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Vocal Anatomy

Posted by on January 4, 2016 at 11:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Artwork by Gisel A Costa

A child’s voice is not an adult’s voice! Children’s voices are smaller in the literal sense of the word – they physically cannot create the same volume or range an adult can, at least not without straining. Their lung volumes are smaller, and so are their larynges. There are restrictions, especially in range. It also means that “adult voice qualities” are not that readily available to them, and that their voices will grow wearier.
There are always exceptions to these rules, but they are just that: Exceptions!
Age 6 is recommended as the youngest age for voice lessons.

-Be sure you keep your vocal folds moist and well lubricated. You can do this by drinking plenty of liquids throughout the day.
- Keep tea and coffee consumption to a minimum though, as the caffeine in these drinks dries out the vocal folds and can make the voice sound raspy and scratchy. Alcohol is also bad for the voice, as it dehydrates the body and therefore the vocal folds. Also avoid citric acids before your lesson.
- Take time to take a relaxed, deep breath before you start to sing or speak. It will make you feel calmer and more confident.
- After speaking for a long time, warm-down by drinking some room temperature water. Yawn and then breathe deeply. A yawn is a good exercise for your kids singing as well.
- To nurse your voice through acold or a throat infection,steam it and drink lots of water. If diagnosed with laryngitis DO NOT SING. WHEN YOU ARE SICK PLEASE ALWAYS VISIT A DOCTOR FOR PROFESSIONAL ADVICE.
- Look after your voice. Don't strain it. Eliminate background noise before you try to speak loudly over it. If you have to project your voice, always use breath support.


Posted by on January 3, 2016 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (0)


It is important for BOTH the mother and father to sing lullabies to their baby and toddler. Firstly, it enhances a bonding experience between parent and child. Secondly, it helps babies and toddlers sleep. It is a distraction to help ease pain. It is beneficial to cognitive, emotional, and social developments in a child. It helps develop languages. It helps create routines for a child in a playful manner. For instance, singing a song to put toys away.

1. Bonding

A baby is able to recognize the mother’s and father’s voices when sung to them. They are able to recognize their voice as important.

2. Sleep

Lullabies help create a soothing bedtime atmosphere for the baby. Parents are able to control a bed-routine by playing or singing lullabies for their babies.

3. Eases Pain

According to Wellcome Trust’s neurologist Tim Griffith, lullabies helped ease pain. He exemplifies in the following statements, “There’s an ancient part of the brain in the limbic system which is responsible for the emotional responses to music,” he said. “What I think is happening here is that the emotional part of the brain is being stimulated by music. This is decreasing the arousal level, and that in turn is affecting their pain response levels.” Music creates a distraction from their physical pain or anxiety. For instance, lullabies help a child cope with their surroundings when they are afraid. (Hewitt, 2013)

4. Cognitive, Emotional, and Social Developments

Listening to lullabies help stimulate the child’s brain. Parents who sing or play music to their child are enhancing cognitive, emotional, and social developments.

5. Language Development

Lullabies help babies recognize their parents’ voices as well as their own names. It helps babies learn new vocabulary as well as listening. It is even better if lullabies are sung in different languages as well. A parent can begin teaching their child different cultures or their own culture by singing folk music or lullabies from their native country. As the toddler grows it also helps with rhyming, depicting patterns, and phenomic awareness. (Leavitt, 2009)

6. Routine

Singing lullabies can make putting toys away, brushing their teeth, bath time, or any routine – FUN! Toddlers respond positively when they are able to sing along! (Galvin, 2015)

Nemours. (1995-2015). Introducing Toddlers to Music. Retrieved from: Galvin, Mary M. (2015 June)

ParentMap. (2009) Why You Should Sing to Your Baby. Retrieved from: Leavitt, Loralee. (2009 March 23)

The Telegraph. Why Lullabies Really Do Send Babies to Sleep. (2015). Retrieved from: Hewitt Ivan. (2013 October 30)

5 Reasons Why Music Education Is Crucial for Your Child

Posted by on December 31, 2015 at 3:05 AM Comments comments (0)

It has been scientifically proven that music completely enhances the child’s development cognitively, emotionally, and socially.

1. Music is applicable to everything from the beginning of a child’s academic courses to non-related musical careers such as math, science, arts, reading, history, law, business, marketing, sales, etc.

2. Music gives children the freedom to express themselves and hear their own sounds.

3. Music is universal.

4. Music strengthens the mind and has long-term benefits.

5. Music is therapeutic.

Benefits of Learning Music

Posted by on November 24, 2015 at 8:25 PM Comments comments (0)

The benefits of learning music at an early age are crucial to the developmental processes. It has been scientifically proven to show positive long-term effects in motor abilities, language development, cultural awareness, academic performance, visual-spatial skills, decision making, leadership, teamwork, creativity, and brain structure. The outcomes are only natural and positive, especially for struggling learners. The benefits of learning music can be applied to professions that are not directly music-related.

Instrumental training produces long lasting changes in motor abilities, language development, cultural awareness, enhancing memory, improve academic performance, decision making, creativity, and brain structure.

• Vocal training consists of breathing exercises, articulation exercises, melodic phrases, and rhythm exercises that enhance confidence, the ability to speak, and expression. Many vocal lessons also teach foreign languages.

• Music strengthens the right and left hemispheres of the brain. 

• According to Boyd's article "Extracurricular Are Essential to Learning" the following exemplifies that "These traits, found in musicians, are also common among world-class athletes and top-level managers. I.e.: Condoleezza Rice (piano), Alan Greenspan (jazz clarinet), Paul Allen (guitar), James Wolfensohn (cello) all studied music for years as children".

• Children and adults who play an instrument 30 minutes a week over the course of a little over a year have more highly developed brains.

• Students are able to benefit academically. There is math and even history involved with music.

• Learning music can help obtain discipline with practicing. 

• There are also music and recording apps on phones, iPads, etc that can help children become more creative with music. Music and video programs such as Garage Band and iMovie can enhance aural and visual abilities to help in production. Music production is used by sound engineers, DJs, music business, marketing, promoting, media, etc. Apps such as iMovie, provide students with the facility to explore and create film, acting, writing, art, visuals, and more.

• Musical Theater cultivates performance, expressing speech and emotions, applying languages, and enhancing memory. These elements can be applied to public speaking. Music theater helps students learn about lighting, sound engineering, acting, electronics, different forms of writing and literature, languages, teamwork, leadership, visual, and musical theater props. There are dance and aerobics involved, as well as promoting and marketing.

• Students in bands or who have solo projects benefit from learning how to sell their products via CDs, internet outlets such as iTunes, which are found in sales, marketing, finance, and business as well. They learn to represent themselves in immeasurable ways. Students can create flyers, logos, tickets, and brochures for the events and performances. They are able to create their own image with fashion, make-up, etc.They can promote their music using websites such as SoundCloud, Facebook, and numerous others. Students create a fanbase through exposure and networking which are qualities that are applied in every form of business. There are also music managers, bookers, music labels, publicity agents, and talent-booking agencies that organize, coordinate events, etc.

• For students in bands, there are laws and regulations that musicians should be aware of when it pertains to location of their performance, performing with electrical instruments, copyrighting, recording, and sales. These factors can also be applied if students want to pursue law. 

• Music is also a science as well. It is naturally beneficial, helps with mental disabilities, and is self-therapeautic. There is an entire psychology behind music that many people are not aware of, and it can also be used in everyday life when stressed or upset.

Extracurricular Are Essential to Learning. Retrieved from: Boyd, Stacey. (2014 April 28)

Processing Anger for Extreme Music Listeners

Posted by on May 28, 2015 at 9:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Photo Credit: "Metal Genres (by Vortex)." Metal Genres (by Vortex). 5 Feb. 2009. Web. 29 May 2015.

Extreme Metal music has a heavy sound with intricate instrumentals and sometimes a screamer. Not every metal song consists of just screaming or growling, but clean vocals as well. When I ask someone why they do not like metal, it is usually either because they can not stand the growls throughout an entire song, hate the lyrical themes, or they are unable to comprehend the lyrics. To each their own! I personally do not mind it, but I love it when a singer can sing clean vocals as well. Most of the time non-metal listeners associate "metal heads" as angry and aggressive individuals. It is probably due to the lyrical themes of death, depression, and suicide that most non-metal fans feel this way. Metal is a general genre in extreme music as well as punk, screamo, and grunge. 

I began browsing through the internet and found an interesting article. Apparently there was one study with 39 people with the age range from 18-34 who participated in a controlled and experimental study. The control group was subjected to anger induction, followed by 10 minutes of silence, while the experimental group was also subjected followed by 10 minutes of listening to metal from their playlist. 

"Measures of emotion included heart rate and subjective ratings on the Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS). Results showed that ratings of PANAS hostility, irritability, and stress increased during the anger induction, and decreased after the music or silence. Heart rate increased during the anger induction and was sustained (not increased) in the music condition, and decreased in the silence condition. PANAS active and inspired ratings increased during music listening, an effect that was not seen in controls. The findings indicate that extreme music did not make angry participants angrier; rather, it appeared to match their physiological arousal and result in an increase in positive emotions." 

With that stated, it seems that extreme music may be a healthy way to process anger for metal listeners.

According to what I read "heavy music fans showed significantly higher symptoms of depression and anxiety than the non-fans; however, there was no difference between the two groups on trait anger." Although it seems most extreme listeners have depression and anxiety symptoms, it still does not cause anger. However for non-metal fans, signs of anger did increase! Testers were not sure if it was because they just simply did not like the music itself. There are insufficient evidence that extreme music causes anger. 

Everyone is entitled to their own style and tastes just know that listening to metal does not induce anger if you enjoy extreme music. 

Sharman, Leah, and Genevieve Dingle. "Extreme Metal Music and Anger Processing." Frontiers. 21 May 2015. Web. 29 May 2015.



Music is Science

Posted by on May 24, 2015 at 8:40 PM Comments comments (1)


Music Therapy has been helping many people cope with a variety of problems such as different forms of psychological, physical, and emotional problems. It has been proven to lessen dementia, reduce pain, reduce asthma attacks, improve communication with those who suffer autism, and as well as helping infants sleep better and be healthier. There are breathing exercises, articulation exercises, melodic phrases, and rhythm exercises that enhance confidence, the ability to speak, and expression. Music therapy as a healing function has been around since Aristotle and Plato; however, its importance in therapy and as an organized clinical profession began in the 1940s during World War I and World War II. It gained more recognition and became more organized throughout the 1900s. More studies have been claiming that music therapy is positive, completely natural, and it works. There are no chemical substances and it has no side effects. According to the American Music Therapy Association website it states that “Music therapy is the only professional, research-based discipline that actively applies supportive science to the creative, emotional, and energizing experiences of music for health treatment and educational goals”(American Music Therapy Association). Musical therapy acknowledges music as a science, to help patients overcome their obstacles, and emits different forms of emotions and creativity as an alternative and universal form of expression. (American Music Therapy Association)


There are more studies done today that suggests that music therapy is a natural healing science and not just an art. “The dopamine rush could even be comparable to methamphetamines, Robert Zatorre, professor of neurology and neurosurgery at Montreal Neurological Institute”(Landau, 2013). According to the CNN article, music therapy helps release the chemical dopamine in the brain. The dopamine release also occurs when a person has intercourse and consumes food. It is a natural brain activity that a person can produce by playing, singing, or while listening to music. Not only has science proven that music releases positive chemicals, but it also has anti-anxiety properties as well as producing higher levels or immunoglobin A, which is part of the immune system. The following statement shows how Finland researchers have done studies that exemplifies the brain activity when a person listens to music: “study is pioneering in that it for the first time reveals how wide networks in the brain, including areas responsible for motor actions, emotions, and creativity, are activated during music listening”(Academy of Finland, 2011). This is stating that studies are acknowledging that listening to the rhythm, melody, and timbre of a composition uses the entire brain. (Academy of Finland, 2011) Since scientific studies prove that music emits positive dopamine chemicals and the entire brain is actively being used, society is realizing the importance of having musical therapists collaborate with patients who are struggling with their emotions, physical disabilities, and psychological disorders. A musical therapist directly interacts with patients to help them learn how to use an instrument or sing as well as helping them emit their emotions in their own way. There are still continuous studies going on today, but doctors are realizing contrasting differences with the help of musical therapy in their patients compared to their patients just receiving standard care alone. Music therapy is a developing science that is working positively and enhancing natural results. (Landau, 2013)


Musical therapy has helped patients suffering from autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, infant development, sleeping disorders, and schizophrenia improve their conditions. Although some studies are still undergoing research, they have all shown that their patients who received musical therapy have improved. The article “Music Therapy for Health and Wellness” stated that autistic children have improved with music by helping them express themselves through music. More children who suffer from autism are taught music to help them with their communication skills. Not only has music therapy helped children with autism, it has also manifested the memories and aggressive moods of patients who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It also helps with people who are suffering from depression. Another way music also helps is with infant development as well as sleeping disorders. (Ulbricht, 2013) “Music therapy may also be as effective as chloral hydrate in inducing sleep or sedation in children undergoing EEG testing” (Ulbricht 2013). Musical therapy is indicating to be almost as effective like any chemical made drug for many circumstances. Even schizophrenics have suggested positive results. According to the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group, “The results of these studies suggest that music therapy improves global state and may also improve mental state and functioning if a sufficient number of music therapy sessions are provided” (Cochrane Schizophrenia Group, 2011). The Cochrane Schizophrenia Group had given their patients music therapy, placebo therapy, standard care, or no care in random control trials. The results they concluded were that with continuous music therapy it improved their state of mind, creating emotion, and social functions. Musical therapy overall is helping everyone with all forms of disabilities to become better for themselves with not an ounce of negative side effects. (Cochrane Schizophrenia Group, 2011) 



Creating music can be anyone’s own musical therapy that is having a hard time healing. It is a universal language and form of expression. “’On the surface it works because, in some way, everyone relates to music,’ Jantz said. ‘Music really is universal’” (Landau, 2013). Brian Jantz from the CNN article “When Patience Have ‘Music Emergencies’” uses music therapy to help distract his patients who are suffering. A four-year-old was terrified of x-rays, and he accompanied her through the elevators and her x-rays while singing the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” with her the entire time in their own version. She did not even notice when she had her x-rays taken. This exemplifies that he was able to help distract her fear and it worked without even talking to her. In this final example, Melody Gardot was a 19-year-old who was hit by a Jeep when she was riding her bike and resulted her in a hospital bed unable to do anything for a year. Her doctors realized that her medication was not helping her, and told her to relearn the piano. By playing and creating on the piano she was able to not only mentally gain, but physically recover. (Nurin, 2012). The accomplishments a person can achieve with music therapy are endless.

Music Therapy is an ongoing research in all forms and has shown in many ways that it can be the best alternative for anyone. The factors of what music therapy can do are infinite. It can be used for our everyday lives from waking up to helping us sleep. Anyone can relate to music and knowing that music therapy changes lives, we can adapt more music to help us cope with all our problems and it can be any problem.


American Music Therapy Association. (1998-2014). What is Music Therapy? Retrieved from: Cochrane Schizophrenia Group. (2011 December 7).

Music Therapy for People with Schizophrenia and Schizophrenia-like Disorders. Retrieved from: Landau, Elizabeth. (2013 August 23).

When Patients Have “Music Emergencies”. Retrieved from: Nurin, Tara. (2012 November 26).

Music Therapy: The Sound of Healing. Retrieved from: sound-of-healing/ Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland). (2011 December 6).

Listening to Music Lights Up the Whole Brain. Retrieved from: Ulbricht, Catherine Pharm D. (2013 June 21).

Musical Therapy for Health and Wellness. Retrieved from:

Spotify Running

Posted by on May 23, 2015 at 9:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Spotify's CEO Daniel EK has announced on May 20th that there will be new upgrades and features that will revoluntionize the way we listen to music specifically when we run! There is a new feature that has been added to match the BPMs to our running pace.

"Studies have shown that music can enhance your endurance by up to 15 percent," said Spotify Chief Product Officer Gustav Söderström. "We also heard something really interesting from runners that you couldn't see in the numbers. There is a world of difference between running with music, and running to music. When runners found the perfect track that actually matched the beat of their feet, not only did they run further, they felt stronger, happier, and even euphoric. It turns out that running to music is kind of like dancing. If you've ever danced off beat, it's awkward and it doesn't feel that great. But dancing to the beat, just like running to the beat, is much more fun."

So it can also enhance our running and be an enjoyable experience with energizing results!

I have always been a runner. I ran when I was younger with both my sisters and my father. I also ran cross country and track in high school - all without music and did very well! It was when I joined a gym in college and electric/dance songs faintly played in the background that I finally wore my earphones and listened to "Art of Dying" by Gojira, or "Chop Suey" by System of a Down from my Work Out Playlist. I also ran outdoors with my playlist and it definitely gave me more of a boost! It feels different when you run outside with music. I feel like I am running in a movie!

With Spotify, I would be listening to anything fast paced because I needed a song with a fast tempo to somewhat match my running tempo. If not I slowed down, lose my pace, and stumbled through my phone to change to the next upbeat song. This new feature is a great way to keep a consistent pace. I also agree that when you run to songs you enjoy and are in sync with your speed, you feel great and energized!

My recommendation if you do not enjoy the songs from Spotify, definitely create your own upbeat Running Playlist or  keep updating your Liked Playlist!

Always do what is BEST and most comfortable for you!