New approaches in neuroscience show it’s not all in your head

“How we experience the world affects us in more ways than we previously thought,” says Davidson, William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at UW-Madison. “We’re finding that emotions and thoughts can alter neural pathways in the brain in relatively short amounts of time and even affect processes like gene expression and aging.”Davidson says tapping into the role experience plays in mental health could help scientists and clinicians design better interventions to treat disorders such as anxiety and depression.This framework stands in contrast to the tendency of neuroscientists to place more value on behavior in lieu of studying experience. In his talk, Davidson made the case for more fully integrating emerging scientific knowledge of the mind-body connection with neuroscience study design.”

Continue reading at Source: New approaches in neuroscience show it’s not all in your head


Exploring how science and technology affect music-making | ASU Now: Access, Excellence, Impact

>Science Activities at the Musical Instrument Museum

“Faculty, staff and alumni in Arizona State University’s School of Music in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts engaged students and community members of all ages at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix on Jan. 20-21, to demonstrate how science can bring music to life.

The School of Music presenters and performers pushed musical boundaries at the signature event and focused on how science and technology affect the way music is made and heard.

The transforming experience of ‘Metal Music’ took the audience inside the sounds of metal objects,” “The performance was a multifaceted experience of music and the science of resonance, featuring a wide range of custom-built instruments, including resonating cymbals, robots that played Tibetan singing bowls, metal percussion instruments, analog synthesizers and a digital re-synthesis process of live flute playing.

The music was about texture and about sound quality. It was an experimental music performance focusing on the rich timbre of the sounds that can be produced by metal objects.”

.Samuel Peña, community engagement coordinator in the School of Music, facilitated an AZ Beat Lab workshop where attendees participated in a “community music jam,” consisting of six 30-minute jam sessions that utilized electronic drum machines, synthesizers and an array of percussion folklore instruments from around the world.

Peña said the workshop was about creativity, connecting with one another and exploring how electronic and world instruments can fit together with a group of people from all levels of experience.

“Through creating community, people build confidence within themselves and also confidence in their ability to connect with others,” said Peña. “One of my goals is to find ways for people to discover how the power of creating music in a community can help build relationships in a way that goes beyond the relationships that just words can do.”

Peña also participated in a collaborative session with Higher Octave Healing (HOH) and AZ Beat Lab that utilized the Ableton Live software program with a small group of pre-selected students. The session was part of a pilot program to explore ways in which music and technology can serve the sensory needs of students on the autistic spectrum.”

Source: Exploring how science and technology affect music-making | ASU Now: Access, Excellence, Impact

Drum Healing Books

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The Healing Power of the Drum is an authoritative yet easy to read book that shows how everyone can achieve health benefits from the increasingly popular activity of hand drumming. The raison d’etre for the book is to raise awareness of the hand drum from merely a musical instrument to a tool that can be used by individuals to attain psychological, physiological and spiritual well-being.

The book explores the drum from a multidimensional perspective, explaining the drum’s ability to release anger, create joy, alter brain rhythms, induce trance, and create empowerment. Research and anecdotal reports provide validation of the benefits of personal drumming.

The Healing Power of the Drum provides a springboard for readers to use the drum in exciting and innovative ways to enhance their own wellness. The book reflects the very qualities of drumming. It is easy to read and non-technical, fun, and yet it provides depth, meaning and purpose for the reader. As the drum provides seemingly limitless ranges of emotions from deep relaxation to extraordinary aliveness, the book accordingly explores the vast range of experiences offered by drumming, from its ability to create euphoria to its deep and sacred power to heal.

All new sequel to the original, wildly popular “Healing Power of the Drum”. A timely synopsis of the healing, cultural traditions, community building and continuation of the sacred lineage of the drum.

With Music Medicine,music therapist Christine Stevens presents an information-packed resource, filled with scientifically based practices for accessing and attuning to the natural healing properties of music. Drawing from a wealth of research and her own pioneering healing work in some of the most challenging places around the world, Stevens invites readers to discover:

. Accessing the four elements of music-rhythm as medicine for the body, melody for the heart, harmony for the soul, and silence for the mind
. Why making music accelerates our ability to heal and change
. Healing playlists-each chapter features valuable download recommendations and links for selecting healing music
. The drum massage, creating your power song, full-body listening, and other effective and enjoyable practices
“Music,” teaches Christine Stevens, “can do so much more than entertain us.” With Music Medicine, she provides a thoroughly researched, accessible, and practical guide for therapists, healing practitioners, musicians-and anyone interested in music for health and spiritual growth.


Michelle Dorrance Took Over the Guggenheim Rotunda, And It Was Genius – dancemagazine

“Michelle Dorrance isn’t a MacArthur-certified “Genius” for nothing. Last night at New York City’s Guggenheim Museum, she premiered the first ever Works & Process Rotunda Project, a brand new initiative announced last summer that commissions site-specific work specifically for the Guggenheim’s iconic Frank Lloyd Wright–designed Rotunda.

Dorrance’s project, in collaboration with fellow hoofer Nicholas Van Young, has set the bar for future projects almost unfairly high. The 40 minute piece was funny yet breathtaking, endlessly entertaining but compositionally brilliant, and as interesting aurally as it was visually. It had all of the rhythmic complexity that we’ve come to expect from Dorrance’s work, but by placing the audience on the ramps (spiraling up seven stories) and the performers on the floor (okay, and occasionally on the ramps, too), the rhythms took on new dimensions.

Here are six reasons why.It was impossible to label it as a single dance style. I spied breakdance, contemporary release technique, hints of Latin ballroom and (of course) some fantastic soft- and hard-shoe tap. Aside from hoofers Dorrance and Van Young, break dancers Ephrat Asherie and Matthew West were the other featured couple. Mixing genres can be hit or miss, but in this case the the amalgam of styles was a definite hit.”

Read More at Source: Michelle Dorrance Took Over the Guggenheim Rotunda, And It Was Genius – dancemagazine 

[Opinion] Look Beyond Research Gold Standard for Energetic Therapies

We have been conditioned in this culture to reject any kind of practice that has not been verified by double blind studies published in peer-reviewed journals.

This gold standard of research, which is largely utilized in drug trials, is considered the only real validation of any so-called claims.In this model, the plural of anecdote is not data—meaning the experiences of my now thousands of clients, and the experiences of the many thousands of my hundreds of students, simply do not count.

When we dig deeper into this model however, we find many problems.

Continue reading at Source: [Opinion] Look Beyond Research Gold Standard for Energetic Therapies

The Kennedy Center: Learn about African dance and dancing to the drum

Rhythm of the Drum

“Rhythm is the driving force behind African dance and many styles can immediately be identified by their characteristic rhythmic beats.

Dancers respond to percussive patterns created by drummers, who in turn respond to the dancers. It is a dialogue assisted by spectators who participate in the performance by clapping or stamping their feet. Dancers are judged by how well they are able to follow the rhythm.

African dance is polyrhythmic, meaning that different rhythms are expressed using various parts of the body. The chest, pelvis, arms, and legs may all have their own rhythm, but be moving at the same time. The complexity and challenge of African dance stems from this use of the whole body.

African villages have dance masters who train young students in their region’s dance styles. Students are expected to learn the steps exactly as they are taught. Once the dance is mastered, however, it is possible to improvise and add new patterns within a particular dance style. Dancers may even engage in friendly competitions with each other or with a lead drummer, pushing them to even more creative interpretations and quick responses.”

Find more dance and drum instruction videos, and readings at Source: ARTSEDGE: Five(ish) Minute Dance Lesson: African Dance

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African dance and drumming ensemble Dema prepares for year-end performances – Emerald Media

“Dema is a class at the University of Oregon focusing on dance, music and storytelling traditions of Ghana and West Africa.

“We have Ph.Ds in physics, political science and undergraduates in various studies,” she said. “People probably stay for two terms at least because everyone falls in love with what Dema is.”A large portion of the class is devoted to building relationships with other members and forming a community.

Dema participants divide into three committees focusing on outreach, fundraising and social events. The social events portion is highly valued by the group.“We like to do stuff outside of class that helps us come together as a dance troupe, but also just as a community,” King said. “We want everyone to feel comfortable.”

“Our performance is not about competition. It is more about people expressing their individuality, and if I make it a group with only people who can dance well then I miss the basic principle,” Iddrisu said.

Fifth year student Nelson Trujillo joined Dema this term, and is enjoying the experience so far. “It’s a totally new thing on many levels,” Trujillo said. “I had no experience drumming and they brought me in for sure.”

Continue reading at Source: Preview: African dance and drumming ensemble Dema prepares for year-end performances – Emerald Media