Category Archives: Community

Lammermuir Festival 2011

It’s difficult to believe that East Lothian-based readers will not have heard of The Lammermuir Festival 2011, which kicked off yesterday, but just in case click here to find out more. Last year’s inaugural festival was excellent with an unbelievable range of genres and venues. I’m attending seven concerts over the next eight days and will be reviewing for Bachtrack here.  Many East Lothian pupils will be involved, gaining valuable, hand-on experience of life in the arts.

MuseScore

I’m endebted to J. Simon van der Walt for (inadvertently) alerting me to a free, open source, music score-writing programme entitled MuseScore.  It is intuitive to use for anyone accustomed to the basic commands which feature in most programmes e.g. hitting the space-bar to start/stop playing.

The program saves in its own file format but opens a variety of other file types, including Midi files.

While it’s not Sibelius, it’s not £449.95 either and, in these difficult times, it might be the only way for some to get their foot inside the score-writing software door.

In the spirit of open source, the first thing that happens, upon opening the program, is that you are invited to join the community. The news menu of this is reminiscent of Twitter with many (shortened) urls leading to how to videos such as this one on how to transpose a score.  A quick search for similar videos on YouTube revealed about 1,000 results.

You can download the programme (Windows, Linux or Apple) here.

And, finally, congratulations to Simon on his recent PhD in composition! You can hear some of Simon’s work here.

Morten Faerestrand

I was pleased to receive a Youtube friend request from a great jazz guitarist and teacher – Morten Faerestrand. In addition to great videos – nice sound good film quality – there is the option to sign up for TABS for each of the lessons – all of it FREE.

You can find Morten’s site here.

In the meantime, here are a couple of samples: [kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/7u3QL8RroO0?rel=0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/mkpY2WahsQ8?rel=0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Conference 1

I recently experienced four days which I would have to sum up as amongst the most stimulating but toughest days I can recall. They were spent at a conference (organised by the Mariani Foundation and hosted by Edinburgh University – specifically Katie Overy of the IMHSD) entitled: The Neurosciences and Music: Learning & Memory

 Stimulating for the following reasons: 

  • dedicated, uninterrupted time to devote to an area of fascination which often only pops up intermittently – namely the intersection of music, language, memory, learning, science (of various sorts)
  • the world’s leading thinkers – many of whose names I had already come across – were presenting recent research
  • the questions/comments often added another dimension to the talks – I noted that resonant, thought-provoking questions were equally likely from delegates in identical or contrasting fields to the speaker

 Tough for the following reasons: 

  • although I am now very interested in science, I do not have a scientific background – my last formal contact was failing Higher Chemistry and Physics in 1977
  • speed – all speakers were keen to run to time and presentations were necessarily quick – this meant that slides containing acronyms, data, graphs, brain scans etc. seemed to be racing by*
  • concentration – not my own (although this was no doubt challenged) but more the concentration of 18 hours of listening and a further 6 hours of poster viewing/chat to authors over four days was quite dense 

I would equate the content of those four days with at least a year’s reading, TV/radio documentaries, on-line exploration. For that reason, I was glad to have my Zoom H2 mp3 recorder with me and intend to re-visit many of the talks in order to write things up over time. Until then, though, here is an outline of content to give some broad overview of the content. 

*One of the delegates seated next to me, using an iPad, switched seamlessly between – typing, photographing, videoing. That’s the way to go! Other devices are available 🙂

Neurosciences and Music IV: Learning & Memory

 DAY 1  – Thu 9 June

 

  Registration

 “Working with Infants and Children”

 Workshop 1Experimental Methods  – 4 x 30 minute presentations

 Workshop 2 – Social / Real World Methods – 4 x 20 minute presentations

 Day 2 – Fri 10 June

 

 Keynote lecture Human memory – 45 minutes

Symposium IMechanisms of Rhythm and Meter Learning over the Life Span – 3 x 20 minute presentations

Symposium 2Impact of Musical Experience on Cerebral Language Processing – 4 x 30 minute presentations

Symposium 3Cultural Neuroscience of Music – 6 x 20 minute presentations

Poster session I – 2 hours to view posters/chat to authors/take away A4 version handouts

 

Day 3 – Saturday 11 June


Symposium 4 Memory and Learning in Music Performance 5 x 20 minute presentations

Symposium 5Mind and Brain in Musical Imagery – 5 x 20 minute presentations

Symposium 6 Plasticity and Malplasticity in Health and Disease – 5 x 20 minute presentations

Poster session II – 2 hours to view posters/chat to authors/take away A4 version handouts

 

Day 4 – Sunday 12 June

Symposium 7The Role of Music in Stroke Rehabilitation: neural mechanisms and therapeutic techniques – 6 x 20 minute presentations

Symposium 8Music: A Window into the World of Autism – 4 x 25 minute presentations

Symposium 9Learning and Memory in Musical disorders – 4 x 25 minute presentations

Edinburgh International Film Festival previews – neuroscience is a theme this year – 15 min presentation

Conclusions and thanks.

Poster session III – 2 hours to view posters/chat to authors/take away A4 version handouts

 18 hours of talks – 6 hours of poster sessions

45 Speakers

300+ delegates

It never rains but it pours…

… I hate that expression – but anyway.

Tomorrow sees the Neuromusic IV conference kick off. I’ve been looking forward to this for ages. I intend to write up (m)any interesting things when it’s over (it runs till Sunday). Fittingly the conference closes with a concert and jazz session, at which I have offered to play what has become one of my favourite tunes (see video below).

On Saturday evening, I’ll be taking time out for a much loved musical experience – a Calton Consort concert (what a poet!) Had that not been on, I’d have gone along to this Edinburgh Contemporary Music Ensemble event. I’ve just been listening to some audio from previous events.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/S2vDLzyD0Go?rel=0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Community

I received a nice pingback on a recent post today on the Mind Over Music blog by Justin Yanowicz and Judy Crook. Having been in touch with Nina Krauss, the director of the work mentioned on my original post, and discovering that we will both be attending The Neurosciences and Music conference in June, today’s unexpected tie-in was further proof of the ease with which the internet can bring together those with a shared interest, connecting and amplifying learning.

What I liked in particular was their advice to delay cognitive ageing: “Speak several languages daily and keep playing your instrument.” Easier said than done or, as I like to say when pupils suggest insurmountability, “difficult, but not impossible.”

Free African Drumming Workshop

My colleague, Iain Bruce (East Lothian Strategic Music Partnership Co-ordinator) sent through the following information on a FREE  African Drumming Workshop,  delivered by renowned facilitator, Dougie Hudson.

  • For children & young people aged 10–18 years old
  • Saturday the 21st May, 11 a.m. – 1p.m. at the Haddington Bridge Centre, 11 Poldrate, Haddington, EH41 4DA
  • Call 01620 823 137 to book a place!
  • Workshops will be split according to age

Click this link to download poster (with details) and distribute to your pals: African Drumming Workshop

Gateshead Granny Cloud

I always felt that Martyn Lewis was unfairly pilloried in 1993 for opining that there should be more good news on the news. Is news meant to be a reflection of life, or merely a litany of human failing?

I caught an interesting story (in the car, as always) on Radio 4’s new technologies programme, Click On yesterday which typified, for me, the type of under-reported philanthropic instinct to which I suspect Lewis was referring. Chasing the idea today, I found the following video on YouTube which explains the story. You also get to see what must be a unique three-word sentence: Gateshead Granny Cloud:[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/IXxYgpQhsrU?rel=0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

The originator of the idea, Sugata Mitra, explains a little more fully here on TED:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/dk60sYrU2RU?rel=0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

 

Youth Music Worker

My colleague in East Lothian, Iain Bruce (East Lothian Strategic Music Partnership Co-ordinator) got in touch with information about a job opportunity – Youth Music Worker. Applicants should be aged between 18 and 25 and have been unemployed for a minimum of 6 months. If you know of anyone who might be suitable and interested, Iain’s advice is for them to get in touch with Job Centre Plus as soon as possible.

Here is the Job Description

3 Harbours Festival

Calling All Musicians

Are you a singer/musician/in a band? Would you like the opportunity to perform at this year’s 3 Harbours Arts Festival?

The 3 Harbours Arts Festival will be running from 28th May to the 5th June this year and we are looking for singers/bands to perform.

If you are interested and would like to know more please contact John Murphy at jmurphy@eastlothian.gov.uk
Please have a look at the 3 Harbours website – www.3harbours.co.uk
Registration forms for musicians must be completed by Monday 31st January 2011