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So You Want to be President? Learn to Play a Musical Instrument!
President Harry S. Truman, the man in the White House when the United States intervened on behalf of the millions of innocent people who were being displaced and massacred by Hitler's Nazi Germany, claimed to have practiced his piano lessons for two hours every morning during his childhood. Likewise, President Warren Harding was said to be able to play every instrument except the trombone and the clarinet. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) played the organ. Of course we all remember President Clinton and his saxophone, but did you know that President Nixon was an accomplished pianist?
And more recently a girl who was a musician long before she became an academic and then a world-famous diplomat, our own globetrotting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is a very accomplished classical pianist. As she was growing up in the Rice home music was a family affair, and as early as age 3 Condi played piano at family gatherings. Her Dad was a minister and she often accompanied her organist Mother in church. The name "Condoleezza" is from the Italian phrase con dolcezza, which refers to playing music "with sweetness." While other kids in her neighorhood were playing outdoors, she was more likely to be found practicing the piano or reading a book.
The list goes on, but the real question is why do people with musical training tend to achieve more in life? There are differing theories about that, but studies have shown a direct correlation between music and the brain's ability to adapt to the world around it. One such test showed that people that had listened to just ten minutes of Mozart's "Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major" and then took a spatio-temporal reasoning test (which is a part of a standardized intelligence test) scored 48% higher than the control group while a second study done at the University of California, Irvine on what has been called the "Mozart Effect" shows a increased IQ score of nine points.
In another study the Bulgarian psychologist George Lozanov discovered that playing Baroque instrumental music in the background had a profound effect on student's ability to learn and retain a foreign language. The key is that highly structured, highly organized music seems to help the human brain to function in a more organized and efficient manner while further studies have shown that discordant music actually has a negative effect on the brain.
Studying music is the perfect way to derive its benefits. At least one study has shown that young children can gain the spatio-temporal reasoning effects mentioned above just by learning to play the piano or organ. Likewise, through the study of music we have the discipline of practice to expose us to great music regardless of our age. Besides for the effect of the music, studying music teaches discipline and the relationship between hard work and reward and there is little in life more rewarding than to hear beautiful music coming forth as a result of one's own effort.
"Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them - a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music." - Gerald Ford, former President, United States of America
Duane Shinn is the author of over 500 music books and products such as DVD's, CD's, musical games for kids, chord charts, musical software, and piano lesson instructional courses for adults. He holds advanced degrees from Southern Oregon University and was the founder of Piano University in Southern Oregon. He can be reached at http://www.chordpiano.com. He is the author of the popular free 101-week e-mail newsletter titled "Amazing Secrets Of Exciting Piano Chords & Sizzling Chord Progressions" with over 56,650 current subscribers. Those interested may obtain a free subscription by going to http://www.playpiano.com
Piano Playing For Adults: More Fun Than Sex And Not Nearly As Dangerous!
OK, so I lied about the fun part.
Just 3 Chords? No Way!
A student wrote me an email about the lesson "Ocean Dreams." Here it is:
New M3 with Competition Package
The new competition package available for the BMW M3 is almost sad as it is wonderful. With everyone knowing of the strong rumors of the M3's power plant changing to a V8, it's almost heart breaking to think about the legendary straight 6 cylinder being laid to rest. The competition package has many pretty neat extras that give the beamer something to beam about.
Prepare for the Master (CD Mastering)
Many artists are still confused as to what goes on during a mastering session. This article will try to shed some light on the last step before fame and riches (well, at least the last step before duplication), and help you with preparing your music before sending to a mastering studio.
New Age Music - What Is It Good For?
Let's face it. The world will not end if there isn't another new age music CD on the market. So why bother? Why play when most people don't care or want to hear the kind of music you like? The answer lies in the nature of art itself, for the world really does not need art. It can survive without painting, sculpture or music. It can survive, but it would be a pretty dreary place.
One Way to Improve Your Music Journalist Relationship
Boy, I really detest how some people do websites. Bands are some of the worst. Seems like any band that wants to look "professional" feels they must create a website using pop-ups and flash. Why? Cuz that's what the Majors do?
How to Start Your Own Band
Every once in awhile a guitar student will express a desire to be in a band someday.If this is your ambition too, then read on. Whether you're a guitar player or not doesn't really matter. If you are a talented singer or musician then the question is, do YOU want to be in a band? In this article you will find some helpful ideas on how to get started in that direction.
Jealous Again - Jealousy Among Musicians
Jealousy ? do you feel it? Do you sense it in others? Does it hinder your relationships with other musicians? Does it sap your confidence? Does it block your creativity? Here are some questions to help you get clearer about the jealousy in your life.
How Many Guitar Chords Do I Need To Know?
Guitar chords, (chords played specifically on a guitar,) differ only from other types of chords by virtue of instrument; they're simply a series of three or more notes played together. These notes don't necessarily have to be played simultaneously, however.
Pakistani Pop Music
Pakistan is blessed with talent and when we talk about Pakistani Music, you can never stop picking up one of the best Pakistani pop song uptill now because there are number of such hit songs nobody can judge the best one in past decades such as "Dil Dil Pakistan" , "Huwa Huwa", "Mehndi ki Raat", "Na Kaho", "Dil Haray", "Ankhain Milanay Walay", "Wakt", "Neeli Neeli Ankhain", "Jaisay Chao Jeo", "Garuj Burus", "No More", "Ankhoun ki Sagar", "Na Tu Aigi", "Addat" left the audience agape and many more. Our artists' are popular all over the world. Many new talented artists in Pakistan are still working hard to bring quality Pakistani music.
Creating Caverns - an Improvisation Exercise
In a recent post to my Yahoo group, I mentioned that I created the piece "Caverns" using one chord. I'd like to explain how I accomplished this.
How to Compose Using ABA Form
ABA form is like a musical sandwich. You have the 2 slices of bread with the contrasting meat and cheese on the inside. Instead of bread and meat, you use musical materials. Perhaps an 8-bar phrase for the A section followed by a 4 or 8-bar phrase for the B section. A nice little musical sandwich.
Micing a Kick Drum
This months tip deals with micing kick drums.
Musical Improvisation Basics - Four Strategies For Playing Wrong Notes
While it probably doesn't seem like this would help - let's face it - if you are unwilling to play a lot of wrong notes, you're never going to learn how to do anything hard. And improvising is hard! It isn't something that you can do safely, with the assurance that you will look good while trying to get good at it. You won't look good. You won't sound good -- and the sooner you realize this, the sooner you will be able to do something of real value.
Creating Stark Atmospheres
One of the things New Age pianist George Winston is known for is what he can do with just a few notes. In fact, in his piece Colors/Dance from the CD "Autumn" he uses an ostinato pattern in his left hand to create a wonderful stark mood.
Living Life Loud
Change is good. Just ask the millions of unsigned artists worldwide trying to get their music heard. Since the music industry is changing drastically, unsigned musicians are able to make their music available to listeners. Record labels are realizing new techniques need to be created in order to promote music, and find new talent.
CD Review: Amber - My Kind of World
Pop/Rock Recording Artist Amber, who has scored seven #1 Billboard Hits (and 3 more Top Tens) in her Career, including "If You Could Read My Mind", "This is Your Night" and "Sexual (Li Da Di)", is back! And she does not disappoint! "My Kind of World" marks the beginning of a new stage in Amber's career. Like Janet Jackson before her, Amber has taken complete creative "control" on this new project and the result is an artistic triumph with huge commercial appeal!
Performance and Gigs
"For optimum amp tone onstage, plug your amp into your own AC outlet.." - Eric Johnson
Canadian Stars: The Marble Index and the Waking Eyes
Canadian Indie bands are dominating the music scene and it just so happened that three of them took over the Rivoli on Queen St. for a night of true entertainment. Boy, The Marble Index and The Waking Eyes all performed for free at an event that was hosted by BenQ called the Video Sound Tour. Unfortunately I was unable to make it for the West Coast natives Boy who were the openers for the show but was told that they were great but lacking the entertaining factor.
Automatic Control of Chords
CORRECT PRACTICE IS INDISPENSABLE!
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