July 2013

Duke Ellington: Piano Jazz Man

As a child Ellington did not travel or live a remarkably exciting existence. His life revolved around Washington, D.C. He lived there for the first 24 years of his life and it is where his professional career took shape. Duke Ellington's start in music was slow in his early teens he started to play the piano. Poor music reading skills got him kicked out of more than one large ensemble but he played with small groups that he booked jobs with. They were known as Duke Ellington's Serenaders and by the age of 20 he and his wife Edna could live off of his musical earnings.

Music & Developing Intelligence

Many new parents will hear that they should expose their children to music in some capacity. It is commonly believed that music makes your child intelligent. In recent years, psychologists, neuroscientists, linguists, and other researchers have taken this claim seriously and have devoted hours of study to it. Their findings back up this claim in many ways. While music might not magically make your child a genus, it does develop parts of the brain that lead to greater academic success.

Music & Success in Life

Many start learning music with the intention of starting a career as a musician. And a few of those people become very successful. However, many other very successful people have a background in music. The discipline, confidence, and communication skills that come with music instruction can lead to greater success in life. Here's just a small list of successful people who've also played music:

Music & Success in School

Despite numerous studies showing that music education is highly beneficial, schools across the country are cutting their music programs left and right. The idea is that music is much more disposable than "core" subjects like math and science. The No Child Left Behind Act dispels this myth, though, stating that "the term 'core academic subjects' means English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography."

Music & Success in Society

Everywhere you look, there's music--in the car, in stores, at home, and hopefully at school. It's a vital part of our society, and every other society around the world. Even the earliest humans made music. It's clear that music and humanity are intertwined. Modern research has strengthened this connection. Sociological studies have shown that those who learn music, even simply as a hobby, demonstrate greater civic engagement and generally enjoy greater success in school and beyond.

The Benefits of Music & Music Education

Today, there are more ways than ever to express yourself. Greater, cheaper technology means nearly anyone can find a creative outlet. Things like Photoshop, built-in video cameras in phones, and online music software makes art available to the greater public.

Tracking Philly’s Rich Musical History

Known as the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia is an interesting mix of American history, rural and urban traditions, and civic pride. No one loves their city more than Philadelphians. With a bustling arts scene and plenty of history and culture to draw upon, Philly's music scene is alive and well.

A Brief History

Prior to the 19th century, Philly's musical culture mostly existed in the church, due to its large Quaker population.

How To: Memorize Note Names on the Guitar

Being able to find the note names on a fretboard is one of the most useful skills for a developing guitar player. It's crucial not only for reading music, but also for playing in the right keys and being able to solo. Below you'll find the basics of note names and how to find them on a fretboard.

Sign Me Up! Getting a Record Deal in NYC

The number of record labels based in and around New York are almost too numerous to count. These days, anyone with a moderate amount of recording gear and proper know-how can start up a small but successful record label. And more power to them. The recording industry has traditionally leaned too far toward huge conglomerates, but now plenty of indies have risen to balance the power. Here's just a few of the Big Apple's many, many labels. You'll find big- and small-name labels alike.

Jam It Up At NYC’s Best Jazz Jams

Jam sessions have played a very important role in the history and development of jazz music, and they continue to help shape the jazz scene today. Jam sessions allow players to hang out, make connections, try out new chops, and learn from seasoned jazz vets. They're the hub of the jazz scene, and they're one of the best things to do to make your way in it. The jazz scene can be a bit exclusive, so jam sessions are a great way to get in from the ground floor and start getting some cred.