SCHOOL OF MUSIC
A monthly newsletter to inform
and entertain our friends
Musicians Have Faster Reactions
A study conducted by the University of Montreal has revealed
that musicians have faster reactions than their non-musical counterparts. The research demonstrated a link between playing
an instrument and improved reactions to non-musical stimuli.
“The idea is to better
understand how playing a musical instrument affects the senses in a way that is not related to music,” said lead author
Pianists, violinists, percussionists, a double bassist and cellists were involved
in the study. All of the musicians began learning an instrument between the ages of 3 and 10. The 19 non-musicians tested
came from the school of speech pathology at University of Montreal.
All participants were asked
to click a mouse each time they sensed a vibration or noise. The musicians performed on average 30 percent better than non-musicians.
This led researchers to suggest that musicians may make the safest drivers.
The findings could
have an impact on treatment for elderly people since it strengthens the evidence that music can help halt mental health decline
in old age. “The more we know about the impact of music on really basic sensory processes, the more we can apply musical
training to individuals who might have slower reaction times,” Landry added.
adds to the body of research demonstrating the benefits to elderly people of music. Last year, findings were published showing
how choir singing helped cancer patients to improve their wellbeing. (Courtesy of CMuse)
to Overcome Inhibitions and Write Your Own Songs
1. Boost your confidence with music theory classes.
not a seasoned musician, it’s a good idea to perfect your musical knowledge and understanding of music theory.
Find a local music school,
instrument teacher, or community college where you can try out a few classes. Spending time on the basics of musical composition
may help you learn additional songwriting techniques and could help make you feel less self-conscious as you begin the writing
2. Take small steps with your songwriting.
get overwhelmed. No one expects you to crank out a hit tune in 30 minutes! Take baby steps in your songwriting. Instead of
writing an entire song, start with composing a simple melody.
Once you’ve got that under your belt, if you haven’t already,
brainstorm some ideas for a few lyrics. As you master each component, slowly put the pieces together to make connected segments.
feedback on your ideas.
At some point, you’ll need to get feedback. Share your
songs with close friends or family members. Ask for input about the sound and the themes they convey.
If you’re not
getting helpful constructive responses from the people in your life, consider joining a songwriting group for a no-pressure
way to have your work peer-evaluated. Observe how other songwriters put their music on display to get more feedback.
songwriting every day.
As you gain more knowledge and skill in your craft, foster
even more creativity by doing songwriting exercises each day. Eventually, you’ll get into a familiar routine, which
could have you generating even more great ideas.
Sticking with a process like this can also lead you to forget about the fear
of opening up and sharing your music.
5. Be open to different subjects and styles.
you can help yourself feel more comfortable writing music and lyrics if you experiment with different types of subjects and
musical styles. This exercise will allow you to flex some creative muscles and stretch your own capabilities.
For example, if you primarily want to write country songs, try writing a rock ballad instead. For those
who want to focus on hip-hop jams, see what happens if you write an old-fashioned standard. If most of your songwriting ideas
are autobiographical, do something that’s centered around someone else. Go for a more fictional approach that creates
a new character in your music.
Being a songwriter can be a scary thing if you aren’t comfortable revealing your thoughts and feelings
to an audience. If you go for it and move outside your comfort zone, you can begin to truly express yourself through song.
(Courtesy of Making Music)
Over 100 recital videos are now on YouTube! Visit "Sweet Sounds for You" to see you and
your friends performing at past recitals!
Recital videos are also available on facebook!