It's 2024, we can't keep neglecting our hearing health!

On November 15th, 2023, our director Millicent attended a hearing health workshop in Birmingham, taught by Miles Dakin, the founder of Dakin Custom Audio. Miles Dakin is a guitar player who suffers from tinnitus. Around ten years ago, he got in contact with other professional musicians and sound engineers to develop ear monitors that protected the users' hearing. He also campaigns to bring awareness to hearing issues.

This is what Millicent had to say about the experience:

The workshop was fantastic. I learned about the structure and anatomy of the ear canal, which allowed me to understand better how the process of hearing actually works. Miles Dakin explained that whenever we are exposed to loud and startling sounds, like sirens, roaring machinery, or blasting speakers at live concerts, we might experience ringing in our ears or discomfort. These sensations indicate that some of the nerves on our ears have died, therefore our hearing has been...

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Let's be kinder to ourselves

It's a new year and, as with every new beginning, we have the opportunity to take decisions and attitudes to work towards achieving our dreams. For 2024, we'd like to bring kindness to your attention.

Let's be kinder to ourselves. Diligence and discipline can take us very far, always that they remain that and don't turn into self-deprecation and self-mistreatment. Think about it: you are the one best equipped to understand your own rhythm and your limits. There's a difference between pushing yourself to do your best, and forcing yourself again and again to attempt something you can't do yet, until frustration crushes you. As the American actor Jason Alexander quotes during a master class at Boston University: "You don't yell at a bud because it isn't a flower yet. It's going to be a flower, but it opens when it's time for it to open."

Look at the goals you've set for yourself this year and ask yourself whether they are realistic and specific enough to be useful to...

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Let 2024 begin!

Happy 2024!

Today begins what we hope is a very exciting year full of fascinating new things to learn, challenges to tackle, goals to reach and happiness to be found. Best wishes to all of you and your loved ones!

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Happy Holidays!

2023 is about to end. We hope that you had a spectacular year, and that 2024 is even better.

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Time For Joannie's Music

Joannie, known professionally as Joannie Joannie or JoannieJMusic, is part of the Time For My Music online community for emerging female musicians. Her element is the voice: she's a singer, songwriter and poetical lyricist, radio presenter and DJ. She is passionate about social connection and communication, which has allowed her to bring joy with her music to people of all ages, from youth groups to care homes residents.

Joannie joined Time For My Music to find support in order to tackle the hurdles that lockdown brought her, namely some voice problems and loss of confidence. With Millicent's guidance and the help of the community, she got back on track in no time. Once restrictions on live music were lifted, she got gigs, interviews, award nominations, and this year, the opportunity to release a single: You Bring Me Joy

Nowadays, Joannie is working regularly as music performer in restaurants with her duo SistasWithSoul. You can also find her on London World Radio,...

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The Challenge of the Perfect Embouchure

The main instrument of any musician is their own body. From the brain to the limbs, to the internal organs, to the skin, different parts of the body interact with musical instruments, with other bodies and the world around them to create music. It's no wonder, then, that musicians and their health are a topic of interest in medicine.

An interesting example was presented by the British Dental Museum this year with the exhibition The Challenge of the Perfect Embouchure. Defined as "the way in which a player applies their mouth to the mouthpiece of a brass or wind instrument, especially as it affects the production of the sound," embouchure is critical for players of these kinds of instruments.

The exhibition was dedicated to Maurice Porter, a dentist and amateur clarinettist who became an authority on embouchure during the 50s and 60s. One of the first doctors to pay attention to how poor dental or facial health was specifically detrimental to wind and brass players, Porter wrote some...

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TRANSCRIPTION: "Success Beyond The Score" Podcast, S.3, EP. 6

Here is the transcription of episode 6 of season 3 of the podcast "Success Beyond The Score". Happy reading!


- Watch the video of the episode here: YouTube

- Listen to the audio of the episode here: Kajabi


PODCAST INTRO:

Hello, hello, hello! I hope you can hear me. I'm just checking my mic levels. Of course, if you can't, please put a message in the chat. Now, today is scorching. It's super hot here, which is kind of nice! We don't get a lot of really hot weather, and then we complain, and then it gets cold, and we want the hot weather back. But it's great. So, at some point, I may have to put a fan on, because I've just kind of kept all the windows closed to stop the noise on the microphone. Let me just make that a bit closer to me. Yep. And, hopefully that should work. Just let me know in the chat if everything is fine.

Okay, today we have got an interesting hot topic, and that is: is playing for free a contradiction for musicians?

Thinking of this title, I thought,...

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Sleepless Menopause


How has the lack of sleep affected me? My eyes did not look healthy, not great for stage work.  My short-term memory became a little sketchy, although it didn’t affect music recall.  I didn’t have the stamina to drive for long periods anymore. Some nights I slept 3hrs to 4hrs only.  Sometimes 3hrs, then awake for 2-3hrs, back to sleep for 2hrs.  The next is a weird description, but I felt as though I was dragging my body around, with a distant memory of what ‘rest’ felt like. 


Does this description resonate with you? It's an excerpt from Millicent's new article on the experience of being a working musician going through menopause. It centres on sleep issues associated with menopause, how they interact with other symptoms, and gives ten strategies you can use to fight against them.

Click here to read the full article

If you find it useful, be sure to share it with friends of all genders. This could not only help more people who are...

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A Thought For Your Journey

"You might not get to where you want to be, but you will get to where you ought to be!"

—Millicent Stephenson, founder of Success Beyond The Score

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The Impact of "AI" on the Music Industry

The boom of generative AI brings difficult challenges to the music industry. In an effort to keep regulations on par with the development of this technology, the Musicians' Union is pushing for copyright law to be upheld in relation to it, and for new rights to be introduced that will protect musicians and music creators from any unauthorised use of their works and performances.

Generative AI needs massive amounts of data —in the case of music, the input is millions of songs and sound samples— to train with, before it can generate pieces from given prompts. This data so far has been collected without explicit consent by its original, human creators. Developers argue that their LLMs (large language models, generally referred to as "AI") learn from the source data in a way similar to humans, therefore they can't incur in copyright infringement. However, these systems are unable to create their own ideas. Instead, they search for patterns...

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