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So You Think You Know Barbershop?

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This regular series is intended for music educators and others interested in knowing more about this unique vocal style. Most importantly, our goal is to provide support for musicians and constructive solutions for singers. So you think you know barbershop? Admit it: the go-to image in your mind of barbershop music is four guys in striped vests and boater hats. From the Dapper Dans serenading Di...
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Think You Can’t Sing? Science Doesn’t Believe You

These words break our hearts every time we hear them: "I’m tone deaf. I can’t sing." It’s usually accompanied by a smile or laugh, but the message is both clear and absolute. And wrong. A great story on Toronto's Ludwig-Van.com classical music site delves into the widely-held misconception that most people cannot sing.   “That’s a blatant lie.” Of all creative endeavours, singing is perhaps t...
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Using Music To Boost Hearing In Noisy Environments

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Careful listening and pitch training may help reduce the effects of hearing loss, according to research at Ryerson University in Toronto. ...[O]ne way we follow a particular voice is by locking onto its pitch, allowing us to use frequency as an anchor. "When we're listening to voices and speech, there's a frequency trail we can follow, but it's often buried under a din of noise. But if our brains...
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How Communal Singing Disappeared From American Life – The Atlantic

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Barbershoppers can sometimes take for granted the easy joy of singing together.  We get to do it every week. When we gather at conventions, we no longer marvel at a lobby full of people making music just for grins. But as this chestnut from The Atlantic points out, Adults in America don't sing communally. Children routinely sing together in their schools and activities, and even infants have sin...
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The Idea of “Talent” Is Toxic to Childhood Development | Time.com

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Time.com's IDEAS section highlights a truth that will bring a sad nod of recognition to most Barbershoppers: Research shows that many adults who think of themselves as “unmusical” were told as children that they couldn’t or shouldn’t sing by teachers and family members.... Children are natural musicians, as they readily sing, dance and play music from the time they are infants. People ask me all...
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Music transformed this young man with autism. Now he’s out to unlock talent in others.

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Rex Lewis-Clack was born with autism and blindness, but his early discovery of piano changed his life. Now, he’s helping others who share the same struggles. His charity Rex and Friends brings disabled musicians together to find their unique voice and gives them opportunities to perform. via Music transformed this young man with autism. Now he's out to unlock talent in others. | Circa News - Le...
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Researchers working with Eric Whitacre demonstrate direct health benefits of singing

"Singing is something that many people inherently feel is good for them and relaxes them. But to actually show biologically (and demonstrate scientifically) that it can reduce stress is very exciting. The Royal College of Music team with whom we have been working has also been collecting extraordinary data working with Tenovus Choirs, seeing measurable benefits in singing among cancer patients, ...
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Sweet Adelines honor Lana Clowes with Lifetime Membership

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In a moving presentation speech at its 2016 Convention, Sweet Adelines International posthumously honored Lana Clowes as a Lifetime Member. Lana sang with the Sweet Adelines Ottawa Chapter in the early 1960s, an era when women of color were excluded from membership, a prohibition later lifted in 1966. In noting the fiftieth anniversary of that action, president Paula Davis noted strategic effort...
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Music-making for adults: New Horizons International Music Association

Imagine a confederation of music groups for adults that provides: ...entry points to music making for adults, including those with no musical experience at all and those who were active in school music programs but have been inactive for a long time. Many adults would like an opportunity to learn music in a group setting similar to that offered in schools, but the last entry point in most cases...
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