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    Wanna Become Smarter and More Creative?

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    jazz

    I knew it, I knew it, I knew it! According to scientific studies people who listen to

    jazz music are proven to be smarter and more creative. I repeat, “people who listen to jazz music are smarter and more creative”.

    If you haven’t already jumped out of your seat and headed towards your record player or Spotify smooth jazz playlist, here’s a little more insight on the subject.

    I may have been been exaggerating a bit about the smarter and more creative part. That’s a bit difficult to prove. However, the benefits of listening to jazz music, specifically, have certainly been proven. It can affect your memory, focus, and mood.  Listening to jazz is a stress reliever and can reduce blood pressure by 30%, reduce pain by 21%, and can be as effective as a massage. It’s a pretty good excuse to nuzzle up to someone special on the couch as well.

    Here are a few insightful articles about how listening to jazz music makes you a cool cat

    and just might change your life.

    Mind, Body & Jazz: 
How Jazz Can Improve Your Health

     

     

    All That Jazz: People Who Listen To Jazz Are Smarter And More Creative

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    Karaoke For Your Health

    Happy-Family-singing-karaoke-together-e1419537193917

    Let’s be entirely honest, singing karaoke is not everyone’s idea of a good time. For some it may be embarrassing or spark a fit of anxiety. BUT let’s talk for a moment about why singing karaoke could be awesome for you.

    Dr Michael Roizen MD who, along with Dr Oz, has authored 8 NY Times Bestselling books has this to say about singing karaoke.

    “Singing (on or off key) improves breathing—and that’s good for many parts of your body and brain. According to a recent Japanese study (of course!), the benefits of karaoke are far-reaching. Singing Sinatra—or even Aerosmith—relieves stress and boosts self-esteem and confidence, while also building social connections—all major life extenders. Plus, families that karaoke together build bonds and banish conflict.
    There haven’t been studies on how karaoke affects listeners, but listening to joyful music (and what’s joyful is always a personal opinion) reduces blood pressure, so if you enjoy what you’re singing or listening to, be a rock star or a lounge lizard and embrace karaoke”

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    How Young Is Too Young For Music Lessons?

     

    boy-at-pianoIt is never too early to expose your child to music; Even babies in the womb can gain cognitive benefits from hearing music. Children between the ages of 0-9 have the highest potential for developing a love and understanding of music but knowing the right age at which to start formal lessons or group music lessons can be challenging for a parent.

    The most commonly recommended age for starting private music lessons is between 5 and 7 years old. Kids in that age range have developed a bit of classroom etiquette and have begun reading and writing. Both of which are essential tools in the process of learning music in a more structured environment such as private lessons. Children under 5 will benefit greatly from larger group music classes which involve more physical movement and music appreciation.

    PBS.org has a great article which goes more in depth on the best ways to encourage your little musician.

    http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/music-arts/whats-the-right-age-to-begin-music-lessons/

     

     

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    “Making Music Matters”

     

    Hutchinson Middle Schooler Marquise Nelson plays the violin with his school's orchestra during String Wars, the Lubbock Independent School District 25th annual string fling, Tuesday night at the Lubbock Civic Center Auditorium. Tuesday, Feb. 02, 2010 (Photo by Geoffrey McAllister/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal)

    Middle Schooler Marquise Nelson plays the violin with his school’s orchestra

     

     

    “Music is good for the brain”.

    We’ve heard this statement so often that it has lost much of its impact. There are high school and college classes on music appreciation which scratch the surface of this topic. The most substantial benefits of music, however, cannot be achieved through mere appreciation. It is only accessed through application, ie; actually making music.

    That dusty old guitar in the corner or that out of tune piano is where the magic lies. TIME magazine said it best “It is only through the active generation and manipulation of sound that music can rewire the brain.”

    Read More Here…

     

     

     

     

     

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    Tunes that Kill Tumors

    soundwaves

    click here to read more…

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This new method of treatment gives a whole new meaning to the term “music heals”. Doctors in the U.K. at the Institute of Cancer Research are using tonal frequencies to zap cancerous tumors.

    The sound wave frequencies are above the audible limit for humans and can kill harmful cells deep inside an organ-while leaving the surface tissue unaffected.

    This article in the Guardian provides a more detailed look into the healing power of sound waves; It is definitely worth reading.

     

     

     

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    Which Instrument Is Right For My Child?

    girl violin

     

     

     

     

     

    If you are considering signing your child up for music lessons this article featured on PBS.org is worth the read. “Dr. Robert A. Cutietta is the Dean of the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. He is the author of “Raising Musical Kids” and a popular speaker whose areas of expertise include the middle-school learner, choral education, learning theories, and the psychology of music. Additionally, he is a highly regarded musician and educator with extensive knowledge about the full range of musical talent nationally as well as internationally.”

     

    http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/music-arts/helping-your-child-choose-the-right-instrument/

     

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    “But I Don’t Wanna Play The Piano….”

     

     

     

     

     

     

    “Forcing a child to play an instrument rarely leads to the love of music making we want.”

    (Dr. Robert A. Cutietta, author of “Raising Musical Kids”)

    I have very mixed feelings about this statement. I was one of those children who’s parents “forced” them to play an instrument. In my family learning to play the piano was not optional for my siblings and me. Practicing the piano regularly was also not optional.

    My parents made a deal with me during one of my many rants about wanting to quit. They said that if I could find 3 adults that had quit playing piano as a child and didn’t regret it then they would let me quit. I tried for years, asking every grown up I came across. Needless to say, my parents won. Every adult I spoke to said “I wish I would have kept going.” Not only did I develop my own love for the piano, but I also went on to study music in college, perform on multiple stages worldwide, and even become a piano teacher myself.

    We’ve all heard of the cognitive and physical benefits of learning an instrument as a child. We’ve heard how students who study an instrument for an extended period of time have improved grades and test scores, increased creativity, and stronger balance in left/right brain function. Even so, it can be very difficult when our kids refuse to practice or argue to quit taking lessons. The competition is fierce with the internet, video games, sports, and even school work. As a teacher, I encourage parents to push through and continue through those phases (which is exactly what they are) in setting non-negotiable standards for their children. I do, however, recognize the need to maybe switch to another instrument or introduce new musical genres into the students repertoire. Music teachers and parents can work together as these different stages of growth arise for the young musician.

    There are always ways to keep it fresh!

     

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    Music Makes You Stronger

    image

    Well…. Your memory at least. Music creates the strongest form of memory.
    Have you ever wondered why when you hear a familiar tune it can bring to mind a certain place or a certain feeling? The little tune your favorite teacher taught you in elementary school or the song that certain boyfriend used to sing in the car all the time. Try humming just the beginning of “Twinkle, Twinkle” and everyone around you will know the tune. Merely say the words “Ice, Ice Baby” and you may set off an impromptu karaoke session. Whether you want to conjure up those memories or not, they seem to be forever engrained in our brains.

    So it’s no coincidence that even in our earliest stages of life we are taught new information through song. We use music to tell stories, for language development, even to teach rules and prayers in a memorable way.
    The power of music memory is perhaps most evident in the cases of elderly patients. Alzheimer’s patients who seem to be completely unresponsive with little to no memory suddenly regain motor functions and can even recall lyrics to songs they once heard in their youth.
    Victims of traumatic brain injuries can relearn valuable information more effectively through song than any other method.
    According to studies the region of the brain most active when listening to music is the pre frontal cortex. Did you know that the pre frontal cortex is also the last region of the brain to atrophy? Perhaps that’s the reason music memory has such longevity.
    So next time you’re struggling to remember some important information maybe you should consider turning it into a song. Phone, gum, keys, check!

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    Keep on singing!

    image

    Have you ever said these words? “I’m not a good singer”, “I just can’t sing”, or “You don’t wanna hear me sing”. Perhaps you’ve been known to say, “I sound great in the shower.”
    Somewhere along the way in our lifetime we get separated into categories of great, average, and terrible singers. This creates confidence or complexes for us at a very early age.
    There are so many factors that contribute to being a good singer, ranging from bone structure to posture and breath support. Some things are just genetic blessings but MOST of the traits of a good singer can be taught and learned.
    That’s great news!
    Check out this article which reveals some scientific reasons why just maybe you should keep on singing.

    http://www.interlude.hk/front/science-great-news-people-cant-sing/

     

     

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    New Film Promotes Music Education

    We have been fortunate lately to have so many new releases of music-related movies and documentaries. We were completely inspired by Alive Inside and were of intrigued by William H. Macy’s Rudderless. Now there’s a new documentary that shows the value of music education.

    Some Kind of Spark by Ben Niles follows five kids living in some of New York City’s poorest communities who receive special instruction from Julliard’s Music Advancement Program. The renowned program provides Saturday instruction to students ages 8 to 14. The program is free and gives students unique access to Julliard’s instructors yet demands a lot of them, even the beginners. The film follows the students for two years in the classroom, at recitals and at home and shows their commitment to becoming better musicians (they can spend hours in rain, sleet and snow just commuting to Julliard) as well as their struggles with family issues and stage fright.

    Niles is clearly a music fan (he made Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L103) and the film is meant to be uplifting and be a rallying cry for more music instruction for children. Yet, as one critic noted, the film can be frustrating for highlighting such a unique program.

    Firedoglake writer noted: “It’s a reminder of how much the lives of children are enriched by a musical education — and sadly an implicit lament about how children are increasingly being robbed of such opportunities.”

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