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What is Christmas Caroling?

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When you think of Christmas caroling, you probably think of carolers going from door to door singing, but that isn?t how things used to be. Caroling originally had nothing to do with Christmas. Christmas caroling in the traditional sense is actually two older traditions combined.

So, where did carol singing come from?

Originally, caroling had nothing to do with Christmas. Carols are just songs stemming from medieval tradition. Medieval carols festive songs that are usually religious, but are not necessarily connected to church worship. In medieval times, carols were sung and played during festivities and dances (since they didn?t have DJs like we do now).

What is a Christmas carol?

The origin of the Christmas carol comes from the medieval carols, but their lyrics revolve around the theme of Christmas. Traditionally, Christmas carols stick with their roots and follow medieval chord patterns. That?s often how you can tell the difference between Christmas carols and Christmas songs. The Christmas carol gained notoriety around the protestant reformation for use as worship.

Why do we go from house to house caroling?

This is where two traditions emerge. While Christmas carols are the songs sung, Christmas caroling is the act of singing and spreading cheer to neighbors. Caroling originally meant neighbors wishing each other good fortune and often did not involve singing at all. The two traditions of caroling and carols merged in Victorian England when church music began to merge with Christian folk music. Instead of neighbors spreading good fortune and figgy pudding, they spread good cheer through song.

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Healing Music

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Music can be an integral part of mental healing. Most people have songs they listen to when they need a good cry, or songs that really pump them up for a night out. Music has a way of affecting our emotions like nothing else can. Music is universal in the sense that you don?t need to understand the lyrics, but the music tells the story.

Here are some ways that music can help with mental healing.

Energy Boost!
Think about it, it?s a Sunday and you have a million things to do but no energy to do them. You play some music that always motivates you and suddenly you have enough energy to anything you set your mind to. Upbeat energizing songs have the ability to motivate us to do things. Listening to certain music can clear our minds and allow us to compartmentalize our tasks in manageable ways.

Relaxation.
Whether you?re aware of it or not, relaxing music can slow down your heartbeat allowing stress and anxiety to leave your body. Our bodies have a way of mimicking the music we are listening to. Therefore, slower beats will slow down our bodies and faster, more upbeat music will energize us.

Familiar Music.
Everyone has songs that remind them of specific events or people. It could be your wedding song, the song that was playing when met a good friend etc. When you hear these songs again, you are immediately transported back to that time with those feelings. Familiar music can bring us back to a time when we were really happy or a time when we had no stress.

If you?re going to use music as a way of healing, then it?s important to understand what type of healing you need. First figure out if you?re stressed out and need to relax or if you?re irritable and maybe need an upbeat song to bring you out of a funk. Healing music can be very effective in tricking our bodies to be calm or happy.

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Songs that Celebrate Patriotism on the 4th of July!

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Songs to kick start any patriotic party!

For Americans, the 4th of July is a time to set aside political, religious and social differences to celebrate the birth of our nation.? Most people will participate in some type of patriotic 4th of July activity-barbeques with the family, boating on the lake, watching fireworks etc.? These get-togethers are a great time to listen to patriotic music that celebrates our nation.

Here are some songs to bring about a patriotic spirit.

1. Star Spangled Banner- A staple at all major sporting events, this song (originally a poem by Francis Scott Key) is the United States? national anthem.? Looking for a more modern version of the anthem?? Check out versions by R&B and country singers.

2. America the Beautiful- Also originally a poem, written by Katharine Lee Bates in 1895, this song is one of the most beloved national tunes.? Popular artist renditions include, Ray Charles and Elvis Presley.

3. Living in the Promiseland- written by David Lynn Jones and performed by Willie Nelson.? This song spent 20 weeks on the country charts in 1986.

4.?You?re a Grand Old Flag- written by George M. Cohan in 1906 for his musical George Washington, Jr.? This song has an upbeat tempo and is one we?re all familiar with having performed it in elementary school choirs.

5. Yankee Doodle- dating back to the 1770s, this is a song that does not be accompaniment.? Start singing this tune and others will join in!

Let us know what you?re favorite patriotic songs are!

For more information about how you can learn to play and sing these patriotic songs, contact Lesson Match today!

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10 Songs to Set the Holiday Mood

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The Holidays are right around the corner and who doesn?t love to be festive.

One of my favorite things to do around the holidays is bake cookies with my sisters, drink hot apple cider (or hot chocolate) and listen to Holiday songs.

Here is a list of some of my favorite songs to listen to around the holidays.

 

1. ?White Christmas? by Bing Crosby.? For me, this song epitomizes Christmas and the holidays.? Living in Minnesota, I love a snowy white Christmas and this song paints a beautiful picture of the perfect white Christmas.

2. ?Carol Of The Bells? by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.? This instrumental song, originally by Ukrainian Composer Mykola Dmytrovych Leontovych, has been covered by countless groups and still remains a classic.? My favorite version is by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

3. ?I?ll Be Home For Christmas? by Elvis Presley.? Originally sung by another one of my favorites, Bing Crosby, this song epitomizes love and the importance of family on the holidays.

4. ?All I Want For Christmas Is You? by Mariah Carey.? This song makes the list because it?s my sisters all time favorite.? She plays and sings this song year round.

5. ?The Christmas Song? by Nat King Cole.? This is arguably one of the most recognizable songs and listening to it has become a holiday tradition for me.? I grew up listening to this song around the holidays and it always makes me cheerful.

6. ?The Chanukah Song? by Adam Sandler.? This song is a nice comic relief from the serious material usually covered in holiday songs.

7. ?Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas? by Judy Garland.? This is my favorite song on the list, although I prefer the revised, happier lyrics.

8. ?Silent Night? by anyone.? This classic Christmas carol has been recorded by hundreds of artists and is played over and over again on the radio during the holidays

9. ?Baby It?s Cold Outside? by anyone. This song debuted in 1948 and has since been sung by many artists and I love the various interpretations and depictions of the song,

10. ?Santa Clause Is Coming To Town? by The Jackson 5.? This is another holiday song I grew up listening to and reminds me of my childhood holidays.? It?s a nostalgic song for me that no Christmas can be without.

Let us know which songs are your favorite to listen to around the holidays!

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More Tips for Choosing the Right Instrument

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Which instrument should my child play?

That is a question many parents ask themselves when deciding to enroll their child in music lessons.? Should they rely solely on their child?s request, or listen to the recommendations of others?

There is no ?right? instrument for all children to begin playing, but there are a few things to take into consideration.

 

Age
The piano and violin are two instruments children as young as four can begin learning.? These instruments are not too big for children, like a guitar would be, and musical concepts can be learned easier on the instruments.? Guitar and drums can be learned around age eight; but vocal lessons should not be taught until the child?s vocal chords are developed (usually no younger than eight-years-old).? Vocal lessons can cause permanent damage if taught too young.

Interest
If your child is over the age of eight, then you can ask him/her which instrument they would like to learn.? Take into consideration their musical interests.? If your child likes to listen to rock music, then they would probably enjoy drum or guitar lessons versus saxophone lessons.? Children will often want to mimic their peers and play an instrument simply because one of their friend?s is.? Try to discover what kind of instrument your child would have the most fun learning and present this option to them.

Space
Always remember to think about where you live and what types of lessons you can accommodate.? If you live in an apartment complex, then drum lessons are probably going to upset your neighbors.? Similarly if you have a small house, then a piano or drum set may take up too much space.? Even if you travel elsewhere for lessons, there still needs to be practice time outside of lessons.

It is always important to take into consideration which instrument your child wants to play.? Just because you loved learning to play the guitar does not mean your child will, especially if he/she would rather be playing piano.

As long as your child is mentally and physically capable of learning an instrument, they can choose whatever instrument they would like to play.

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