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Music Schools BC

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

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sarah McLachlan School of Music to open permanent location

The Sarah McLachlan School of Music will be moving into a new, permanent home. On October 27, the Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach (SMMO) program, which has been operating out of a 7,500-square-foot church basement in collaboration with Arts Umbrella, will open the doors of the Sarah McLachlan School of Music (SoM) at 138 East 7th near Main Street.
The school’s new home comes through the Wolverton Foundation, which, following the city’s approval for a rezoning allowing greater density, converted 16,000 square feet of a 35,000-square-foot former bowling alley into the music centre. The centre includes soundproof studios and lesson rooms, a performance space, storage, lunchroom, and office and staff room. The remainder of the building, purchased by the foundation for $5 million and retrofitted to the tune of $2.5 million, will be leased for general office and other non-industrial uses. The building's rezoning also allows for the addition of a third storey.
A $100,000 infrastructure grant from the City of Vancouver also contributed to the renovation.
“SoM has been an amazing success,” Sarah McLachlan, the singer-songwriter who established the SMMO program in 2002, said in a news release. “We have been able to reach hundreds of young people and provide them with the space and the tools they need to express themselves. Arts Umbrella has been instrumental in helping us turn our vision into a reality. Now, thanks to the Wolverton Foundation, we have the opportunity to take the school to the next level by having a permanent home that the students can call their own.”

Read the article here


VSO and its school share $2.22 million from B.C. government and arts council

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and its school have received a combined $2.22 million in funding from the B.C. government and the B.C. Arts Council.
The VSO School of Music has received $1-million from the B.C. government. The award, announced today (October 14) at a news conference at the school, marks the province’s first contribution to the $30-million facility, which opened this past June. The school had previously received a $365,705 grant from Heritage Canada’s Cultural Spaces Fund and a cultural-amenity density bonus from the City of Vancouver earlier.
“This school does offer an outstanding resource for British Columbians who want to pursue their musical interests and develop their talents,” said Minister of Community, Sport, and Cultural Development Ida Chong, at the announcement. “This school of music is about all of British Columbia.… It means all across British Columbia communities are going to be able access the staff, the professionals here, because of the school’s leading-edge technical capacity to provide distance education.”
The VSO has also received $1.22 million operating grant from the B.C. Arts Council, the largest grant in the first round of approved funding for 2011/2012 from the council, which totals $9.1 million.

Read the article here


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Music Training Enhances Children’s Verbal Intelligence

A just-published study from Canada suggests early music education stimulates a child’s brain, leading to improved performance in an entirely different arena – verbal intelligence.
“These results are dramatic not only because they clearly connect cognitive improvement to musical training, but also because the improvements in language and attention are found in completely different domains than the one used for training,” said York University psychologist Ellen Bialystok, one of the paper’s co-authors. “This has enormous implications for development and education.”
The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, was conducted at York University by psychologist Sylvain Moreno, who is now with Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute. It focused on 48 children between the ages of 4 and 6, who took part in one of two computerized training programs Moreno designed.
Half participated in a music program, which “included training in rhythm, pitch, melody, voice and basic musical concepts,” the researchers write. The other 24 took part in a visual-arts program, which “emphasized the development of visuo-spatial skills relating to concepts such as shape, color, line, dimension, and perspective.”
All received their respective training one hour per day, five days per week for four weeks. The programs were projected onto a classroom wall and conducted in groups led by a teacher.

Read the article at Miller-McCune.com 

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Friday, October 7, 2011

Trusting the Ensemble

Conductor Charles Hazlewood talks about the role of trust in musical leadership -- then shows how it works, as he conducts the Scottish Ensemble onstage. He also shares clips from two musical projects: the opera "U-Carmen eKhayelitsha" and the ParaOrchestra.

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Inside Kabul's First Music School

From Norman Lebrecht' blog "Slipped Disk", Rebuilding a nation's culture one child at a time:

Cathy Graham, head of music at the British Council, was telling me the other day about her trip to Afghanistan to foster grass-roots efforts to restore music education, banned under the Taliban.
When she described the first music school in Kabul, I had an irresistible urge to share her story. Cathy has written the text below and taken the pictures. Since her visit, the British Council has been the target for a massive Taliban attack.

It felt like sitting in a particularly accessible Headmaster’s office in any lively school at the beginning of term.  The door kept opening and a head would poke round with an essential piece of information or a question.  Sometimes it was a parent, sometimes a teacher, sometimes a child.  The atmosphere was buzzing and you never knew quite what to expect next.  In many ways it was hard to believe I was sitting in Kabul in the first music school to open post-Taliban; in other ways it was impossible to forget.

Read the article on Norman Lebrecht's Blog

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Virtual Pop Star, the new Japanese holographic pop sensation.

She's pretty, stylish and oozes star quality. But Japan's latest pop sensation is not quite what she seems - in fact, she doesn't actually exist.

It turns out that Aimi Eguchi, the newest member of the Japanese band AKB48, is a virtual composite of six other band members.

The fake pop star first appeared in an advert for Japanese sweets, but also has an online profile and has featured in a magazine photoshoot using faked pictures. Her fans were shocked to discover this week that Eguchi's computer-generated features were created by blending the nose, hair, mouth, eyes, eyebrows and body shape of six real AKB48 members. Each was recorded using digital motion capture, allowing Eguchi's designers to select their best features for the composite pop star.

Clues to Eguchi's real nature were apparently there, if you knew where to look - her name is derived from the name of the sweet company and their product, along with the theme song from the advert. She's also not the country's first virtual pop star - Hatsune Miku, a synthesised singer, performs holographic concerts to hundreds of fans.

Eguchi is the latest example of advanced digital human techniques which, as we recently reported, are increasingly cropping up on our screens. While it is easy to notice that there is something not quite right about her once you know that she's a fake, she did manage to fool AKB48's fans for a number of weeks, so keep your eyes peeled - the next virtual star may be harder to spot.

Read the article at New Scientist

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Saturday, October 1, 2011

International Songwriting Competition


Contact: Candace Avery
International Songwriting Competition (ISC)


Tom Waits, Tori Amos, Ozzy Osbourne, Lucinda Williams, My Morning Jacket, Jeff Beck, McCoy Tyner, Duran Duran, And Kelly Clarkson Join Music Industry Executives To Select 2011 ISC Winners

September 26, 2011 - The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) has extended its deadline to November 1, 2011. Entries will be accepted online until 11:59 PM EST. Mail-in entries must be postmarked on or before November 1. Online entry platforms include Sonicbids, Broadjam, ReverbNation, Myspace; and ISC's own platform.

Read more »

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