Sunday, February 8, 2009

Music Thoughts...

Derek Sivers, inventor of CDBaby

Visit Music Thoughts for some inspiration and just plain old good sense sayings and, well, thoughts. Created by Derek Sivers, the man who invented CDBaby, the site includes a unique feature asking visitors fluent in the various languages used on the site to correct any bad translations. It's a Wikipedia-like approach sure to please anyone who spots an unclear or mangled translation.

Sivers also has a great web site providing indie musicians and songwriters a healthy helping of good advice and counsel based on his extensive experience moving music about the planet.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Rhythm & Melody Improve Reading*

*40 minutes a day teaching first graders folk song rhythms and melodies improved their reading scores. (New Horizons report).

How we process music in our brains is connected with language and memory. (New Horizons report).

In such tough economic times some of the first things to be cut in schools are arts programs. That's faulty logic, as study after study has shown that participation in the arts improves student discipline, concentration, and builds self-confidence (New Horizons). It also helps keep students in school.

Math and music have an interesting relationship, and there's nothing like playing in a band, with each individual contributing to the success of the group, to build an appreciation for teamwork and an ability to cooperate with others. If you don't play a musical instrument you have no idea of the hours of practice, much of it solitary, needed to reach even a fair performance level, much less a higher level of ability.

As the arts go, so goes society.

The Tuesday February 10 gig in Fort Payne is in support of their Arts in Education program, run by blues/roots artist (and friend) Russell Gulley. I open for Russell at 6:30 with a 20-minute set, then spend the rest of the evening doing something I enjoy almost as much as songwriting and performing - taking photographs. It'll be a fun evening for a very worthy cause.

If you're not close enough to come to the concert, find a way to support your local local Arts in Education program.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Where to go for inspiration? A Fellow Blogger!

Friend, co-worker, and fellow blogger Tim Lennox has a great suggestion for finding song ideas. He used this when teaching broadcast writing to spark student ideas for stories. It's the The Yellow Pages (c). Every conceivable (and some inconceivable) category and listing resides in those thin yellow sheets, any one of which could spark an idea or - dare I say it - inspiration for a song.

NOTE - Tim and I will be co-workers through Feb 6, after which he leaves Alabama Public TV (APT). The 30-year running public affairs series For The Record, which he has hosted for ten of those years, is being dropped by network executives. However, my departure from APT is not far behind, Feb. 28 to be exact. My position as station manager in Montgomery was also eliminated at the same time it was announced that For The Record was being cut.

Interesting times in which we live.