Did you know that research has suggested that we only retain 25% to 50% of what we hear? That makes listening skills for musicians all the more important, especially if you are to learn from what you hear. Listening to music to learn an instrument is an often neglected part of music education, yet probably the most important aspect.

Listening to your inner self is just as important for musicians. If you connect to your own sounds and listen to your subconscious voice, you may even learn something that has the power to heal.

But first! Yes, we know Halloween is over but we couldn’t resist just one more paranormal post!

Halloween Hangover

7-creepy-tricks-and-treats-for-writing-halloween-horror-musicDo you have access to a foreboding choir, cathedral organ or mournful violin sound? Then you have what you need to create some morbid melodies and apparitional audio! We love the fact that Halloween brings out the creepy crawlies in music—and the fun! We’ve already given you quite a few suggestions for writing your own Halloween horror music. Here, we give you seven more simple suggestions to create a convincingly scary song to creep out your neighbor’s kids all year round!

Do you want even more ways to make music mysterious? Then learn from the master of horror scores, John Carpenter! One of the best-known horror theme songs is Carpenter’s “Halloween” theme. Piano with Willie breaks down and analyzes this terrifying tune.

Do you want to make a John Carpenter-style Halloween theme but don’t have lots of time? Jason Read (“The Landlady”) shows you how to do it in two minutes!

Introduction to Ska Music

Have you ever listened to Ska Music? Chances are you have and didn’t even know it! Ska music originated with Jamaican performers who married calypso rhythms to blues chord progressions. It first became popular among mainstream audiences in the 1950s, predating the similar, well-known style of reggae and has undergone several transformations since its early years.

ska-musicWant to learn more about this toe-tapping genre? Musical U offers a partial primer on this eclectic, groovy sound.

Like many influential music genres, Ska has a complex history. World Music breaks down the history, sounds, bands and other important aspects of Ska and the differences between Ska and Reggae.

Ska was originally an exclusively black music genre. Black Girl Nerds gives you the history of Ska as part of the black culture of Jamaica.

Do you want to listen to more Jamaican Ska but don’t know where to begin? Jamaicans.com lists their top fifty Ska songs.

Listen and Learn, with Eloise Hellyer

What started out as a desire to give her own children the gift of music became a lifelong passion for Eloise Hellyer, founder of the Violin Teachers Blog. She has lived her fascinating life all over the globe, including the United States, the Middle East and finally Italy.

Afteteaching-learning-and-listening-with-violin-teacher-eloise-hellyerr growing into a prominent violin teacher, Eloise realized that others would benefit from her many years of teaching and life experience. Because of her unique perspective, Eloise’s articulate views on teaching have applications that go far beyond the violin world and have very much impressed us.

We asked Eloise about her teaching and especially the importance of listening skills for violin students.

So if we only retain one-quarter to one-half of what we hear, where is the best place to focus our attention for maximum benefit? Violin School explains the benefits of learning to listen—not only to music, but to your teacher.

If your Suzuki—or any violin student—is progressing slowly, the reason may a lack of listening skills. The Plucky Violin Teacher lists ten benefits to having your student listen to Suzuki (or any) violin recordings.

6 Music Insider Tips for a Professional Attitude

professional-attitude-6-insider-tips-for-every-music-pro-1So, you’re ready to move your band out of the garage and onto the stage! Wait—not so fast! Have you really considered what it means to be a professional musician? Being a real pro may have very little to do with your talent—but it does have a lot to do with your attitude and preparedness.

Musical U’s own Stewart Hilton, who is a veteran of the professional music scene, gives you these six insider tips for a professional attitude in music. Maybe you’ve been so focused on preparing your musical side that you haven’t considered these. That’s where the wisdom of a true road warrior like Stewart can really help.

Played your first paid gig? Congratulations! Now that you’re are a professional musician, it’s time to start acting like one! Ray Wilson gives you a short list of what that means.

Now that you’ve truly considered what it takes to be a professional musician in today’s music industry, let’s consider what it takes to be successful at it. Indie Rock lists ten behaviors of highly successful musicians.

Tough times? Maybe it’s not the industry… maybe it’s your attitude. If you want to be a professional musician you need to treat it like a business and International Musician tells you how.

Singing for Your Soul

harnessing-the-power-of-the-voice-with-sound-therapySound therapy is a relatively new healing technique that employs sound vibrations to go beyond relaxation and foster healing. Some sound therapists use external instruments to achieve this, but there really is no comparison to the healing power of the human voice. By connecting to your own sounds, you can observe your inner self and find your own true voice.

We recently asked Belgian singer and sound therapist Patricia PE Janssen, founder of the company Constig, about how she got started practicing sound therapy, her approach and the importance of treating the body as your instrument.

If you are curious to learn more about sound therapy, this video from the College of Sound Healing explains how the power of the voice can aid in healing and in this video they provide a demonstration.

If you are curious about how sound therapy helps people, have a look at this video from Otto Sound Therapy. In it, people describe how they’ve benefited from various forms of sound therapy.

Did you know that singing actually benefits the brain? Chorus America asked a leading “Neuroscientist of Music” how singing affects brain health and neurological problems.

If you take the time to listen to music to train your ear, you will discover an integral part of your music training that might have been missing. Take time to listen to your teachers, other musicians, and even your inner voice, to further you along on your journey to becoming what you envision as a musician. The trick is to do it actively, with the objective of listening to learn.

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