and that’s a good thing. “With millions rather than dozens of participants, and vastly more data, the hope is that Sync’s scientist collaborators will arrive at surer answers, to better deploy the power of music to heal,” reports BetaBoston.

     

    This is just the beginning of the convergence of medical research and our mobile devices. Apple has partnered with some hospitals including Massachusetts General Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and created five apps that will study asthma, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.

     

    “Users who download any of those apps can track their symptoms and share that data with researchers. Apple adds a layer of privacy to protect the identity of patients, reports BetaBoston.

     

    Technology is vastly changing our lives and these efforts will really change medical research. We’re optimistic about these advances. What do you think?

     

    The Music Junction offers piano and voice lessons at our Burbank and Hollywood locations. Call us today to learn more.

    See Our Rates Contact Us

    Are you ready to sign up for lessons? See Our Rates. | Questions? Contact us.

     

     

    Read more...

    March Is Sing With Your Child Month

    No one in The Music Junction needs prodding to become songbirds but we’ll happily sing a little bit more in honor of Sing With Your Child Month!

     

    Yes, there is a month dedicated to singing and it begins in March!

     

    As we learned in an earlier blog post, parents are more likely to sing in the shower than to their children so we fully support a month dedicated to belting out tunes. After all, the benefits of music are scientifically proven and we all could find more ways to add music to our lives. So, forget about the quality of your singing voice — trust us, you’re probably a lot better than you think you are — grab a drum and starting singing.

     

    Still, not sure what to do? We have some advice:

     

    Make up a song: Turn off the car radio and have your family sing a song, suggests Music Together. Don’t worry about rhythm or the quality of the lyrics. In our house, we borrow heavily from the song “Mary Wore A Red Dress” except we change the lyrics to say what we’re wearing.

     

    Turn Storytime into Musical Storytime: Visit your local library and check out books you can sing. The Denver Public Library, has curated a list for you and it goes beyond “Twinkle, twinkle little star” and “Mary had a little lamb.”

     

    Sing to Chores/Tasks: Some things are just inevitable in a child’s life. She will have to pick up toys, brush her teeth, and wash her hands. Why not make the experience fun by singing some music. These can be quick tunes that your child is learning at school and preschool.

     

    Good luck and keep singing!

     

    The Music Junction offers piano and voice lessons at our Burbank and Hollywood locations. Call us today to learn more.

    See Our Rates Contact Us

    Are you ready to sign up for lessons? See Our Rates. | Questions? Contact us.

    Read more...

    Can Children Take Voice Lessons?

    When it comes to singing, so many myths abound. Some people believe that singing is an innate skill and others claim their singing success lies in “using” their diaphragm.

     

    Another persistent myth is that children should not take voice lessons.

     

    We’re not sure about the origins of this myth but whoever created it certainly has never visited an elementary school classroom where songs are often integrated into the curriculum. And this person certainly has never visited a playground, where high octave screaming is a regular occurrence.

     

    So, what do we think about the myth that professional training will lead to “vocal abuse” in children and cause deterioration of their vocal cords?

     

    Our response: If you’re with a voice instructor who treats every student the same — young and old — then you’re with the wrong instructor. A good, responsible teacher tailors your child’s education to his abilities and desired outcomes. A voice coach should never push your child to sing with strong intensity, sing excessively or do overly challenging vocal ranges.

     

    The Music Junction co-owner Charissa Vaughan-Wheeler has been taking singing lessons since she was 4 years old and believes in learning to sing the right way from the start.

     

    “Of course singing incorrectly for a long time can cause damage to any voice, young or old,” Vaughan-Wheeler says.  “Kids can sing incorrectly whether they do it in front of a teacher or singing on their own – I would feel better if the teacher was monitoring.”

     

    For more information vocal abuse visit this website. To get another teacher’s perspective, read this Huffington Post story.

     

    The Music Junction offers piano and voice lessons at our Burbank and Hollywood locations. Call us today to learn more.

    See Our Rates Contact Us

    Are you ready to sign up for lessons? See Our Rates. | Questions? Contact us.

    Read more...

    Music Worth Noting Pt. 5

    Honoka and Azita

    Big sister Honoka and little sister Azita have been playing the ukele since they were 8 and 4 years old, respectively. Their commitment to their instrument has made them in-demand performers of their home state of Hawaii and have enabled them to travel to Japan to tour. Their videos are so enjoyable to watch because you have a wonderful beach backdrop that complement their immense skills!

     

    They Might Be Giants

    Before they were known as the duo that created the theme song for The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, They Might Be Giants was a quirky band that was a hit with the college scene. In the early 1980s they made a telephone line available to fans who could hear new tunes for free, which became known as dial-a-song. The line, and its tunes, remained in existence until 2006. Now it’s back and ready for the Internet Age! In preparation for their new album “Flood,” They Might Be Giants will make a new song available every week on its website along with a new phone number — (844) 387-6962 — and an email subscription service. What do you think of the song?

     

    Alex Boye

    It is hard to top the sheer awesomeness of Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk.” But if you’re an aspiring singer trying to get noticed, recruiting some older people who love to dance and poke fun of themselves is a good start. Couple that with a spot-on rendition of the song, and you’ll achieve viral video fame. Seriously, how wonderful are these dancers? According to Boye’s YouTube pages that actors range in ages from 65 to 92. Collectively, they have 500 children, 1,200 grandchildren, and 250 great grandchildren.

    Read more...

    Classical Music Calms Dogs

    Maybe there was a good reason Snoopy liked listening to Schroeder’s music.

     

    A recent study revealed that classical music has a calming effect on dogs who are living in kennels. The report, published in the journal Physiology and Behaviour, found that dogs who were exposed to classical music had lower heart rates and displayed less anxious behavior than dogs who went about their day in silence.

     

    Finding ways to soothe dogs is important topic to animal welfare advocates as it is well documented that long-term life in a kennel or shelter can cause stress and negative behavior, even mental illness among canines. Given that dogs can be boarded in a kennel as long as a year, finding ways to improve a dog’s quality of life is important.

     

    Gilly Mendes Ferreira, education and research manager for the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals lead the research team on dog behavior.

     

    “Although by the end of the week their heart rates and behaviour associated with kennel stress had returned to normal, the initial findings are very encouraging and show that classical music does have a positive impact on the dogs’ welfare,” Ferreira said. “We want to make each dog’s time with us as comfortable as possible and this research is at the very forefront of animal welfare.”

     

    We know that classical music can assist you as you study for tests, help you get a date, and help you become more productive at work. It was only a matter of time before scientists started tracking these benefits to animals.

     

    So, the next time you see Fido. Skip the bone and play some Mozart!

     

    The Music Junction offers piano and voice lessons at our Burbank and Hollywood locations. Call us today to learn more.

    See Our Rates Contact Us

    Are you ready to sign up for lessons? See Our Rates. | Questions? Contact us.

    Read more...
  • Recent Posts

  • Newsletter Sign Up

  • ©2014 The Music Junction. Web by Armeno