Music Lessons for Math Success

About Me

When my daughter started struggling in math, I went through all of the usual channels to help her. I got her a tutor, we did extra practice at home, and we made flashcards and played math games. However, it just wasn’t enough. Finally, I decided to try something a little more unusual. I signed her up for piano lessons. I’d heard that music stimulates the same part of the brain that you use to do math.

The results weren’t immediate, but her math skills really did begin to grow after a while. I decided to start this blog to talk about all the different ways that music can benefit kids and their education. It’s been really interesting to watch these changes happen at home.

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Minimizing Wear When Playing a Rare Vinyl Album

As with visual forms of art, certain memorable songs endure the test of time. Most of the popular songs from the 1960s through the 1980s were originally made available on vinyl albums. Owners of rare vinyl albums can take specific steps to ensure that there is minimal wear on their albums as the songs are played once again. Record albums of earlier decades consisted of a vinyl disc that contained a purely analog recording. The entire recording is etched in a continuous spiral groove, starting near the edge of the disc and ending near the center. As the album is rotated by a turntable, the analog data encoded in the groove is converted to electrical signals. A slight amount of wear occurs to a vinyl album each time it is played. Whether you are playing an album for personal enjoyment or for transferring the content to a digital format, there are several actions to take beforehand. Dust removal Any accumulated dust should be removed from a vinyl album before it is played. Water on a soft cloth is a suitable cleaning solution. Normally, you should handle a vinyl album only by its outer edges. For cleaning, lightly wipe the disc in the same direction as the circular grooves. After the album is free of dust, mechanical adjustments to your turntable may be beneficial. Condition of the stylus Alongside the rotating platter, turntables contain a tonearm to read the analog signal. A stylus needle at the end of the tonearm rides in the continuous groove of a rotating album. The stylus is contained in a replaceable cartridge and is the...

Common Irish Folk Songs You Should Know

If you are planning on having a St. Patrick’s Day party, you are going to need to craft the perfect playlist that will allow people of all ages and musical tastes to enjoy themselves. Here are some tips for making this happen.  1. Include Some Traditional Irish Folk Songs Your first step is to make a base list of traditional Irish folk songs. These songs are relatively non-offensive and will be fairly pleasing to everyone. Some common traditional Irish folk songs that you should include on your list are Whiskey in the Jar, Galway Girl, Dirty Old Town, the Ferryman, the Red Rose Cafe, and Red as a Rose. If you are planning on your party going for several hours and are worried that you’re not going to have enough music to cover the time, consider looking for covers from different Irish groups. Many musicians are going to cover these songs and they are all going to sound a little bit different, so even if you have doubles of the same song but not the same cover, people aren’t going to get bored. 2. Intersperse Irish Rock Once you have your base set of traditional Irish folk songs, start branching out into more modern music, specifically Irish rock. There are a great deal of popular Irish bands, including the Flogging Mollies and the Dropkick Murphys that produce rock music that have rhythm that are commonly found in traditional Irish music. Once you have a list of these songs, try to have one play for every three or four traditional Irish pieces. This will help keep the mood of the party up and allow you to...

Give Vinyl A Chance: 3 Reasons To Explore This Throwback Way Of Enjoying Music

It’s tough to beat the convenience of digital music, but if you’re looking for a way to enjoy your favorite albums in a classic way, buy a turntable for your home and head to your local music store to shop for vinyl. Take this path and you won’t be alone — according to data from Nielsen Soundscan, the organization that tracks music industry statistics, vinyl sales in the U.S. have risen consistently since 2005. Whether you’re discerning about your tastes in music or are open to exploring new genres and performers, walking into a music store that sells vinyl opens the door to a new world. Here are three reasons to give vinyl a chance. Makes Shopping Fun Despite its convenience, there’s not much of a fun factor in buying music digitally. A couple clicks on your mobile device and you’ll have a song or entire album downloaded, but you’ll miss the undeniably enjoyable experience of browsing until you find what you want. There’s something special about visiting a music store and looking at vinyl — even the smell of sorting through old record sleeves can be strangely satisfying. This manner of shopping expands your music horizons — when you’re shopping digitally, you simply search for what you want and download it. Browsing through tables and shelves of vinyl makes finding the album of your choice something of an odyssey and exposes you to music that you might not otherwise ever encounter. Slows You Down There’s little question that today’s fast-paced lifestyle causes stress. In fact, the American Institute on Stress reports that nearly half of all Americans consider...

What Makes A Bosendorfer Piano Unique?

The Bosendorfer piano is a beautiful piece of musical art with a few unique design characteristics that you don’t find in other pianos. The Austrian company is dedicated to creating pianos that last longer than a lifetime and make exquisite music. Here are the characteristics of the Bosendorfer piano that make it so special: Keys Standard pianos have 88 keys. The Bosendorfer Imperial can have 92 to 97 keys allowing the piano to have eight octaves instead of the usual seven on pianos with 88 keys. The extra keys not only add to the sound, but allow you to play music that requires pipes from a pedal organ. Sound The sound of a Bosendorfer piano is often described as “dark” or “resounding.” Those extra keys are bass keys. Even when they aren’t struck, the strings reverberate and add to the sound. The deep sound makes dark and demanding music sound darker and more demanding. It wows listeners as it echoes through a concert hall. Easy Tuning and Service Bosendorfer is the only piano company in the world to use a capo d’astro bar you can remove easily. This makes it easier for you to service the piano and get precise tuning since the bar won’t be in your way. Single stringing on your Bosendorfer will also make service easier. Each key is attached by itself and not bundled with other strings. When one breaks, you’ll have a much easier time replacing one string. Air-dried Austrian Spruce Bosendorfer pianos are made from a very special type of wood that must fulfill certain qualifications before it can become a piano. The spruce trees...

Three Tips To Avoid Accidentally Triggering A Newly-Installed Car Alarm

Especially if you live in a crowded city with a lot of crime, installing a new and quality car alarm on your car is a necessity if you want to protect your property. But in the first few months after the new alarm system is installed, your unfamiliarity with it could cause a few very annoying false alarms. To ensure that you don’t accidentally trigger a newly-installed car alarm, read these three tips. Try To Minimize The Number Of Keys You Put On Your Key Ring Most modern car alarms come with a panic button on an electronic key. Even if this panic button is very small, there’s still a chance that you could accidentally trigger it when you’re stuffing a full key chain into your pocket. So right after you get your new electronic car key, go through all the keys on your key chain and remove the ones that you don’t absolutely need to carry around with you.  Look For Any Falling Fruits Around Trees You Park Your Car Under While some car alarms are more sensitive than others, most of them will start chirping if a large and heavy object suddenly lands on the vehicle’s hood. In addition to any dent the impact may cause, you could be forced to immediately leave anything from a shower to an important work assignment in order to address the problem. Try not to park your car under a tree that’s known to periodically drop large objects, like crab apples. If you’re not sure what type of tree you’re parking your car under at first glance, take a little time...

Simple Tips To Keep Your Guitar In Good Condition

One of the unexpected lessons you’ve probably learned while taking guitar lessons is the importance of taking care of your guitar. In order to ensure that your notes are consistently crisp, you need to keep your guitar clean. Oil, dust and sweat can all cause the strings on the guitar to oxidize. Once this process occurs, you will begin to see a decline in the tone your guitar reaches. Fortunately, taking care of a guitar isn’t rocket science. Here are a few tips to get you started. Clean Your Hands Make it a point to clean your hands with an antibacterial soap before you play your guitar. Antibacterial soaps don’t just remove bacteria from your hands, but they also contain alcohol. Alcohol is great at removing the oils naturally found on the skin. When these oils get transferred to your guitar, this can dull the strings. If you are unable to get to a sink, at the very least, use a small amount of hand sanitizer. Whether you use soap and water or hand sanitizer, make certain you are thoroughly drying your hands to ensure you aren’t exposing the guitar to excess moisture.   Store Properly Make sure you are storing away your guitar properly in between lessons. You should never just place your guitar on the floor or on a shelf. It’s best to store your instrument upright and in a guitar case. Guitar cases are designed to prevent humidity and airborne contaminants, such as cigarette smoke, from damaging your guitar. Storing the guitar upright minimizes the amount of dust that collects on the guitar. If you don’t...

Two Of Your Questions About Working With A Mixing Engineer Answered

Producing music is one of the most rewarding forms of artistic expression that you can do. However, if you are wanting to formally record your songs, it is important for you to have professional help to ensure that your recordings match your artistic vision. While you may not be able to afford a full-service producer, there are online mixing engineers that can help you improve the sound of your music for a fraction of the price of a producer. Yet, you likely have never used these services, and this may cause you to need questions answered before you can decide whether this something you want for your music.  Why Should You Hire A Professional Mixing Engineer? Recording music is always a tricky task because there are times when the microphones may not capture the sound from your instruments in the exact way that you want. Luckily, this does not mean that you have to settle for poor sounding music. A mixing engineer is a professional that has the experience needed to adjust your recordings to provide the sound that you want.  In addition to improving these sounds, a mixing engineer can also serve as a consultant on making changes to your songs. However, this is a service that you will usually have to specially request because these professionals want to avoid offending hardworking artists. Yet, there are some individuals that may feel they want a fresh perspective on their songs. Are These Services Expensive? There are many people that may overlook using this option because they assume that hiring a mixing engineer is too expensive for them. While these...

Put Together A Couple’s Kit To Save Your EDM Festival Experience

Are you heading out to an EDM festival with a significant other this season? Whether you have been together for a few weeks or for years, couples tend to experience EDM music festivals differently than their single counterparts. Flirtations with strangers, keeping track of each other, and sheer exhaustion can all put stress on your relationship, making it difficult to enjoy the festival together. However, if you prepare for these stresses, you can find festivals more enjoyable as a couple. To make the most of your experience, put together a couple’s kit before you go. Here are some things you should think about including in your kit: Two Schedules. Many couples try to spend the entire festival together. However, if you want to be at different stages at the same time, you should give yourself freedom to do so. Make two copies of the schedule ahead of time and highlight where each of you will be. This way you can find each other in emergencies and know when you can expect to meet up.  Plenty of Water. Tempers tend to shorten as you and your partner become dehydrated. At the first sign of irritation, try offering your significant other an ice cold, refreshing beverage before you sit down to talk.  Your Favorite Treats. Hunger can also wear on your emotions. If you find you are bickering with your significant other, consider sitting down in a quieter place and enjoying a snack of your favorite food together. The time to reconnect and the extra energy will help keep your relationship together.  Ear Plugs. Ear plugs not only save your hearing, but also prevent...

Tuning a Piano: Questions and Answers

If you own a piano, over time it may sound a bit out of tune. The process to correctly tune a piano requires a good ear and real experience. In order for your beautiful instrument to sound correctly, it’s important that it be tuned regularly so you can have years of enjoyment with it. Here are some commonly asked questions and answers about having your investment tuned properly. How Much Will it Cost? More than likely, there are several professionals in your area you can call to come in and tune your piano. Prices can vary depending on the size or age of the piano, how much it’s gone out of tune, or other factors. Generally, the price to have it tuned can range anywhere from $75 to $200. If there is any damage to the piano such as broken strings, there will be an extra cost incurred to get those issues corrected and repaired. Can I Tune it Myself? While it’s certainly possible for you to try and tune the piano yourself, it is not recommended. A special tool called a tuning lever is used to help tighten or loosen the pins and strings inside the piano. If you use tools like a wrench or pliers, you can damage the pins inside the piano and this can cause expensive damage. If you turn the pins too tightly, they can cause too much tension on the strings, causing them to snap or causing the pin to break off. How Do I Know it’s out of Tune? As you’re playing the piano, you may notice certain notes sound out of...

Tips For Finding Affordable Musical Instruments

Whether you are looking for a musical instrument for yourself or for your child, you might be interested in finding the best deal on the price. After all, some instruments are known to cost a lot of money. All you need to do is take a moment to reflect on the following tips for finding musical instruments that fall within your price range. Visit The Pawn Shop When some people think of pawn shops, they think of jewelry. However, you might be able to find a good selection of instruments. Remember, these are things that usually cost an arm and a leg, so pawn shop owners know that they will be able to make a decent profit when selling them. Sure, most of the instruments found in the pawn shop will be used, but you might luck out and find one that is in almost new condition. Do not be afraid to visit a few different pawn shops, like Oppleman L Music, in order to make sure that you are getting the best deal on price for the quality of the instrument that you are looking at buying. Another good tip for the pawn shops that many people do not know is that you can leave your name and number with the owner if there are currently no instruments available. This way, you can get a call as soon as one comes in. Join An Online Music Forum Sometimes, finding the right deal is all about finding the right people. If you take the time and participate in several discussions regarding the type of music genre or instrument topics that...