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Music Schools BC

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The official blog of the British Columbia Association of Community Music Schools

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival

The Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival now has performance tickets and schedules online on their website. If you scoll down the left menu under "info" to "my account/registration" and click on that you will find all the students entered in the festival on searchable pdf files.

Good luck to all the students entered into this year's festival.

Music Lessons Provide a Workout for the Brain

A recent Harvard Medical Study indicates once again a relationship between studying music and the development of our brains.

Earlier studies have shown that adult musicians have different brains to adult non-musicians. But the latest results settle arguments about whether the brain differences were there from birth, or developed through practice.

"This is the first paper showing differential brain development in children who learned and played a musical instrument versus those that did not," says Gottfried Schlaug of Harvard Medical School.

Article in New Scientist posted 13 March 2009

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Monday, March 9, 2009

Link between watching TV and asthma

Children who spend hours in front of the television are at greater risk of developing asthma than those who are more active, a study has found.

Youngsters who watched more than two hours of TV a day were twice as likely to get the respiratory condition as children who watched less, according to research by British scientists.

The greater risk of asthma was not directly caused by watching television, which was used only as an indicator of how sedentary the children's lifestyles were.

Article from the Guardian online here


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

BCACMS annual conference

Hi Folks, The BC Association of Community Music Schools Annual Conference is set for Friday June 19 and Saturday June 20. The conference this year is being hosted by the Kelowna Community Music School in Kelowna BC. More information about the conference will be appearing on our website as the dates move closer.


Monday, March 2, 2009

RCM Exams

Tomorrow (March 3) is the final deadline for signing up for the Spring session of Royal Conservatory of Music Exams held this May and June. I was just trying to log onto the RCM examinations website to see which of my students had signed up and, well... their site seems to be down right now. Probably everyone trying to register at the last minute has crashed their system.

You can register online for exams at www.rcmexaminations.org (hopefully...)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

British Columbia Budget Contains a Mixed Message for Culture

The province of British Columbia brought down its 2009 budget on February 17, and artists and cultural organizations in the province are now organizing to reverse proposed cuts to cultural funding.

It’s a somewhat confusing tale, albeit one with profound long-term impact. The budget documents released on February 17 called for a reduction of $12.7 million in arts and culture spending in 2009-10 – a 45% reduction that incorporates both a reduction in core support and a significant drop in the endowment draw from the province’s arts and culture fund.

Supplemental budget estimates released February 18 indicated that one-time funding, totaling $15 million, would be directed to arts, culture and heritage for 2009-10, more than compensating for the cut called for in the budget.

At the same time, though, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and the Arts released its three-year Service Plan, which clearly indicates that spending on arts and culture from the province’s “core” budget is projected to decline from just over $19.5 million in 2008-09 to just under $9.9 million in 2011-12.

On February 19, Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts Bill Bennett and BC Arts Council Chair Donald Shumka wrote a joint letter to the BC arts community, confirming that “there has been no funding reduction to arts and culture in the 2009-10 budget [and that] in fact slightly more money will actually be going to arts and culture in the coming fiscal year.” However, the letter was silent on the province’s longer-term intentions: something of profound concern to artists, arts organizations and citizens in the province.

BC arts advocates are now crafting a response, and Orchestras Canada will be working with its member orchestras in BC to ensure that our concerns are heard.

For more information on this, you can visit the website of the (Greater Vancouver) Alliance for Arts and Culture here.

source: Orchestra Canada newsletter.


Music Training Linked to Enhanced Verbal Skills

A study released by Northwestern University in 2007 suggests that Mom was right that you continue your studies in music, even though you didn't want to become a professional musician.
The study finds evidence that playing a musical instrument significantly increases the brain stems sensitivity to speech sounds. The study has broad implications in that it applies to sound encoding skills not only involved in music, but also in language.
"Increasing music experience seems to benifit all children - whether musically exceptional or not - in a wider range of learning activities", according to Nina Kraus, director of Northwestern's Auditory Neuroscience Lab.

Link to article

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