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    Music in Outer Space?

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    Today NASA released recordings that were once considered top secret. It’s the sound of music heard by the Apollo 10 crew members way back in 1969 while orbiting earth. The sounds are still classified as unidentifiable but many theories abound. Could there actually be music in outer space? You decide…

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/21/world/far-side-moon-music/

     

     

     

     

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    Joey Alexander

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    Joey Alexander. This is a name you may want to remember in years to come. 12 year old Joey was just featured as a jazz pianist on the 2016 Grammy Awards show. Indonesian born Joey has already performed in front of thousands worldwide, including presidents and dignitaries. He was even nominated for two Grammy awards.

    Joey began playing piano at six years old, his parents consider his abilities a “gift from God”.

    Here’s Joey playing at the 2016 Grammy Awards.

     

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    Children Play Rock Classics

    Cute kids and great music—there is so much to like about this viral music video!

     

    A group of musicians——who range in age from 7 to 12—from Louisville, Kentucky played Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir,” “The Ocean,” and “Immigrant Song” with nothing but xylophones, drums, cymbals, and keyboards. Their music even impressed Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page who posted the video on his Facebook page and wrote “too good not to share.”

     

    We love that these children are being noticed around the world for their talents and hard work. We also think the video represents advice given in a previous blog post on how to keep children engaged in music as they get older. Occasionally diverting from classical, and orchestral music and can make great strides in keeping kids focused and committed to making music.

     

    Based on the group’s YouTube page, the students belong to the Louisville Leopard Percussionists, a group that offers extracurricular music opportunities to local children at little or no cost. The group continues to seek donations and you can help.

     

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    Annie’s Dream – Kickstarter Fund Ends March 5

    Thanks to everyone who has supported singer-songwriter Savannah Wheeler and her goal of recording Annie’s Dream, an EP of original music. Every $10, $35 and $100 investment brings Savannah one step closer to walking into the recording studio and we are grateful.

     

    But we’re not done yet. Every gift matters, including yours!

     

    There are just 12 days left to fund Savannah’s project and we hope you consider giving today. You know—we all know—that the music industry has changed. If you want music that isn’t formulaic, that defies genres and that just sounds good, WE must be the record company.

     

    Donating to Savannah’s Kickstarter project also has some neat perks. They include:

     

    • Original Song: Have you ever want to be someone’s muse? This is your chance! If you give $1,500, Savannah will write an original song just for you.

     

    • Private Concert: Want to give a gift to your partner? What could be more romantic that having a private concert in your backyard. So get out your fire pit, grab a cozy blanket and donate $500.

     

    • Voicemail Bundle: Add some originality to your voicemail message! For $300, Savannah will sing your favorite song, do an original rap on why you’re not picking up the phone or anything you can imagine.

     

    Thanks for your support and let’s make a dream come true!

     

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    Everything Is Awesome

    It turns out that singing your favorite song and going to a concert and may help you live a longer, healthier and happier life.

     

    A research team from UC Berkeley found that people who reported a sense of awe had lower levels of cytokines, or less inflammation in their body. High doses of cytokines can cause several health problems such as heart disease, depression and autoimmune diseases.

     

    While music is one of the major contributing factors to creating a sense of awe, other experiences can also help stir that emotion such as listening to religious sermons, walking in nature and looking at a beautiful work of art.

     

    The study confirms something we know intuitively; positive emotions are good for our health. Add in a nutritious diet and lots of sleep and you’ll feel like a superhero!

     

    Jennifer Stellar, on of the study’s co-authors says that finding time to participate in awesome experiences is important.

     

    “Rather than seeing a walk through the park or a trip to the museum as an indulgence, we hope people will view these kind of experiences as important ways to promote a healthy body in addition to a healthy mind,” Stellar said. “Folding these kinds of positive experiences into your daily routine may be more important for health than we previously realized.”

     

    We couldn’t agree more!

     

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    Creating Music From The Sounds of Our Galaxy

    Regular readers of our blog will know that we love science almost as much as we like music. Whether we’re seeing singing and dancing NASA interns or learning about earthquake music, we love it!

     

    In late 2014, NASA released its vast sound library on SoundCloud that includes various noises from outer space to the ear-shattering sounds of liftoff to the historic communications that occurred from mission control—yes, “Houston, we have a problem” is included in the archive. Musicians are already having a field day with the free music samples including Davide Cairo and Giacomo Muzzacato.

     

    They challenged themselves and their musician friends to create original music from these sounds. What resulted was a four-song EP that is now free to download. According to Rolling Stone: “The musicians were required to only use the NASA samples but could twist and contort them anyway they pleased. For instance, the noise of the Kepler space observatory spacecraft in orbit was turned into a powerful bass noise.”

     

    We listened to the songs and were really impressed with the music. It’s definitely worth checking out.

     

    Cairo and Muzzacato’s challenge also seems to have left an imprint with the friends.

     

    “To me, the most fascinating thing about this project is working with something so unknown and far away, wrote one of the contributors who simply goes by JWCM. “The mystery of these sound’s origins really fascinate me; the time and distance they have traveled, the hidden messages that they might carry with them. All this make these sounds really magical to me. Making music from the sounds of NASA was like creating color from black and white; taking these ‘noises’ and turning them into a language that speaks to us as emotional beings.”

     

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    Getting A Date May Be As Simple As Playing Music

     

    If you’re looking for a love interest this Valentine’s Day, ditch the flowers and candy and crank up the music!

     

    Research conducted by Japanese scientists found that attraction and feelings of romantic interest between potential mates increased dramatically if their encounter included music playing in the background.

     

    The research, published in the Psychology of Music, evaluated 32 participants in their 20s. They sat at a table while strangers visited and talked to them, according the Wall Street Journal. After 20 minutes, the strangers would leave and another set of unknown people would enter. In some instances a wide variety of music would be playing, anything from rap to classical music to rock.

     

    Once the conversations ended, the young people were asked to rate the strangers based on 10 traits that varied from patience, confidence and interest in dating. The strangers who engaged in conversation while music was playing scored higher than those who talked without music.

     

    “Music affects neurochemical systems in the brain that may enhance the interpersonal impressions formed during those conversations …” according to the wall Street Journal that cited the research paper. “Potentially stronger effects might occur if subjects chose their own music, they said.”

     

    Is there anything music cannot do?

     

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    Music and the Brain

    If you follow The Music Junction’s Facebook page, you may have known about a KPCC 89.3 event on music and the brain that had us excited. The event featured Nina Kraus of Northwestern University, whose work we have reported on here as well as Suzanne Gindin, founder of the Boyle Heights Community Youth Orchestra and Kristen Madsen, Senior Vice President, The GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares.

     

    The event quickly filled to capacity but we were fortunate to see a video of the presentation, which we included above. Here are some of the important points that we wrote down:

    • Music and language overlap in many ways. “Music is a good model of auditory learning … It certainly makes sense that the learning of music might transfer to the learning, and just to be a better communicator through language,” Kraus said.

     

    • Kraus studied children in a music program who received five hours of instruction a week. There were no notable improvements after one year but after two years Kraus’ said her team was “able to measure very fundamental, biological changes to auditory processing.”

     

    • Research as not figured out the magic number (also known as the dosage effect) for the number of hours a student music complete in order to reap the benefits.

     

    • Rhythm is important for language as well as music.

     

    • Currently, music curriculum is based on music. Gindin wondered what if teachers based music curriculum on ways to make students better readers and learners such as a  stronger focus on steady beat and pitch differentiation? “Can you image the connections,” Gindin asked.

     

    • Playing in an orchestras or ensembles is one of the few activities where several people are “doing the same thing at once and you all have to agree,” Gindin said. “I think the process of doing that as group creates a sense of confidence.”

     

    • Music has a lasting impact on the brain. Kraus’ team found that older adults who stopped playing music years ago had faster neural timing in response to speech compared to those of the same age group who had not taken music lessons.

     

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    Former Child Soldier Turns To Music

     

    “Music became the place [where] I was able to see heaven.”

     

    If we are fortunate, music is a place to make something beautiful, to be at peace, and to make others happy. For a former child soldier, music became a means of finding a new life.

     

    We listened to an NPR interview with Emmanuel Jal, an actor, musician and peace activist who was kidnapped at 8 years old and forced to be a child soldier for armed groups living in South Sudan. He saw his village burned and was given an AK-47 and told to kill.

     

    Wanting a different life, Jal and 200 others tried to flee. In the end only 16 young boys would survive and Jal was able to receive an education in Kenya thanks to a British aid worker. Transitioning from a life filled with violence, Jal turned to music.

     

    “So through music I was able to dance, I was able to become a child again,” he told NPR. “And I did not know that I was going to be a recording artist. I was doing it for fun because it kept me busy.”

     

    Now living in Canada, Jal is a hip-hop artist up for a major music award and acted in a movie with Reese Witherspoon called “The Good Lie.”

     

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    Music Worth Noting

    So much great music and live performances fill the Internet, it is almost hard to keep track of it all. From the sounds of hip-hop to to the strings of a violin, this is what we have been listening to this week. Enjoy these wonderful sound and share with us what you’re listening to!

     

     

     

    “Glory” by Common and John Legend

    This Academy Award-nominated song is a great fusion of sounds coupled with moving lyrics. It feels like a gospel but has added layers of hip-hop with the rich sound of violins. Listen closely to the lyrics such as, No one can win the war individually / It take the wisdom of the elders and young people’s energy, you might just be moved to tears.

     

    Music Lessons by James Taylor

    As if we needed another reason to love James Taylor! The legendary singer-songwriter can sell out concerts and drive top dollar for one-on-one instruction. Yet, Taylor chose to reach to the masses via YouTube. He created a series that provides guitar instruction and tips to his most loved songs.

     

    Recital by Itzhak Perlman

    Perhaps no other violinist alive is as revered as much as Itzhak Perlman. He’ll make a special appearance next week at the Wall Disney Concert Hall, playing sonatas from Beethoven, Ravel and Greig.

     

     

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

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