The NAMM Foundation has unveiled its new public service announcement campaign, “Just Play.” The NAMM Foundation has unveiled its new public service announcement campaign, “Just Play.” The spot will air this spring in a multi-media, national campaign that will include ads for television, radio, billboards, bus shelters, airports, malls and anywhere one can hear, think about or play music.

“Just Play” encourages people of every age to let go of the excuses that keep them from learning to play a musical instrument, be it age, time, ability or access, and just play music. A Gallup Poll revealed that 85 percent of Americans who do not play a musical instrument wish that they did.

The television spot for the campaign, “Twinkle” opens with a child’s one-fingered version of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” and builds as people of all ages join together, layering on different interpretations of the classic. Showcasing the accessibility of and ease with which one can learn to play music, the spot ends with a compelling imperative to just play.

The “Just Play” campaign underscores NAMM and NAMM Foundation’s year-round initiatives designed to create more active music makers, including scientific research on the benefits of making music, publicizing musical success stories from everyday music makers, and inspiring ways in which music makes people’s lives better.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_profilepage&v=deLyRL3Owyg

 

In the wake of the horrific events at the Sandy Hook Elementary School last month, a group of students and teachers from Newton, Connecticut recently gathered to record a performance of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” In the wake of the horrific events at the Sandy Hook Elementary School last month, a group of students and teachers from Newton, Connecticut recently gathered to record a performance of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Good luck making it through this three-minute video with dry eyes…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=t1RwCTNdX78

Maestro Louis Scaglione, president and music director of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra organization (PYO) and Delia Raab-Snyder, director of PYO’s Tune Up Philly have announced that The D’Addario Foundation has presented PYO’s Tune Up Philly with a $2,000-grant Maestro Louis Scaglione, president and music director of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra organization (PYO) and Delia Raab-Snyder, director of PYO’s Tune Up Philly have announced that The D’Addario Foundation has presented PYO’s Tune Up Philly with a $2,000-grant in support of the El Sistema-inspired afterschool program. In addition to the grant, The D’Addario Foundation also presented PYO’s Tune Up Philly with an in-kind donation of instrument accessories valued at $750.

The grant will help fund Tune Up Philly’s upcoming concert at Benjamin Franklin High School on Saturday, March 9th. The community concert is free and open to the public; a goodwill offering will be accepted at the door. All of the students in the program will perform under the direction of Ms. Raab-Snyder, Assistant Director Paul Smith and with ten Tune Up Philly professional teaching artists.

PYO’s Tune Up Philly is inspired by Venezuela’s El Sistema and is designed to nurture economically disadvantaged children through weekday, out-of-school hours, classical musical instruction. The program commenced in September 2010 at St. Francis de Sales School in southwest Philadelphia and began operating at the People for People Charter School in North Philadelphia in September 2011. Instructed by ten, professional, teachers and musicians, the students in PYO’s Tune Up Philly train five days a week during the school year, with concentrations in woodwind, brass, strings and general music education.

www.pyos.org

On the heels of SBO’s recent coverage of the fledgling National Youth Symphony of Iraq, a similar organization from Afghanistan is set to fly the United States for a concert tour On the heels of SBO’s recent coverage of the fledgling National Youth Symphony of Iraq (story here: http://www.sbomagazine.com/431145/upclose-2/paul-macalindin-the-national-youth-orchestra-of-iraq/), a similar organization from Afghanistan is set to fly the United States for a concert tour highlighting changes in the war-torn country since the ousting of the Taliban, who famously banned the playing or making of music.

Some 50 students from Afghanistan’s National Institute of Music and 12 faculty members are scheduled to play at New York's Carnegie Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, and a series of other renowned venues over the next few weeks. The orchestra also includes girls, who were prevented from attending school by the Taliban who ruled Afghanistan for five years before being ousted in the 2001 US-led invasion for sheltering Al-Qaeda after the 9/11 attacks. All students are aged between 10 and 20 years old.

During its performance tour across the U.S., the orchestra plans to play a variety of pieces, including traditional Afghan and Western classical music.

The school operates under the education ministry with large contributions from Western donors, and sponsors for the US tour include the World Bank and the US State Department.

www.afghanistannationalinstituteofmusic.org

National Association for Music Education recently welcomed Quadrant Arts Education Research as an official member of The Music Education Policy Roundtable. National Association for Music Education recently welcomed Quadrant Arts Education Research as an official member of The Music Education Policy Roundtable. Quadrant Arts Education Research is a national leader in arts education research, analysis, and market intelligence. The company was founded by Robert Morrison, who is one of the nation’s leading researchers and advocates in the field of arts education, as well as an SBO columnist.  Mr. Morrison is nationally recognized for his pioneering work in measuring the statewide status and condition of arts education and has served as an advisor to several major arts and arts education organizations.

www.nafme.org

Marking 10 years of advocacy for music education, the NAMM Foundation’s SupportMusic Coalition will gather at a celebration event and live webcast from NAMM Show next week that will feature performances and special-guest appearances. Marking 10 years of advocacy for music education, the NAMM Foundation’s SupportMusic Coalition will gather at a celebration event and live webcast from NAMM Show next week that will feature performances and special-guest appearances. The NAMM Show is an industry-only event that runs January 24-27 at the Anaheim Convention Center. An appearance is planned for Latin-GRAMMY-nominated jazz guitarist, music education advocate and former N.Y. Yankee Bernie Williams. Take6, the most-awarded a cappella vocal group in history, will make a special guest appearance. Take6, also performed at the launch of SupportMusic from the National Press Club in Washington DC in 2003, and returns to celebrate music education.

All music education supporters are encouraged to attend SupportMusic’s 10th Anniversary event to be held in the NAMM Foundation Lounge located in the Anaheim Hilton’s California Ballroom. Joe Lamond, NAMM president and CEO will serve as guest moderator.

www.supportmusic.com

The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation recently donated $12,000 worth of musical instruments to Boise, Idaho’s Whitney Elementary School. The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation recently donated $12,000 worth of musical instruments to Boise, Idaho’s Whitney Elementary School. The school received a total of 14 new instruments, including cellos, violins, saxophones, and trumpets. The Foundation, started in 1996 by Michael Kamen (the composer of the film Mr. Holland’s Opus), operates under a commitment to donate both new and refurbished instruments to school music programs that lack the resources to keep up with equipment loss due to attrition, depreciation and wear over time, and to accommodate students on waiting lists or who have to share instruments.

Full story at the Idaho Press Tribune.

A new paper from Germany published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology notes a connection between music and brainpower.A new paper from Germany published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology notes a connection between music and brainpower. The result of an 18-month study, which compared seven and eight-year-old boys around Germany who received specialized music training with those that didn’t, suggested “a positive transfer effect from musical expertise onto speech and language processing.” The research team was led by Ingo Roden of Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg, Germany.

The music students participated in weekly 45-minute lessons on their instrument of choice (guitar, violin, cello, flute, trumpet, clarinet, or drums). Another 25 children were given “enhanced education in mathematics and general studies” over that same 18-month period. An additional 23 children received no additional instruction beyond the basic school curriculum.

“Across one and one-half years, children in the music group showed a greater increase on every measure of verbal memory than the natural science and control groups,” the researchers report. They went on to propose possible reasons. “Playing music requires continued monitoring of meaningful chunks of information,” they write. “Rather than individual notes, these chunks entail clusters of notes that are combined into meaningful melodic gestures and phrases.”

Read the full study here.

Longtime violin bowmaker Benoit Rolland, recipient of a 2012 MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant, was recently the subject of an in-depth profile in the Boston Globe that featured a close look at his life as a sought-after builder of this highly specialized tool. Longtime violin bowmaker Benoit Rolland, recipient of a 2012 MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant, was recently the subject of an in-depth profile in the Boston Globe that featured a close look at his life as a sought-after builder of this highly specialized tool.

“If a musician is not comfortable with the bow, the bow becomes an obstacle, and he or she cannot be free to play,” Rolland said in the article. “On the contrary, when the musician is very comfortable playing with the bow, he or she can forget it, and then give themselves freely to the music.”

Rolland has built approximately 1,800 bows throughout his career, which he now has plans to write a book describing. He meets with musicians personally before making customized bows for them, spending hours listening to them perform to get an intimate feel of their musical personalities. Rolland is the grandson of a famous pianist who taught him how to play while Rolland was growing up in Paris.

Read more here.

Video:

http://vimeo.com/50475049#

Last week, Chicago Symphony Orchestra cellist Katinka Kleijn premiered a one-of-a-kind piece that involved her wearing an EPOC Neuroheadset, a piece of equipment that uses 14 sensors that connect with the scalp and pick up brain waves.Last week, Chicago Symphony Orchestra cellist Katinka Kleijn premiered a one-of-a-kind piece that involved her wearing an EPOC Neuroheadset, a piece of equipment that uses 14 sensors that connect with the scalp and pick up brain waves. The piece, Intelligence in the Human-Machine, is a new duet for “cello and brain waves” composed by Daniel R. Dehaan in collaboration with Ryan Ingebritsen, commissioned by art duo Industry of the Ordinary. The headset can take processed recordings of brain waves and, through the performer’s own thoughts, can manipulate their pitch and speed.

Dehaan's score consists of 20 musical gestures such as long tones or pizzicato movement, for example, indicated by two- or three-bar snippets of conventional notation, together along with 100 verbal suggestions to Kleijn to "find" concepts like focus or balance or life, within each gesture.

Read more at the Chicago Reader

 


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