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Monthly Archives: April 2018

Music for Seniors

Research has shown that the soothing effect of music leads to better social interaction and often helps improve communication skills where they have been impaired by such things as stroke, or been the result of some other injury or sickness.

For what we might call “ordinary” seniors, music is often used in retirement communities and senior centers in the form of special musical entertainment, sing songs and even dancing classes.

Participants are encouraged to engage in singing, clapping, and dancing to old familiar standards. This type of musical experience provides pleasant and enjoyable social interaction, a valuable bit of physical activity, and a jolt of positive emotional stimulation.

Can seniors benefit from playing musical instruments?

Listening to music can be emotionally stimulating, but it is a relatively passive activity. Can seniors benefit from being more actively involved in making music – by, for instance, singing or playing a musical instrument?

Of course it depends a lot on the senior, and on the instrument. Many seniors have physical limitations that make fingering a violin or a guitar almost impossible. But those same people might benefit from participation in a drum circle.

Participants in activities like this quickly get involved in making music, having fun, even dancing, chanting, and singing.

As Shannon Rattigan of drumcircles.net says,

If a facilitated drum circle is presented properly, in a matter of 10 minutes everyone can be playing a drum rhythm together… The key to it is setting the right tone that this is going to be playful and fun. You can improvise, play around, and just have a good time. Like we did when we were kids.

Can this be done with other instruments?

Again, it depends a lot on the senior and on the instrument.

Many older people have played a musical instrument when they were younger, and stopped playing when family and work intervened. I often read on music instruction forums comments from older guys (most of them seem to be men) who have picked up the guitar after it sat in the closet for 40 years.

Yes, 40 years! That is not an exaggeration. I am an example. I played the guitar and trumpet in my teens and twenties, and didn’t actively pick them up again until I was in my 60s.

The incentive for me was the opportunity to teach some of my grandchildren a bit of what I knew. And that led to many opportunities to perform with them at family gatherings. And of course that has resulted in the joy that comes with watching the kids become talented musicians in their own right.

The point is, it is possible to dust off old talents if the circumstances are right. Reviving old talents and playing in a small, informal band with friends or family is one possibility.

A retirement community seems like the perfect place where a group of people might get together to make music together in a more structured way – say as a singing ensemble or a little band.

An enterprising social director in a seniors community might even form a larger band – using regular musical instruments or simple ones such as whistles, harmonicas, and a variety of percussion items (drums, tambourines, shakers, wooden blocks, etc.)

Playing traditional musical instruments

Is it realistic to think that a person who is 70 or 80 years old might continue to play a traditional musical instrument like a keyboard, guitar or trumpet? Or could he or she learn an entirely new instrument – a keyboard, for instance, or a banjo, harmonica or even a saxophone or guitar?

Again, it depends on the circumstances a person finds herself in – in particular, her physical limitations. Many aging people have lost flexibility in their hands. They may have a sore back or hips that make it difficult to sit in positions required by some instruments. And often an older person has difficulty seeing or hearing.

If none of these things are holding a person back then why not go for it!

But there is always the question of motivation

Learning to play an instrument like a piano – even in the most basic way – has real benefits. It provides enjoyment, mental stimulation, and a sense of accomplishment. And that may be enough incentive to get you to take on (and stick with) a project like teaching yourself a musical instrument.

But playing for your own enjoyment is often not enough of an incentive to keep you going. Playing a musical instrument, or even singing in a small ensemble, almost inevitably involves the opportunity to perform for others – usually friends, family or fellow community residents.

In other words it is often just the prospect of performing for others that keeps musicians going. Taking music lessons when you are a child almost always involves a “recital” every now and then to display what you have learned. Without the recital practicing starts to seem pointless.

There is no reason to think it should be any different for a senior. My father played his violin in church for at least 50 years, and it was those “performances” that kept him interested in playing. When his faculties started to deteriorate and the invitations to play dried up, so did his interest in playing at all.

It is performances like this that provide the incentive to become better and to learn new material, or for an older person, to hold on to the skills they developed earlier in life.

Learn Electric Guitar

1. An electric guitar!

OK, a bit obvious, but yes, in order to learn how to play this instrument you will actually need an electric guitar to practice on. No, a Guitar Hero guitar does not count!

You can get a decent electric guitar for a couple hundred bucks at any music store. The brand, quality and price will all depend on how serious of a player you want to be and the style of music you want to play.

2. Amplifier

Think of a guitar and amplifier as a married couple. The right pair will be able to enhance each other’s strengths while the wrong pair will amplify (pun intended) their weakness.

For example, if you’re a metal head and want to rock some Metallica-type sounds, then a Mesa Boogie amp paired with an ESP LTD guitar is a beautiful match. Playing a single-coil Fender Stratocaster through a Mesa Boogie amp hoping for the same? Not gonna happen.

3. Metronome

A metronome is device that helps you stay in time by making a “click” sound at various speeds. It is very obvious when you hear a guitar player who never practices with a metronome and using one truly separates the wannabes and the pros.

If you really want to learn electric guitar, a metronome is a MUST. Drummers are not the only ones who need to be able to keep a steady rhythm!

4. Guitar picks

A guitar pick is a small, triangular-shaped piece of plastic (although there are metal picks as well) that is held between the fingers of your strumming hand and used to hit the strings so they can make a sound.

There are different thicknesses for different styles of playing. You can try out different widths and brands until you find the kind you like.

5. Guitar teacher

Last but not least is finding a good guitar teacher. I was “self-taught” for 2 years before I started taking lessons and I learned more in two months with my teacher than I had in the 2 years on my own. Yes, there are some amazing musicians out there who are self-taught and learn by ear. But these people are the exception.

Tabla Players

Keep things simple

Simplicity is the secret behind an incredible composition. Veteran tabla players perform with simplicity and clarity. Hence, you don’t have to boast how well you are into playing it. Your tone will speak much about your art.

Honor the Art

Classical music has elated the lives of many people. Here it’s vital to keep in mind that there is a substantial difference between a performer and an artist. Music has a more enticing quality than a performer. The reason is that every artist behind the curtain honors this art and doesn’t want to flaunt it. Therefore, he tries his best to better his art. Therefore, your very first step is to honor your tabla.

Practice

It’s quite vital that you keep practicing your art. No matter what kind of musical art you are interested in, practice is very important. For example, if you are practicing a composition, you have to play it over and over again to that point when you can play it for an hour relentlessly.

Focus

As mentioned before, music is a type of devotion and spiritual practice. If you want to be really good, you have to clear your head and mind. Once you have cleaned your heart and mind, you will be devoid of external thoughts. And then you will be able to focus on the art and your result will be incredible. Being in a right frame of mind, you will be able to deliver your best.

Listen to different types of music

You should listen to other artists also. However, that doesn’t mean you should follow them blindly. You should also pay attention to how much their music is organized. Other than this, you should emphasize on the type of instruments they utilize and the taal they are playing at that moment. In order to get inspired, you must listen to various types of music regularly.

Buy Hip Hop Beats For Sale Online

Finding Beats Online: If you’re new to shopping online, finding the right place to buy beats might seem hard, but not to worry its a lot easier than you might have thought. The first thing your going to want to do is find a music producer that sells beats. Searching Google is probably the most popular way to find anything these days so try typing in hip hop beats for sale and see what pops up. Another great way to find beats online is YouTube. Here you can search for “type beats”. For example you can type in Drake Type Beat and YouTube will show you thousands if not millions of videos related to what you searched. But to buy a beat on YouTube you’ll have to somehow contact the producer and work something out, this could be a little harder than just purchasing from a website where you could buy beats without ever having to talk to anyone.

Professional Looking Website: For obvious reasons you don’t want to buy from a website that looks spammy or sketchy. I mean, think of a restaurant, would you eat in a place that looked dirty or ugly? Probably not, so why would you shop with someone who’s website does not give you a professional vibe. If a producer is serious he/she will put in the extra work to make sure their website is of the highest quality. A professional website might have a website header with the producers name on it (example – Producers Name Beats). Or it might just immediately show case their beats in some kind of beat or music store. Popular beat store examples are Airbit, Soundgine, and Beatstars but there are plenty more out there. They allow online producers to sell beats on their own websites and accept credit cards or PayPalpayments online. The average beat store you might see on a producers website will have a rather simple layout, with beats you can preview, an add to cart button, and a checkout button. Most will allow you to use a credit card or PayPal account to purchase and send you your beats automatically to your email. Another thing you want to see on a producers website is testimonials or featured artists. This shows you that other people have successfully purchased beats from this person and can can be trusted. Try to stay away from a producer that doesn’t at least have one of these two things.

Lease Or Exclusive: When buying beats online you’re always either leasing it or buying it exclusively. Leases are the cheaper of the two options ranging anywhere from $10 – $50. When you buy a Lease you’re basically renting the beat from the producer with certain benefits and agreements. Most leases will allow you to sell your song a set number of times or perform your song a set number of times. This is the option you will probably gravitate to if you are just starting out or are just trying to make a name for yourself. It allows you to get a beat rather cheap and use it in mixtapes or music videos etc. Exclusives are a little more expensive and can range anywhere from $100 – $1,000 even more in some cases. When you buy the Exclusive Rights to a beat that means that you own it and it will no longer be sold to anyone else. This is great for an artist that is making a lot of record sales and has a big fan base because it allows you to make unlimited music sales without any problems. When looking for beats for sale just make sure to read the Lease and Exclusive License Agreements because they are different for every music producer.