It would be amazing if there were a magical formula for “Hit” songs… but then again… if that were the case, anyone and everyone could do it and then it wouldn’t be special to have a no. 1 song. This LA Times article touches on this subject- it’s definitely something we’ve all wondered about. We litsen to the radio and hear a song we love, but then it never plays again.. but that song we absolutely detest just wont stop playing- no matter what radio station we turn to! The art of songwriting can be frustrating and fascinating to say the least. Check out the article from the LA TIMES “The science behind what makes a hit single”BY CLICKING HERE or on the link below.

http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-hit-songs-computer-20120204,0,1206175.story

Often times when people are considering successful career paths, music does not come to mind. Many assume that music is a gamble when it comes to making money and think the only way to earn a decent living is to be famous. However, there are multiple areas in which a musician can enter the work field. While being a live performer is competitive, there are other less competitive outlets that a musician can explore to support themselves. If you or someone you know is passionate about pursuing a career in music, here are some ideas for paths to take:

-Musical Therapy

-Music Management-Music Business Management

-Music Education- Private lessons, music classes for elementary, middle, high school and university levels

-Film Scoring

-Songwriting

-Music Engineering

-Instrument Builder/Repairer- Piano Tuner

-Music Critic or Journalist

-Professor of Music History, theory, therapy etc.

-Touring and roadwork

If your desire is to become a recording or performing artist, the Berklee School of Music in Boston has some advice to boost your career. According to Berklee, there are five essentials for creating success..

5. “Prepare to be versatile and to wear several hats initially, until your “brand” is established.”  It is difficult at first to make money as a new musician or with a new band. Sometimes you have to look for money elsewhere. Berklee thinks it is best to find money with jobs that have something to do with music like playing at weddings or writing an article for a music magazine.

4. “Understand that every business is becoming a “music business” and so musical opportunities are multiplying.” Many institutions that are seemingly unmusical are seeking ways to integrate music into their establishments (coffee shops, clothing stores etc.)

3. “Accept the new powers in your corner and take responsibility for creating your own success.” Home computers make individuals capable of not only recording your own music but also mastering and distributing it to a global audience.

2. “Connect with as many people as you can because relationships drive music careers more than anything else, even talent.” Get to know anyone and everyone you can in the music realm as it may help you in the future.

1. “Hone your talent and realize there is a place for you.” Find your niche and make it work. There is an audience for everyone.

 

It is never too late to learn how to play an instrument. Research has been done to see if music can only be learned by younger people and the results undoubtedly say ‘no’. Learning how to play piano at an older age, for instance, has been recommended by therapists to keep the mind mentally active to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia and other brain related illnesses. Not only is learning to play an instrument good for the mind, but it is also good for alleviating stress and improving coordination.

Bill Tapia performing at age 103

 What better way to achieve this than through music?

Bill Tapia, is a prime example of someone who has benefitted from learning music throughout his years. Tapia is 103 years old and still performs at live concerts. He has been recognized and celebrated as the oldest performer and also as one of the greatest ukulele players to have ever lived. Tapia also claims that music has kept him young and active throughout his life.

Monster Music Lessons offers lessons in a wide variety of styles with compassionate and skilled teachers who love working with students of all ages.

When it comes down to it, learning music is about having a desire to play, not young age.

According to Norman M. Weinberger, a fellow at the center for Neurobiology of Learning and Memory and a professor at UC Irivine, brain research shows not only that music is fun, but also that it improves our brain development and even enhances skills in other subjects such as reading and math. Numerous studies have been conducted that show us that the cognitive abilities and brain functions of children have increased positively as a result of participating in and listening to music. As noted by Weinberger, “Music has the ability to facilitate language acquisition, reading readiness, and general intellectual development; to foster positive attitudes and to lower truancy in middle and high school; to enhance creativity; and to promote social development, personal adjustment, and self-worth”.

Brain research also shows us that learning and practicing music strengthens the synapses between brain cells. The synapses that are known to benefit from music include the sensory and perceptual systems as used for auditory and visual tasks, the cognitive system used for reading and language, the planning system used in muscle action and fine motor skills, learning memory and many more. By making music, we use all of these synaptic systems. According to Weinberg, “Brain scans taken during musical performances show that virtually the entire cerebral cortex is active while musicians are playing”.

In a study conducted to test the benefits of music in the class room, Hurwitz and colleagues ran an experiment in which a 1st grade class, split into two groups, learned how to read. Group one had musical instruction and was taught specifically how to listen to folk songs and how to recognize melodic and rhythmic elements of the songs for 40 minutes daily for 7 months. Also taught to group one was the core reading curriculum. Group 2 had no musical instruction but the same reading curriculum. Both groups were taught how to read by the same teacher but, the success rates of the two student groups differed significantly. Group 1, taught with supplemental music instruction, ranked in the 72nd percentile versus group 2 who ranked in the 88th.  Research studies, such as this one, show us that music is not only a fun and creative activity but also a major educational aid that should be integrated into core subject teaching for maximum academic performance.

Music has been proven to have a positive and critical impact on educational, social and cognitive development.

-Studies and quotes have been taken from NM Weinberger’s writing, “The Music In Our Minds” found in the Educational Leadership Journal at nmw.bio.uci.edu-

Learn from Adele! Vocal damage can cost you! Learn proper vocal technique today at Monster Music Lessons in Northridge!

“Doctors have ordered the 23-year-old British star, who boasts the two best-selling albums of the year so far in 19 and 21, to take an extended period of rest after finding a haemorrhage on her vocal cord. She would undergo the surgery ”to alleviate the current issues with her throat”.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/music/doctors-order-adele-to-rest-voice-20111029-1mpeu.html#ixzz1cC0wvwb7

This article points out how easy it is to strain your voice, and cause vocal damage if you do not have proper techinique. This is why it is so important to learn proper vocal technicque early on. Here at Monster Music Lessons, all of our vocal teachers are educated and have trained for years to be able to teach those proper vocal techniques, how to take care of your voice while singing and while going about daily life so that you can avoid vocal damage such as nodules, laringitis, strep throat, etc.

Many parents come into Monster Music Lessons asking if their 3 and 4 year olds are ready for music lessons. The simple answer? No. At that age children are not nearly ready. They do not have the attention span, the concentration level, discipline, nor do they have the physical strength and dexterity to take on an instrument or even formal vocal training.

Ideally, between the ages of 3-5 or even as early as 2 years old, a child should be exposed to rhythm. That means buying shakers, tambourines, mini congas, and drum sets to get them acquainted with the different sounds and familiar with the idea all music has a beat, has a rhythm and a tempo. Instruments like a recorder, xylophone and mini keyboard will help them develop an ear for proper pitch, and introduce them to the concepts of melody and harmony.

Experimenting with these types of instruments with your child, paired with singing along to songs, and dancing to all different types of music will give your child an advantage when he or she is ready to take formal music lessons. If your child is too young to take music lessons, try enrolling them in a dance class. They will be surrounded with music and be able to feel the physical connection between music and keeping a rhythm by dancing to the beat.

Then when a child reaches the age of about 5-6, the best instrument for them to begin on would be piano. Piano can be paired with some basic, light vocal training as well if the child shows an interest in singing.

If a child wants to learn guitar, they really should wait until the age of 8-9, or until they can easily touch their thumb and middle finger around the 2nd fret of the guitar, while keeping the wrist straight and flat. This is a simple test you can do at home if you own a guitar or that we can do here at Monster Music Lessons.

The proper age to start any other instrument such as a wind (ex. clarinet or flute), brass (ex. sax or trumpet) or string (ex. violin or cello) instrument should be determined by 1) the child’s sincere desire to learn that particular instrument, 2) the child’s maturity and ability to be focused and disciplined, and 3) the physical size of the child. Some instruments really require that the child be physically strong enough to hold that instrument in the proper position for a considerable amount of time without straining. Some instruments require that the child have sufficient lung capacity and diaphragm strength to produce a sound and sustain notes. All these things must be considered when choosing the right lessons to take.

If you need assistance, please  come into Monster Music Lessons in Northridge next to Guitar Center on the corner of Shirley and Nordhoff. We are open M-F 12pm-8pm, Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday 12pm-4pm. We have a great staff willing and able to help you decide on the best route to take on your musical journey! The most important thing is to be passionate- if you are passionate you will want to practice, and the more you practice the better you will get!

We made an announcement a while back about our student Talyan Wright (who takes voice and piano with Jill Desiree) would be appearing in the Film “Five” premeiring WORLDWIDE on LIFETIME channel, OCTOBER 10 @ 9pm/8 c.

Check out the trailer here (Talyan appears at the 41-43 second mark): http://www.mylifetime.com/movies/five

The film is directed by JENNIFER ANISTON, DEMI MOORE, ALICIA KEYS, PENELOPE SPHEERIS, PATTY JENKINS, AND STARS JEANNE TRIPPLEHORN.