Friday, July 29, 2011
Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre in Arlington, The Wizard of Oz will be presented by Act III on July 22-31
Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre in Arlington, where The Wizard of Oz will be presented by Act III on July 22-31.
Founded in 1987, Act III, a division of Encore Stage & Studio, is thrilled to present L. Frank Baum’s classic tale, with music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Yarburg. Children of all ages will be delighted by such familiar songs as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” “We’re Off to See the Wizard,” and “If I Only Had a Brain.”
We are especially excited to announce that Lee Mikeska Gardner is directing this production. Ms. Gardner is a veteran of Washington area theatre; her numerous credits include appearances at the Olney Theatre Center, Round House Theatre, and Arena Stage. She received a Helen Hayes award for her work in the Charter Theatre’s A House in the Country. In addition, Ms. Gardner is the founder of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre School.
Founded in 1967, as the Children’s Theatre of Arlington,
Encore Stage & Studio's mission is to build a lifelong appreciation for live theater by involving young people in all aspects of theater arts --onstage, backstage, in the classroom, and in the audience.
Encore strives to educate and entertain by offering five productions each season that are by and for young people, and through enriching classes and workshops with qualified, enthusiastic teaching artists. Participating in live theatre builds problem-solving skills, teamwork, creativity, literacy, and self-confidence. We are cultivating the next generation of active and engaged art lovers.
Visit Encore’s website
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Enjoy the show!
The Music Momma
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Pop music is a liberal and fuzzy category of modern music not marked by artistic considerations however by its promising fans or future market. Pop is music composed with calculated intention to influence the majority of its generation.
The original definition: “Pop” as it refers to the sound/style of certain music. In compare to music that calls for education or arrangement to realize, an important characteristic of pop music is that any person is able to find happiness in it. Artistic concepts such as composite musical form and aesthetics are not an affair in the writing of pop tunes, the key aim being fans satisfaction and profitable triumph. Although the aim of pop music is to sell records and do actually well in the charts, it doesn’t need extroverted acclaim or commercial success. There are awful or unsuccessful pop tunes.
Initially the term was an abbreviation of, and identical to, popular music, but developed about 1954 to express a particular musical category. The stylistic beginning of pop music is folk, jazz, Rhythm & Blues (R&B), rock and roll, traditional pop music. The classic instruments are bass guitar, electric guitar, drum kit and keyboard. The cultural origins date back to 1950’s in the America. It’s popular worldwide since 1960s.
The typical format of pop music is the song, frequently less than five minutes in length. The instrumentation could sort from an orchestra to a lone singer. In spite of this extroverted choice, a standard schedule in a pop band includes a drive guitarist, a bassist, a drummer (or an electronic drum machine), a keyboardist and one or more singers, usually not themselves instrumentalists.
Pop tunes are generally obvious by a deep rhythmic element, a normal style and traditional structure. The largest part common modification is strophic in form and centers on memorable melodies, catchy hooks and the request of the verse-chorus-verse arrangement, with the refrain sharply divergent the verse melodically, rhythmically and harmonically.
Lyrics in pop symphony are often simple and speak of universal experiences and feelings, moving away from inconceivable or debatable issues. The international appeal of pop was incontestable in the new millennium, with musicians from around the world influencing the type and local/regional variants merger with the mainstream. Since of 2008, pop music is now currently the most trendy style of music of youth culture, making competition with hip hop, dance and country.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
So here we are - coming off a weekend of old friends and memories from what seems like several life times ago.
The Music Momma has attended her 20 year HS Reunion this last weekend! Check out the picture above – senior class picture and now. Wow – where did the time go?
Has it been 20 years since my education in public school ended? It seems hard to conceptualize until I look at my 16 yr old son walking out the door with my car keys in his hands....when did this happen??? :)
Among the many fond memories I am now blessed with from this weekend I am also reminded that as we strive for our own children to have the best education possible we need to not forget that allowing time for activities they share with their peers and free time are just as important.
I was not sharing memories with my friends this weekend about the excellent advanced math placement class we were in (although very important). We were sharing our fondest memories of band trips and choir concerts; and of free time getting to know each other and ourselves. These were the experiences that defined us and we need to allow our children the same opportunities while balancing the quest for academic excellence.
Just a thought….
The Music Momma
Thursday, July 21, 2011
An intimate touch of sound or music can penetrate the whole being of human body. From the ancient ages this is a proven fact. Particularly in India, music for its rich root is considered as an integral part of Yoga practicing. And India has also a rich source of instrumental music with its innumerable kinds of musical instruments be it classical, traditional or folk. Every kind, every type and every genre has its own distinct characteristics. The mild and melodious tunes of flute or the healing sound of sitar, each one soothes the mind and soul. Instrumental music can be used as the best kind of meditation music. As the beautiful sounds of instruments help the mind and soul to relax and concentrate on a single thought.
Yoga or meditation is a way to connect oneself with the divine power or God. Gods and Goddesses often have a close association with music. It is said that the melodious tune from the flute of Krishna, the God of love, overflows this earth with serene divinity. Musical instruments are also used to worship Saraswati, the Goddess of music. Instrumental music frees the mind from all mundane thoughts and pulls the mind towards the Divine. Thus, it transforms the mind into a higher level of concentration required in practicing Yoga. Music also plays a significant role in some particular forms of Yoga like Hatha yoga or Kundalini Yoga.
Traditional musical instruments like flute or bansuri, tanpura and sitar are mainly suitable to form the base of yoga music for their calming sounds. Generally these instruments are used to compose the music-tracks of Yoga DVDs which relieve the mind from all anxieties, tensions or worries thus helping it to relax. The sound of bansuri is perfect to be used in meditation or yoga. Sometimes natural sounds like sounds of waterfalls or birdsong when woven with instrumental music creates a harmony between the mother nature and human kind. This heavenly symphony makes the Union with the Absolute amazingly smooth and perpetual.
Music heightens the consciousness of human being which is a pre-requisite for practicing any kind of yoga - be it Kundalini yoga, Karma yoga, Nada yoga or Vikrama yoga. But vocal music can distract the mind as the mind seems to get involved in understanding the lyrics and voice. Whereas calm and relaxing instrumental music is free from such kind of mind-distraction features. Minimal use of heavy sounds or instruments and maximum use of mind-refreshing light sounds evoke the spiritual sense within. Nothing can be better than these tranquil tunes as meditation music. Incorporating these types of music into yoga practicing can lead to a greater level of self-realization and attainment of moksha.
Spirit Voyage, an online music company, is rich with its massive collection of instrumental yoga music suitable for practicing yoga or meditation. This collection will surely transform the mind of the practitioner into a higher level of divine calmness. This company also offers wide range of music of different genres such as meditation music, yoga music CDs and DVDs etc. which promise to satisfy the demands of the yoga admirers. Artists like Deva Premal, Wah!, Snatam Kaur, Donna De Lory and Gurmukh have lent their pure voices which transform the atmosphere into a highest level of divine meditative state.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Learning to play an instrument is learning to become a musician. A good musician knows how to read notes and rhythms independently and can maintain his own part in an ensemble.
During group music lessons, students learn strong musicianship skills through movement, singing, games, and writing activities.
In a group setting, students play in what can be referred to as a " band". Many young musicians taking only private instruction lack the experience necessary to play with other musicians.
In group music lessons, everyone plays in an ensemble, thus building the skills needed for strong solo playing as well an ensemble experience.
Beginning Musicians often suffer from performance anxiety. In group music lessons, students play for one another frequently in a safe, supported environment, thus reducing the cause of anxiety in advanced musicians.
Group lessons are perfect for young beginners.
Find more info on PRIVATE and GROUP music instruction
The Musical Momma
Friday, July 15, 2011
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2" Trailer 2
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2
87 out of 100
'Harry Potter' Says an Impressive Goodbye
Not to discourage any prospective viewers, but "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" is not the ideal entry point for anyone interested in the adventures of the intrepid teen wizard created by British author J. K. Rowling -- for the obvious reason that it is, as you most likely know, the finale of the series of film adaptations of Rowling's novels. Rowling's send-off to her beloved-worldwide characters was the seventh book in the series, but it is so fraught with climactic incident that two films were needed to get it all down, silver screen-wise. "So, this is it," said some dude sitting next to me in the screening room where I saw it, as the lights went down. I imagine quite a few paying customers will mutter something similar after the trailers in a multiplex near you. This is more than just a movie: It's a pop culture occasion.
Search: More on Harry Potter
Watch FilmFan: "Harry Potter" vs. "Winnie the Pooh"
What director David Yates, screenwriter Steve Kloves, an army of designers and technicians, an incredibly engaging and accomplished cast, and everyone else involved with the production have put onscreen is entirely appropriate to the occasion, in the event, that is, that you have been paying attention to the seven films that have gone before. Not to belabor the point, but more than once during the grandiose proceedings, which see the once-enchanted wizard academy Hogwarts pretty much razed to the ground as a prelude to wizard Harry's final showdown with the implacably evil and bearing-a-spooky-flat-face-to-prove-it Lord Voldemort, I wondered what someone ignorant of the Potter mythos -- the sort of being one might call a muggle -- would make of the proceedings. I myself, while I've seen all of the Potter films, only just learned how to spell the word "horcrux."
In any event, one way to look at this is as "The Longest Day" of wizard movies: It's a grand battle, everybody shows up, various strategies are tried and abandoned, the price of the sacrifice is assessed, and so on. Ralph Fiennes' rampaging but sometimes sly Voldemort even takes some time to play Axis Sally, telepathically telling the surviving students at the falling Hogwarts to give up, that the cause is hopeless and the kid is useless. It's all grand stuff, what with turncoat dragons, cursed diadems, Harry's mates Ron and Hermione finding love, tense games of guess-the-wand owner, and much, much more, and it moves along briskly and looks great and is all pretty ... well, impressive but pro forma, with the allowance that with this series, pro forma has always been pretty darn good.
But then it gets better, actually. The scene in which the conundrum of Harry's fate is revealed via the prism of the once-hated instructor Snape's tears is a sequence of genuine emotion and near-Shakespearean story invention. Harry's tormented understanding of what he must do in that scene's aftermath is conveyed beautifully by Daniel Radcliffe, and it's commendable the way Yates quiets things down around his character. Moments in summer blockbusters when you can hear a pin drop in the auditorium are rarely intended, and rarely achieved; I bet this will be one of them. Similarly quiet and spellbinding is Harry's final conversation with his dear departed mentor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon), which contains some of the best writing in the film and brings its concerns well outside the realm of teen fantasy and into the genuinely philosophical. "Of course it's happening in your head, Harry; why should that mean it's not real?" asks the older wizard at one point. It's not Heidegger, but on the other hand, you don't get that kind of dialogue in a "Transformers" movie, do you?
In other respects, the story line proceeds in a headlong rush, which, truth to tell, gives short shrift to some of the series' beloved characters and the beloved Brit master thespians who play them. For instance, Jim Broadbent's Professor Slughorn does show up, albeit in fewer individual shots than there are Harry Potter films, but what are you going to do? In the end, the thing works like, well, magic, to the extent that this reviewer, who is still not entirely sure what a horcrux is, now that he's learned to spell it, got kind of choked up at the film's very sweet and not at all inapt postscript.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Recent research underscores how playing an instrument (sooner than later) bolsters kids' academic, social, and emotional lives.
When her son started kindergarten at a public school in Berkeley, Calif., Marion Atherton just assumed that music would be part of his education.
As the director of the Crowden School, a Bay Area non-profit that offers music education to children who don't have access to it, Atherton took it for granted that her own son's school would teach music. She soon learned differently: her son wouldn't be getting any music classes until third grade.
"I was sort of shocked," said Atherton. "Here I am director of the Crowden Center, and my own children don't have a music program?"
Her son's school was not alone: A 2008 study by the Center on Education Policy found a narrowing of school curricula had resulted in a significant shift away from arts and music programs nationwide: since 2001-2002, 16 percent of elementary school districts have reduced their instructional time in arts and music.
Such cuts to music education are particularly ironic given the growing body of research that underscores how music engages many of same areas of the brain involved in language processing, memory, and other critical thinking skills essential for academic success. Music also appeares to benefit kids socially and emotionally.
Here are seven areas where studies have shown the benefits of music to kids' education and development:
Language processing: Several recent studies suggest that the brain processes music and language in similar ways, and that training in music may have benefits for language-related skills. The Neurosciences Institute reports that its research has "revealed a significant degree of overlap between music and language processing," and in a 2005 study , researchers at Stanford University found that mastering a musical instrument improves the way the human brain processes parts of spoken language. The findings suggested that students who are struggling with language and reading skills could especially benefit from musical training.
Memory: The benefits of music training appear to extend to memory, too. A 2003 study by researchers at The Chinese University of Hong Kong found that children with musical training showed better verbal memory than their peers. "When these children were followed up after a year," the study's authors wrote, "those who had begun or continued music training demonstrated significant verbal memory improvement." In other words, memorizing music pieces correlated with improvements in non-musical memory, too.
This correlation may stem from particular ways that music "challenges" young minds. Takako Fujioka, a scientist at the Rotman Research Institute in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and co-author of a study that found musically trained children showed greater improvement on memory tests throughout the course of a year than their non-musically trained peers, explains that playing music "requires the brain to solve the problems of how to allocate attention and memory toward complex tasks."
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
The U.S. Department of Education recommends the arts to college-bound middle and junior high school students asserting, “Many colleges view participation in the arts and music as valuable experience that broadens students’ understanding and appreciation of the world around them.”
In addition, it plays a part in developing “children’s intellectual development.” The U.S. DOE also suggests one year of Visual and Performing Arts for college-bound high school students. (Source: Getting Ready for College Early: A Handbook for Parents of Students in the Middle and Junior High School Years, U.S. Department of Education, 1997)
The arts are one of the six subject areas in which the College Board recognizes as essential in order to thrive in college. (Source: Academic Preparation for College: What Students Need to Know and Be Able to Do, 1983 [still in use], The College Board, New York )
The arts produce jobs, generating an estimate $37 billion with a return of $3.4 billion in federal income taxes. (Source: American Arts Alliance Fact Sheet, October 1996 )
Students taking courses in music performance and music appreciation scored higher in the SAT than students with no arts participation. Music performance students scored 53 points higher on the verbal and 39 points higher on the math. Music appreciation students scored 61 points higher on the verbal and 42 points higher on the math. (Source: 1999 College-Bound Seniors National Report: Profile of SAT Program Test Takers, The College Entrance Examination Board, Princeton, New Jersey)
According to the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988, music students received more academic honors and awards than non-music students. A higher percentage of music participants received As, As/Bs, and Bs than non-music participants. (Source: NELS:88 First Follow-up, 1990, National Center for Education Statistics, Washington D.C.)
Lewis Thomas, physician and biologist, found that music majors comprise the highest percentage of accepted medical students at 66%. (Source: As reported in “The Case for Music in the Schools,” Phi Delta Kappan, February 1994.)
Research made between music and intelligence concluded that music training is far greater than computer instruction in improving children’s abstract reasoning skills.(Source: Shaw, Rauscher, Levine, Wright, Dennis and Newcomb, “Music training causes long-term enhancement of preschool children’s spatial-temporal reasoning,” Neurological Research, vol. 19, February 1997 )
The University of Montreal researched brain imaging techniques to study brain activity during musical tasks. Researches concluded that sight-reading musical scores and playing music “activate regions in all four of the cortex’s lobes” and “parts of the cerebellum are also activated during those tasks.” (Source: J. Sergent, E. Zuck, S. Tenial, and B. MacDonnall (1992). Distributed neural network underlying musical sight reading and keybpard performance. Science, 257, 106-109.)
Researchers in Leipzig discovered through the use of brain scans that musicians had larger planum temporale, the region of the brain associated with reading skills. Also, musicians had a thicker corpus callosum, the nerve fibers that connect the two halves of the brain. (Source: G. Schlaug, L. Jancke, Y. Huang, and H. Steinmetz (1994). “In vivo morphometry of interhemispheric asymmetry and connectivity in musicians.” In I. Deliege (Ed.), Proceedings of the 3rd international conference for music perception and cognition (pp. 417-418), Liege, Belgium.)
“The arts enrich communities and employees, and also stimulate the kind of intellectual curiosity our company needs to stay competitive.” (Source: Norma R. Augustine, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Martin Marietta Corporation.)
“A grounding in the arts will help our children to see; to bring a uniquely human perspective to science and technology. In short, it will help them as they grow smarter to also grow wiser. (Source: Robert E. Allen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, AT&T Corporation, in “America’s Culture Begins with Education”)
This data is exerpted from Music Makes the Difference: Music, Brain Development, and Learning which is MENC publication #1668 and may be purchased at the MENC website at www.menc.org.
Arts Education aids students in skills needed in the workplace: flexibility, the ability to solve problems and communicate; the ability to learn new skills, to be creative and innovative, and to strive for excellence. (Source: Joseph M. Calahan, Director of Corporate Communications, Xerox. Corporation)
I believe arts education in music, theater, dance and the visual arts is one of the most creative ways we have to find the gold that is buried just beneath the surface. They (children) have an enthusiasm for life, a spark of creativity, and vivied imaginations that need training...training that prepares them to become confident young men and women. As I visit schools around the country I see a renewed interest in arts education and a growing concern about the negative impact of cutting art and music out of curriculum. The creativity of the arts and the joy of music should be central to the education of every American child. (Source: Richard W. Riley, U.S. Secretary of Education)
Music is Beating Computers at Enhancing Early Childhood Development. 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. Learning music at an early age causes long-term enhancement of spatial-temporal reasoning. (Source: Frances Rauscher, Ph.D., Gordon Shaw, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, 1997)
Music Enhances Linguistic Skills. Music -- specifically song -- is one of the best training grounds for babies learning to recognize the tones that add up to spoken language. (Source Sandra Trehubn, University of Toronto, 1997)
America Is a Country Full of Music-Makers. 113 million, or 53% of Americans over the age of 12 are current or former music makers. (Source: 1997 "American Attitudes Towards Music" poll conducted by the Gallup Organization)
Americans Say Schools Should Offer Instrumental Music Instruction as part of the regular curriculum. 88% of respondents indicated this in a 1997 "American Attitudes Towards Music" Gallup poll. (Source: Music Trades, September 1997)
Student involvement in extracurricular or cocurricular activities makes students resilient to current substance use among their peers, according to a recent statewide survey of Texas Schools. Secondary students who participated in band, orchestra or choir reported the lowest lifetime use of all substances. (Source: 1994 Texas School Survey of Substance Abuse Among Students: Grades 7-12)
Studying Music Strengthens Students' Academic Performance. Rhode Island studies have indicated that sequential, skill-building instruction in art and music integrated with the rest of the curriculum can greatly improve children's performance in reading and math. (Source: "Learning Improved by Arts Training" by Martin Gardiner, Alan Fox, Faith Knowles, and Donna Jeffrey, Nature, May 23, 1996)
Music and Spatial Task Performance: A Casual Relationship. Music lessons, and even simply listening to music, can enhance spatial reasoning performance, a critical higher-brain function necessary to perform complex tasks including mathematics. (Source: Frances Rauscher, Ph.D., Gordon Shaw, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, 1994)
The Mozart Effect surfaced about four years ago when research uncovered that adults who listened to music of complexity for ten minutes or so experienced temporary increases in their spatial IQ scores. (Source: Frances Rauscher, Ph.D., Gordon Shaw, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, 1994)
Music Is One of Our Greatest Economic Exports. "The arts are an economic plus -- second only to aerospace as our most lucrative national export." (Source: Michael Greene of The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences)
Teacher Expertise in Music is a Critical Factor in Student Learning. Research indicates that teachers of all subjects -- including music -- who are more experienced and educated are more effective in the classroom. Consequently, students learn more from them. (Source: Paying for Public Education: New Evidence on How and Why Money Matters, by Ronald Ferguson, 1991)
Sunday, July 3, 2011
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• Limit 1 voucher per person; buy unlimited as gifts.
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• Rentals and materials are available for an additional fee.
• Go online learnnowmusic.com/virtual_music_lessons_on_line to schedule classes.
• Once classes are scheduled, cancellations are not permitted. If cancellation is made, voucher is subject to forfeiture.
• Full value must be used; no change or credit returned.
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Saturday, July 2, 2011
Friday, July 1, 2011
Keep an eye out for this review coming at the end of July!
Check out their site in the mean time.
Happy Fourth of July weekend!
The Music Momma
The Children's Theatre