Thursday, October 31, 2013

Evolution of the Saxophone

Evolution of the Saxophone is a video montage, which displays a chronological history of the instrument using star performers from each musical era. Originally invented as a classical and military band instrument, this innovative addition to the orchestra gradually made its way into virtually every style of music. The video begins in 1844 with its Belgian inventor Adolph Sax and goes through its evolution from European classical to an 80 year history as the iconic instrument in American jazz. From Adolph Sax to John Phillip Sousa to Coleman Hawkins to Charlie Parker to former U.S. President Bill Clinton the saxophone continues to be one of the worlds most popular instruments.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Cello Performance: Audrey Chen at TEDxRedmond

Audrey Chen, a senior at Interlake High School, began playing the cello in fourth grade with Kai Chen. She has been principal cellist of the Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra for the past five years, as well as principal cellist of the 2012 Summer All-Nationals Honor Orchestra. For the past two years, Audrey has placed in the top at the Washington State Solo and Ensemble Contest. She was recently one of six winners of the Seattle Young Artists Music Festival Concerto Competition, performing the first movement of the Barber Cello Concerto. Her solo experience includes soloing with the Northwest Philharmonia, Eastside Symphony, Sammamish Symphony, Rain City Symphony, Seattle Youth Philharmonic, and Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra. In the summer of 2012, Audrey was selected to participate in the National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute, where she won the concerto competition and made her debut on the Kennedy Center Concert Hall stage with the Summer Music Institute Orchestra. Last summer, Audrey became principal cellist of the very first National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA), where she participated in a two-week training residency in New York and then toured across the globe in DC, Moscow, St. Petersburg, and London with esteemed conductor Valery Gergiev and soloist Joshua Bell. Audrey is an active member of her community, performing for benefit concerts and the like. In addition to playing the cello, Audrey fences, plays the piano, and loves drinking tea. She hopes to continue performing music all throughout college and beyond. Audrey plays on a French Buthod cello on generous loan from the Carlsen Cello Foundation.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Universal Language of Music: Takumi Taguchi at TEDxRedmond

Takumi Taguchi, age 12, is a 7th grader at Odle Middle School in Bellevue, WA. He began his violin studies at age 2 with Suzuki Method in Tokyo, Japan. He moved to Bellevue at 5 and studied with Mihoko Hirata until March 2013, and is currently a student of Simon James of Seattle Symphony and piano collaborator Hiro David. Takumi also studies music theory, sonata literature, and ensemble at the Academy of Music Northwest. He has played in the Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra (BYSO) for the past 6 years and has been a member of Academy Chamber Orchestra for one year. He won BYSO's 2012 concerto competition, 2013 Suzuki World Conference concerto competition and played the Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto with a professional orchestra at its honors recital in Matsumoto, Japan, 2013 Best of Violin/ Viola Division Award at PAFE, and 2013 David Tonkonogui Memorial Award by Music of Remembrance. Takumi has taken master classes of renowned teachers including Brian Lewis, Bryan Hall, Koji Toyoda (former chairman of Suzuki Method and concertmaster of Berlin Broadcasting Orchestra, Kenji Kobayashi of Toho Gakuen University, Toby Appel of The Juilliard School, and David Harding of the University of British Columbia. This summer he attended Indiana University Jacobs School of Music's Summer String Academy on a merit scholarship. Outside of music, Takumi loves karate, chess, soccer, and traveling with his family. At school his favorite subjects include PE, orchestra, French, and Science. Takumi speaks fluent English and Japanese.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Mysteries of Vernacular: Ukulele - Jessica Oreck and Rachael Teel

When 19th century Portuguese travelers landed in Hawaii with a small four-stringed guitar, a member of the king's court, nicknamed Jumping Flea, or ukulele in Hawaiian, took to the instrument. Jessica Oreck and Rachael Teel explain how an affinity for the ukulele gave the instrument its name.

 Lesson by Jessica Oreck and Rachael Teel, animation by Jessica Oreck.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Benefits of Music in the Workplace

The Benefits of Music in the Workplace by Menzie Pittman of the Contemporary Music Center, Founder, Director of Education & the NAMM Foundation

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Amazing Violinists on Americas Got Talent

Amazing Violinists on Americas Got Talent 2008. These two brothers from Queens show how cool it is to play the violin.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Expand Your Playlist - Kaiser Permanente Thrive Radio Ad

"There's a reason why you see so many people walking around with earphones. We love listening to music. Music makes us feel good." Studies show that music actually reduced depression and anxiety. Released summer 2010.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Effects of Music on Happiness

Each of us has paraphrased the William Congreve line from his play, The Mourning Bride: "Music hath charms to soothe the savage beast (actually, breast)." But what is the empirical evidence to support this statement, and, in turn, what impact does music have on our stress levels and degree of happiness, as well as our health?

A study more than a decade old, by researchers at the University of Texas at Tyler (Hubbard, 2001) states that "tones at a faster tempo were rated as happier, brighter, faster. Similarly, higher pitch tones and ascending tones were rated as happier, brighter and faster. So much for statistical clarification. Some music, simply stated, is more upbeat, and evokes a more lively feeling.

But the feeling of happiness does not necessarily mean that we feel better, feel less stress or experience improved health. Other studies do, though, confirm those effects. The question is, does the happiness evoked from specific music experiences translate into general wellbeing?

The Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine reported (2001) that "all types of music were capable of reducing heart rates and blood pressure, and of controlling stress. The researchers who performed the experiments believe that the beneficial effects of music are related to the patient's ability to choose the music. In other words, when people get to choose the music, they appear to be more relaxed." Again, this is intuitively obvious. When we are in control of a situation, we are less likely to be stressed by it, and, in turn, our heart rates and blood pressure should decline.

A corollary result of this study found that music could reduce the stress associated with eye surgery. This is less intuitive, but consistent with other studies on the correlation between music that we enjoy and a feeling of wellbeing.

Is some music more likely to affect us positively? Again, the answer is intuitively clear: yes. We all are aroused, soothed, excited, pleased, saddened or emboldened by specific songs, music or genres of music. I, for instance, find blues very enjoyable and calming, when the very name suggests that I should be saddened. On the other hand, I do not care for jazz, and feel more tense when it is played. Electronica and New Age music relaxes me late at night, while classical music improves my concentration. Lynn Anderson's "Rose Garden" and Bony M's "Brown Girl In The Ring" evoke similar feelings, since both are associated with particularly memorable times in my life.

Some songs, for others, send shivers down the spine, or produce goose bumps. These are not universal responses. Researchers state that no external stimuli will automatically turn on stress (or happiness) responses, unless we choose to let it. For many of us, though, those responses seem automatic. Stress reaction always depends upon how an event interpreted or perceived.

The University of Maryland School of Medicine insists that listening to your favourite music is good for your cardiovascular system and provide a healthy effect on blood vessel function. ("Positive Emotions and the Endothelium: Does Joyful Music Improve Vascular Health?" Miller M, Beach V, Mangano C, Vogel RA. Oral Presentation. American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, 11/11/2008).

Empirical data from objective studies, along with anecdotal information from subjective reports point to a clear fact: good music means good health and good mood. So turn that rap music up loud, unless you loathe rap, sing along to your favourite opera, unless you like your neighbours, and get a happy on! It's good for all of us.

Among other interests, Robert Lee is a writer who focuses on ethical considerations in business and living life simply. He is the author of six books, including The Last Drop of Living, A Minimalist's Guide to Living The High Life On A Low Budget and Wild People I Have Known. His blogs include, as well as blogs on minimal living, living in a yurt, harvesting wild plants and eco-innovations.
Article Source:

Article Source:

Friday, October 4, 2013

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

How Music Affects Your Brain

Good music makes us feel good. No surprise there. Now scientists have uncovered what's going on inside our brains when we are jammin' to our favorite tunes. Anthony explains.