ISSUE NO. 21 | NOVEMBER 2020
THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF MODERN DAY MUSIC SCHOOL
Positive Psychology published an article titled, “The Neuroscience of Gratitude and How It Affects Anxiety & Grief” that feels very relevant right now. The article argues that “daily gratitude practices reduce an array of negative emotions and are a natural stress detox for the mind and body.” They cite mindfulness practices and the keeping of a gratitude journal as great ways to consider one's thankfulness on the daily.
The article also shares studies showing that gratitude is ”positively correlated to more vitality, energy, happiness, and enthusiasm to work harder.” All of which are important for musicians!
It’s November which means we have almost made it to 2021! This time of year traditionally marks a season of gratitude. It might feel difficult to find things to be thankful for this year, but cultivating gratitude can have a positive impact on your life and learning.
BY LAURA BETH JOHNSON
One way to infuse your practice time with joy is to write a sentence or two in your practice journal about what you’re thankful for. An example could be, ”I’m grateful for my instrument. I love the timbre of this guitar and I'm honored to play it” or even ”I’m grateful for my coach! They’re helping me strengthen my mixed voice.”
Harvard Medical School explained gratitude like this, “Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives.”
If music brings goodness into your life and you spend time appreciating it, you're more likely to push through challenges and grow! There are other benefits as well.
Two psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, have done a lot of research on gratitude. In one study, they asked all participants to write a few sentences each week, focusing on particular topics.
One group wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. A second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them, and the third wrote about events that had affected them (with no emphasis on them being positive or negative). After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.
And we’d bet the musicians of the group practiced more frequently and found more enjoyment in playing!
In 1942, Bing Crosby performed a song called “I’ve Got Plenty to Be Thankful For” by Irving Berlin that is perfect for this time of year. The chorus goes like this, “I’ve got eyes to see with / ears to hear with / arms to hug with / lips to kiss with / someone to adore.”
In the spirit of gratitude, here is a blessing for musicians. We have hands to play with, voices to sing with, and music to comfort and excite us. Above all this, we have each other to learn and grow from! Here's to wishing a beautiful season of thankfulness for you as we move forward together through a difficult year.
Nando Acampora is the newest addition to the MDM team! He is a classically trained multi-instrumentalist, composer and music producer/engineer. He teaches guitar, bass, drums, and piano!
“My favorite part of teaching is the “ah-ha” moment when a musical concept clicks," Nando shared. "Sharing in a student’s growth and joy as they learn their favorite songs is very rewarding.”
Nando has great teaching experience from working with professional musicians! He coached a 5-piece rock band working closely with each member individually as well as the entire band as a whole, to bring them up to professional level performance standards.
Nando’s appreciation of rock started right along with his classical roots. He studied classical piano at the Antonio Scontrino Conservatory in Trapani, Sicily.
He applied his theory knowledge (along with his very strong ear and natural musical instincts) to teach himself rock guitar, bass and drums. Upon returning to the U.S. Nando attended Musicians Institute in Los Angeles to refine his guitar skills. He then studied audio engineering at SAE Institute in New York City. He soon began working with acclaimed producers such as Ryan Leslie, Carlisle Young and Charles Farrar and performed all over the country alongside musicians such as Blue Note signed bassist Tarus Mateen and R&B artist Nelson Ortiz (formerly of Bad Boy Records), whom he also trained as a guitarist.
Nando shared, “I instill in all of my students that nothing is impossible. With enough passion and persistence they can achieve any of their goals, in music and in life.”
Welcome to the team, Nando! We’re excited to have you on board!
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2 - Let’s Be Leonard. Online Concert Series from The Linda, 8pm
6 - 1st Friday Talent Scout Open Mid City Tavern, Menands, 8pm
6 - Erin Harkes, The Supper Club at The Hollow, 6pm
7 - Under the Den (Ben Zoleski), Putnam Den
13 - Friday the 13 Open Mic, Mid City Tavern, Menands, 7pm
13 - Ben Zoleski, Spa City Tap and Barrel
14 - Under the Den (Ben Zoleski), Putnam Den
27 - Troy Unplugged Open Mic Night, Victorious Life Chrisitan Church, 7pm
27 - Ben Zoleski, Spa City Tap and Barrel
30 - The Sea The Sea, Online Concert Series from The Linda, 8pm
A ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR OUR NEW STUDENTS in OCTOBER!
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