Singing Helps the Brain!

Primary auditory cortexImage via Wikipedia
What a great article regarding singing rewiring the brain. Here it is in its entirety:

"Teaching stroke patients to sing "rewires" their brains, helping them recover their speech, say scientists.
By singing, patients use a different area of the brain from the area involved in speech.

If a person's "speech centre" is damaged by a stroke, they can learn to use their "singing centre" instead.

Researchers presented these findings at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in San Diego.

An ongoing clinical trial, they said, has shown how the brain responds to this "melodic intonation therapy".

Gottfried Schlaug, a neurology professor at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston, US, led the trial.

The therapy is already established as a medical technique. Researchers first used it when it was discovered that stroke patients with brain damage that left them unable to speak were still able to sing.

Professor Schlaug explained that his was the first study to combine this therapy with brain imaging - "to show what is actually going on in the brain" as patients learn to sing their words.

Making connections
Most of the connections between brain areas that control movement and those that control hearing are on the left side of the brain.

"But there's a sort of corresponding hole on the right side," said Professor Schlaug.


Music engages huge swathes of the brain - it's not just lighting up a spot in the auditory cortex

Dr Aniruddh Patel, neuroscientist

"For some reason, it's not as endowed with these connections, so the left side is used much more in speech.

"If you damage the left side, the right side has trouble [fulfilling that role]."
But as patients learn to put their words to melodies, the crucial connections form on the right side of their brains.

Previous brain imaging studies have shown that this "singing centre" is overdeveloped in the brains of professional singers.

During the therapy sessions, patients are taught to put their words to simple melodies.
Professor Schlaug said that after a single session, a stroke patients who was are not able to form any intelligible words learned to say the phrase "I am thirsty" by combining each syllable with the note of a melody.

The patients are also encouraged to tap out each syllable with their hands. Professor Schlaug said that this seemed to act as an "internal pace-maker" which made the therapy even more effective.
"Music might be an alternative medium to engage parts of the brain that are otherwise not engaged," he said.

Brain sounds
Dr Aniruddh Patel from the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego, said the study was an example of the "explosion in research into music and the brain" over the last decade.

"People sometimes ask where in the brain music is processed and the answer is everywhere above the neck," said Dr Patel.

"Music engages huge swathes of the brain - it's not just lighting up a spot in the auditory cortex."

Dr Nina Kraus, a neuroscientist from Northwestern University in Chicago, also studies the effects of music on the brain.

In her research, she records the brain's response to music using electrodes on the scalp.

This work has enabled her to "play back" electrical activity from brain cells as they pick up sounds.

"Neurons work with electricity - so if you record the electricity from the brain you can play that back through speakers and hear how the brain deals with sounds," she explained.

Dr Kraus has also discovered that musical training seems to enhance the ability to perform other tasks, such as reading.

She said that the insights into how the brain responds to music provided evidence that musical training was an important part of children's education."

Very interesting article by Victoria Gill
Science reporter, BBC News, San Diego 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8526699.stm 


Thanks for stopping by.
I hope you enjoy your stay at Piano Diana.

Warmest Regards,
LadyD
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Your Favorite Jazz Group?

JazzImage via Wikipedia
 Since the mid-70's, Spyro Gyra's infectious and danceable take on pop-jazz has made them one of the more successful practitioners of the genre. Skillfully incorporating aspects of R&B, rock, and Caribbean music into their sound, the band's music is lively, infectious, and 9significantly) very accessible - albums such as morning Dance, Freetime, and In Modern Times are amongst the most popular jazz releases of the past two decades. Good to Go-Go, the ensemble's fourth disc for Heads Up, was praised as one of their strongest collections.

Saxophonist Jay Beckstein founded Spyro Gyra in 1974 and has remained its guiding force in the ensuing three-plus decades, writing much of the group's material and providing continuity throughout a handful of roster shifts. For more information, please visit their website at http://www.spyrogyra.com

I love this group! What about you... do you have a favorite? My piano students continue to play John Mayer's songs also. He is very talented as well as a great singer/song writer, too.

Thanks for stopping by.
I hope you enjoy your stay at Piano Diana.

Warmest Regards,
LadyD
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How To Play Blues Scale Licks

Line art drawing of the A noteImage via Wikipedia
Visit www.hearandplayjazz.com for more... In Over 2 Hours, You'll Learn Exactly What It Takes To Become A Skilled Jazz Musician And Shave Years Off Your Learning Curve... Instantly accelerate your learning process by combining the 3 secret elements that the pros almost never share! Learn the secrets to picking out the melody of various jazz songs within seconds! Eliminate the need for hundreds of pages of sheet music by learning the famous hearandplay "Trust Your Ear" principle. Learn how to shift your "chordal" thinking from the right hand to the left. Learn full chords on the left and what to do on the right hand to accompany them. This is certainly a closely-guarded jazz secret that's going to be completely exposed. How to intertwine the right attitude along with perfect focus every time you start to play! You'll definitely need it when you start improvising!


Hear and Play Jazz 101: How To Play The "Blues Scale" Licks With Best Fingering



Jazz 101

Warmest Regards,
LadyD




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Beginner Piano Lesson: Learn to Play My Heart Will Go On

The reconstruction of the RMS TitanicImage via Wikipedia
* Titanic Theme Song

My Heart Will Go On Piano Lesson




Learn piano keyboard lessons from Shawn:

www.webpianoteacher.com

Beginner keyboard lesson can be found here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMrHvOl8aMc

 * Related Post with Chords to Titanic
http://pianodiana.blogspot.com/2010/01/celine-dion-my-heart-will-go-on-music.html

Warmest Regards,
LadyD
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Happy Valentine's Day!

 Happy Valentine's Day!

 A very nice song that I love for praise and worship, God Will Make A Way, by Don Moen in the key of C can be found on my other blog: http://ladydblog.com/

Video Instruction:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4iT_sUUvHs

Chord Chart to God Will Make a Way: 

G               D
God will make a way
           C              G
When there seems to be no way.
   C                 G        Em
He works in ways, we cannot see,
C              D
He will make a way for me.

G             D
He will be my guide, 
        C              G
Hold me closely to His side.
     C                      G         Em
With love and strength, for each new day,
C              D
He will make a way, 
C              G
He will make a way.

(Repeat)

Eb                  F             Eb    Bb
By a roadway in the wilderness he leads me.
Eb            F             G
Rivers in the desert will I see.
C                     D
Heaven and earth will fade,
        Bm              Em
But His word will still remain.
C          D             E
He will do something new today!

G               D
God will make a way
           C              G
When there seems to be no way.
   C                 G        Em
He works in ways, we cannot see,
C              D
He will make a way for me.

G             D
He will be my guide, 
        C              G
Hold me closely to His side.
     C                      G         Em
With love and strength, for each new day,
C              D
He will make a way, 
C              G
He will make a way.

     C                      G         Em
With love and strength, for each new day,
C              D
He will make a way, 
C              G
He will make a way.


There's another song that is very popular with some of my high school students:
(I find the melody a little dark at times. I'm not a fan of vampires. This song is played by many.

"Bella's Lullaby" Carter Burwell - Edward Cullen - Twilight - Piano Version

 

http://www.8notes.com/school/riffs/piano/carter_burwell_bellas_lullaby.asp

 

The introduction to Carter Burwell's theme for Bella's Lullaby from the film Twilight is in D major, but uses a G minor instead of the usual G major. The G minor is often with an extra E to make G minor 6

 This sets up a slightly mysterious romantic atmosphere. Make a rocking back and two pattern out of these chords and you have a sound which could have been written by Schumann or Janacek

 Later when the main theme arrives we have moved into A minor, but the scale used is a bluesy scale.


Warmest Regards,
LadyD
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How To Play Single Ladies by Beyonce

Beyonce - Concert in Barcelona in 2007Image via Wikipedia
 I found a great article about Beyonce's Single Ladies song that I wanted to share with you!
Here's a bit of it:

"To start, let’s take a look at the groove. In pop music, there is almost always some kind of clap, snap, or snare on beats 2 and 4, also known as a back beat (read my post on back beat options here). “Single Ladies” breaks the mold, especially for a pop song, with claps on every 8th note, which gives the song an uptempo-feel. In fact, to me these claps give the song more of a “1 feel” rather than strictly 4/4, which would mean every quarter note is an equally strong beat. Normally only beats 1 and, to a lesser extent, 3, are considered strong beats. Strong and weak beats become important when understanding how melodies and chord changes affect perceived key signature or tonality. This “1 feel” theory is reinforced by the dancing in the music video, in which the choreography consists largely of BeyoncĂ© jolting around on every beat."

Chord chart
1st Measure: B (no3), A-/C, G#+/3 (no+5), C (no3)
2nd Measure: B (no3), A (no3), Amaj7 (no3), A-6 (no3)

http://blog.fixyourmix.com/2009/single-ladies-by-beyonce-a-compositional-analysis/

View the first page of sheet music:
http://www.musicnotes.com/sheetmusic/mtd.asp?ppn=MN0070982&mnuid=WGXF3UFGJSRW4S6B4YN03Q9U9QC124K71JVS24K7&redir=yes



Chords: E, B, G, D, A in Key of E

Warmest Regards,
LadyD


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How To Play Don't Know Why by Norah Jones

 One of my favorite artists,  Norah Jones has had many piano players recording her songs. I found a real cool style of Norah Jones song, Don't Know Why played on a Yamaha DGX620 by PianistaItaliano
 What do you think of his improv style of the song?



You can find a free copy of the sheet music to Don't Know Why at
http://pianotte.szm.com/D.htm

Chord Chart - Don't Know Why

Intro:  
  
/ Fmaj7 - F7 - / Bbmaj7 ? Aaug - / Dm7 - G7 - / C7sus4 - - - /   
  
   
  
Gmaj7   G7   Cmaj7   Baug  
I waited 'til I saw the sun  
  
Em7             A7      D7sus4     G  
I don't know why I didn't come  
  
Gmaj7    G7      Cmaj7      Baug  
I left you by the house of fun  
  
Em7             A7    D7sus4       G  
I don't know why I didn't come  
  
Em7             A7    D7sus4       G  
I don't know why I didn't come  
  
  
  
Gmaj7   G7       Cmaj7      Baug  
When I saw the break of day  
  
Em7             A7       D7sus4     G  
I wished that I could fly away  
  
Gmaj7       G7       Cmaj7      Baug  
Instead of kneeling in the sand  
  
Em7         A7       D7sus4       G  
Catching teardrops in my hand  
  
  
  
     Em7      A7              D7  
My heart is drenched in wine  
  
       Em7      A7       D7  
But you'll be on my mind forever  
  
  
  
Gmaj7 G7       Cmaj7      Baug  
Out across the endless sea  
  
Em7      A7    D7sus4     G  
I would die in ecstasy  
  
Gmaj7 G7  Cmaj7          Baug  
But I'll be a bag of bones  
  
Em7      A7    D7sus4         G  
Driving down the road alone  
  
Chorus  
  
  
  
   
  
Gmaj7       G7     Cmaj7          Baug  
Something has to make you run  
  
Em7              A7    D7sus4     G  
I don't know why I didn't come  
  
Gmaj7       G7     Cmaj7          Baug  
I feel as empty as a drum  
  
Em7              A7    D7sus4     G  
I don't know why I didn't come  
Em7              A7    D7sus4     G  
I don't know why I didn't come  
Em7              A7    D7sus4     G  
I don't know why I didn't come  
  
   
  
  
  
 


Warmest Regards,
LadyD


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