Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of Hip Hop

I remember waking up excited as hell back in 94 because I knew i was gonna eat breakfast and pop in my “Ready to Die” tape or my “36 Chambers” and just get lost. To me those were days when Hip Hop music was at its peak. Albums had substance and storyline. The artists, though usually exaggerated for marketing purposes, had real life stories to tell. These stories were vivid and drew you into their world. I was inspired. It was the time when I said to myself “stop playin around with these rhymes and take this seriously”.
Even then, all the way in little Barbados (you may think we’re detached and out of the way but we are very developed and up-to-date with everything, and have been for a while) I was encouraged by the energy and spirit of Hip Hop to want to be something larger than life. I was inspired to look beyond what my society mapped out as a normal path to follow. It confirmed for me that my creative spirit could not be extinguished. From then until now music has been my greatest strength (and at times my greatest weakness).
Now Hip Hop to me has become a shadow of its former self. Not to discredit the progress made in terms of commercial success and pop culture acceptance of course. However, something is missing and I’m not sure what it is. I’m not even sure if it’s just that I’m from a particular era and as such I’m just a bit resistant to change. Still it weighs on me from time to time. Seems now like there is less originality and more tendency to follow an accepted pattern. A lot of MCs out there sound the same. Everyone wants to be Hov, Drake or Wayne. Where are the ones who would dare to stand out? The Busta Rhymes’,the ODBs, the De La Souls and Tribe Called Quests? Seems to me like its a battle. Style vs Substance and style is winning. To the detriment of a culture perhaps? Where is the mainstream love for the other tenets of Hip hop culture? Instead of the wholesale exploitation of beautiful black women in videos, how about showcasing the talent of Graffiti writers?
It is true that all things must change and evolve but the energies we use to create our realities must not be tainted and degraded in the name of so called progress. Let those who bring genuine portions of their own truths to the game consistently be continually blessed and let those who don’t learn to understand themselves and their role.
Peace

How to Choose Healing Music

Sound healing is an ancient art. Evidence of its use is found all around the world in places like The Grange. Monks chanted to reach God, tribes across the globe participated (and still do) in trace rhythms. Old records tell us of the divinary work of the Bee Priestesses who created a sound much like the hum or a bee hive to stimulate with inner sensing. Sound for healing has been brought forward from the past and is alive and well.
In the past few decades, many artists have studied sound and its ability to heal. Through the works of the greats like Lynn Redmon, Jonathan Goldman, even Mozart, We now have music disks with binaural beats, the instruments of old like the didgeridoo and the newly created like drum beds and crystal singing bowls, even Mozart for Babies. Meditation and soothing music can be found in most discount stores and internet radio.
They all tap into the theory of sound and its ability to heal by aligning the energy system within and surrounding the physical body. From the cupping of hands to perform body percussion to clear lungs to the rat-a-tat-tat of the drum during a drumming circle, they all use various ways of aligning the energy systems of the body.
If your desire is to create Harmony and tap into the Spiritual Plane, use music written and performed with harps, higher strings like the violin, the higher registers of the organ and piano and wind chimes. This music will stimulate higher levels of clairvoyance, visualization and cosmic consciousness. If you need to pray for healing, play this music to speed your prayers skyward. Try music in the Keys of B and A to help reach the Christ consciousness, to inspire and to clear your sinuses and relieve your headaches. This music will sooth your nerves and helps with skeletal problems and insomnia.
During healing sessions play the music of flutes, woodwinds, lower strings the lower registers of the piano and the organs base pedals. Didgeridoo music is also appropriate here.These instruments stimulate intuition and creativity and speed healing. The Keys of G, F and E not only inspire, balance and relaxation, but they will help heal digestions (E) heart issues (F) and fevers, asthma, thyroid and sore throats (G).
For the Emotional and Physical Plane find music that has bass tones (not the bass volume turned up to 10), percussion, brass instruments and the piano. Here you will increase creativity and charge the Kundalini. Their areas of healing are: the muscles, reproductive organs, emotional balance, circulation blood pressure, and colds. Just tune in to Keys D and Middle C.
While there are many ways to stimulate healing through music, choosing the right music, the right instruments and music written in the proper key will help hone done the normal effect so that you get focused healing in the areas that are needed.

Concert Tickets Are a Great Gift As Well As Being a Great Way to Treat Yourself – Find Loads Online!

As a gift or as a way to treat yourself, concert tickets are ideal. There are literally hundreds of things to choose from such as films, music, theatre and even events and experiences. Just remember that buying concert tickets takes time if you want to get yourself a great deal.
It doesn’t matter what you are seeking, it shouldn’t be difficult to buy items that are within your tastes. There are plenty of options for sale in today’s market that you’ll easily find what you want. It can sometimes be tough to select what is ideal for your requirements.
You’ll have to take time when you’re searching in shops to ensure that you are getting a good deal. There is usually a lot of variety to choose from and you may find it hard to make decisions. If that’s how you feel then you should definitely read more to figure out how to choose the perfect items for your requirements.
You’ll also need to set yourself a budget so that you don’t spend too much. Firstly you will need to consider the type of product you want. This will be an essential aspect of your conclusions so ensure you read about what you’re looking for ahead of paying for anything. You’ll have to be conscious of all things up for sale on the market so take your time while you’re browsing the internet.
You will then need to consider the concert tickets you’re out to get. There are loads of options available on the net but you’ll need to consider your ideal needs. Take it slow when you buy on the web and make sure that you don’t over use your money on a product that is not worth it.
You will simply find concert tickets on today’s market – make sure you know what you want. Have a browse on several websites and see what you can find. If you perform several searches in Google you will surely be confronted with lots of offers and deals that are valuable.

How Easy is it to Compose My Own Music?

For the experienced piano player, composing their own music can be a great new challenge, and if you can play the piano already, then there is really no reason not to. Whilst it’s true it can be daunting, we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions that always seem to come up when people begin to contemplate writing their own music.
Is it easy to compose piano music?
When you are just starting out, then you will need to begin at the beginning. Composing your own piano music is as easy or as difficult as you want to make it. This sounds a fatuous thing to say, but you need to start writing music for beginners, and then work your way up to a more expert level. If you do this, then your skills will develop along with the standard of music that you write.
How beneficial is composing for my own playing?
The more you learn about writing, and as your skills develop, then the more aware you will become of the intrinsic workings of the music, and what the original composer intended. When you understand the inner workings of the music, then your understanding of playing it will also improve. Thinking and feeling like a composer can only be good for your own playing.
If I compose my own music, will my music reading improve?
As you are thinking like a composer rather than just a player, then you will find it more and more easier to understand music that you may have balked at before. As you progress, and begin to notate your own music, then you will be amazed at how much easier you find it when it comes to reading complicated music.
Should I use manuscript paper?
If you are working on a budget, then it’s worth bearing in mind that notating sheet music is as expensive or as cheap as you make it. You can buy an expensive notation program, or you can use normal everyday paper – it’s really up to you – what you find easier to use and also what you want to spend. If you are just starting out, then I would strongly suggest that you begin the way it has been done for centuries – a pencil and a blank piece of paper. Some of the best composers even today simply jot down musical ideas on a plain piece of white paper after drawing five lines by hand.
Setting aside ten or fifteen minutes of practice to making your own music, If you practice for thirty minutes each day, can really help your general standard improve. Another great benefit of making your own music comes through the fact that it can be a wonderful addition to your practice routine.

The Best iPhone Apps For Musicians

The iPhone is an amazing device with many practical uses and applications. For musicians especially, the iPhone features many handy apps that can be used for on the go music making. The following iPhone apps are great for any musician, whether they’re just a curious novice or a pro.
iDrum This iPhone app gives musicians a portable drum machine. There are a handful of different editions (hip-hop, rock, club, and more) of the app with new preset kits to satisfy any musician’s taste. iDrum turns the iPhone into a step sequencer, where users can create different beats and string them together into a song. Musicians can edit their beats on the fly and at just $4.99 this app is a valuable tool for musical iPhone users.
GuitarToolkit Every guitarist with an iPhone should buy this wonderful app. Musicians in need of a portable tuner, metronome, or chord dictionary will find all they need in the iPhone GuitarToolkit. Having all these tools accessible in one small iPhone app is very convenient. Any musician can appreciate this app for just $9.99, with an even cheaper Lite version also available.
Vocoder Synthesizer SV 5 This app gives musicians a powerful synthesizer on the go. Amazingly, it features a fully functioning vocoder (giving users a robot-like voice they can play on the iPhone screen). This app utilizes the iPhon’s microphone, so the vocoder will only work for iPhone users. Amazingly, this app allows users to save and upload patches they create to share with other iPhone musicians. This app really utilizes all of the iPhone’s capabilities, and lets musicians explore complex sounds with an onboard keyboard, recorder, and real-time filters. For an iPhone app, this is a little pricey at $16.99 but musicians will really appreciate the app’s many editable features.
Band Band is a fun app for the iPhone that can serve as a handy tool to musicians. The Band app features a playable two octave piano keyboard, a guitar and a bass. Musicians can use this app to play musical ideas at the moment they strike, so they won’t forget the great melodies they come up with. This app also includes a 3×4 drum pad allowing musicians to lay down beats on their iPhone. The best part is Band can record musicians’ ideas (even using an optional click track). At $3.99, this iPhone app is both fun and affordable. Karajan For real musicians, Karajan is an extremely useful app for the iPhone. This app lets musicians practice ear training, a valuable skill that requires time and practice. The app plays musical intervals or scales and prompts the iPhone user to identify them by ear. Chord identification is also a useful app feature for musicians. Musicians studying music theory will find this app turns their iPhone into a powerful teaching tool. Although iPhone users have to pay $14.99 for the full app, there is a free version for beginners.
These apps make portable music making affordable and fun. Any musician knows that inspiration can strike at any moment, and now it can be captured on an iPhone. The convenience of these tools makes any one of the apps a great addition to a musician’s iPhone.

The Benefits of Discipline in Music

Many people think of discipline as something negative, associating it with punishment. It actually derives from a Latin word that meant teaching or instruction. Discipline is beneficial and necessary. It also includes the factor of control. With discipline, one learns patience, enhances creativity, gains insight, joy and a sense of accomplishment.
We commonly hear that practice makes perfect. But in music, the fallacy with this is the notion that all one simply needs to do is play the piece over and over to practice it. While repetition is important and necessary, it is not enough. Learning music is much more involved than that, and is too comprehensive, of course, to cover in an article. But let me touch upon a few stable points (mostly from European and Russian schools of practice) to give an orientation as to proper practice and why discipline is such a key factor to it. The majority of virtuosos, prodigies, word-class performers and professional musicians apply these.
For example, let’s take classical piano. Of course we all know about routinely doing scales and arpeggios before practice sessions, but that’s too basic. Practicing each hand separately helps focus and strengthen that component. Practicing at a much slower tempo secures the mastery of the piece. Most musicians, who haven’t practiced that way, when asked to play slowly, won’t be able to, believe it or not; they’ve been operating on an automaticity instead of mastering and controlling their piece. Lots of world-class pianists even practice with a metronome up until the last minutes before a concert. There are also techniques related to gaps, jumps, runs, chords and passages, but these are too many to mention here. But know that the majority or all of these methods are applied regularly by the real pros. They became great because they were taught music properly.
To illustrate a real-life example, a famous and ingenious musician was seen practicing before a major recital that day at an extremely slow tempo, unemotionally (conserving it for his performance) for nearly seven hours straight. One automatically assumes that such a legend should simply waltz onto stage, sit on the piano bench, and give the performance of a lifetime. Well, he did. But the reason he did was because of the true discipline that led up to that.
One might think these methods of discipline are tedious and frustrating. It might sound like using a dry metronome or practicing a piece in an unemotional, detached way would kill creativity. But quite the contrary. These techniques challenge the musician to gain control and mastery and not to just play “automatically”. Rather, he has his own freedom of expression; real artistry blossoms. Perhaps, this might even be the reason why music is proven to raise IQ.
Music theory elements should be incorporated as well. And if elements of Movement Education, as covered in previous articles of mine, are also applied, then the results would be magical. One’s artistic mastery would be replete, like a seven-course fine meal.
by Evelyn Simonian
A© 2012. Evelyn Simonian

5 Steps to Creating a Video Slideshow for Your Website

The most surprising part of creating a video slideshow is, that neither of the methods I’m going to outline require that you have a camera or that you stand in front of one. At first blush, it may seem complicated. However, once you break it down into individuals processes the segments are easy to accomplish.A There are indeed 5 steps to completing this process, but a few avenues to get there.
So, A I want to share the two “user-friendly” methods that have proven to be easy and fun to do. The first of these is the simplest. When you make a visit to Animoto.com, you can compose a thirty second short film with a soundtrack. All this made from a combination of photographs and music that they have on their site. This is a free service that Animoto provides.
When you add to this, the ability to add text to punctuate the pictures, you have an instant video in a form suitable for the silent silver screen. There is also the added flexibility of uploading any of the elements from your own computer. You can even add video clips to the finished product. Should you want to make your feature a “talkie”, however, the application can’t take it that far.
This is where the next application that I would like to suggest comes in. It can do voice-over and is the baby brother of Camtasia. I would like to introduce Jing. Both programs are made by the same company. One simply has more bells and whistles than the other. In a project that you create with Jing you can do voice-over, screen capture, record capability, and quite a few other features that will make your presentation shine.
If you want the video ever to be seen, your task will be to compose an intriguing title. If your title can make the viewer ask themselves at least two questions, then you’ve garnered a captive audience. In most cases, you’ll be expected to deliver what the title promises the audience. So, be ready to do that. Only in rare instances can the title can be misleading and you still have the audience’s forgiveness. I don’t recommend that you try this very often unless you can pull it off very well.
Next, you must decide if you want to entertain or educate your audience. In the case of the former, your video should tend to a shorter length. Thirty seconds to a minute and A a half length is required in that type of video to maintain attention span. For education, you have a longer threshold to work with, A but that video has to be filled to the brim with content. A I advocate five to seven minutes with music, but stick to nine without. You would think it to be the opposite, but the presence of music signifies entertainment, hence affording you less time A to play with.
Even without voice-over, you should have a script or storyboard for each project. This enables you to have a plan of forward motion and will signify when you’ve gotten there. Which brings us to the fourth and fifth ingredients, having your own pictures and music to round out the program. There are loads of sites where you can get digital pictures royalty-free and cost free. Don’t you love the information age? The same follows for music, it only requires that you take some time and know what you are looking for.
Some of the solutions to your video problems are easier than others. Brush the dust off that left side of the brain and get the creative juices flowing.Let your creativity run free and engage the audience that your focus is trained on.

Music Teaching Software For a More Creative and Extensive Curriculum

Music teachers need to know and realize how many music teaching software out there can develop their educational institution’s curriculum and enhance their teaching strategies without overspending and working so hard. If you are interested in learning the significance and feasibility of specific programs for music teachers, read on and see for yourself.
In music education, curriculum development needs some innovations, upgrades and reliable music teaching software to meet the needs and demands of the learners and to also achieve our academic goals as music educators and private music studio administrators. With the generation of learners that we have today, music teachers like us need to exert and invest our time, money, efforts and other resources to a more creative and extensive curriculum.
Curriculum development is primarily defined as the process of systematic planning of what is basically taught, learned, adopted and understood in academic institutions as anticipated and reflected in different courses of study and school programs or activities. Such curriculum is considered as an official document intended for guidance, enhancement and betterment of various subjects and areas of traditional and innovative education.
Through intensive and comprehensive research, consistent evaluation and critical analysis, curricula have been effective and reliable tools in providing a specific guideline for the set of learning activities that are being undertaken our students. Most educators around the globe frequently revise and update their course or experiment with new approaches to make the teaching and learning process more effective and a lot of fun. However, systematic curriculum review of a program has to be strictly observed and implemented; so, experienced professionals, music education experts and curriculum enthusiasts make use of all the possible resources and means as well as take the necessary actions to make all these things happen.
Monitoring, assessing and implementing curricular change, music teachers alike tend to find great ways to improve their curriculum, better, more effective and useful to both ends, the music educators and their learners as well. Automatic databases, updates and other related activities through music teaching software are possible nowadays since technology, convenience and effectiveness are working hand-in-hand without putting quality of music education at risks.
Relevant activities such as conceptualizing, planning, implementing, field testing, and researching that are intended to produce new curricula or improve existing ones are consistently and regularly being adopted and administered for these purposes:
o Curriculum adaptation
o Curriculum improvement
o Curriculum planning
o Curriculum reform
o Curriculum reorganization
o Curriculum revisions
o Educational development
o Academic excellence
o Quality of education
Among these reasons and purposes, educational development, excellence and quality have dominated and summed it all to their optimal peaks. Music teaching software have been great and effective resources of creative and innovative strategies and techniques in taking music to a higher level. Music teaching and learning can always be truly fun, exciting and interesting through different ways.
Getting the most reliable, inventive and motivating activities for effective and innovative music education can be right at the fingertips of the music teachers like you. All you’ve got to do is find the best music teaching software for you and see great results and satisfying outcome. Good luck!

Learn How to Read Guitar Sheet Music in Just a Few Easy Steps

Learning how to read guitar sheet music helps expand guitar playing expertise. Playing by ear can only get a person so far. The best thing to do when learning how to read guitar sheet music is to take it step by step.
The first step is to find the right material. Most guitar books have basic music and songs in the beginning to help in reading music quickly. Once the basics are met and mastered, it is time to start trying to play. Start in small sections, using one chord at a time. Use the guitar to play the chord out loud until knowing that it is correct.
The next step is to get into the right setting. The right setting is a quiet room without any distractions, because loud street music or children screaming can make it difficult to hear if the chord sounds right or not. Concentration is the key when it comes to learning how to read guitar sheet music.
Now it is time to finally get started. After finding a music book with sheet music, try to pick out an easy, familiar song to play. Doing this makes things much easier. After all, a person needs confidence in order to play a song well.
The final step is to just keep practicing. Practice makes perfect as the old saying goes. The best thing is for a person to enjoy what they are doing in order to do well. There is no point in learning how to play a guitar if it is not going to be enjoyed.

Improve Memory With Games And Music

Steps to improve your memory can be done with simple games, music, exercise or reading activity on a regular basis. To refrain from getting frustrated and discouraged it’s a great idea to use different ideas to improve memory daily.
Using creative ideas and activities will exercise your brain and improve memory by leaps and bounds. Keeping physical and mental fit is of extreme importance and a great way is to memorize events that goes on during the day.
Sports events can really trigger ideas and maybe you could try to remember names of your favorite players in the last few seasons on the hockey team,football team or other.
Maybe you enjoy the game shows on TV and can attempt to answer the questions to see if you answer them correctly.
Or you could spend more time reading and remembering names of the people involved in the story. What kind of work they do or business they have who are they married to and so on.
If you enjoy music you could take up a new instrument and learn to play by ear if you know how to play by notes or the other way around.Either way your memory will improve as you learn new things
Take up a dance class and learn new dance steps.Get in shape at the same time since dancing is a great exercise physically as well as mentally.
Stay focused on your daily routines and observe what goes in your immediate surroundings. Keep stats on your progress and your memory will improve.