4 Easy Ways to Make Music a Part of Your Classroom

So many teachers want to integrate music into their teaching. But they just don’t know how. Or they think it will be too difficult and time consuming. It can be really simple. These are four ways that I’ve used to make music a part of my classroom.

1. Teaching Songs- 
There are all sorts of songs that you can use to teach. Some teaching songs are based on simple tunes that students already know, like “The Wheels on the Bus” or “Three Blind Mice”. Mailbox Magazine is a great place to look for these. The other kind are original songs, written by people like Dr. Jean. You can use them to teach anything from the alphabet to synonyms and antonyms to forms of matter. It is extremely easy to find these tunes. And you can write your own songs, too.

2. Get Up And Dance!- 
When you have a few minutes, put on an upbeat song. Have your students get out their wiggles by dancing. If you want, you can even teach them line dances or other choreographed dances. This is a great way for your kids to get out some energy and have a good time. Plus, even teachers can join in the fun!

3. Transition Tunes- 
A quick and simple song can let your students know when it’s time to transition to a new subject. Whether you need your students to clean up or move to a new location, a recognizable tune can do the trick. It can have words about circle time or cleaning up. Dr. Jean has some great songs for transitions. But you could also use a short, simple tune as a signal. What an easy way to tell your students it’s time for a change!

4. Mood Music- 
When your students are working, reading independently or in centers, play some music. It’s that simple. Classical music is great for this purpose, but any type will work. It can help your students relax and keep them on task. Background music is an easy way to get a little music in your room.

Now, go try it!

Conya Doss: “Just Good Music”

In a little school in Cleveland, one wonderful woman gives herself to children of special needs, but after-hours, her voice may be the cure for the special needs of R&B; and Soul aficionados. Conya Doss finds that sweet spot of soul on the R&B; tip with a sound that is diligently modern, but tastefully classic. Her lyrics exude what you’d demand of an educator; thoughtfulness, intelligence, generosity and understanding. The music is a delicious spread of soft jazz guitar, hip-swaying rhythms, firm, snappy beats and slick Hip Hop styled production.

Doss has the delicacy of a Jill Scott, the depth of Erykah Badu and the flow of Indie Arie or Lauryn Hill, though the comparisons don’t do her right. It’s not that Doss outshines these songstresses of Soul; it’s that she takes us down her own side roads, on the way to groove.

For instance, the title track on her 2006 album, Love Rain Down (Conya Doss Songs-Unique Beat Recordings), is a funky little track that pours over Doss’ subtle vocal work that peaks and valleys throughout an almost hypnotic chorus. Love Rain Down is the third album after a highly acclaimed debut with A Poem About Ms. Doss in 2002 and her sophomore release, Just Because in 2004.

She’s lovingly referred to as Soul Music’s best kept secret, but often regard as a leading voice in the Nu-Soul arena. It’s easily understood once the pulsing guitar riff of “Tell Me Why” gives way to Doss asking “Tell me why is it always the ones you love…” The song is a gentle release of sadness that beautifully builds into a burning question of the inevitability of love’s paradox.

Love won’t let us forget, and Doss is a voice that sticks just the same if you dig the sounds coming out of the Nu-Soul movement. Though, her influence is broad, across the seas of classics from both Jazz and Rock, along with modern songwriters like Tracy Chapman, Mary J Blige, or Ani DiFranco. It’s a whirlwind sound that will dazzle and seduce you at a soul-gathering gala of influence; meaning, it’s music-lovers music, or as Doss says “Just good music.”

A Music X-Press Magazine, Who’s Got Next?, feature. www.musicx-pressmag.com

• www.conyadoss.com

• www.myspace.com/conyadoss

Musicians on Call Piece

“Musicians on Call”

Please take a second

to imagine what it’s like

to be terminally ill

The hospital becomes such

a routine place

All you want is to see

A familiar face

Your smile grows cold

Your soul grows old

At the same time

I want you to imagine

what it would be like

to have some of your favorite

musicians come visit you in this

lonely space.

The music opens up your heart

moves your soul

and puts a smile on your face

Your eyes light up

and represent pure bliss

This is something you don’t want to miss

Please do us a favor and donate!

Any dollar amount will do!

For we want Jason to have a great birthday, too!

How to Download Free Music Beats Online

If you’ve been trying to find a place to get pre made beats that you can add your lyrics to, I’ve got a great place for you to check out. Soundclick.com has a great selection of beats and music to check out and a lot of it is free. They have tons of music and some that already have a hook with them. Some can be downloaded for free, some can be bought so that you have the exclusive rights to them. Read below and I’ll tell you how to find them, download them, and run them.

** Going to Soundclick.com and picking a genre**

1. Log onto www.soundclick.com 
2. Scroll down to the “Music Charts and Genres” section 
3. Click on “Beats/Instrumentals”

** Finding a beat you like **

1. Once you’re on the new page, scroll below the “Instrumentals Music Charts” list 
and locate the “Sub Genres” area. 
2. Pick a sub-genre and click it (Beats General, Classical, Jazzy beats, Instrumentals with hooks etc) 
3. On the new page you’ll have a list of beats within the sub genre that you’ve chosen. On most of them you’ll see Free Download or Free DL within the title. Obviously these you can download for free. 
4. Click on the title to preview the beat and see if it’s something you like.

* Downloading the beat ** 
1. Once you’ve previewed a beat that you like, click on the artist name. 
2. Scroll down the new page until you find a list of tracks by this artist. 
3. To the left of the song title, you’ll see three arrows. The first will be a downward facing arrow = Download. 
4. To Download, click this arrow. A download box will appear and check Save File.

** Accessing your new download ** 
1. Once it has finished download, locate the file to wherever it is that you have your downloaded files sent to. 
2. There you go, you now have your new beat on your computer to use. 
3. If you have a music program, like Acid, Mixcraft, fruity loops etc., you can open your new beat in that program and layer in some vocals on top of it.

Colleges & Universities Offering Music Degrees

There are a number of colleges and universities offering music degrees. The colleges and universities include Kent State University, Santa Monica College, Florida State University, Julliard and the Musicians Institute.

1. Kent State University 
There are a number of students that are choosing online institutions to future their education. Kent State University offers a Masters of Music in Music Education online. The college was listed on the 2011 US. News & World Report’s Best Colleges.

2. Santa Monica College 
Many community and junior colleges offer an Associate of Arts in Music. Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, California offers an Associate of Arts through their Applied Music Program. The program is geared towards those interested in transferring to a four year college to pursue a Bachelor’s of Art in Music. 

3. Florida State University

The College of Music at Florida State University provides six Bachelors of Arts degrees in their undergraduate program and nine in their graduate degree program. The degrees cover many areas including music education, performance, composition and philosophy. Florida State University also offers a number of certificates.

4. Julliard

Students interested in receiving a degree in music can apply to the Julliard School in New York. Julliard offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in music.

5. Musicians Institute

Musicians Institute College of Contemporary Music located in Hollywood, California offers a number of different programs which include performance, industry, alternative as well as the degree program. The degree options are an Associate of Arts and Bachelors of Music. The Musician Institute College also offers certificate and non-certificate programs.’

Classic ’90s Music Review

I’m a Fiona Apple Maggart McAfee fan. I have been a Fiona Apple fan since the release of her album Tidal in July of 1996. As a teenager it was the dark relatable lyrics that drew me to Fiona’s music. As an adult it is her powerful voice, her talented songwriting abilities, her amazing piano skills and of course the still relatable dark lyrics that continue to draw me her music today, especially her 90’s album Tidal.

There are so many ways to describe Tidal: powerfully deep, romantically dark, emotional, funky, jazzy, raw, poetic, realistic…I could go on. Not one song from this album is disappointing to listen to. Each and every one is rich with lyric and melody. From the first track, Sleep to Dream to the last track Carrion I am swept into a long moment of anger, self discovery, pain, empowerment, lost love, thought and finally relief.

The instruments alone are something to applaud. The continuous and melodious presence of the piano in songs like Never Is A Promise or in Sullen Girl and the drums beat in Sleep to Dream make these songs as powerful and poetic as they are. The realistic and poetic lyrics give each song its depth and Fiona’s sultry voice makes and completes each song.

Individually the instruments, the lyrics and Fiona’s voice are great, but combined the instruments, the lyrics, and Fiona’s sultry voice are spectacular. Each song draws me in and takes me into a depth I don’t mind being in. Filled with emotions of a hard life and dark romance, I can relate to this album and I sing along with Fiona and ride the emotional roller coaster with her, releasing all those repressed emotions through her music.

I can definitely understand why this classic 90’s album is so popular.

5 Best Sondheim Musicals

In the history of musical theatre, there are names that have become legend. Rodgers and Hammerstein usually ring bells for even the casual audience member. Stephen Sondheim was a student of Hammerstein and learning at the hands of a master helped turn Sondheim into one of the most complex musical theatre composers ever. His shows test the usual constraints of what many are used to seeing and hearing in musicals. Let’s take a look at five of his best musicals.

5. “Sunday in the Park with George” (1984) Inspired by a painting, this complex musical follows an artist as he works on his masterpiece. Sondheim served as both lyricist and composer.

4. “Assassins” (1990) Always toying with edgy characters, Sondheim turned many famous assassins throughout history into a musical. Sondheim both composed the music and wrote the lyrics.

3. “Company” (1970) A concept musical, “Company,” really showed Sondheim’s willingness to take chances. It bounces around in time and follows a guy named Bobby as he balances wives and girlfriends and friends. Sondheim wrote the lyrics and composed the music.

2. “Sweeney Todd” (1979) A complex, operatic musical, “Sweeney Todd” soars in a terrifying way. It follows a demon barber who seeks revenge. Sondheim wrote both the music and lyrics.

1. “Into the Woods” (1987) Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics to this beloved musicals that turns well known fairy tales on their head and shows what happens after happily ever after ends.

Stephen Sondheim has many incredible shows not on this list, but I think this is his top five best shows that he created both musically and lyrically. Definitely, check out these amazing shows!.

Massage Chairs For Relaxing While Watching TV

Modern life brought us a lot of stress and lack of time looks like the main problem for many. Massage chairs for relaxing are designed especially for these busy people that simply don’t have time to go to a massage saloon. If you only have one hour before going to bed, the best way is to watch TV while enjoying a healthy massage, having benefits both on the mind and the body.

The best part of this massage is that it helps you relax and eliminate stress, which will be felt by the whole organism. You are entitled to such a spoil especially after a long day of work, watching your favorite series and enjoying a good wine. The main goal of such chair is to help your body relax, but there also other benefits you never thought about.

The squeezing massage, with or without vibrations, with or without heating, with intense pressure are some of the many other features allowing the user to create his or her own advanced massage program. Here are some of the benefits offered by massage chairs while watching TV, benefits proven by numerous researches by psychotherapy institutes and universities around the world.

  1. Improved blood circulation

Maybe you would not expect such benefits from these chairs, but they will improve your circulation, allowing the blood to flow easier through the body. Blood carries all the nutrients and useful substances to all the organs, so it is important for the circulation to be good. The massage chairs will improve the reproduction rate of red cells in the blood, reducing hypertension and the chances of a heart attack. Moreover, the lymphatic circulation is also improved, helping the faster elimination of the toxins from the organism.


  • Reduces stress and anxiety

The disease of the century is considered by many to be stress and anxiety. It is time to eliminate these problems form your life, and today it is possible even while watching TV. It is probably the most important reason for while people by these chairs. While you let your professional chair to do its magic work as a massage specialist, the endorphin levels in the body will raise, literally acting like a relaxing sedative.

  • Corrects the posture of the body

The majority of employees working at a desk for more than eight hours a day has back problems and cannot adopt the right posture while working. No matter how careful we would be about how we sit at the desk, we will get tired after a couple of hours and forget about it. A good massage armchair will correct the pressure out on certain muscles that were overworked during the day. Through the revolutionary massage techniques these chars are capable of, your back will feel as new after a few minutes of using the chair.

The improvements implemented during the last years by this industry are based on studies and advices from medics, allowing benefiting of a therapist at home, whenever you need it, even while watching TV.

The Musicians of Myspace.com

Do you love music? Of course you do, and if you don’t, well, it’s time you started listening to to the cool sounds of D Brown.

Another talented musician on Myspace.com, this lyrical and musical genius will keep bringing you back for more. His style is a compilation of different genres from R&B;, Progressive Rock, and Soul…you name it, he does it all.

His voice, rich and polished, carries you away…sensual lyrics…up-beat…soulful…and heartfelt all come to mind when I hear his songs. The beats will keep you moving and the music will help you remember those moments…the celebrations in life we seem to forget.

When listening to his songs, I can’t help fall in love with all of them. I have to admit, though, I do have my favorites. “Musical” is often kept on repeat for those times I need to “let go” of it all because it helps me do just that. Those up-tempo beats get me moving when even the strongest coffee can’t. The catchy lyrics, “point-point-counterpoint,” stick in my head as well as plaster a huge smile on my face. I believe his vibe is contagious…

“On My Own” helps me sit back and groove…imagining what it would be like in a strange city staring out a window in an empty apartment…with my music keeping me company…but missing something…someone…

His infectious smile, as rich and inviting as his music, also appeals to you and says “I’m genuine…I’m unique…Listen to me.” With such sincerity in his music and personality, it’s obvious why there are 2170 people listed as his friends and more being added each day.

If you want to check out the unforgettable sounds of D Brown, and I highly recommend you do, visit his my space by following this link: D Brown .

Word of Caution: His music is highly addictive.

Latin Music for Cinco De Mayo

Top Ten Songs to Have on Your Cinco de Mayo Playlist

Exposing yourself to music and musicians from other countries can be a rewarding experience. There are a lot of Spanish speaking singers both Latin American and Spanish, that sing in both Spanish and English that can introduce you to new cultures and ideas. Two of my favorite singers that have recorded in both languages are Shakira, and Selena. While Selena was murdered several years ago, her music still stands the test of time, and I would recommend it to anyone who loves music, and Shakira is just amazing!

There are also singers who shouldn’t be overlooked because they record in Spanish. Don’t neglect listening to them! These songs are still a great benefit to the non-Spanish speaker. The rhythms and melodies of these songs shatter the language barrier. Juanes is a singer that does just that. While these songs may be new to the non-Spanish speaking world, they are old favorites of mine.

Here are a few of my absolute favorite songs, that just happen to be by Hispanic performers.

Underneath Your Clothes, Shakira: from the album, Laundry Service

Hips Don’t Lie, Shakira: from the album, Laundry Service

Eyes Like Yours, Shakira: from the album, Laundry Service

Beautiful Liar, Beyonce, and Shakira: from the album, B’Day Deluxe Edition

La Camisa Negra, Juanes: from the album, Mi Sangre

Volverte A Ver, Juanes: from the album, Mi Sangre

Para Tu Amor, Juanes: from the album, Mi Sangre

Damelo, Juanes: from the album, Mi Sangre

I Could Fall in Love, Selena: from the Album 20 Years of Music

Missing My Baby, Selena: from the Album 20 Years of Music

Bidi Bidi Bom Bom, Selena: from the Album 20 Years of Music