Music Festivals: Sometimes Hate Does Not Express My Feelings


Music festivals have huge appeal, but can be a major pain in the butt. Certain factors make what is supposed to be an amazing experience at a music festival feel more like a trip to the dentist office.

Could the people in the crowd control themselves please!

My husband is disabled, so when we got to certain events it usually means that we get special seating. This usually means that we never get to sit front row in concerts or near playing fields. This is a fact of life that I have become accustomed. The problem of music festivals is that the crowd is usually unaware of handicapped individuals attempting to get to a location that they can sit to enjoy the concert. If a music festival does have a special location for disabled individuals to sit and enjoy the concert it usually means that the handicapped people will be trapped by individuals in the crowd. Most of the festivals that I have been too usually have people too high on “life” to realize that they might be killing another person’s buzz.

It’s too loud here to hear the music!

I wish I could tell you that music festivals are the perfect opportunity to listen to music and enjoy performances, but typically you won’t hear anything other than the drunk guy sitting beside you. Crowds can be annoying, but nothing is more annoying than trying to listen to your favorite song while some girl talks about her monthly cycle in front of you. If you are close enough to hear the music it will usually be too loud to really enjoy. The large amount of the crowd that is too busy talking about things other than the concert means that the musician’s performance will be played very loudly over the speakers, but farthest that sound will go will be just a few rows back.

Music festivals offer a variety of groups and an open atmosphere for people to mingle, but they don’t stop loud, annoying, and selfish people from coming. Save yourself the time and money and stay home.

Musical Training Improves Memory


It has been found that children who got musical training `outside school showed brain changes and superior memory. The children who did not receive this musical training did not get this memory improvement. A study on Canadian children shows that children who learnt Suzuki had larger and faster responses to brain stimuli compared to those who did not have the lesson. This study is based on the measurements of a magnetoencephalograph, a device that monitors brain wave activity. The students scored high on the general mental ability test also.

The study was made in the age range of 4 to 6 years old. It first showed specific cognitive benefits from musical training in young children. The researchers studied the effects of popular Suzuki methods because instructors follow the same steps. The students are selected not on the basis of innate musical ability or mental skills. The study shows encouraging results in the improvement of verbal memory, literacy, IQ (intelligence quotient), and mathematics.

This study has been done at McMaster University in Canada under the lead researcher Laurel Trainor. This study was established in the journal “Brain.”

Musical Lingo for Those Not in the Know

It’s happened to everyone before, whether it be a friend, family member, or just an acquaintence, someone says a word that you’re sure is Greek, you have no idea what he [or she] means.

Well, if it’s Greek to you, the music may not be as enjoyable, so let’s look at some basics.

It’s not really Greek. Music, in it’s own way, is a langauge all it’s own, developed over the centuries by scholars and poor men alike. Most musical terms have their root in Italian words, so it helps to know some of the common ones.

Crescendo means to increase the volume of the music, or in certain instances, for things to climax dramatically.
Decrescendo means just the opposite, to decrease the volume, and pull away from the music.
Forte` you’ve probably heard the word before, it’s Italian for ‘loud,’ or ‘boisterous’. If you’ve heard someone say ‘that’s not my forte`.’ he means, of course, that he’s not good at it. He’s literally saying ‘That’s not my loud and strong.’
Piano aside from being a musical instrument, is also a volume mark. ‘piano’ in Italian, means soft.
-issimo after a word is the Italian prefix for ‘very’ so, pianissimo means ‘very soft’ and fortissimo means ‘very loud’
Andante is a dynamic mark, meaning to play the piece at a bright, springy pace.
Retard means, literally, that is, to slow the music for a certain part of the song.
A tempo means to continue at the previously specified pace.
D.C. el fine. or Del Cappo el Finito means to play again from the beginning of the piece to the fine, or the finito.
means play the piece smoothly, without breaking the melody of the song.
Staccatto means to play very shortly, like a trot, or to separate each of the notes into individual notes.


Understanding the jargon.
You may hear a musician talking about such things as ‘sixteenth notes’ or ‘fermata’ or ‘measure. Again, it’s almost like another language.

Whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes, sixteenth notes, and thirty-second notes are the ones you hear mostly. They all stand for certain amounts of the beat; whole notes for a whole beat, half notes for a half beat, and so on.
A dot at the side of the note means that note gets it’s self, and another half of itself.
Measures are how music is written, usually a measure equals four beats.
Time Signature appears at the beginning of every piece of music ever written, in the form of a fraction. 4/4, 3/4 and 2/4 are common time measures. They each mean how many beats each measure gets, 4, 3, and 2, respectively.
Fermata looks kind of like a curved dash over a dot. It means to hold the note for about twice what you normally would.
A staccatto mark looks like a dot right over the note. It means play that note staccatto, or very short.
A Tie is a long swaying line between the same note in two measures, or more. It means hold that note down for the length of the entire tie.
A Slur is a long line over a lot of notes, it means to slur the notes together.
Another common term is a scale a scale is a group of eight notes, starting on the root and ending one octive in tone upwards. The notes in the scale, as you probably know are ‘Do Ray Me La So Ta Di Do’ if you’ve ever watched the movie The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Music you probably remember it.
Arpeggios are another common term, often associated with scales, [as in the movie Aristocats,copyrighted by Disney] It means to play each notes of the scale in succession.
Keys mean what key in which the music is played; or what note the scale is started on. A key can start on any note, the most popular keys are C, G, F, and a minor and d minor.
Sharps. A sharp is the note directly above a named note, a black key or a white key, on a piano. it’s the sign that looks kind of like this #.
Flats. A flat is the opposite of a sharp, one note down from the named note. It looks kind of like a b.
Naturals. A natural sign, which looks like a carelessly drawn square, cancels a sharp or a flat.

So, Now You Know.
So, after reading that, you now know the basics. At least enough where you won’t feel completely ignorant.

Metal Music for Your Meat: What to Nosh While You Mosh

Do you listen to metal music? Think of all the hours you’ve whiled away unwinding to the variegated wailing’s of the metal spectrum. In all those hours, I bet you never realized metal, like wine, can complement a meal. Pairing food with things doesn’t have to be just for dinner-party-throwing soccer moms and people with H&M bags in hand.

So, before you cut into that steak or bite into that burger, read on to learn how to make every meal a dish worthy of Diozzyngwie, the patron saint of all things metal!


For explanation’s sake I’ll be leading you through with restaurant items, just so you get the gist of the flavor-to-sound ambience we’re going for. Feel free to substitute where you will, though.

Let’s start from the bottom and work our way up.


Even the best of us have our shameful moments. Those moments are called ‘trips through theMcDonald’s drive-thru’, and if you find yourself in this situation, a depressingly dwarfed Big Mac staring you in the face, buck up. You’re about to do something you’ll almost immediately regret, but if you’re going to chow down, you may as well keep it metal. Peep these burger pairings:

McDonald’s Big Mac: “Regret & The Grave” by Cattle Decapitation
Burger King’s Triple Whopper: “Ravenous” by Arch Enemy
Red Robin’s 5 Alarm Burger: “Great Burning Nullifier” by The Black Dahlia Murder


What’s more metal than seafood? Aside from the mercury content, in some horrible places they serve fish while the creatures are still alive, gasping on their sprig-garnished platters like divas robbed of their spotlight. While I don’t endorse anything of the sort, it does stand as a reminder that seafood is prime real estate for some liberal dashes of metal.

Gaffer’s Fish & Chips: “Terraphobic” by Dagon
Saffron Salmon’s Chinook Salmon Filet: “Saffron’s Curse” by Cradle of Filth
McCormick & Schmick’s Parmesan Crusted Sole: “Mabool (The Flood) / The Storm Still Rages Inside” by Orphaned Land


There’s a reason steak is considered the peak of cuisine. Sure, it can be prepared in various ways (of varying quality), but when you drag knife across buttery, rubicund flesh, it triggers something primordial in the back of your mind. Something exceptionally metal. That’s not just me, is it? Pair your beef thusly.

Banning’s Top Sirloin Steak: “In the Fire” by Roadrunner United
Jake’s Grill’s Grilled Rib Eye Steak: “Blood and Fire” by Type O Negative
Sayler’s 72oz. Steak Challenge: “A Beast Am I” (and “Valhall Awaits Me” if you finish) by Amon Amarth

I know this is a meat list, but I won’t pretend like there aren’t some vegan metalheads out there. There are probably a few, right? So, here are a few vegetarian suggestions…

Olive Garden’s Appetizer Salad: “Never Enough” by Graveworm
Garden Monsters’ Sumo Salad (sans meat): “The New Build” by Dark Tranquillity
Oasis’ Veggie Shish Kabob: “Harvest” by Opeth

There you are. Some suggestions of what to listen to while you eat, or rather, what to nosh while you mosh. Hopefully this did more than make you slobberingly hungry, but hey, if you’re wondering what to eat for dinner tonight…just refresh the page and read it again.

Musical Audition Tips – Selecting a Song

If you are a musical theater actor, then you will likely come across a common hurdle – selecting a song for an audition. When I was first starting out in the industry, I had many musical auditions. While I would like to think that all of the songs I chose to perform were perfect, I would be lying to myself. I realize that in many auditions I could have selected a better song based on the production type and my vocal range.

As a musical theater actor, you must learn how to select an appropriate audition song. Your song selection will determine not only the success of an audition, but also your reputation within the musical theater world.

Song Based on Production

One of the most important considerations you must think about when selecting an audition song is to select a song based on the production you’re auditioning for. For example, you should select a number from the Rock y Horror Picture Show if you’re auditioning for the classic Sound of Music.

When you’re selecting a song, you should first listen to 0the type of music that the production will play. Once you have determined the type of music that is commonly played within the production, you can then seek out an audition song that is similar.

Sometimes when you have a musical audition, the audition request is to sing a song directly from the musical. If this is the case, then you won’t have to search very hard for an audition song; however, this is a rarity within the realm of musical auditions.

Song Based on Your Vocal Range

While this may seem like an arbitrary section for some, you would be surprised at the number of musical theater actors who select an audition song with notes that are clearly in their “weak zone.” When you’re selecting an audition song you should never select one that features notes outside of your “strong” range. Although you may be able to hit the high or low notes, if your voice is not powerful then you will be doing yourself an injustice as the casting directors will see a weak voice instead of a strong one.

Here to read more about Musical Audition Tips.

Musical Audition Tips – Should Act While Singing?

Several years ago I was the assistant for a major casting director. The project we were currently working on was for a very popular musical. Throughout the day, I was in the audition room taking notes along with the casting director and the producers. While some of the actors were very professional, selected great songs and performed while actually singing, others used this opportunity to simply sing. This raises a big question amongst the acting community, should you act while singing an audition song?

Unless otherwise specified, you should never perform a musical theater audition by simply standing and singing. It is vital to treat a song like you would a monologue to showcase your acting and singing abilities.


How Much is Too Much?

While it is imperative that an actor act while he sings, there is a fine line between acting and over-acting. Acting while singing is a slippery slope, and unfortunately, far too many actors slide down this slope with little to no control.

To answer the question this article asks, yes you should act while you’re singing; however, you must understand that while you’re singing your voice should do most of the acting, not your body.

Vocal acting basically refers to allowing your voice to provide the emotional intensity the song requires. The best way to learn how to do this is to read the lyrics of the song as if it were a monologue. Where in the “dialogue” would you place your emotional intensity? Where are the highs and lows of the lyrics? By identifying these moments within the song, you can add the appropriate emotion to turn the song from something pretty to something engaging.

Don’t Worry About Sounding Pretty

Far too many musical theater actors worry about making their voice sound wonderful rather than allowing the emotions of the song guide their voice. If you’re too concerned about the actual sound of your voice, then you are not living in the moment and while you may sound nice your performance will be dull and better fit for an album instead of a theater performance.

As a musical theater actor, you must give yourself permission to sound not so pretty. While you must always sing on key and on pitch, don’t place your focus on your voice. Rather, place your focus on the emotional intent of the song. By doing so, the emotions of the song will actually guide your voice into one that is beautiful and full of emotions, which is what the casting directors wish to see, or hear.