Monday, April 30, 2012

Music & The Changing Workplace

Music & The Changing Workplace 

In the space of a single generation, work and the workforce have changed dramatically.  If we could put a typical 1966 worker into a present day factory or organization, he or she would be disoriented in virtually every dimension of the workplace.   

It’s not just new machines and management philosophies, or that services have replaced manufacturing as the dominant sector of the American economy:  it’s that the character of the work itself has been transformed, largely through application of information-based technologies and systems thinking to almost everything American business does.  The express train to the 21st century left the station long ago and we have been waving goodbye to the rapidly receding 200 year history of industrialism. 

Today’s and tomorrow’s workers have to be multi-skilled and multi-dimensional, flexible and intellectually supple.  Even the physical office is being relocated to accommodate new work styles as cell phones and telecommunications software stimulate the growing edge of the workforce as it migrates down the information highway to homes, cars, airport lounges and telework centers. 

But the changes go far beyond new technologies and the shifting venues for work.  Richard Gurin, President and CEO of Binney & Smith, Inc., and member of the National Alliance for Business, expresses a growing consensus among business leaders: 

“After a long business career, I have become increasingly concerned that the basic problem gripping the American workplace is not interest rates or inflation; those come and go with the business cycle.  More deeply rooted is…the crisis of creativity.   Ideas…..are what built American business. And it is the arts that build ideas and nurture a place in the mind for them to grow….Arts education programs can help repair weaknesses in American education and better prepare workers for the twenty-first century.” 

An education in the arts addresses and delivers precisely these kinds of skills.  The potential contribution of arts education extends across the board.  It builds thinking skills such as analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and critical judgment. It nourishes imagination and creativity. While recognizing the importance of process, it focuses deliberately on content and end-product.  It develops collaborative and teamwork skills, technological competencies, flexible thinking, and an appreciation for diversity.   

The implications of this argument have slowly been working their way into the struggle to reform the nation’s schools, even as the “high performance workplace” remains a core driver for education reform.  The public’s preoccupation with “getting back to the basics” is being reinforced by school restructuring and testing standards.  Most educators, indeed most Americans, genuinely welcome the renewed interest in stronger fundamentals and higher standards for performance and learning  Too few Americans recognize, however, the breadth and depth of the contribution arts education can make, both to education reform and to the quality of the workforce. 

**The material in this article is from Business Week in October of 1996.   How much longer we will allow arts education in our schools to be viewed as something outside the core curriculum?

Sunday, April 29, 2012


DATE: Sunday April 29th, 2012 
TIME: 12:00pm-9:00pm 
EVENT: 1st Annual "The Doctor Is In!" 
Where: The Howlin’ Wolf
On his upcoming Repair Mission Trip, Mike Corrigan, a.k.a The Horn Doctor, will be rolling out his most extensive repair project since his first trip to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. The timing could not be better because the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival will be in full swing. Accompanying Corrigan will be three horn doctors from his Kansas-based company B.A.C. Horn Doctor Inc., Kansas City Musicians, and New Orleans native, Stafford Agee of the Grammy-award winning Rebirth Brass Band. Stafford has been apprenticing with Corrigan on each of Corrigan’s previous trips to New Orleans and will be officially dubbed a Doctor of his practice.
Agee, who has already been hustling to fill a gap in downtown New Orleans where musical instrument repair services are needed, is officially announcing the opening of his own Rebirth Music Center and Repair Shop. Acting as an affiliate of B.A.C. Horn Doctor Inc., and www.RentMyInstrument.com, his store will help meet the needs of musicians of all ages and experience levels. B.A.C. Instruments designed by Corrigan (http://www.BestAmericanCraftsman.com) are available through Rebirth Music and other national affiliate music stores.
Please join us at The Howlin’ Wolf this Sunday. All attendees and their instruments will receive FREE REPAIRS. We are inviting local school bands to perform at the Wolves Den while the Horn Doctor crew provides students with any needed repairs. All musicians are invited to come throughout the day, and are asking any professional musicians to stick around for an evening performance and benefit serving local music-education causes including, Sweet Home New Orleans, Roots of Music and Trombone Shorty's Horns for Schools.
The benefit concert will commence at 8:00pm and features several of New Orleans finest musicians, including, Kermit Ruffins and his BBQ Swingers, Rebirth Brass Band, Baby Boyz Brass Band, YoJimbo, Music Street, Saint Bell, NOLA's Big Sam Williams, and Loren Pickford. Making the trip from Kansas City is Kansas City's finest, Project H with Ryan Heinlein and Josh Williams, and out-of-town musicians Joe Beaty of NYC and Cory Distefano from Nashville, TN. Keep an eye out for other musicians or bands who may show up unannounced for this first ever event! Audience members will hear the B.A.C. horns in action alongside the headlining bands, particularly the popular Artist B.A.C. trombones and trumpets designed by The Horn Doctor himself.
Rarely do great music, helping musicians and free instrument repairs all take place in one fun-filled evening. We look forward to seeing you and 15 of your closest friends as we support these 3 great causes!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Beyond the Music - Enhancing Intelligence


Beyond The Music – Enhancing Intelligence

Scientific studies clearly show that music participation enhances vital intellectual skills in children.  Why would anybody ever consider allowing their child to discontinue performing in a school band or orchestra program?  

“A research team exploring the link between music and intelligence reports that music training (specifically piano instruction) is far superior to computer instruction in dramatically enhancing children’s abstract reasoning skills necessary for learning math and science.  After six months of keyboard lessons, those children who received piano/keyboard training performed 34% higher on tests measuring spatial-temporal ability than the others.  The findings indicate that music uniquely enhances higher brain functions required for mathematics, chess, science and engineering.”
Neurological Research, February 28, 1997

 “After learning eighth, quarter, half and whole notes, second and third graders scored 100 percent higher than their peers who were taught fractions using traditional methods.”
Neurological Research, March 15, 1999

Why Teach & Learn Music?


Why Teach & Learn Music?

Music Is A Science:  It is exact, specific, and it demands the pursuit of acoustic perfection.  A conductor’s full score is a chart, a graph indicating frequencies, intensities, volume changes, melody, and harmony all at once and within the most precise control of time. 

Music Is Mathematical:  Both time and harmonics in music represent exacting math.  It is rhythmically based on the subdivisions of time into fractions which must be done instantaneously, not worked out on paper or a calculator. 

Music Is A Foreign Language:  Most of the terms are in Italian, German, or French; and the notation is certainly not English – but a highly developed kind of shorthand that utilizes symbols to represent ideas.  The semantics of music is the most complete and universal language.

Music Is History:  Music usually reflects the environment and times of its creation, often even the country and/or racial feeling.

Music Is Physical Education:  It requires fantastic coordination of fingers, hands, arms, lips, cheek and facial muscles, in addition to extraordinary control of the diaphragmatic, back, stomach, and chest muscles, which all  respond instantly to the sound the ears hear and the mind interprets.

Music Develops Insight And Demands Research:   Performing music requires examination of not only what the composer intended within acceptable boundaries of artistic interpretations but also the technical frameworks of harmonic progressions, musical forms, phrasing, dynamic nuances, etc. 

Music Is Art:  It allows a human being to take all the dry, technically boring (and difficult) techniques and use them to create emotion.  That is one thing science cannot duplicate: humanism, feeling, emotion….call it what you will.


This Is Why We Teach And Learn Music…..

Not because we expect you to major in music
Not because we expect you to play or sing all your life
Not so you can relax
No so you can have fun
Rather…….
So you will recognize beauty
So you will be sensitive
So you will be closer to an infinite beyond this world
So you will have something to cling to
So you will have more love, more compassion, more gentleness,
more good……in short, more life.

Of what value will it be to make a prosperous living unless you know how to live?

Lastly, if you are interested in learning more about music, or playing a musical instrument, renting a musical instrument can be a great way to begin to experience the benefits of music. RentMYinstrument.com provides band and orchestra instrument rentals across the nation.