What Music Can Teach Us About Life

What Music Can Teach Us About Life

Music's secrets to life.
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Music can teach us a lot about life. Music has a way of meeting people where they are at yet changing their lives. I encourage you to learn from the different aspects of music.

Dynamics:

Dynamics in music refer to how quiet or loud the music is being played within a piece. The dynamics add to the flow and feel of the song by creating soft sections as well as bold/loud sections within the piece. Music teaches us that life should be lived at more than one dynamic; we are challenged to enjoy both the soft and and bold moments. The situations in life that make us feel weak or small can make us feel quiet and unimportant. These moments, however, can be some of the most beautiful parts of the song. The soft moments give us a chance to step back and truly see the essence of the song. This can show us that in life we must step back and see what life is really about. Running through life at solely a high dynamic can tire us out as well as cause us to forget the reason we are even singing (living) in the first place.

Diction:

Diction is the style of enunciation in singing. You see, diction does not only have one style, there are many. Different styles bring different feelings and emotions and help to highlight or emphasize certain points. It is important in a piece of music to know what style of diction is being used and then learn to sing and perform it in that way. In life we too often speak in our 'own diction'. What I mean by this is that we have a specific way in which we like to address things and we then choose to articulate that in our own specific way. We must learn, however, to understand our environment and respond to it in a style that will make the most impact. We must engage in the cultures and situations around us and understand the ways in which they live and speak. We can then use our voices to speak across those borders and among those differences. Then the power of our words can be shared with a greater variety of people and therefore have a greater impact.

Pitch/ Range:

Pitch refers to the position of a single sound in the complete range of sound. Range, therefore, is the distance from the lowest to the highest pitch. In music class or choir rehearsal we are always encouraged to work on pitch and develop our range. We have been taught the importance of precise pitch and broad range. This holds a key component within not only the world of music but also within our lives as a whole. It is important in life to distinguish our notes or to be precise with where we are at and where we may be going next. In choir class one is always encouraged to think of the pitch of the next note before singing it. This represents the importance of realizing where we are at and then preparing our minds for the jump we will soon be making to the next pitch. Some intervals are larger than others and thus require a larger jump but with the right preparation those jumps can be successful. Throughout our lives we must prepare ourselves for change and then engage in what that change may mean for our lives. Making a big jump isn't as scary when we know where we are going and where we are jumping from. Vocalists are also always being encouraged to broaden their range (increasing the number of pitches they are able to hit). In life, we must be seeking out ways in which we can broaden our range- our experiences, opportunities, encounters, and more. We should be aware of what our range looks like now and therefore what are limits are. This will then help us then realize where we are at and where we can go from there.

Music is genuine, empathetic, sensitive, encouraging, unique, and joyful. Music is exact and distinct yet free flowing and open ended. Music is sad yet happy and smooth yet precise. Music is gentle yet strong. I encourage you to live life like music and learn from its lessons.

Music is life- that's why are hearts have beats. - Cecily Morgan



Cover Image Credit: Aspers Northampton

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A Playlist From The iPod Of A Middle Schooler In 2007

I will always love you, Akon.
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Something happened today that I never thought in a million years would happen. I opened up a drawer at my parents' house and I found my pink, 4th generation iPod Nano. I had not seen this thing since I graduated from the 8th grade, and the headphones have not left my ears since I pulled it out of that drawer. It's funny to me how music can take you back. You listen to a song and suddenly you're wearing a pair of gauchos, sitting on the bleachers in a gym somewhere, avoiding boys at all cost at your seventh grade dance. So if you were around in 2007 and feel like reminiscing, here is a playlist straight from the iPod of a middle schooler in 2007.

1. "Bad Day" — Daniel Powter

2. "Hips Don't Lie" — Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean

SEE ALSO: 23 Iconic Disney Channel Moments We Will Never Forget

3. "Unwritten" — Natasha Bedingfield

4. "Run It!" — Chris Brown

5. "Girlfriend" — Avril Lavigne

6. "Move Along" — All-American Rejects

7. "Fergalicious" — Fergie

8. "Every Time We Touch" — Cascada

9. "Ms. New Booty" — Bubba Sparxxx

10. "Chain Hang Low" — Jibbs

11. "Smack That" — Akon ft. Eminem

12. "Waiting on the World to Change" — John Mayer

13. "Stupid Girls" — Pink

14. "Irreplaceable" — Beyonce

15. "Umbrella" — Rihanna ft. Jay-Z

16. "Don't Matter" — Akon

17. "Party Like A Rockstar" — Shop Boyz

18. "This Is Why I'm Hot" — Mims

19. "Beautiful Girls" — Sean Kingston

20. "Bartender" — T-Pain

21. "Pop, Lock and Drop It" — Huey

22. "Wait For You" — Elliot Yamin

23. "Lips Of An Angel" — Hinder

24. "Face Down" — Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

25. "Chasing Cars" — Snow Patrol

26. "No One" — Alicia Keys

27. "Cyclone" — Baby Bash ft. T-Pain

28. "Crank That" — Soulja Boy

29. "Kiss Kiss" — Chris Brown

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30. "Lip Gloss" — Lil' Mama

Cover Image Credit: http://nd01.jxs.cz/368/634/c6501cc7f9_18850334_o2.jpg

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My AP Environmental Science Class' Cookie Mining Experiment Shows Why Capitalism Is Destroying The Planet

Who cares about the environment with profits this high?

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With the AP exams in May approaching quickly, my AP Environmental Science class has wasted no time in jumping right into labs. To demonstrate the damage to the environment done by strip mining, we were instructed to remove the chocolate chips from cookies.

The experiment in itself was rather simple. We profited from fully or partially extracted chips ($8 for a full piece and $4 for a partial) and lost from buying tools, using time and area and incurring fines.

This might seem simplistic, but it showcased the nature of disastrous fossil fuel companies.

We were fined a $1 per minute we spent mining. It cost $4 per tool we bought (either tweezers or paper clips) and 50 cents for every square centimeter of cookie we mined.

Despite the seemingly overbearing charges compared to the sole way to profit, it was actually really easy to profit.

If we found even a partial chocolate chip per minute, that's $3 profit or utilization elsewhere. Tools were an investment that could be made up each with a partial chip, and clearly we were able to find much, much more than just one partial chip per tool.

Perhaps the most disproportionally easiest thing to get around were the fines. We were liable to be fined for habitat destruction, dangerous mining conditions with faulty tools, clutter, mess and noise level. No one in the class got fined for noise level nor faulty tools, but we got hit with habitat destruction and clutter, both of which added up to a mere $6.

We managed to avoid higher fines by deceiving our teacher by pushing together the broken cookie landscapes and swiping away the majority of our mess before being examined for fining purposes. This was amidst all of our cookies being broken into at least three portions.

After finding many, many chips, despite the costs of mining, we profited over $100. We earned a Franklin for destroying our sugary environment.

We weren't even the worst group.

It was kind of funny the situations other groups simulated to their cookies. We were meant to represent strip mining, but one group decided to represent mountaintop removal. Mountaintop removal is where companies go to extract resources from the tops of mountains via explosions to literally blow the tops off. This group did this by literally pulverizing their cookies to bits and pieces with their fists.

They incurred the maximum fine of $45. They didn't profit $100, however.

They profited over $500 dollars.

In the context of our environmental science class, these situations were anywhere from funny to satisfying. In the context of the real world, however, the consequences are devastating our environment.

Without even mentioning the current trajectory we're on approaching a near irreversible global temperature increase even if we took drastic measures this moment, mining and fracking is literally destroying ecosystems.



We think of earthquakes as creating mass amounts of sudden movement and unholy deep trenches as they fracture our crust. With dangerous mining habits, we do this ourselves.

Bigger companies not even related to mining end up destroying the planet and even hundreds of thousands of lives. ExxonMobil, BP? Still thriving in business after serial oil spills over the course of their operation. Purdue Pharma, the company who has misled the medical community for decades about the effects of OxyContin and its potential for abuse, is still running and ruining multitudes more lives every single day.

Did these companies receive fines? Yes.

But their business model is too profitable to make the fines have just about any effect upon their operation.

In our cookie mining simulation, we found that completely obliterating the landscape was much more profitable than being careful and walking on eggshells around the laws. Large, too-big-to-fail companies have held the future of our planet in their greedy paws and have likewise pulverized our environment, soon enough to be unable to return from.

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