Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Songs That Get Stuck In Your Head

When was the last time you had music stuck in your head?  Is there a song in there now?

As a musician, the likelihood that we're hearing music in our heads is high since we're programming our brains to run through the same melodies over and over again through practicing.  And our brains are actually practicing when that is happening.  Cool, huh?

An earworm is different though.  An earworm is something you can't control.  And you don't have to
be a musician to have them.  How many times have you been walking along, and your footsteps happen to be the exact bpm (beats per minute) of the song from a commercial you heard on TV earlier that day - and before you know it, you're singing along, walking to the beat.  That sounds kind of nice, right?  Well, how about later, when you're sitting down to dinner, or to do your homework and it is STILL there?  Or when you're trying to fall asleep that night?  Or even..... when you wake up in the morning?!

Here is a fun little background on ear worms, including the science behind them and even multiple examples of pretty famous ear worms.

(My husband just had to get up and close his office door as I'm listening to these fun melodies saying, "Do you know how hard it is to write intelligently when you have, 'I am stuck on Bandaid brand, 'cause Bandaid's stuck on me' stuck in your head?!")

Between now and the start of the fall semester, students of mine should first listen to and read about ear worms by clicking on the link above and then jot down any earworms they have in the next month their music notebook as well as what they did to get RID of them.  Be prepared to discuss this in September's group classes!

Doodle-oodle-oop, Inspector Gadget.....

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Summer Contest - 2013

All students of mine at Sherwood or FaithSlaker Music:

I hope you're all having a great summer so far!  Care to show us all what you can accomplish on your own?  

This summer there are two contests.  The first contest is to compose your own piece of music and perform it via video.  You do not need to write it down.  Decide what the mood of the piece is and use as many piano techniques that I've taught you as you feel like!  The second contest is to learn and perfect a piece entirely on your own.  This may not be a piece we have previewed in lesson and it may not be a part of the Suzuki repertoire if you are a Suzuki student.  The piece needs to be performed with beauty and accuracy, but does not need to be memorized.  As always, winners will be selected based on accomplishment within their playing level, musical expression and daring choice. 

Entries must be received by midnight on August 30th (via youtube, vimeo or mp4) and winners will be announced via blog/twitter/facebook on Labor Day.  There will be one winner and one runner up for each category (composition or repertoire) and the winners will be awarded fun sheet music to work on in lessons as well as the privilege of having their performance shared and admired.  The winner of the composition contest will be able to play his/her composition in the next studio recital. 

Now, head on over to the piano, warm up with your performance pieces, and see what you can do!  I look forward to watching all the entries!

Spring Achievement Program Participants

Congratulations go out to Fiona and Declan, who after doing the fall Royal Conservatory of Music assessments, hunkered down, practiced hard, and participated in the spring assessments!

They both did a really wonderful job and are creating a solid trail of their musical education with an esteemed nationwide program.  If you're interested in learning more about the program yourself, please let me know and we can discuss how your child can benefit from participation!