Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Singing Is Good For You

I've written before about why I think singing is important. Mostly I've focused on social and political reasons that I think singing is vital in modern society. But there's also a mounting body of research that shows that singing is good for your physical and mental health. And now, thanks to my friends Sam Turton and Jane Lewis, we have links to health research on singing collected in one place.

I thought you should all have a chance to read some of these articles. Enjoy!

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Saturday, March 7, 2009

When Does Garish Become Beautiful?

I stumbled across this amazing set of photos last week. Apparently this ship is rusting in the harbour in Shanghai. I suspect if I saw it in it's glory I would be totally disgusted. But somehow, in a state of decay, it looks stunningly beautiful.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Music is a Necessity

My fellow songwriter Lynn Harrison beat me to it! This inspiring speech by Karl Paulnak at the Boston Conservatory has been making the rounds of the internet. It's a moving and incisive treatise on why music is not just an added frill, but an essential way of responding to the world around us. And why we need music now more than ever.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Why I Love Teaching

  1. I feel lucky to be able to make a living through music. Not everyone gets to follow their passion in life, but here I am!
  2. I love my students. They are interesting people with a variety of backgrounds and musical interests.
  3. My guitar students inspire me. How many adults purposely put themselves in the position of trying to do something they can't do? Yet that's what my guitar students do every week.
  4. I learn as much or more from teaching as my students do. Explaining how to do something to another person helps me understand how to do it better.
  5. I like figuring out how another person's mind works. When I can get inside a student's thinking process, I'm able to explain things more clearly, and they understand more.
  6. I love seeing the light go on in someone else's head when they begin to "get it."
  7. My students help me become a better musician. Some of them are darned good! And fast! And I have to prepare new material to keep them busy.
  8. It's fulfilling to help other people reach their creative goals. Nothing can make me "kvell" like seeing one of my students singing and playing a song that we've worked on together in lessons.
  9. My students expose me to music I would never hear otherwise.
  10. Teaching has made me aware of how much I know, and at the same time, how much I don't know. I've learned that I don't have to have all the answers, but if I can create a climate that encourages creativity, exploration, and musicality, I feel like I've succeeded.

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