Kindermusik Radio App!

Every parent and teacher with an iphone and young child NEEDS this!!!  If this is consistent with everything I know and love about Kindermusik, you’re going to find a wide variety of fun standard children’s music literature in QUALITY (proper vocal model in appropriate ranges) recordings.  How exciting!











(Have I mentioned I LOVE Kindermusik?!?!?)  If you are not familiar with it, check it out at here.  We are fortunate to have the 15th largest KM studio in the WORLD right here in our community.


January 15, 2011 at 4:08 pm Leave a comment

BAM Radio

My COOLEST new discovery=

BAM! is an acronym for “body and mind.” BAM! Radio was conceived in 2007 on the premise that the key to success in life for children and youth is nuturing a healthy mind in a healthy body, and that the two are connected. So to put children on the right track it’s critical to nurture both.

It is a series of audio articles playable from their website.  You can also download these podcasts from itunes.  You know I’ve got to love a website that has a whole channel devoted to Music and Learning!  Some of my favorite headlines include:

Music in Education is Fluff Right?  Wrong!

How Music  Develops 21st Century Skills

Surprise! Children Don’t Have to Sit Still to Learn

Why a Garden of Children Should be Filled with Song

Starting Too Early, Starting Too Late? What’s Right?

There are many many more worth listening to!

October 9, 2010 at 2:57 pm Leave a comment

A Tisket A Tasket

Last cycle in first and second grade we played A Tisket A Tasket.  Before we played, we watched the great Ella Fitzgerald sing it.  Enjoy!

October 9, 2010 at 12:39 am Leave a comment

How Music Training Primes Nervous System and Boosts Learning

from ScienceDaily (July 20, 2010)

Those ubiquitous wires connecting listeners to you-name-the-sounds from invisible MP3 players — whether of Bach, Miles Davis or, more likely today, Lady Gaga — only hint at music’s effect on the soul throughout the ages.

Now a data-driven review by Northwestern University researchers that will be published July 20 in Nature Reviews Neuroscience pulls together converging research from the scientific literature linking musical training to learning that spills over to skills including language, speech, memory, attention and even vocal emotion. The science covered comes from labs all over the world, from scientists of varying scientific philosophies, using a wide range of research methods.

The explosion of research in recent years focusing on the effects of music training on the nervous system, including the studies in the review, have strong implications for education, said Nina Kraus, lead author of the Nature perspective, the Hugh Knowles Professor of Communication Sciences and Neurobiology and director of Northwestern’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory.

Scientists use the term neuroplasticity to describe the brain’s ability to adapt and change as a result of training and experience over the course of a person’s life. The studies covered in the Northwestern review offer a model of neuroplasticity, Kraus said. The research strongly suggests that the neural connections made during musical training also prime the brain for other aspects of human communication.

An active engagement with musical sounds not only enhances neuroplasticity, she said, but also enables the nervous system to provide the stable scaffolding of meaningful patterns so important to learning.

“The brain is unable to process all of the available sensory information from second to second, and thus must selectively enhance what is relevant,” Kraus said. Playing an instrument primes the brain to choose what is relevant in a complex process that may involve reading or remembering a score, timing issues and coordination with other musicians.

“A musician’s brain selectively enhances information-bearing elements in sound,” Kraus said. “In a beautiful interrelationship between sensory and cognitive processes, the nervous system makes associations between complex sounds and what they mean.” The efficient sound-to-meaning connections are important not only for music but for other aspects of communication, she said.

The Nature article reviews literature showing, for example, that musicians are more successful than non-musicians in learning to incorporate sound patterns for a new language into words. Children who are musically trained show stronger neural activation to pitch changes in speech and have a better vocabulary and reading ability than children who did not receive music training.

And musicians trained to hear sounds embedded in a rich network of melodies and harmonies are primed to understand speech in a noisy background. They exhibit both enhanced cognitive and sensory abilities that give them a distinct advantage for processing speech in challenging listening environments compared with non-musicians.

Children with learning disorders are particularly vulnerable to the deleterious effects of background noise, according to the article. “Music training seems to strengthen the same neural processes that often are deficient in individuals with developmental dyslexia or who have difficulty hearing speech in noise.”

Currently what is known about the benefits of music training on sensory processing beyond that involved in musical performance is largely derived from studying those who are fortunate enough to afford such training, Kraus said.

The research review, the Northwestern researchers conclude, argues for serious investing of resources in music training in schools accompanied with rigorous examinations of the effects of such instruction on listening, learning, memory, attention and literacy skills.

“The effect of music training suggests that, akin to physical exercise and its impact on body fitness, music is a resource that tones the brain for auditory fitness and thus requires society to re-examine the role of music in shaping individual development, ” the researchers conclude.

September 22, 2010 at 5:04 pm Leave a comment

Free Chamber Music Concerts!!!

The Community Chamber Concert Series season is posted.  ALL concerts are free and performed by world class artists.  Be sure to mark your calendar for the first concert on September 30th

September 2, 2010 at 2:15 am Leave a comment

Into the Woods

This is one of my favorite musicals!!!

Produced by The Theatre Company

Weekends August 6-15

Stephen Sondeheim’s award-winning musical fairy tale on TTC’s stage for summer 2010! Since the Broadway debut of Into The Woods, when Broadway superstar, Bernadette Peters, brought acclaim to the show with her performance as the Witch, it has become a favorite of theater actors and audiences alike! The original Broadway production garnered three Tony awards in 1988—a year dominated by The Phantom of the Opera—and two more Tonys for the 2002 Broadway revival! Inspired by Bruno Bettelheim’s 1976 book, The Uses of Enchantment, the Sondheim classic interweaves the plots of several Brothers Grimm fairy tales, exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. Using main characters from Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel and Cinderella, the musical is tied together by a more original story of a Baker and his wife, and their quest to start a family. The show includes references to numerous other well-known tales.

August 2, 2010 at 1:43 am Leave a comment

Piano Concert Coming

In two weeks, on Monday evening, July 12, we have the opportunity to hear one of the two Gold Winners from last year’s Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, HAOCHEN ZHANG, from China. Zhang, the youngest participant in the competition at the age of 19, was previously recognized for his prodigious talent as the youngest winner of the 2007 China International Piano Competition when he was 17 years old. A sensitive musician and insightful programmer, Zhang gave his debut recital at the Shanghai Music Hall at the age of five, performing all of Bach’s two-part inventions, as well as sonatas by Haydn and Mozart! He performed with orchestra at age six, and moved to the United States at fifteen to attend the Curtis Institute of Music.

Haochem Zhang has selected a very interesting, but demanding program. To begin, he will perform all four of Chopin’s Ballades. Following intermission we will hear the four pieces, Op. 119 by Johannes Brahms and he will conclude with the Piano Sonata by Alberto Ginastera.

Haochen Zhang, Pianist

Monday, July 12 at 7:30 pm

Annenberg Conference Center (Bush Library complex)

Admission: Adults, $25.00, Students, $5.00

June 29, 2010 at 3:13 am Leave a comment

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