Archive for May, 2011

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The Importance of Early Musical Involvement: A Retrospective

May 31, 2011
Santa Teresa High School  Jazz Band

Image by San Jose Library via Flickr

Article by: Devin Grant

Music. For many of us, imagining a world without it is unthinkable, almost tantamount to losing a part of ourselves. But while music is now so clearly a part of our lives in one way or another, it’s important to remember the gifts that it has given us along the way, and the benefits that it can bestow early in life. Finding myself working with music for the summer has made me think back on all of the ways that music has affected my life to this point, and being thankful for that past I feel the need to share these benefits, in the hope that young (potential) musicians can experience the same friendly, supportive helping hand that music has granted me.

Academic Benefits

In this section I aim to speak not from personal experience (that would be a tad pompous) but from the much more persuasive statistics. Many studies have shown a strong correlation between participation in music and academic success, particularly in mathematics. The links aren’t hard to find; it doesn’t take much effort to connect rhythms and fractions, mathematical formulae can be (and have been) written to mimic melodies, and the complexities of a skilled composition are mirrored in the many facets of a complicated equation. However, the academic benefits are not limited simply to mathematics; one study conducted in Southern California showed that students involved in musical extra-curricula’s such as band or choir on average had a GPA over half a point higher than their non-musical counterparts. Some studies have gone as far as to say that music majors have the highest SAT scores in all areas (as a math major I find that hard to believe, but we’ll leave it to the experts). Regardless, it is undeniable that music positively impacts academic success and it’s not hard to see why. Between building analytical skills from reading and understanding musical scores, to the work ethic gained by the necessity of regular practice, music teaches children many important skills for academia.

Social Benefits

While a somewhat obvious benefit, this certainly merits mention considering its importance. Anyone who has been involved in musical groups can tell you that it is practically unavoidable that you will make new friends through music. Many of my friendships started and matured through music, resulting in some of my very closest friends, as well as having friends living all across the country. They say that an important part of a friendship is having common interests, and when meeting through music this first requirement is already met. Regular practices as well as performances and other occasions provide the perfect grounds to foster a new friendship. Speaking from personal experience, music offers a venue for many otherwise shy, introverted people to break out of their shell. Whether it be playing solos, belting out a spectacular note, or simply performing as part of a group, music allows these people to make themselves heard in a venue where they can feel accepted and comfortable with themselves.

Personal Benefits

This is perhaps one of the more overlooked benefits granted by musical involvement. As mentioned in the previous section, music offers a place where people can begin to express themselves socially and break out of their shell. What comes with this opportunity is a means to grow as a person, especially where confidence is involved. I for one was very unconfident throughout my elementary and junior high school years, until jazz band, choir, and musical theatre performances gave me a chance to push myself into roles that I had never seen myself filling up to that point, making solo performances and even resulting in performing a 60’s love song in a white tuxedo (anyone who knows me well remembers this event, whether fondly or not is a point of contention). It’s hard to find a medium other than music that allows someone to push and improve themselves as much as music does. Of course emotionally, music has always been an incredibly important mode of self-expression, whether one is performing, composing, or simply listening. The connection between music and the human psyche is one of the strongest there is, and having music as a part of one’s life is truly a gift at a time filled with emotional turmoil. They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but often the way to your own heart is through your ears.

Despite everything written above, the effect music can have on a young person truly can’t be expressed in words. Those of us who have lived it know how it feels, and we can only hope that many more of future generations will experience it for themselves. My message to today’s youth: play early, and play often.

Related Articles:

http://www.childrensmusicworkshop.com/advocacy/studentdevelopment.html (Children’s Music Workshop)

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Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council Announces new Chair

May 30, 2011

May 30, 2011, St. John’s, NL – The Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (NLAC) is pleased to announce that Tom Gordon has been elected as its new Chair.

Gordon is a professor of music at Memorial University. From 2000 to 2010 he served as the director of the School of Music there. A music historian by training, Gordon remains a pianist at heart and is frequently heard at the piano as an accompanist to singers. His performances have been broadcast by both the French and English networks of CBC in concerts from the “Music at Memorial” (St. John’s) and “Musique chez nous” (Sherbrooke, Québec) recital series. Gordon’s musicological research has focused on early modernism: Stravinsky and on the French avant-garde of the early twentieth century. A more recent research interest has centred on Moravian music in the Inuit communities of coastal Labrador.

Prior to adopting Newfoundland and Labrador as his home, Gordon held teaching and administrative positions at Bishop’s University and the Ontario College of Art (now OCAD University). He was for a time, director of Centennial Theatre in Lennoxville Québec and co-founder and artistic director of Sherbrooke’s new music collective, Ensemble Musica Nova.

“Newfoundland and Labrador’s creative vitality is arguably its most important natural resource,” says Gordon. “I look forward to working with artists, communities and government to assure that this wellspring of creativity continues to bring distinction to the province and enrichment to its people.”

Gordon was first appointed to the NLAC as a music representative in 2008.

The co-vice chairs of the NLAC are Derek Norman (film representative) and Randall Maggs (writing representative).

Media enquiries:

Janet McDonald
Communications Officer
Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council
(709) 726-2212
jmcdonald@nf.aibn.com
www.nlac.nf.ca
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Paul Delong Drum Clinic, Monday, May 30 • 7:30pm – 9:00pm at the Capital Hotel

May 30, 2011

Monday, May 30 • 7:30pm – 9:00pm at the Capital Hotel, 208 Kenmount Road, St. John’s, NL
Free Admission. Doors open at 7:00. Limited seating.

Best known for his multi-platinum success with rock artist Kim Mitchell, Paul has forged a career which encompasses funk, fusion, jazz and latin, working with such diverse artists as Tom Scott, Domenic Troiano, David Blamires, Lawrence Gowan, Carlos Del Junco, Carol Welsman, Dave Restivo, Nick “Brownman” Ali, Colm Wilkinson, Doug Riley, Hilario Duran, David Clayton Thomas, Roger Hodgson and The Canadian Tenors to name a few.

As a… Juno award winner and respected session player Paul has performed at P.I.T. and the N.A.M.M. shows in L.A., twice at the Montreal Drumfest and at the Cape Breton Drumfest. He is one of SABIAN cymbals most popular and effective clinicians.

Always active on the studio scene, Paul has recorded numerous jingles and worked on TV shows such as Degrassi Junior High, Top Cops, Counterstrike, E.N.G. and more recently, How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? He can also be heard on the new Hockey Night In Canada theme.

Paul has taught part-time at Humber College in Toronto for the past 23 years and written several articles for Modern Drummer magazine. He also taught and performed at KOSA 2010. His new book “DeLong Way” To Polyrhythmic Creativity On The Drumset is now being distributed worldwide by Hudson Ltd. In 1994 Paul became involved in musical theatre, first subbing on shows such as Tommy, Joseph and Rent in Toronto, and then touring across Canada and the U.S. with those same productions. He was the first sub on the Toronto production of The Lion King for three and a half years and in 2004 was first chair for the musical Hairspray. Next came Hair in 2006 and Peter Pan in 2007.

Paul’s fusion band The Code has 3 CDs, the last release being “Mianca”.

Current endorsements include Yamaha drums, Sabian cymbals, Remo drumheads, LP Percussion and Vater sticks.

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Watch the Hot Soup Cool Jazz Event Video

May 17, 2011

Highlights from the 4th annual Hot Soup Cool Jazz event at the St. John’s Convention Centre. The evening brings together people from all walks of life & backgrounds to support youth homelessness and poverty in our community.

Ten soups were on offer from some of the finest restaurants including Aqua, Basho, Bianca’s, Gypsy Tea Room, Hungry Heart Cafe, Portobello’s, Raymonds & Yellow Belly with two special soups made by Jimmy Pratt Memorial Soup Kitchen as well as Choices for Youth.

The evening also featured jazz sounds from Wreckhouse Jazz and Blues plus a silent & live auction with auctioneer Wayne Bartlett and CBC’s Angela Antle who hosted the night.

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Calling all Musicians!! – Canadian Folk Music Awards now Accepting Submissions for 2011!

May 13, 2011

OTTAWA – WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011 – The Canadian Folk Music Awards (CFMAs) announced today that submissions are now open for the 2011 edition of this prestigious event which will be held at the Isabel Bader Theatre, Victoria College, University of Toronto on Sunday, December 4th. For more information please visit www.folkawards.ca or www.prixfolk.ca .

The SEVENTH ANNUAL CFMAs invites all Canadian folk, roots and world musicians to submit now for the 2011 awards. Featuring this year’s theme “Celebrating Festivals,” CFMAs activities will include various workshops at Victoria College with the support and assistance of the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals (OCFF); a special nominee showcase taking place at Hugh’s Room on Saturday, December 3rd; and the evening gala, which will be held at the Isabel Bader Theatre, Victoria College, University of Toronto on Sunday, December 4th – celebrating excellence in the Canadian folk music scene today. Canadian artists who have released recordings between June 15, 2010 and June 14, 2011 are eligible to submit their work. For complete details on eligibility, applications and criteria, please visit http://canadianfolkmusicawards.ca/eligibility/

ARTISTS WISHING TO SUBMIT can apply directly online or by downloading the submissions form at http://canadianfolkmusicawards.ca/eligibility/application/ and each artist can apply to multiple categories appropriate to their music. There are nineteen categories altogether, which includes conventional titles such as Traditional Album of the Year and Solo Artist of the Year, as well as two categories for world music, French, English and Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year awards, a Children’s Album of the Year Award and for the more adventurous musicians out there…the Pushing the Boundaries Award.

The CFMAs have also announced that this year they will be adding the new “UNSUNG HERO / TRAVAILLEUR DE L’OMBRE” award in recognition of the exceptional contribution of an individual, group, or organization to the Canadian folk music scene. The recipient will be selected by a separate five-member jury, from the region where the 2011 awards will take place – in this case, Central Canada, which includes Ontario, Quebec and Nunavut. For further details please visit www.folkawards.ca.

SUBMISSIONS DEADLINE is Thursday, June 30th, 2011.

EARLY BIRD SUBMISSION RATE until Sunday, May 22, 2011.

Sound integrity is important for the selection process and since current online listening is sonically inferior in many cases, the CFMA jurors prefer to listen to the CD tracks straight from the CD. This way they will get the full impact of the immense effort applied to the music as well as the artwork and packaging as a whole.

MORE ABOUT CFMAs

The mission of the Canadian Folk Music Awards is to celebrate and promote Canadian Folk Music in all its forms. Until their creation in 2005, there existed no awards to celebrate the breadth and depth of folk music in Canada. Awards such as the Junos, East Coast Music Awards or the Western Canada Music Awards include a few categories that apply to folk and roots music, but without as broad a view of the genre. The judging process is similar to that of the two-stage elimination model used by the Junos via a randomly selected jury drawn from the folk music community.

For more information, photos, interviews, please contact:

Media Contact:

Beverly Kreller
SPEAK Music
bev@speak-music.com
416.922.3620
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TORBAY THEATRE is hiring ACTORS, SINGERS, MUSICIANS, STAGE MANAGER and COSTUME DESIGNER for July and August 2011

May 12, 2011

Experience is required. Send resume (performers also send headshot) by May 24, 2011 to: Contessa Small, Torbay Museum, P.O. Box 1160, Torbay, NL, A1K 1K4 or csmall@torbay.ca.

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Canadian Federation of Musicians’ Member Services workshop Moved to Evening, May 12th

May 11, 2011

The Canadian Federation of Musicians’ Member Services workshop originally scheduled for 10 AM – 3 PM on Thursday, May 12th will now be held in a shorter format from 7-8 PM. This FREE workshop will be held at the Gower Street United Church Hall in St. John’s. This valuable session is open to all performers and working musicians. They will provide coffee, tea and baked goods for those who attend.

The workshop will explain your rights as a performer, songwriter or composer, how to use contracts to protect yourself when you perform, tour or record and details of services provided to musicians by the Canadian Federation of Musicians, services which include the musicians’ national pension plan, insurance services, co-funding for free admission public and educational concerts, touring support, visas for US performances and information services for both members and non-members.

A number of musicians were interested in the workshop but told us they would have difficulty attending on a weekday during the daytime. So they decided to reschedule and compress the event so more musicians can benefit from the session.

This event is FREE but pre-registration is recommended. Register by calling 709-722-8005 or by emailing info@cfm820.ca.

The Members Concert will still go ahead as planned in the Gower Street United Church Hall immediately following the workshop.

If you attend the 7-8 PM workshop you are welcome to stay for the concert which is also free of charge for anyone at the workshop.

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