Classical Music Month Week #1 – Sofia Gubaidulina

Sofia Gubaidulina was born in the Soviet Union, and she loved music even from a young age. She associated music with spirituality and some of her music is considered abstract. She used the musical technique of improvisation (meaning making up music on the spot) and sometimes she uses unconventional combinations of instruments, like a saxophone quartet! Gubaidulina is renowed across the world, and last year she received an Honorary Doctor of Music Degree from the New England Conservatory!


You should listen to different music genres – and here’s why.

We tend to get in the habit of listening to the same music over and over again, and only listening to new music when an artist we already like puts out an album. A study from Northwestern University showed that listening to different styles of music makes you use more parts of your brain, including the emotional part of your brain!

In our day and age, you can find playlists online of music from different countries or genres. Try listening to songs in a language you don’t speak. Can you tell what the song is about by how the music sounds?

Next time you’re in the car, put on some music that you or your kids wouldn’t normally listen to. Talk about it! How does unfamiliar music make you feel? You might discover your new favorite song!

Katie Ball, Gahanna Lab Lead

What is music theory and why is it important?

What is music theory? Why do I need it? Music theory is the reasoning behind how music works. It starts with the fundamentals, and as you work through concepts you form a deeper understanding of what exactly you are hearing in the music you listen to.

If someone asked you to describe a painting, but you had never been taught the names of any colors, would you be able to describe it?

Music theory starts with the notes on the staff, basic rhythms, and articulation marks. Notes are like the letters in a sentence, with rhythm being the number of syllables in the words and the articulation marks representing punctuation. These are the basic elements everyone needs to be able to read music.

Once you understand the notes and how to play or sing them, you will begin to see patterns in the music. The next level of music theory helps you identify those patterns, like repetition in the music or different chord progressions. While music is an art and can exist in many different forms, there are some common patterns that exist in many songs. Understanding the pattern in one may help you understand another song as well.

Music theory teaches you why music has different effects on us when we hear it. What is it about a song that makes it sound happy? Or sad? Or angry?

Perhaps most importantly, music theory teaches you how to perform well. If you do not understand articulation marks or the history of a piece, you may be ignoring things that contribute to how the composer wanted the music to sound. Once you understand all that is written on the page, you can use your own knowledge of musical elements to develop your own style.

Without music theory, musical traditions would never have been passed on. There is no way we would know what a piece written before the advent of recording devices was meant to sound like.

Music theory is an essential part of learning music and being a well-rounded musician.

Which instrument is best for you?

Want to learn music but don’t know where to begin? Here’s some instrument inspiration to get you started!

Piano is a great instrument for all ages and you can learn to play any genre of music on it! Play by yourself or accompany a friend! Possibilities are endless with piano, and there’s something in it for everyone! Enroll in lessons and learn the chords to your favorite song, how to kick it old school with Mozart, or even how to write your own music!

Do you find yourself bobbing your head to the beat of the music in the car? Are you energetic and confident? Drums might be the instrument for you! The drummer in a band keeps the whole group on track and plays awesome rhythms that get the crowd dancing.

Always wanted to be a rockstar? Guitar is a great instrument for all ages, and you get to choose between a rocking electric or a soulful acoustic, or who knows, maybe both! Learn to play chords and you can sing songs with your friends!

Find yourself singing in the shower or in the car on the way to school? Consider taking voice lessons! Lessons will help strengthen your voice and control your breathing so you can belt it out along with the greats.

Are you a leader, not a follower? Are you high spirited and dedicated? Violin is a great option for you! Violinists help lead others in groups but also shine bright as soloists. You might be the next violin prodigy but you don’t know till you try!

Of course, there are tons of other instruments out there. Stop by Michelle Tuesday Music School, locations in Gahanna and Lewis Center, to learn more about music lessons and the different instruments we offer!


How can music lessons help your child in school?

It’s almost time for school to start again, and you should consider adding weekly music lessons to your family’s routine. Studies have shown that learning music helps kids with focus, counting skills, and spatial awareness while also unlocking their creativity!

When a child learns a musical instrument, they learn how to use a variety of skills all at once. Learning to read music helps with the alphabet for younger students while it encourages adaptability for older students. Reading music is like learning another language, and it takes time and patience but unlocks a whole new world!

Playing a musical instrument is great for energetic kids. In lessons, kids sit but still get to move. They have to focus on the movement of their fingers, the pace and strength of their breathing, or their internal sense of rhythm, depending on the instrument. For most kids, playing an instrument allows them to “get the wiggles out” by concentrating their movements to make music!

Playing music is great for the anxious child as well. Performing in front of others can be nerve-wracking, but it boosts a child’s confidence in themselves and their abilities. As they get older, they will have an easier time performing music for an audience, and will get more comfortable in front of a crowd. Additionally, many kids thrive under routine and setting a practice schedule encourages self-discipline.

There are tons of musical instruments, so your child is bound to find one that is right for them. Even though the back to school schedule can be a little hectic, consider enrolling your child in lessons today. The benefits will last a lifetime, and will help your child in many different aspects of school.

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Katie Ball, Gahanna Computer Lab Lead