Music History & Facts

Interesting facts about music, music history, etc.

As a music teacher, you probably know how hard it is to get your students motivated to keep
practicing. While parents may push and you may do all you can to encourage, sometimes it just isn’t
enough to get them going. Whenever I’m looking for a good dose of practicing inspiration, I watch a
movie. Here are a few of my favorite movies featuring musicians as protagonists:

1. The Legend of 1900
In this movie based originally on an Italian novel, Tim Roth plays an orphaned piano prodigy who is
born on a cruise ship, where he plays the piano for the ship’s guests. Known only as 1900, the pianist
struggles leaving the ship, being consumed for his love of music and fearful of the world beyond it.
Perhaps the most invigorating part of the movie is where he challenges Jelly Roll Morton to a piano
duel aboard the luxury ocean liner.

2. August Rush [···]

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Apparently “Binaural Beats” are making headlines lately. I have never heard this term before today, but I have been listening to a type of therapeutic music just like this for several years now. I have been a fan of Kelly Howell, a pioneer in digital music therapy, for a couple years now.

Listen people. I am not an expert in this, but I have studied Sound Healing with leading Sound Healer, Wayne Perry, and I have been researching this subject on a weekly basis for over 2 years. Here is my humble take on the freak-out fest:

We all know that music changes the way you feel, right? What if you understood the brain and it’s reaction to music, and you could predict which frequencies and pitches made your brain feel “happy?”Ok, that is what Kelly Howell and many others in this growing field are doing. You put on stereo headphones, listen to this calming music, and if you focus on the music intensely enough, you can go into a deep meditative state. Or you can get “high.” It is all a matter of semantics. Which word do you prefer?

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When I studied voice there was no discussion about what I wanted to study, nor did I ask. My teacher invited me to join her studio after hearing me in a performance, she taught, and I sang. I never questioned the style she was teaching me, the technique, nor the direction we were headed. I just sang.

I too invite students to join my studio whom I believe have great talent by writing them a note and inviting them to come sing with, me as my first teacher did for me. I then invite them for a “preview lesson” to see how we gel together, and then we move forward. However, I differ from my first teacher in that I begin by asking each student what they want out of their lessons, and where they want to go with their voice and their music. [···]

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