Day 109: The soothing sounds of this ethereal duet

Feel like listening to some soothing ethereal sounds? This Ted performance is by violinist Natalie MacMaster and ted musical director Thomas Dolby. The duo play the mesmerizing song by Thomas called "Blue is a river" This week my 365 days of Ted challenge has been all about recharging and balancing myself with the aid of music. I have been trying to rid myself of the exhaustion that typically comes with this time of year, late December. This musical performance is really comforting. If you have a spare five minutes hit play and let the music wash all over you. I would love to know what you thought of the Ted performance? Drop me a comment in the box below. … [Read more...]

Day 108: Music is medicine

Continuing on with my 365 Days of Ted challenge is a post about the Ted talk/performance 'Music is medicine, music is sanity' by Robert Gupta a violinist with the LA philharmonic. Robert shares a story about LA columnist Steve Lopez and an important moment in his life when in the streets of downtown LA he was drawn to the sounds of beautiful music. The source of the beautiful music was a two string violin being played by Nathaniel, a homeless man. This meeting of strangers was the basis of the Hollywood movie The Soloist, a story about a former Juilliard student who dropped out after two years due to schizophrenia. Nathaniel chose not to treat the condition as treatment had previously included shock treatment and handcuffs - the psychological scars a permanent condition that haunts him. Robert met Nathaniel through Steve and began offering Nathaniel violin lessons. He recalls Nathaniel being in a state of paranoia, thinking … [Read more...]

Day 107: Ethel: A string quartet plays “Blue Room”

Continuing on with my 365 Days of Ted challenge is my Ted talks on music theme week. Today's instalment features a Ted performance by string quartet Ethel performing "Blue Room" A deeply moving piece that strikes a chord (pun intended) as the listener gets washed away in the haunting sounds. I'm slightly worn out and exhausted so I decided to spend this week watching Ted musical performances. Music has always been a way for me to mend from exhaustion and bad moods and to life my spirits. This week has taught me that sometimes you just need to take a little time out to recharge, and sometimes the remedy is taking a few moments out to listen to a string quartet. Thanks Ted! … [Read more...]

Day 105: What is the most perfect song to be played at a Ted education event?

Continuing on with my Ted talks on Music theme week I decided to watch a  Ted performance by musician John Legend singing the classic song 'True Colors.' In 2013 John Legend hosted Ted talks education and treated the audience to a cover of the Cyndi Lauper classic 'True Colors'. Watching his performance  in the context of being on a Ted stage was the first time I actually stopped to really listen to the lyrics and find the meaning behind the words - it's quite beautiful actually. It's about not being afraid to be your authentic self and  live true to yourself and who you really are.  I can't think of a more fitting song to be presented to teachers and students and a Ted education event. So often in school we are taught to think and act a certain way and maybe that's not leaving much room for kids to be themselves. If you haven't already watched John Legend's ted performance, hit play, sit back and let your mind wander with the … [Read more...]

Day 104: It’s Ted, the musical

For Day 104 of my 365 Days of Ted talk I decided to have a little fun and watch a musical by the Ted staff, or as Ted says "a musical love letter to our speakers" This Ted talk, correction musical, is directed towards would-be Ted speakers. It's a light-hearted tongue in cheek look at what goes on in the mind of a Ted speaker before getting onto that stage. The musical starts with a would-be speaker getting a phone call letting her know that she has been accepted to give a Ted talk. A few moments later, Ted speaker coaches arrive on her doorstep to share some golden words of wisdom and some advice that all speakers should take note of. Preparation is key. You must be primed if you want to succeed. You need to bring something new to your speech.  It's okay to to bring a topic to the table that everyone knows about, but you need to add a fresh perspective into the mix. Don't try to sell anything or some (or your Ted talk won't … [Read more...]

Day 100: What happens when bluegrass meets a Ted audience?

Brothers Robbie, Jonny, Tommy are in a band called Sleepy Man Banjo Boys and for their time with Ted they share two of their songs with the audience. Did I mention that at the time of recording these boys were 13, 14 and 10? Their talent will blow you away and leave you a little bit envious! I simply cannot believe it. It’s day 100 of my 365 Days of Ted challenge. In all honestly I was doubtful that I could maintain this daily writing habit. It hasn’t always been easy.  I've had some pretty nasty colds this years and some thumping migraines - not the best writing conditions, but I just wanted to see this challenge through.  It’s always been a privilege to watch these Ted talks and learn something new. It’s been an amazing journey, which at some point I will go into more detail about, but for now all I want to say is thank-you to all the Ted speakers who share their stories and insights. For today’s instalment of the challenge I … [Read more...]

Day 94: The danger of a single story.

Day 94- The danger of a single story

Do you have a single story? That one story, that  one thing about you that really defines who you are, the story that people will construct about you without actually getting to know you? It's their shorthand  for 'you'. Ted speaker and novelist Chimamanda Adichie shares with her Ted audience her experiences of being defined by a single story and why the single story can be a dangerous thing. What is the single story? The single story is the shorthand that we default to when we  have limited information about a person or situation.  We might have a snippet of information such as a person's birthplace and then we subconsciously raid our internal reference bank and construct a story about a person based solely on our preconceived ideas.   The danger in this of-course is that so often we construct the wrong story and this ends up breeding resentment, conflicts and on a global scales even wars. Chimamanda was an early reader, writing … [Read more...]

Day 93: What are the clues to a great story?

Day 93- The clues to a  great story- A post inspired by Ted speaker Andrew Stanton

Are you a pretty bad storyteller or you usually have a pretty captive audience? Do you know  what the ingredients to a good story is? Filmmaker (Toy Story) Andrew Stanton does and in his Ted talk, “The clues to a great story” he’s got the audience hooked within the first sixty seconds. How does he do it? Well, you will need to keep reading to find out. The ingredients of a good story Storytelling is at the core of every human experience, it’s what we do. Stories have no boundaries and can take giant leaps through time and location. Andrew talks about what it takes to tell a good story and it really comes down to three words; make me care, but how can we make someone care? Andrew’s Ted talk is full of great nuggets of wisdom but here are my three favourites.   The punchline. You have to know the punchline of your story and know that every part of the story is leading to this one main singular goal. Absence of … [Read more...]

Day 89: This Ted speaker packed nothing for TedActive but 7 pairs of undies

Ted Speaker Jessie Arrington quote compiled by website confetti

Don’t you hate packing for holidays and conferences? I certainly do. Regular readers might remember that  I have posted about my clothes packing dilemmas before. That’s why I think designer Jessi Arrington is one brave woman. She packed nothing in her suitcase for TedActive except for 7 pairs of undies! Jessi Arrington never buys new clothing, but she is “outfit-obsessed”. She buys all her clothing from second-hand stores. She arrived in Palm Springs for her TedActive talk with nothing in her suitcase but undies as she trusted once she arrived she would be able to buy some second hand clothes and create some unique outfits. She uses her Ted talk “Wearing nothing new” to share images of her newly found 7 outfits and also shares some life lessons that she has stumbled upon whilst wearing nothing new. 7 Life lessons learned from wearing nothing new according to Jessie Arringto 1. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to look … [Read more...]

Day 85: “The thing is, I stutter” An honest Tedx talk by Megan Washington

Day 85- “The thing is, I stutter” An honest Tedx  talk by Megan Washington

Continuing on in my 365 Days of Ted journey I decided to watch a Ted talk from my own soil - Australia. I watched a Tedx talk from Australian singer Megan Washington  who she shared a personal truth with the audience “The thing is, I stutter.” Although I have been following Megan’s music for a couple of years I had no idea that she had a speech impediment.  I have heard countless interviews and speeches from Megan in the past but never heard a hint of a stutter. Had she not done this Ted talk I and many of her fans would have been none the wiser. Finding new ways to communicate Megan found out when she was a child that when she sings the stutter is gone. Apparently it is impossible to stutter when you sing. Singing is a way of fluently communicating for Megan and a way for her to get a message exactly as she had intended. I have such an awesome new-found respect for Megan Washington. It could not have been easy to give a Ted … [Read more...]