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Does Learning How To Read and Play Music Make You Smarter?

Music has strange, unexplainable powers. Think about it… Music has the power to make you feel like dancing, make you feel sad, make you feel good, make you feel afraid, conjure up feelings of the first time you fell in love, and so much more. But can music actually make you smarter?

The Mozart Effect. That’s what scientists are calling it. The profound effect that music can have on a young mind. In the lab, it has been proven that rats and humans achieve better results in memory tests and learning after listening to Mozart. That’s right, Standford University researchers released these remarkable findings, and that’s just the effect of listening to music. What about learning to play it?

There can be no doubt that learning to play a musical instrument can be a lot of fun as well as entertaining, but it is also great for your brain! And the best part is you are never too late to start. Improved dexterity, activation of both hemispheres of the brain, more creativity and clarity are only a few of the benefits of musical education. Quite simply put, music affects our physiological state. Now that is powerful information!

Most people nowadays have a musical instrument in their possession, but few play it regularly. Why is that? Is it a question of busy lifestyles? Or maybe a question of passive versus engaged entertainment (or edutainment), ie. movies and video games versus practicing an instrument. In any case, the internet is making a huge difference in the flow of information these days and music is certainly no stranger to the digital world.

However, it is quite surprising that there is a distinct lack of free information regarding how to read music notation (or sheet music as it is sometimes called). It is a skill that most serious musicians have and is a great place for the novice to begin. This skill is not particularly difficult to master, but it does require specific information and some practice and patience. With video and audio over the internet becoming quite commonplace, it seems logical to have a convenient, centralized location where one could learn the technique of music sight reading, lesson by lesson, at one’s own pace such as the website How To Read Music Notes.

In Don Campbell’s book, “The Mozart Effect: How Music Makes You Smarter” research has shown that listening to classical music such as Mozart can increase efficiency, relieve stress and calm hyperactive children as well as adults. Imagine what learning how to play an instrument can do!

Voiceover Jobs in the Music Industry

Getting into the music industry can be a hard road to travel, but if you are a voiceover artist you may have the upper hand over your competition.

With the right talent, education, training and qualifications you can overcome your competitors and become a DJ for a radio station, a radio broadcaster, an announcer covering the news, provide the voice for advertisements or even get a coveted position hosting a music show on one of the biggie networks like MTV or CMT. It’s advisable that all voice talent have representation from an agent and retain the services of a reputable and well-known voice company to promote you.

Disc Jockey

It’s true DJs play music, but they do a lot of voice work too; they report the news, sports, weather and talk about the community, do the voice-overs for commercials, and talk with guests. Being a good D.J. takes talent, personality, and technical know-how. Most DJs have a background training in communications, broadcast journalism and have had coaching in public speaking, drama and voice. The job market for this type of work is highly competitive. Many DJs have representation like an agent or voice company where they post their profile and a voice sample. Bigger cities pay more than smaller ones. The pay ranges from the lowest paid 10%, who make less than $6.55 an hour, to the mid range paid from $8 to $19 an hour, and the top 10% being paid more than $32 an hour. Most DJs do the job for the love of it, not for the pay.

Radio and Television Broadcaster

The broadcasting industry consists of radio and television stations and networks. In the music industry, broadcasters work for radio stations and networks and television networks such as MTV, VH1 and CMT. They host video shows or report music industry news or have their own music related shows. This is another of those glamour jobs that attract a huge number of job seekers, so there is a lot of competition. The industry is looking for voice talents with a college degree in broadcasting, journalism or a related field and lots of voice training. Of course, big city jobs pay more than smaller town jobs. Reporters and correspondents average around $18.00 an hour. A high profile job will pay better and will attract highly skilled competition.


Radio and television announcers perform a variety of jobs; they announce station program information, read public-service announcements and they introduce and close shows. They also read commercials and provide ad-lib commentary on air, interview guests and moderate panels. With competition for these jobs being so high, a well-rounded education is a must-have. A degree in communications, broadcasting or journalism and formal voice training is advised. The median salary for radio and television announcers averages around $13 an hour.

On-Air Voice Talent

Voice talents can provide services on the radio such as being a sidekick to a DJ on a radio show, providing the voice for advertisements, narrating projects such as music countdown shows and interviewing music performers. These jobs are tough to get and require, like most radio work, talent, skills, voice training and education. The educational background for this line of work should be in communications, performing arts or journalism. Or better yet, a combination of these. The pay is the same as other radio jobs, ranging from $8 to $12 an hour with more popular talents making more.

Your Online Video May Cost You Thousands

You’ve just gotten married, and are traveling the world with your new spouse on your honeymoon. A good friend who filmed the wedding and reception has just finished putting together the footage. He has posted it on YouTube so you both can relive your wedding day on your honeymoon.

The video is wonderful. It illuminates several moments you’d missed in the excitement of the day. Your friend has even included your song, Endless Love, as the background music for the video.

After the honeymoon, as you unpack the doorbell rings. Opening the door you find a man asking for your signature for a package. You think, “Which aunt or uncle must be sending money”? When the deliveryman smiles, hands you the package and says, “You’ve been served.” you are surprise and horrified.

Confused, you tear the package open to find a lawsuit for $10,000 for copyright infringement. You wonder to yourself–could this be right? How did I infringe any copyrights? Out of curiosity you scan the pages of the lawsuit for a logical explanation. Then you find it: “the illegal use of Endless Love by Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross in your wedding video posted on YouTube“.

With all the attention YouTube has gotten from the Viacom lawsuit for $1 billion for unauthorized distribution and infringe of copyright laws, everyone has overlooked a possible next wave of lawsuits to come. Those are for the vast majority of online videos that are made by small home videographers who have included music in their videos that has not been licensed for use.

Typically music publishers and record labels have turned a blind eye to home and wedding videographers who produce their own work. Shared with an audience of usually less then 10 close personal friends and family, these home videographers have all but been ignored for years. This was before sites like You Tube, Google Video, ChickShack, AsSeenInVT and a handful of others began creating an outlet for anyone with a video camera. Now home videographers need to be warned. You may soon find yourself involved in lawsuits for illegal use of a copyrighted protected musical recording, the fines for which could be in excess of $15,000 per song.

Remember how fiercely the recording industry went after everyone from children to old ladies who downloaded songs from sites like Napster? It may be only a matter of time until they start going after videographers in the same manner.
Most home videographers are unaware of the limitations on using copyright protected music. The vast number of home Videographers wrongly assume that they can synchronize or place any music they want in their video production. In the past, a small home and wedding Videographer would usually get away with this. The problem is these wannabee Quentin Tarantino’s have now begun distributing their productions to more then just a few friends and family. A video loaded online has the potential market of hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of viewers, and if you’ve created something popular using YouTube, you may be the next victim.

Local TV stations in America can pay tens of thousands of dollars for licensing music for their stations. This price can go into the millions if they desire to use popular artists songs.

For Videographers who have uploaded productions onto sites like YouTube and are now nervous, let me educate you a bit on how licensing works.

Simply put, copyright laws state that any music under copyright protection may not be used for any kind of video production, media presentation, websites, etc–that is, without approval from the copyright owner. Several types of licenses are usually required. These may include some or all of the following: Synchronization, Performance and Master licenses.

Now before you stress over the fact that no one will see your masterpiece or that big the bad RIAA is coming to get you — there is a solution. First, you must remove the copyrighted music you have in your videos. Then you have the option to either write your own music for your video (most of us are not musically creative enough to go this route) – or license music from an Online Production Music Library.

Online Production Music Libraries typically lease music from their catalogs on either an individual per use basis, called a drop, or blanket licenses that will cover an entire project. The advantages of online production music libraries are the scope, depth and breadth of the catalogs. Pricing ranges greatly, depending on many variables.

Most production libraries do not create music specifically for amateur videographers, but Recently, an L.A. based production music library called TunEdge Music announced it would give special licensing for web distribution. TunEdge Music is providing access to their online catalog and for a reasonable fee their music can be licensed specifically for online creations.