DAY 167: What do maths and music have in common?

What do maths and music have in common? TED speaker Clayton Cameron uses him time at TEDYouth to demonstrate the answer. I dislike maths but I love drum beats. Ahh the corundum when presented with a TED talk that explains maths behind the rhythm. This TED talk was part of the TEDYouth lineup, hence the emphasis on "A-rhythm-etic” I love how Clayton explains to the audience that maths is the backbone of music.  Okay so Clayton is a drummer and not a maths teacher, but if I would have had a maths teacher that broke it down for me like that, then I might of had a better appreciation for maths. When students in my maths  class in primary school groaned “why do we need to learn maths anyway?” answering “to create music” would have been a whole lot more effective than “because it’s in the curriculum" The truth is when I started to teach myself to read music I learnt the connection between maths and rhythm and this made me made dislike … [Read more...]

Day 147: The beat of my own bucket drum

One of my favourite playlists on Spotify contains nothing but drum solos.  It's my get-up-and-go music. (I know , I know that was pretty corny)  I find drum solos  so powerful and commanding that it stops you in your tracks and makes you take notice, as did this drum  solo  by Choclattjared "The beat of my own bucket drum." What I love most about this performance is that there is not a "drum set" in sight.  I usually only listen to drum solos and not actually watch them, however watching Choclattjared play drums is something pretty special. It engulfs him. It's as if he and the drum beats become one. It's a beautiful thing to watch. Talking is limited to one line in this performance that comes right at the end of the piece, " Hello my name is Choclattjared and thank-you for that great conversation" What did you think of   "The beat of my own bucket drum."  I'd love to hear about it in the comment box below … [Read more...]

Day 143: A song about “ceaseless yearning and never-ending want”

Ted speaker and muso Nora York brings to the Ted stage a musical number about "ceaseless yearning and never-ending want." Let's face it's something that we have all gone through at some stage. "I want what I can't have, need what I can't want " These were the core lyrics being repeated, so simple, yet so easy to resonate with. "Sick and tired of the "Later, maybe" What I took from this number is that we are never going to be satisfied if we get stuck in this loop of always wanting more. There is a flipside to this. I think that we need to strike a healthy balance between want and appreciation. I think that we should always thrive for growth and never stand still, but I think that we do need to learn to appreciate the things that we already have. Maybe what we have is enough. "I gotta just claim it I gotta just seize" I guess it comes down to the motive behind our "want." If it's just to out-do our neighbours and keep up with … [Read more...]

Day 110: A new kind of music video

Have you ever wondered what a music video would look like if the music itself directed the video and not a director's concept? Designer and Ted speaker Jakob Trollback wondered this and the results of his experiment is featured in his Ted talk "A new kind of music." Although I don't think that this Ted talk is for everyone, I like the concept behind it. Often video clips can give an entire new meaning to a song. Often the songwriter is not involved in the music video creation. This means that another interpretation is added in the mix and it may or may not be in sync with the song's true meaning. The artistic endeavours (and ego) of a director may trump the essence of a song and visuals may be forced to fit the lyrics. Jakob Trollback's approach to his experiment is to allow motion and animation to take centre stage of the music video. Truthfully, I wasn't that blown away by the results but his Ted talk did get me thinking about … [Read more...]

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...]