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October 2016

A monthly newsletter to inform

and entertain our friends

Why Horror Movie Music Scares Us


Music and film can work wonders together. Musical scores in films such as Jaws and Psycho have a way of instilling viewers with a sense of fear, anxiety and suspense that can’t be reached with visuals alone. Imagine Jaws without the orchestra hits leading up to the shark attack. As dramatic as those scenes are visually, it’s the music that reels in the fear. So what is it about these musical moments that drive our emotions crazy?

According to Neil Lerner, an associate professor of music at Davidson College, the scoring of horror films affects us at a primal level. The repetitious droning, clashing dissonance and random blasts of sound force us to feel alert because there was once a time in our past when these sounds signaled danger. In essence, horror movie music scares us because it tricks our minds into calling forth an instinctual reaction of which we aren’t consciously aware.

Not only do horror films conjure the thought of imminent danger from our past, the individual notes used to produce the sounds mimic the distress calls of animals, which cause an emotional response in humans and other vertebrates. According to Discovery News, a study headed by David Blumstein, the chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCLA, examined how these emotional responses are produced.

Using the soundtracks of 102 films from various genres, Blumstein and his team were able to find what sounds filmmakers used to illicit different responses. For example, dramatic films often feature multiple frequency shifts to change the viewers’ emotional responses to align with the action on the screen. Horror films often feature women screaming, but war and action films primarily had men screaming.

Usually composers create these sounds using an orchestra to play notes that are inconsistent and jarring. However, sometimes filmmakers take it a step further by hiding actual animal calls inside tracks. Animal calls can found in early films such as King Kong all the way up to James Cameron’s 2010 blockbuster Avatar. The team believes these animal calls, in a way, force us to think that our families or children are in danger, which triggers us to feel scared and unsettled. (Courtesy of Modern Notion)

Congratulations to our talented students that performed at the Village of Bloomingdale's 2016 Septemberfest!



National Anthem 








Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again 




Rainbow Connection




Good Morning Baltimore 




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!

We are pleased to send you this monthly issue of our newsletter. It is our way of saying that you are important to us and we truly value your business. Enjoy!
Coming Attractions:




October 15, 2016

Halloween Recital 


December 17, 2016 

Holiday Recital


December 18, 2016

Holiday  Recital




Five reasons why you should take up a musical instrument


1. Improve your health

A range of health benefits have been identified among people playing an instrument, as noted by the BBC in a recently-published guide to the positive effects of making music. One study conducted among older adults taking drumming lessons found that their white blood cell count increased, an important factor in strengthening our immune system. In addition, their moods also were positively influenced.

Research published in 2005 confirmed  that learning to play an instrument helps people to relax. Researchers found that this in turn brought about a positive impact on the immune system.

Relaxation also brings with it emotional benefits, especially when the lives we lead are often hectic. Donn Rochlin, a piano consultant who also runs drumming workshops, explained, “I get accountants, doctors, lawyers who come to my drumming circles and they are so bottled up in their work and all they want to do is hit something. The act of beating on a drum for 30 minutes has a calming effect.”

2. Train your brain

Playing a musical instrument can help guard against cognitive decline in later life and memory loss. This is because musical training has been found to produce additional neural connections within the brain, and this benefit isn’t restricted to people who played an instrument in childhood. Those of us choosing to take up music in adulthood can also gain.

A study conducted by Harvard neurologist Gottfried Schlaug uncovered evidence suggesting that playing an instrument even grows the brain. A group of professional musicians were found to have larger brain volumes than a non-musical group. Schlaug discovered with colleagues in a separate study that after 15 months of musical training in childhood, structural improvements in motor and audio functioning within the brain occur.

3. Learn to manage time and persevere

Learning a musical instrument can be a demanding process. Getting the best out of it requires regular practicing and a determination to stick at it when the results aren’t quite as good as you would like. Effective time management and a willingness to persist, skills which are useful in a variety of life situations, will help in arranging your time to fit this into your daily schedule and then keeping to your plan.

4. Increase your academic abilities

Organization and discipline are valuable assets for academic work, but researchers have found more evidence demonstrating how playing an instrument assists you in this area. According to psychologist Lutz Jäncke, IQ levels can increase by up to seven points among people who play an instrument, and this phenomenon occurs in both children and adults.

A study carried out with children aged 9 and 10 in the US showed that a year of music lessons had a positive impact on their reading ability. While a group of children taking lessons saw their reading ability hold steady, the abilities of those within a group receiving no music lessons fell. Musically trained children also did better at processing sounds and language.

5. Become a better listener

It may seem rather obvious to suggest that playing the piano is going to help with this. However, there a a number of less evident rewards to be gained.

Jäncke pointed to evidence that better listening among musicians helped them to be more emotionally aware of people’s feelings, which they were able to identify more quickly by the tone of their voices. This argument is supported by research from Yale University revealing a link between appreciating emotional expression in music and understanding emotion in everyday settings. (Courtesy of CMUSE)

Welcome to all of our new students!


Lorelei Kurowski – Ukulele with Josh Foutch

Luisa Frackiewicz – Guitar with Josh Foutch

Isabella Hernandez – Piano with Audrey Dobbs

Laney McGrath – Violin with Kathleen Gaiden

Frank Maturo – Voice with Madeline McCord

Jake Babula – Guitar with Josh Foutch

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