Listen In Nature

Many children in this country have lost all understanding that they are part of nature and are connected to nature.We live so fearfully that children will be nabbed or will get hurt that we keep them inside and away from danger. But ultimately we are harming them far worse by robbing them of the experiences that can only be found outside in nature.

“To become stronger adults, kids need to be outside and allow their bodies to do what they’ve been designed for from the beginning. – Kacie Flegal, a chiropractor in Ashland, Ore., who specializes in pediatrics.

In college I studied Ornithology because I was obsessed with the film maker Peter Greenaway. His film A Walk Through H: The Reincarnation of an Ornithologist change my view of birds, film making and visual experiences.

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Some of Greenaway’s other best-known films include:  The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982), A Zed & Two Noughts (1985), The Belly of an Architect (1987), Drowning by Numbers (1988), and his most successful (and controversial) film, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989) also include references to Ornithology, birds and nature.

As a parent this has me thinking about sharing a love for birds with my children and if I want to get them outside to listen more I can start with the sound of various songbirds. Doing this can really can teach a child about the diversity of the natural world.

Once you spend time outside listing for birds why not get creative?  Set up an outdoor creativity studio where you can build and make things! Go grab these Free plans to build a birdhouse for your own back yard from Ana White

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ADDED BONUS:

While building your bird house listen to some classic music inspired by birds.

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Music & Productivity – Part 3 – Dr. James Gerber

Written by Amy DeCaussin
Director of Projects & Social Media

This is part three of a three part series on “Music & Productivity” – View Parts One & Part Two Here

Dr James Gerber at the organ

Last week in Part 2 of Music & Productivity, we learned about Joey Salamon, an artist whose work is closely tied to music during its stages of production.  This week I was interested in discussing the subject of music and productivity from an expert in the field of music.  Dr. James Gerber is the Music Associate at All Saints’ Episcopal Church & Day School in Phoenix, a place that is very well known for its phenomenal music program.  I was not disappointed as I found Dr. Gerber to be incredibly insightful on the subject.  While listening to music is a wonderful experience, creating music is an amazing experience as well.

Above is “Herbert Howells: Salve Regina” performed by the All Saints’ Episcopal Church Choir

Formal education in music, such as private lessons requires a great deal of discipline.  The student must practice on a regular basis and repeat the musical phrases over and over in order to get the perfect sound.  As a result, many musicians become intense perfectionists.  “Musicians, as part of their practice process are continuing to work at things–they are never satisfied.” Explains Dr. Gerber.  Practice becomes a state of being.  There is always room for improvement.  The skills musicians acquire from their practice can be very beneficial to other parts of his or her life.  When applied to other fields of study, “They will be the ones that make the scientific discovery because they don’t give up.” Gerber says.

In addition to discipline, the practice of music can also give us experiences in other skills.  “Experience creates competence, which drives confidence, which creates resilience.” Mitzi Montoya, Vice President and Dean of Entrepreneurship & Innovation in Art at ASU said during her talk at the Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference this week in downtown Phoenix.  “It is both an emotional process and also an analytical process.  In western tradition is both a visual as well as an aural process.” explains Dr. Gerber.  You can work through your emotions through music, gain better analytical skills, learn new ways to visualize things and excel in the ability to listen on many levels.  Throughout most of history music was passed on through aural tradition.  It wasn’t until the medieval period when a system of notation was developed.  When you are able to write things down, they begin to take on a whole new level of meaning.  Music has enhanced the development of language.  “Music can transcend language barriers.  It is cross cultural.  You can express things through music that you can’t through spoken word.” says Dr. Gerber.

Above “Prelude, Fugue, and Variation by Cesar Franck” James Gerber on the Organ.

Music is also a physical experience, engaging the body.  Rhythms found in music are based on the natural rhythms of the body.  We usually have a natural physical response to what we hear.  Music can make us want to get up and dance, or help us through a long run.  It requires physical skills as well.  For example, the technique of playing the violin is a physical skill that takes time to develop–how to hold the bow, executing the finger patterns properly on the strings, how the violin is held and how the person playing the violin is sitting or standing is very important.  Beyond that, professional musicians are often called to produce music even if they aren’t in the mood.  They develop an ability to switch into performance mode.  No matter what is going on aside from the music, they learn to brush it aside and focus only on what’s in front of them.  These are all great skills that can be used in other areas of life, especially the work environment.  Music is a wonderful way to develop them.

Another wonderful experience musicians have is connecting with other people.  When they play in a group such as a band, an orchestra, or choir is they become a part of a community.  Just like a sports team, the musicians have to work together to create the sound.  They listen for each other and work collaboratively through their creation of song.

Above “Tomás Luis de Victoria:Nigra sum sed formosa.” All Saints’ Episcopal Church Chamber Choir

It is clear that whether listened to, studied, practiced or performed, the benefits of music on productivity are great.  If you haven’t experienced participating in the creation of music, you may want to consider it.  It is a great way to “cross train” your brain.

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You can check out the All Saints’ Chamber Choir at their concert “Music of Stars, Lights & Heaven” next Sunday, May 17th at 3pm.

Laboratory5 Inc. is a small business based in Tempe, Arizona

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Music & Productivity – Part 2 – Artist Joey Salamon

Written by Amy DeCaussin
Director of Projects & Social Media

This is part two of a three part series on “Music & Productivity” – View Part 1 Here

When considering the topic of music in the context of productivity in the world of art, the first creative person to come to my mind is illustrator Joey Salamon.  Joey spends countless hours in his studio listening to music while working on his artwork.

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Bright and colorful, Joey’s work seems to look like you could almost hear the dance party going on in the picture.  “I listen to music pretty much 90% of the time.  A lot of my pieces have a lot of energy and a lot of color.  Music that reflects those things gives me similar energy.  A lot of times I will listen to upbeat wild songs that reflects how I work.”

Joey creates posters for music bands.  The ironic thing about his process is that he usually doesn’t listen to the band’s music while creating their poster.  He does this because he says he already has an idea of what he is going to create for them.  He says,  “In that process I still need the music to reflect the energy needed to create that.”vay2BJ0RmVQzn5L740LsVBJbyyfcAvSb14UjndHc8NEmNJLNT4Adr-2q8LPoV04nBmzpPfIncYDSaAEZhP_MINhzS6RKB37eK39GFCM93HwFVMMbaBAjZkyK0x3V8G0uxu4vkYkRT2Yxw_T6lYq3eL2KLLqbJ1n0IMVVsjkMsoS97WxmAOGbcruHVYpTir7SO_RmHaYlv5I_fwhDZ89IHI5ZgWM

Pictured above is a poster designed for Matisyahu, a Jewish reggae, rock and hip hop rapper who recently played at the Marquee Theater in Tempe, Arizona.  Joey flew out from his home in Detroit, Michigan for the concert.

Joey’s choice of music depends on what he is working on.  If it something repetitive, like the poster shown below, he enjoys music that is more relaxing like Tyco and Delicate Steve. RiYFGichS6vu5oaGQYZLCq7Jshk9lER8oowPz1vZMS9VN3w1lZRezdAp8Hq0Fjb8u5oWwj7WabI2EevyeyfQxrUylIvYVjsQds1yG8jve71wUAlRmoGfW28s3cHEDPHtK--xkuS9mZOJBXbv2qRICe3PfnRTw7-UpIUUvW9cf2Mep0c1CCs_ksrS9uN1pbW-iACrWuFSbZ5PkOcQJgk3q7snJSR

When Joey is feeling energetic, he will listen to work that is more spontaneous and upbeat.  He will listen to a vast array of music in different genres, one right after another.  Joey will listen to MIA, new age hip hop and then switch to heavy rock such as Rage Against the Machine.  “When I want to be influenced in different ways and be pushed out of my borders I will listen to them because I find that the stuff they are talking about is very relevant and important and not just something poppy.” Joey explains.  Then he pauses a moment, “well I like pop music too.” Joey has an eclectic choice in music genres.dL1FRFXnC30xCQVI7uxf8kQmHucLn-W9PJ5A9imEDLTt3uXKiX7zWu4umODCFoJQ6bkebW4QjkR0vD2H-jm_lIwlxY63UCg4gXNG1FU8Dl-REl8u298WnQ62xwXJc1VkH8S1p3bhtblcc2uxaoOTpekmjyQIGcaGH8uW2jhHtY6xm2nGOwcU2fkj9Uo_V95oBiBjoXIYWoO6WY8uqTI_0z6D4CJ

Shown above is “Beyond the Killing Fields” created in 2014.  Below is a t-shirt design for Polyphonic Spree, a choral rock band from Texas.

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Listening to music sparks a physical reaction to many which can inspire and motivate you.  “Music connects with your emotions and psyche in a much different way than those who are playing the piece.” explains Dr. James Gerber, an expert in the field of music who will be the focus of part three of this blog series next week.  The listener is allowed to explore and respond to the music in a free and undirected way.  It is different than how the musician creating the work experiences it.  This parallels the experience of the viewer who looks at the artwork–free to allow their eyes to wonder across the page.

3XIqQFJV4eeO0eXJcT52G3qMgne408UZzfuwO5P080DRE_f6aza5mW9NWBIKt3y_NgWDqshEGwcdllBeJ5bB1Y0UGM7yAc-mqDKFrahsSYeY3SaCFtW6EOYj8ybN51iwS-FXFh-5IKkmFJpEjRGZnZ15cXQJ06D-WY0V_MGuk169o7jgCnWM6cIPnBdRj-5apGqB8SLzVGGmi_AgWb0RAnARG5--1I have known Joey since we both attended Grand Valley State University to study art.  My observation is that Joey’s connection with music runs deep. We would be working in the studio and he would find a song that he loved and play it over and over again–a compulsive act that I also do in my studio today.  It is like squeezing the energy out of a song and pouring it into the artwork.  I cannot imagine Joey’s work without music.

Laboratory5 Inc. is a small business based in Tempe, Arizona

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Music and Productivity – Part One – Introduction

Written by Amy DeCaussin
Director of Projects & Social Media

This is part one of a new three part series on “Music & Productivity.”

Guess what??  Music helps to improve your productivity…well, usually.  Personally, there are times when I am working when I need absolute quiet.  An example would be if I am doing something business-y and/or financial.  I think that is because I am artsy by trade.  If I am painting, I’m all ears for music.  I think the same typically goes for whatever skill that you excel at.  Some people listen to music while they read.  Others can do their taxes while listening to music.  If you haven’t considered listening to music while you work, check out the infographic at the bottom of this article to see some facts about how it might help your productivity.

Music is a wonderful addition to any experience involving repetitive tasks.  According to Jacki Hollywood Brown, of Unclutterer.com, “If you have a project you have been putting off for some time or if your task involves repetitive work…turn up the volume and listen to your favourite music to get you motivated.” Some repetitive activities to consider could be doing dishes, folding laundry, cutting coupons–well, really anything domestic.  Other tasks that could benefit from music include sorting and organizing receipts, doing a product inventory count, grading papers, installing air conditioners, driving a truck, charting patient records and counting sheep or cracks in the sidewalk.

In the following parts of this series, we will explore how music closely effects artist Joey Salamon and we will hear from an expert in music, Dr. James Gerber, Music Associate at All Saint’s Episcopal Church in Phoenix.  Until then, I leave you with this site where you will find 226 free tracks to help your productivity.

Sources Used/Other links to check out on the subject:

“The Power of Art: Can music help treat children with attention disorders?” BBC News

“Listening to Music at Work–Do’s and Don’ts” CNN.com

“The Power of Music, Tapped in a Cubicle” New York Times

“Music at Work: 3 Real Productivity Benefits” CBS News

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Laboratory5 Inc. is a small business based in Tempe, Arizona

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The Sound of Color

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Kelly-Moore Paints created a color palette that interprets the emotions conveyed in music.  The results are stunning and we can’t stop salivating over all of the gorgeous colors representing different songs in the infographic shown above.

Laboratory5 Inc. is a small business based in Tempe, Arizona

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Explore: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Locally

Whether you plan on wearing green or spending plenty of it this St. Patricks Day, here is a list some fun local events and specials happening this Tuesday.

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St. Patrick’s Day at the Irish Cultural Center
This year celebrate St. Patricks Day at the Irish Culture center. With a mix of music, food, and drinks your sure to have a great time. For more info check out their website: www.azirish.org.

Chompie’s St. Patrick’s Day Specials

If your favorite part of St. Patricks Day is eating tons of corned beef and cabbage then visit your local Chompie’s for All-You-Can-Eat Corned Beef Feast. There you can enjoy a meal of Chompie’s famous corned beef, boiled potatoes, cabbage and Irish Soda bread. This St. Patricks Day Special will be available from 11am-close, at $21.99 a head. For more info visit their site: www.chompies.com.

Pot of Gold Music Festival

This awesome festival of non stop music fun doesn’t end once the weekend is over. Head over to Tempe beach Sunday and Tuesday to enjoy more St. Patrick’s Day music and fun. For more info visit http://potofgoldmusicfestival.com

 

Laboratory5 Inc. is a small business based in Tempe, Arizona

Visit our website: Laboratory5       Follow us on Twitter: @lab5     Become a fan on Facebook: Laboratory5
Contact Us at anytime – we’d love to hear from you