I was delighted to sit down some weeks back with siblings Alexus and Eugene Arthur, as well as their mom, Judy Wideman, to discuss the kids experience at “Rock to the Future, an after-school music program. The school provides both music training as well as academic tutoring for kids living in underserved neighborhoods of Philadelphia.
The resulting profile article that resulted was published last month by WHYY Newsworks.
These kids are another great example of dedication and hard work, as they take full advantage of their opportunity to learn and grow as people and as musicians.
A while back here at the blog, I wrote a 6-part expose on singers and marketing. One phase of building the brand as a singer is to have a quality demo of your work to show your vocal prowess. The linked article here is from The Recording Connection, a national audio school and recording studio, with some concise tips on how to approach your vocal demo. They take great care here to break down the options by purpose, whether you goal is to try and publish songs, or to promote you the artist, or your band.
Thought I would share this great overview from the Music Clout on the music royalty system for songwriters. Though its written as a treatise or white paper it’s a great resource and reference source for you on on how song royalties are calculated and distributed.
In this season of giving- I thought this piece may be timely.
Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock recently found themselves involved in a different form of collaboration; a simple twist of fate you might say, if I may borrow from Bob Dylan with my analogy.
Here the jazz legends have “composed” an open letter to artists to press on and pursue their crafts despite turbulent times, and they speak specifically out of terrorism with examples of tragedies that occurred over the last year to 18 months. This piece is all about perseverance and a must read; an innovative and proactive approach from two standout representatives of the Jazz genre. Read on!
There have been a number of articles and papers written over the years on the topic of how music involvement, and more so, music study, has positively affected humans; some of these I have posted here at the blog. This piece takes a more scientific view, which in and of itself is even more assuring to me.
Though this compelling piece puts the primary focus on children and youth, it makes the case later in the article that an active involvement with music benefits a person throughout life.
The title is: The power of music: its impact on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people.
The white paper was written by Susan Hallam from the Institute of Education, University of London. Enjoy!
In past posts I had shared here some perspectives from professionals on what music study has meant to their lives as they look back- well on in the careers- having achieved great success in careers outside of music. Still. music was a key part of the learning process for them in their youth.
In this piece the focus is youth development and how music training can help positively effect social skills, IQ development, academic skills, spatial-temporal skills and making the brain work harder. Very fascinating study here.
Ok so this post speaks to anyone who has thought about their age with respect to their involvement in music and singing. Should you have concerns if over a certain age, say 50 or so?
I must share that my vocal students at times express concerns about age as it relates to their singing, some as young as 30 or so. The fact is that we can sing and reap great benefits from singing at any age.
Here in 2016, Jazz/pop singer Tony Bennett is nearing 90 years of age- and he is still touring and drawing big crowds! Now he has been in the music business consistently since a young age, but what if he changed his mind set at any point along the way- that he was “too old” to sing? Though he has altered his approach with age, Tony still goes on- entertaining crowds.
Over time our bodies do change with the aging process. As we age our Vocal chords have less pliability, and so one of the more distinctive changes that happens to our voice, as a result, is that we may not reach the highest notes that we did when we were younger. But this process varies from person to person, and is dependent somewhat on the lifestyle and health habits from one person to the next.
As Tony Bennett and many others singers prove, you can make alterations, such as the keys of songs and vocal arrangements that will still result in wonderful music- that you will still love performing. Of course maintaining overall good spiritual and physical health is essential as well.
So the focus must be on your music- regardless of age. What drives you musically and vocally? With this more proactive approach, you are much less likely to focus on age so that your real strengths come through. And as with any endeavor, musically or otherwise, continue with training to develop your skills.
So set goals and go after them. Wherever there may be the perception of an age-related issue such as who will accept your music, bring the focus back to your music. It can also be enormously helpful to talk with your peers and loved ones to gain their perspective as well.
I love the linked article below, “Are we too old to make it.” It is right on the money with the focus on how we think- about ourselves and our craft; this piece goes back a few years- but the message is still timeless.
Feel free to leave comments.
In the past I have shared the Music Clout site with my blog readers in instances when MC has promoted various resources that I viewed as worthy for singers and musicians. Here they are offering an opportunity for artists to get their music heard and to possibly get a recording contract. Check it out- and good luck.