The Drake Show to Go on at Penn State

~~The past couple of mornings, I turn on the television to watch the news and continuously see stories related to the Penn State football scandal. After the surfacing of sexual allegations against a former football coach, the head football coach of Penn State, Joe Paterno was fired from his position. The entire Penn State community was shocked and many students became angry. The school environment has been filled with tension and unpleasantness the past week. However, the rap artist, Drake, accepted the challenge of providing the student body with a fun and entertaining distraction, a concert. Though there was speculation that Drake would not perform, Drake proved that statement incorrect, by claiming, “I cannot wait to be part of the GREATNESS that is Penn State tmrw…rest well my friends”.

~~On the surface this article does not seem to be very related to music, however, one must realize that music is an option to ease the tension that exists at Penn State. During the aftermath of such a scandal, it is difficult to keep the community together but music is an awesome solution. An artist such as Drake, who’s fans are mostly college aged students, provides an opportunity for students to gather together and forget about the scandal and focus on having fun as a student body. By performing, Drake creates a fun environment where, students can enjoy his music and let music’s powers take over. In my opinion, I think it was a terrific idea for Drake to perform at Penn State. In similar situations, music should be used to ease tension and begin movement towards normalcy. 

(http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/10/the-drake-show-to-go-on-at-penn-state/)


Holiday Music

~~As Thanksgiving approaches I can’t help but think about the holiday season that follows. After Thanksgiving, people begin to put up their decorations and search for the perfect presents for their loved ones. When I think of the holiday season, I think of many things but the music sticks out to me. When you turn on the radio during this time of year, all you can hear is Christmas music. Songs such as “Frosty, the Snowman” and “Silent Night” rule the radio. 

~~It amazes me that music has the power to represent a time of year. Just by hearing a Christmas song, a person can be brought back to their holiday memories. By playing holiday music over the radio, it prepares the audience for what lies ahead and allows them to get excited. Without holiday music, I believe the holidays would not be as joyous. Music adds to the special occasions and creates feelings of excitement and joy for the audience. Overall, music’s important role during the holiday season convinces me once again of music’s power. 


The Opposition to Music Education

~~In rough economic times funds are becoming scarce and many public institutions such as schools are beginning to make budget cuts. When deciding which programs to take funding from, many people support the cutting of art programs, which include music classes. They believe that music and art classes do not provide students with as much knowledge or skills as core classes such as math and science. 

~~In the article, “Implementing Performance-Based Program Budgeting”, Gloria Grizzle and Carole Pettijohn discuss how decisions regarding budget cuts should be made by assessing performance in each course. In this technique students would be tested in all subjects. Whichever subjects provide the highest performance are rewarded with funds. This technique is geared against art programs because it is difficult to judge one’s artistic performance. One student’s piece cannot be compared to another’s. However, Grizzle and Pettijohn claim it is the most fair and efficient way to determine a school’s budget. Though this technique may seem fair at first glance, it does not address that subjects such as music and art cannot be tested and evaluated in a uniform way. 

~~Art programs do require a large amount of funds, however it is not right to completely remove them from a school’s curriculum. 

(http://www.jstor.org/stable/3110282)


Dream Girl

~~One of my favorite bands is the Dave Matthews Band. They have such a dedicated group of fans as a result of their awesome albums as well as their ability to play a great concert. Though some of their lyrics don’t quite make sense on the surface, when you spend more time listening to their music it is easier to understand what the songs are meant to be about. For example the song Dream Girls has some odd lyrics but eventually the audience can understand that, Matthews is speaking of his love for a certain girl. Here are the lyrics…

I would dig a hole all the way to China
Unless of course I was there
then I’d dig my way home
If by diggin’ I could steal 
the wind from the sails 
of the greedy men who ruled the world

Still you’re my best friend
And after a good, good joke
You and me wake up and make love after a deep sleep
Where I was Dreamin’, I was Dreamin’ of a 
Dreamgirl, Dreamgirl, Dreamgirl, Dreamgirl

I was feelin’ like a creep
As I watched you asleep
Face down in the grass,
in the park, in the middle
of a hot afternoon
Your top was untied
And I thought how nice
It’d be to follow the sweat down your spine

You’re like my best friend
aw after a good, good joke
You and me wake up and make love after a deep sleep
Where I was Dreamin’, I was Dreamin’ of a 
Dreamgirl, Dreamgirl, Dreamgirl, Dreamgirl

Caught by a wave
my back to the ocean 
it knocks me off my feet and
just as I find my footing
here you come again
Dreamgirl, aww Dreamgirl, Dreamgirl, Dreamgirl, Dreamgirl, Dreamgirl, Dreamgirl

(Scat….trails off)

*The Deep end, Deep end
Deep end, Deep end
Deep end

~~By using strange words, Matthews might throw off the audience a little bit but in the end, his message is still beautiful. My favorite lyrics are where he sings about being in the park. He uses imagery perfectly and I can fully imagine the situation. Also, Matthews’ voice is perfectly matched with the idea of romance. For some reason, his raspy voice complements the romantic tone of the lyrics. When making music, it is important to consider how one’s voice should sound for a particular message. Matthews is able to transform his for each song message he sings about. 


An Interview

~~For this week’s blog we needed to find an interview related to our topic. As I searched the internet, I found one with the members from the band, the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I was immediately interested in this article because I am a fan of the band and its members are awesome performers. While I read through the interview I stumbled upon a few parts that stood out to me. 

~~The band member, Michael Balzary, talks about taking a class on the theory of music. He says the following, “It helped enormously in putting songs together. I don’t think there are any rules, one way or the other, but I think it’s great to know the theory—it’s like amazing, magical stuff”. The way Balzary discusses the theory of music is fascinating and intriguing. I have never considered the mechanism that go into making music. However it makes sense that such a powerful thing, is complicated. 

~~The other band member, Anthony Kiedis, discusses how the band chooses not to allow their music on shows like American Idol and Glee. In this quote he explains, “You kind of have to go with your gut. This music is very near and dear to our hearts, and we don’t always want it used to serve other people’s purposes—especially if it’s something that we don’t understand or feel close to, like a television show”. I understand where he is coming from but I would like to think that music can be shared so that everyone can benefit from it. 

~~Overall this article was informing and allowed me to look at music in yet another different way. 

http://www.interviewmagazine.com/music/red-hot-chili-peppers/#_


Shake, Rattle, and Roll

~~The topic of music education is not a new one, therefore it was a tad tricky to find a recent article on the subject. However, the article “Shake, Rattle, and Roll-Can Music Be Used By Parents and Practitioners to Support Communication, Language, and Literacy Within a Preschool Setting?” by Deborah Harris was published in 2011. Though this article contains a lot of information from older studies and research, it introduced a more recent study as well. 

~~The new study was conducted with pre-school kids. A musical practitioner hosted music sessions over a 20 week period. The results can be explained as followed, “Exit interviews identified that parents’ views had changed with the primary benefits being identified as the development of children’s musical skills, in particular singing, increased levels of concentration and an improvement in children’s speaking and listening skills. Research findings also identified that effective adult–child interactions appeared to be key in fostering language development through music. This echoes findings from previous research which highlights that involving parents and children regularly in musical activities can impact upon children’s learning”. The findings of this study reinforce the belief that music is beneficial to humans. Without music it would be difficult for children to develop correctly. By providing music education, schools are insuring that its students will be able to be successful learners. 

~~Another interesting thing this article discussed was that music is crucial in language development. The article points out that most infants can sing before they can talk. It never occurred to me that this is true but it does make sense. Music’s importance in developing language once again shows how powerful music truly is. Not only can music make people feel a certain way and give them opportunities to express emotion, it plays a role in their language development as well. 

http://udel.worldcat.org/title/shake-rattle-and-roll-can-music-be-used-by-parents-and-practitioners-to-support-communication-language-and-literacy-within-a-pre-school-setting/oclc/


Juicy

~~My favorite rap artist is Notorious B.I.G. (Biggie Smalls) and though some of his lyrics are inappropriate, he was quite capable of sending an inspirational message to his audience. In his song, Juicy, Biggie explains his life prior to his success and how his success has given not only himself a better life but his family and friends as well. 

~~Though Biggie uses a different approach to express his emotions, his music is just as meaningful and powerful as any other genre. Critics of rap music must realize that the diversity in music should be accepted because in the end music is for the people. And people are different therefore music is bound to be different. I think its beautiful how the same inspirational message can be portrayed in several different ways musically. It creates so many opportunities for people to express themselves. 

~~Heres the link to the music video for Juicy…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hML0HC3d964&feature=fvst


Music Matters

~~To be perfectly honest, I would much rather listen to music than read a book about music because reading about music does not have nearly the same effect as listening to music. However, I did learn a few interesting things from the novel Music Matters by David Elliot. I have previously discussed music education so I  naturally chose a novel that related to that. 

~~There are countless novels out there related to music education, however Elliot is quite passionate about introducing his philosophy regarding music education. One quote that stood out to me in the Preface was, “Part II builds a philosophy of music education based on a new way of thinking about the nature and significance of music; new in the sense that it provides new reasons to believe music is one of the most consequential, dynamic, and practical pursuits in the human repertoire and, therefore, fundamental to the full development of the individual and collective self” (vii). In several of my blog entries I have tried to convince my audience of how important music is, and in this quote Elliot uses language in such a convincing, powerful way. By reading just this one quote, I am certain that Elliot’s argument is effective. With his powerful use of language and dedication to the subject Elliot increases his chances of convincing those who oppose music education. 

~~This novel is also effective because it can be read by anyone. Though it benefits those who are studying music education, it is also readable by anyone who is curious about music education. I am in no way a music education major, however I can comprehend Elliot’s message and goal. 


Basshead

~~Within the last year a new music sensation has become more and more popular. It is a new genre of music referred to as dubstep. In its early stages, not many people were aware of dubstep artists but they are now growing more popular and other music artists are becoming influenced by the dubstep movement. According to Wikipedia the definition of dubstep music is, “a genre of electronic dance music. Its overall sound has been described as “tightly coiled productions with overwhelming bass lines and reverberant drum patterns, clipped samples, and occasional vocals”. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dubstep)

~~At first I was reluctant to listen to music that differed so greatly from my normal taste but listening to dubstep gives one an experience they cannot have listening to other genres. Dubstep taught me of music’s ability to transform and be diverse. Without different genres of music, music would not have the same powers to influence people. 

~~I’ve included a link to one of my favorite dubstep songs. When listening to the track by attention to the drops in the bass and don’t be afraid to lose yourself in the music because that is my favorite effect of this genre. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRftXCiqfQ8