Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Thank you Anita Collins from TED-Ed.

The ideas found in this superb TED-Ed talk could make you want to practice more just because practice helps your brain to such a great degree. 

The ability to simultaneously analyze both cognitive and emotional aspects also has an impact on how our memory systems work. Indeed, musicians exhibit enhanced memory functions creating, storing and retrieving memories more quickly and efficiently. Studies have found that musicians appear to use their highly connected brains to give each memory multiple tags, such as a

conceptual tag, emotional tag, an audio tag, and a contextual tag — like a good internet search engine.

How do we know that all these benefits are unique to music as opposed to say sports or painting?  Could it be that people who go into music were already smarter to begin with? Neuroscientists have explored these issues but so far they have found that the artistic and aesthetic aspects of learning to play a musical instrument are different from any other activity.

They studied other arts. Several randomized studies of participants who showed the same levels of cognitive function and neural processing at the start, found that those who were exposed to a period of music learning, showed enhancement in multiple brain areas compared to the others.

 

This recent research about the mental benefits of playing music has advanced our understanding of mental function, revealing the inner rhythms and complex interplay that make up the amazing orchestra of our brain.

This is an encouragment to practice just to help keep all those areas of the brain active and “lit up.”

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Excerpted from the Feature Article of the August 2017 Pro-Motion Music e-newsletter.  Dr. Jeannine and David Jordan are the creative artists of Pro-Motion Music LLC.  Jeannine, a concert organist, with David, a media artist, are the creators and performers of three organ and multimedia concert experiences, Around the World in 80 Minutes, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Bach and Sons.

Thank you Anita Collins from TED-Ed.

The ideas found in this superb TED-Ed talk could make you want to practice more just because practice helps your brain to such a great degree

When scientists turned from observing the brains of music listeners to those of musicians, the little backyard fireworks became a jubilee. It turns out that while listening to music engages the brain in some pretty interesting activities, playing music is the brain’s equivalent of a full-body workout.

The neuroscientists saw multiple areas of the brain light up simultaneously processing different information in intricate interrelated and astonishingly fast sequences. But what is it about making music that sets the brain alight? The research is still fairly new, but neuroscientists have a pretty good idea playing a musical instrument engages practically every area of the brain at once especially the visual, auditory, and motor cortices.

As with any other workout, disciplined, structured practice in playing music strengthens those brain functions allowing us to apply that strength to other activities.

The most obvious difference between listening to music and playing it, is that the latter requires fine motor skills which are controlled in both hemispheres of the brain. It also combines the linguistic and mathematical precision in

the left hemisphere while the right is more involved with the novel and creative content. For these reasons playing music has been found to increase the volume and activity in the brain’s corpus callosum,
the bridge between the two hemispheres, allowing messages to get across the brain faster and through more diverse routes. This may allow musicians to solve problems more effectively and creatively in both academic and social settings. Because making music also involves crafting and understanding its emotional content and message,  musicians often have higher levels of executive function.  This category of interlinked tasks includes planning, strategizing and attention to detail. It requires

simultaneous analysis of both cognitive and emotional aspects.
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Excerpted from the Feature Article of the August 2017 Pro-Motion Music e-newsletter.  Dr. Jeannine and David Jordan are the creative artists of Pro-Motion Music LLC.  Jeannine, a concert organist, with David, a media artist, are the creators and performers of three organ and multimedia concert experiences, Around the World in 80 Minutes, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Bach and Sons.

Thank you Anita Collins from TED-Ed.

The ideas found in this superb TED-Ed talk could make you want to practice more just because practice helps your brain to such a great degree. 

Did you know that every time musicians pick up their instruments there are fireworks going off all over their brain?  On the outside they may look calm and focused, reading the music and making the precise movements required, but inside their brains, there’s a party going on.  How do we know this?  Well in the last few decades neuroscientists have made enormous breakthroughs in

understanding how our brains work by monitoring them in real time. With instruments like MRI and PET scanners people are moitored while doing various tasks. Tasks such as reading or doing math problems each have corresponding areas of the brain where activity can  be observed. But

when researchers got the participants to listen to music, they saw fireworks in multiple areas of their brains. They took the sound apart to understand elements like

melody and rhythm, then put it all back together into a unified musical experience.  Our brains do all this work in the split second between when we first hear the music and when our foot starts to tap along.

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Excerpted from the Feature Article of the August 2017 Pro-Motion Music e-newsletter.  Dr. Jeannine and David Jordan are the creative artists of Pro-Motion Music LLC.  Jeannine, a concert organist, with David, a media artist, are the creators and performers of three organ and multimedia concert experiences, Around the World in 80 Minutes, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Bach and Sons.

Why not visit those websites you’ve bookmarked over the past year?

 My favorite website at the moment is allofbach.com.  Did I mention awesome performances?

Why not watch those YouTube videos you’ve archived over the past months?  
You might hear an inspiring performance of a piece you’re studying or discover new repertoire.

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Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist with her husband David, media artist, are the creators and performers of Bach and Sons, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Around the World in 80 Minutes — live organ concerts with multi-media.

Yes!  It’s summer!  Opportunities abound to create and experience music in a myriad of ways.   Open your ears and your mind. There’s a world of music out there!

Why not support performing musicians at a festival concerts?


We had the absolute thrill of attending a stunning performance of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion at the Oregon Bach Festival last weekend.  Period instruments, awesome soloists, an incredibly articulate and awesome performance! What an inspiration.

Why not attend a convention workshop, or lecture?

Who knows who you might meet and what new ideas you’ll discover.
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Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist with her husband David, media artist, are the creators and performers of Bach and Sons, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Around the World in 80 Minutes — live organ concerts with multi-media.

The Sounds of Summer

Yes!  It’s summer!  Opportunities abound to create and experience music in a myriad of ways.   Open your ears and your mind. There’s a world of music out there!

Why not sing in a summer choir?

Some church choirs go on hiatus during the summer and a “pick-up” choir provides music presented by those folks who don’t want a year-long commitment.  Last summer at the Cathedral in Bath, England, David and I heard the most marvelous “pick-up” choir you can imagine.

Why not take lessons?
Try it!  You might just like the experience of dusting off your instrument (or your organ shoes) and playing and studying your instrument on a daily basis.  You might just learn that playing an instrument is a great source of relaxation, rejuvenation, and challenge that you need in your life.

Why not enjoy a Road Scholar music experience?
  Find a community of like-minded amateur musicians and spend a week creating music together in a beautiful place.  One of my students recently attended a choral experience on St. Simon’s Island which culminated in a festive concert.

Why not play concerts in far flung locales?

Begin the work this summer to schedule concerts for next summer or the next or the next.  Yes, planning and preparing for those performance opportunities in those far flung locales takes months and yes, sometimes even years to coordinate.  Start now for a performance experience you’ll never forget!
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Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist with her husband David, media artist, are the creators and performers of Bach and Sons, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Around the World in 80 Minutes — live organ concerts with multi-media.

 

BYOM Party

Bring Your Own Music Party

What does a barbecue, a pool party, a scavenger hunt, and hot weather have in common? They’re all too common.

Here is an idea that has some promise. And chances are you haven’t yet attempted this. What if you had a party where everyone that came brought their own music, participated, was engaged, and left wanting to do it again?

(Bring Your Own Music) Party

What is it?  Each party guest brings a CD or YouTube video of a favorite piece of music. No restrictions on what it is. That’s the surprise. The music we predict a person will bring might turn out to be something totally unexpected — like it’s from another planet.  That’s OK. The music should be the guest’s favorite piece. It can be any style or genre, but it should to be a favorite or at least their favorite at the moment.

WHY do this? Because it’s not a scavenger hunt, Twister, or Karaoke.

The idea is to have a true listening event. (No one can be intimidated that someone is going to come and try in vain to show off their latest effort; The Stumblebee boogie.)

It’s not at all about playing an instrument.  It is totally about listening to “other” music – music that may take you way out of your own box.  It’s a way to stretch your mind a little and get some innovative ideas to use later.

Each game, to be a good, has some rules. Well, here they are.

 

I.  Each guest should bring a CD of their favorite piece. Or they can bring up a video on YouTube.

II.  Each guest has 10 minutes. (Might want to limit the

number of guests. 30 guests could take you well into the morning hours.)

III.  During their 10 minute presentation each guest will play/demonstrate/talk about their favorite piece of music.  The ten minutes can be spent in a variety of ways:  simply using the entire time to listen to the piece; describing why the piece is a favorite for 5 minutes and listening for 5 minutes; posing questions for a minute and listening for 9; creating a visual diagram of the piece for 7 minutes and listening for 3 minutes; you get the idea…right?

 

IV.  After all guests have presented their favorite music, a brief congenial discussion of the music will follow.  You may use the evaluation of “It’s got a good beat and you can dance to it.” (Dick Clark)  No snarking. Save that for the after-party.

V.  The “winner” is the person who shared a piece of music most of the room felt stretched their minds but wasn’t repugnant.  Give an award for creativity, too. Oh…and the best hors d’oeuvres.

VI. The winner then gets to play their favorite piece of music one more time.

This should create a party where everyone can participate without fear, be engaged, be surprised, experience some new ideas, and hear some out-of-the-ordinary music. 

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist with her husband David, media artist, are the creators and performers of Bach and Sons, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Around the World in 80 Minutes — live organ concerts with multi-media.

 

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