wholemusicllc.com

ISAAC RAZ  |  Founder & President

Whole Music LLC is committed to a holistic approach to music instruction and other services with an emphasis on artistic integrity and sensitivity to the unique needs of each individual, based
on the principle that musical practice is essential for
the well being of the whole person.

Music lessons in your home.

Live music for any occasion.

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More Research confirms the positive effects of Music on the brain!

Still wondering?...

More Evidence
Music supports everything we do

Yes. Here is yet another very cool article about the power of music to make us smarter, happier, and more productive. I love the part about how the muscles of cyclists who listened to a certain type of music used 7% less oxygen than those who didn't. 

 

http://www.fastcompany.com/3022942/work-smart/the-surprising-science-behind-what-music-does-to-our-brains

Every day there's more concrete and groundbreaking research to prove the physical, mental, and psychological benefits of music.

We Jammin' My NYC Late Night Jam Oddesey

Hello everyone, after a brief hiatus I am back to share with you some thoughts and upcoming events.

Jamming with the heavyweights:

These last few months have been quite the roller coaster. I’ve been on my unofficial “internship”: seeking out and attending as many of NYC’s late night jazz jams as possible. I feel this is long overdue, but as one fellow student of the great Dr. Barry Harris once told me: “You came exactly when you were supposed to come”.

The effects of participating in this timeless New York Jazz tradition have been fundamentally transformative:

Artistically: it not only forces me to apply what I have learned, it informs my practice so I can better prepare mentally for any situation, honing my ability to engage in artistic “Russian roulette” and still come out on top.

Personally: I have found that my initial aversion to “sports mentality” in some of these competitive jams was misguided. In truth, if approached right, it can actually be a liberating opportunity for collaboration and artistic expression (most of the time.) There is also a sense of community:  all share a love of the music and all want to get better.

The net result has been an undeniable catapult to the “next level”. 

I now practice with a renewed sense of purpose, both on general concepts, and specific applications. I find I can interact with all people in all areas of my life more effectively as a result of the interpersonal skills I’m learning at the jams. I have found renewed inspiration and confidence as an artist and a teacher, and profound gratitude for the gift that New York offers in terms of the level and scope of musicianship and artistry. It is truly a unique place in the entire world, and I feel fortunate to participate in such a vibrant scene.

I recommend this to everyone who plays at any level.  Regularly attending jams, open mics, etc. not only will improve your skills, it will give you an unmatched outlet to explore deep personal spiritual and emotional spaces within yourself.  I truly believe the more people do it, the better the world is for it.


Upcoming events:

We are thrilled to announce our first ever Whole Music LLC Recital!June 13th 2015 at 5 pm at the American Legion post at the intersection of routes 117 and 133 in Mount Kisco. I will give a brief opening concert, followed by a great mix of classical and popular selections by my students of all ages, followed by – snacks! ($10 charge per person.) It will be a warm, festive atmosphere celebrating the Whole Music community, and the joy of performance. Please come!

We are also working on early childhood music classes, and a series of talks about music, society, history, and a myriad of topics. Stay tuned!

Keep playing, and hope to see you all very soon,

Isaac.

Music and School Music supports ALL school subjects

Music and School
Music supports ALL school subjects

First semester is almost over, and you know what that means: tests, assessments, final projects, etc. I’d like to take this opportunity to point out that if you do music, you are more likely to do better than those who don’t. Music supports every subject imaginable.

Mathematics:

Musical elements relate to each other in systems the same way numbers do. Scales, chords, and songs all follow universal rules that can be broken, stretched, and manipulated creatively. As such, one could look at algebra or calculus as “The Music of How Much”. Making creative sense of how number systems interact is a natural expression of musical logic.

Also, music notation is really just a
 graph expressing complex relations of pitch and time. Learning to think this way sets the mind up for fluid mathematical reasoning.

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Linguistics:

At any age learning songs expands your vocabulary. Also, when paired with musical sound, emotional meaning is attributed to the word in the most compelling way possible. Just look at the works of Oscar Hammerstein, or ask any music therapist who works with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

To read music, the eye has to jump back and forth, up and down much more than verbal language. This trains the eye muscles, and the brain to scan and find crucial information. Test prep companies teach precisely these skills – expensively, but with music you also get the ability to play for your efforts! Win, Win!

History:

Music is a deeply personal expression of the mindset of different eras.  What better way to melt away the centuries and experience the logic of the Enlightenment, or the raw emotion of the Romantic era, and identify with people from the times when the great classics were written!

Social Studies:

Studying world culture will be incomplete without looking at music. It is the one common language that ties all of humanity together. Geography, philosophy, politics, religion and art all intersect with music.

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Sports: 

Playing an instrument alone, or in a group involves timing, coordination, and the ability to bring together complex varied skills into a unified whole. Sound familiar tennis players? Soccer players? Footballers? Wrestlers? Track people?

Music is the best way to train yourself to calm your nerves at the moment of truth. Recital requires your “game face” and it requires you develop effective training routines. Music coordinates the thinking mind and the muscles in a much more involved way than anything else: To paraphrase Yogi Berra: it’s
 more than “half mental”.

Playing music with others develops teamwork, leadership, cultural sensitivity, and conflict resolution skills.
 

  So next time a school board candidate or politician tries to convince you that cost cutting in favor of common core standards devoid of arts and assessment based education is a good idea, think of the above. Nevertheless, nobody can stop you from doing music on your own. It’s one of the best things you can do for yourself – at any level.

Music = Therapy


 

Music = Therapy
How science is finally proving what we already knew.

“Musick has Charms to sooth a savage Breast,
To soften Rocks, or bend a knotted Oak.
I've read, that things inanimate have mov'd,
And, as with living Souls, have been inform'd,
By Magick Numbers and persuasive Sound.”
 
William Congreve, in The Mourning Bride, 1697.

This oft misquoted verse (it’s “breast”, not “beast”) speaks to the timelessness of music’s power to change us. While known since at least the time of the writings of Aristotle, the transformative property of music is increasingly used in exciting new ways to aid our understanding of how the brain works, healing a multitude of medical disorders, promoting productivity and peacefulness for the general population, and much more.

Power of Music by Louis Gallait. A brother and sister resting before an old tomb. The brother is attempting to comfort his sibling by playing the violin, and she has fallen into a deep sleep, "oblivious of all grief, mental and physical."

Power of Music by Louis Gallait. A brother and sister resting before an old tomb. The brother is attempting to comfort his sibling by playing the violin, and she has fallen into a deep sleep, "oblivious of all grief, mental and physical."

Music therapy is a relatively new field, the first such program being established at Michigan State University in 1944. Seems like a ‘no brainer’, right? (You’ll pardon the expression…)  But only now with new technologies like the PET scan (Positron Emission Tomography), which allows us to view the living working brain; science can actually quantify the therapeutic value of music.


Many styles of music therapy have emerged since it became an established therapeutic discipline, including Nordoff-Robbins’ Creative Music Therapy, Neurologic Music TherapyGuided Imagery in Music, and much more; treating everything from stroke rehabilitation, Parkinson’s, dementia, autism spectrum disorders, depression, anxiety, ADD, and schizophrenia.
 

Most interesting for me however, is the framework of Music-Centered Music Therapy, which is based on the intrinsic healing power of music. Clinical goals are achieved as a consequence of patients being immersed in a state of musical flow: An autistic child puts emotional meaning to a word by the addition of tonality to that word, or a stroke victim can vocalize words despite related neurological losses.

 
I found the music-centered approach so compelling because it means that you don’t have to be a patient or a therapist to get the goods. Music itself is the therapy. The mere act of strumming a few chords on the guitar, or singing has very concrete and demonstrable physical benefits, and far-reaching applications

For example, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate has begun a study of music’s effects on first responders including federal agents, firefighters, and police, as part of its Readiness Optimization Program (ROP). This study uses music composed using the actual brainwaves of subjects during relaxation, and readiness states, then playing this music back to them as part of a general wellness program, resulting in better job performance. The results in improved sleep and relaxation, as well as alertness on the job have been clinically demonstrated.

More and more, science confirms what we already knew:  Music is essential to our well-being, and is a need as vital to us as exercise, nutrition, and the pursuit of knowledge. It gives hope that music will take its proper place in our institutions, which all too often have sidelined it as a superfluous elective.

Join the discussion! Share how you and your family use music and what it means to you.  We’d love to hear from you 

For more great stuff, visit our website where you can find links to articles, useful resources, sheet music, videos, and much more.