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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Performance Competition Brings Music Students to K | Kalamazoo College

Photo: Andy Brown
"High school students visiting for the music teachers performance competition can check out the music scholarships K offers for majors and non-majors" reports Andy Brown, Director of Media Relations and Online Content
Photo: Kalamazoo College

Kalamazoo College welcomes the students visiting this weekend for the Michigan Music Teachers Association Performance Competition for solo and chamber instrumentalists. Performances will be at Recital Hall, Dalton Theater and the band room at the Light Fine Arts Building.

For those visiting students still in high school, take a look around campus and explore what it offers through our virtual tour. If you can see yourself attending K, check out the music scholarships and theater scholarships we have for music majors and non-majors alike.

If we’ve piqued your interest, learn how to connect with Admission. The Admission Office often is the first point of contact for prospective students and their families as it shares the College’s distinctive programs and opportunities in the liberal arts and sciences, which are developed through the K-Plan. The K-Plan is a nationally recognized open curriculum offering rigorous academics, a hands-on education of experiential learning, international and intercultural experiences such as study abroad programs, and independent scholarship through senior individualized projects.

Enjoy your stay!

Source: Kalamazoo College 

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QU Music Department to host Saxophone Day | Herald-Whig

"Quincy University's Music Department will host a Saxophone Day for high school students from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Connie Niemann Center for Music, located at QU's North Campus,18th and Seminary Road" continues Local Briefs.


The day will bring together high school saxophone players from around the area to form a saxophone choir. Participants will spend the afternoon rehearsing music and learning about the saxophone. Each student will receive a gift bag full of interesting music items. Saxophone players between the grades of 9-12 are encouraged to attend. All abilities are welcome. The cost is free and lunch is included. 
The day will end with a concert at 4 p.m. for family and friends.

For any questions or to register, go to or contact Christine Damm, assistant professor of music and director of jazz band ensemble, at or 217-228-5432 ext. 3159. To register, include participant's name, grade and school.

Source: Herald-Whig

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Monroe man holds rush hour sax sessions near overpasses | Monroe News Star

"If you're ever near the intersection of North 18th Street and Texas Avenue in Monroe around rush hour, roll down your car window and listen" says Bonnie Bolden, Reporter.

Photo: Bonnie Bolden/The News-Star

Donald Givens plays saxophone for hours each day in the morning and the evenings in his gazebo. His yard is nestled near the corner of two overpasses, and commuters hear his practices daily.

Strangers pull up to his house and hand him money or ask him to play for them, and people around the city know him as the saxophone man, even if they don't know his name or what he looks like.

"I don't feel famous," he said.

Givens, 67, has learned three musical instruments as an adult: piano, saxophone and guitar. He learned two of those in the past five years.

Anyone can learn, he said. Keys to success at any age are confidence and perseverance. A lot of people fail because they assume they can't succeed and don't put forth their full effort. Knowing you can accomplish your goals is essential, and tackling what, to many, seems like a monumental task later in life can have benefits.

Watch the Video

Tickling the ivories
When he was 28, he started taking his daughter to piano lessons and decided he wanted to learn too. 
He said she practiced because her mother wanted her to learn, so she was done as soon as time was up.

He, however, was learning because he had a real desire to hone his skill.

A few months into piano classes, he was discouraged. Having each hand play different notes while reading the music and using the foot pedals on the piano seemed like too much. 

His teacher told him everyone else did it and he could do it too. He said she was right, so he kept playing.

Givens would practice for hours and try working out new songs beyond his range.

He'd go to Roark Music on Jackson and buy a song if he thought the words were beautiful. He'd have his piano teacher play it for him, and if he liked the piece, he'd keep practicing until he had it down pat.

"Regardless of how difficult it was, if it's beautiful,I'm going to stay there and stick with it until I learn how to play it," he said. Many of the more beautiful pieces are more difficult...

Palm Tree Sax
He started trying to copy Kenny G and other well-known saxophonists

"When I first started, I would play inside the house. When I got pretty decent I went out to the drive way, and when I thought I was pretty good, I went out to the gazebo," he said.Since then, he's been a part of numerous drivers' days. 

His favorite pieces to play include "Jesus, You're the Center of My Joy," " You Are So Beautiful," "Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone," and "Memory."

Givens said he can play four to five hours without getting winded now, and he loves to keep practicing because there is no end goal with music.

"You can never master it," he said. "It's unending."

His daily practices have yielded numerous offers to play at events. At a birthday party, a local radio personality introduced Givens as Palm Tree Sax.

"I've had a lot of fun. So many people have come up in here."

Givens said one man claimed his music calmed him down and kept him from killing his boss. Several people have told him the jazz helps calm them down.
Read more... 

Source: Monroe News Star

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Music in the early years 'helps children learn to listen and speak' | TES News - School news

"Findings come after Ofsted chief inspector's call for all young children to be taught nursery rhymes" insist Helen Ward, Journalist at TSL Education. 

Photo: TES News

Singing, playing and dancing with professional musicians has helped three-year-olds progress more quickly in their listening, speaking and behaviour skills, according to research.

A year-long project, involving workshops and concerts from professional musicians and training for teachers, resulted in the children involved making on average three months' more progress than expected in their speaking skills and two months' more progress in behaviour and listening skills.

The Music for Change project included weekly musician-led workshops, in which nursery children could explore and play with instruments, play music games or sing.

Training sessions helped teachers to embed music into their curriculum. The children also visited live performances in local venues – these included musical plays such as the Three Billy Goats Gruff.

Sound progress 
The project was evaluated by researchers at the UCL Institute of Education and University of Roehampton.

According to one nursery manager in the report commissioned by Creative Futures, the charity which ran the project: “Children who were shy have come out of their shell [and become] involved in a bigger group. Social and emotional development has improved.
Read more... 

Source: TES News

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Sign up for Vanderbilt’s Osher Lifelong Learning winter term | Vanderbilt University News

"African American pioneers in sports and entertainment, media in a time of fake news, and climate change and human health are among the winter classes to be offered by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt in January" according to Ann Marie Deer Owens, Sr Public Affairs Officer.

Mature learners gather at a variety of locations, including The Commons Center, for academically stimulating courses offered by OLLI at Vanderbilt.
Photo: Steve Green/Vanderbilt

Other Osher classes—open to all those who are 50 and older—will focus on music and Southern culture, resources for tracing one’s family history, and Asian American literature and the impact of technological advances on identity.

In addition, lifelong learners can sign up for courses that preview the Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s winter production of Hamlet and the Nashville Children’s Theatre production of Mockingbird in February. Other courses will tackle ethical issues surrounding death, medieval Christian mystic Meister Eckhart, playing steel drums, and creative writing.

“One of our most important goals is to provide an academically stimulating curriculum with Vanderbilt faculty and other respected experts,” says Norma Clippard, program director for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt. “In addition, members often develop strong friendships with others who share an interest in lifelong learning.”

All classes are individually priced.

The following courses comprise the winter term: 
“Osher Steel Drum Band—Advanced,” led by Alli Puglisi, director of the Osher Advanced Steel Drum Band. A level up from the Beginning Osher Steel Band, this class moves at a fast pace and focuses on learning different styles of music. The class meets for seven Sundays, beginning Jan. 14, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Blair School of Music.

“Osher Steel Drum Band—Beginner,” led by Mat Britain, director of the Osher Beginner Steel Drum Band. No musical experience is needed to join this hands-on class, which meets for seven Sundays, beginning Jan. 14, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Blair.

Source: Vanderbilt University News

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Taiwan marks World Philosophy Day with marathon-style salons | Focus Taiwan News Channel

"World Philosophy Day, established by UNESCO in 2005 to promote critical and independent thought, is being celebrated in Taiwan on Thursday for the first time, attracting hundreds of people interested in brainstorming on important life issues" reports Lee Hsin-Yin.

Photo: Focus Taiwan News Channel
A two-day event comprising 16 salons that start in the afternoon and run until midnight, is being held to encourage free and continuous discussions, an area of study that has not gained the attention it deserves until recent years in Taiwan, according to the organizers, a group of intellectuals and scholars.

Claire Lin (林靜君), event coordinator and deputy head of the Philosophical Education Development Organization, told CNA that In recent years the "pursuit of reasoning" has become popular in Taiwanese society and it is timely to re-emphasize the importance of philosophy because it provides "good tools" through which people can reflect on the issues they encounter in their daily lives.

There has been more reflection on the relation between individuals and society especially since the high-profile death of Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘), which raised awareness of social justice.

The 24-year-old conscript died of heat exhaustion on July 4, 2013 after being forced to do strenuous exercise in a confined facility.

Hung's death raised questions about human rights violations in the military, sparked mass protests in Taiwan and led to the prosecution of several military officials and major legal reforms such as the abolition of military courts during peacetime.

Lin said that once people familiarize themselves with the study of philosophy, they are better equipped to reflect on and understand what is happening in the world around them.

Read more... 

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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Famous philosopher’s quotes for World Philosophy Day: ‘I think therefore I am’ | Metro

Do you know any famous philosopher's quotes? notes Avinash Bhunjun for

Today is World philosophy day
Photo: Getty
"World Philosophy Day is celebrated annually on the third Thursday of November and is a great time for us all to think a bit more deeply than usual" notes

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) created the event and highlights the enduring value of philosophy for the development of human thought, for each culture and for each individual.

World Philosophy Day was created in 2005 and critically questions the significance of life and other topics.
The purpose of the event is to better understand the importance of this discipline, especially for young people.

Socrates (469 -399 BC) was a Classical Greek Athenian philosopher
Photo: Getty
UNESCO hopes that philosophy can be a discipline that encourages critical and independent thought and is capable of working towards a better understanding of the world and promoting tolerance and peace.

To get in the spirit of things, test how well you know your philosophers and see what quotes are you familiar with.

Source: Metro

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Why Philosophy Matters | IAI News

"To celebrate World Philosophy Day 2017, we asked philosophers why it's important to them" summarizes IAI News Editorial Staff.

Photo: IAI News
This November marks the 12th anniversary of World Philosophy Day, a moveable feast endorsed by UNESCO and aimed at underlining the significant and often overlooked impact and value of philosophy on everyday life and human thought.

The benefits of philosophy on intellectual development have been well-documented, with a recent wide-ranging study in UK schools demonstrating that children who spent an hour each week participating in philosophical discussion, debate and reflection over the course of a year saw significant gains in maths and literacy skills, with disadvantaged students reaping the greatest benefits in terms of improvement. This of course attests to philosophy’s demonstrable social and economic ‘impact’ – a word quickly that has, quite deservedly, become anathema in humanities departments – but doesn’t speak to philosophy’s broader implications for self-reflection, confidence and reasoned deduction. At at a fundamental level, philosophy equips us with the tools to ask the questions that occur to most thinking people: Why am I here? What is it to be conscious? How can I live a good life?

At the Institute of Art and Ideas, you might not be surprised to learn that we take all of this quite seriously. It is our vision that philosophy and big ideas are an essential tool in determining what is possible; to finding new and better ways to make sense of our world.

This was why we began HowTheLightGetsIn, our annual philosophy and music festival, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2018. Gathering together many of the world’s leading philosophers, scientists, politicians, activists, poets, sociologists, filmmakers, writers, and theologians, our festival has broken down the idea of philosophy as being an impenetrable and irrelevant discipline. With next year promising to be our biggest and best festival yet, we can attest firsthand to the important role of philosophical ideas in the daily lives of the public.

Source: IAI News

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World Philosophy Day 2017: political philosophy across the globe [map] | OUPblog

"The third Thursday in November marks World Philosophy Day, an event founded by UNESCO to emphasise the importance of philosophy in the development of human thought, for each culture and for each individual" inform Catherine Pugh, Marketing Assistant at Oxford University Press in Oxford, UK.

Photo: Galaxy world map by 3333873. Public domain via Pixabay.
This year, the OUP Philosophy team have decided to incorporate the Oxford Philosophy Festival theme of applying philosophy in politics to our World Philosophy Day content. If you would like to read further about this topic, visit our content hub for a curated list of online resources on the topics being covered by the speakers.
We have also put together an interactive map with some of the many fascinating political philosophers from across the globe. Find out more about different perceptions of political philosophy around the world, as well as some of the areas of overlap.

Recommended Reading

Oxford Philosophy Festival, 16th–19th November 2017 by Catherine Pugh.
"Oxford University Press and Blackwell’s are delighted to team up once again to host the Oxford Philosophy Festival to celebrate the quest for knowledge and ideas. This year, our theme centres around applying philosophy in politics."

Source: OUPblog

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Navy integrates cybersecurity to distance support program | DVIDS

"The threats of yesterday no longer remain valid in the technology-laden environment of today" continues DVIDS

Photo: Petty Officer 1st Class Chad Butler

Cyberattacks are prevalent and are one of the most serious and emerging threats facing the Navy. For this reason, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD) subject matter experts are taking steps to protect the surface fleet’s combat and weapon systems from virtual attacks by adding a cyber incident response capability to its 24/7 Watch program. 

 “Cybersecurity tension is growing more each day,” said Phong Trinh, NSWC PHD Combat System Cybersecurity engineer. “PHD’s 24/7 Watch is established to provide combat system technical assistance to the Aegis and Ship Self Defense System (SSDS) ships. PHD is in the planning phase working with the 24/7 Watch to include support to Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The 24/7 Watch can be used to provide cybersecurity as well as combat system support, and it is the vehicle for ships to reach subject matter experts (SME) quickly.”  

Hosted by NSWC PHD, 24/7 Watch provides ships with round-the-clock access to command SMEs who cover a wide range of weapon system disciplines, provide continuous system monitoring, and conduct corrective actions when needed. This specialized form of distance support is a necessity to ensure the strength of the U.S. Navy, enabling the fleet to be combat ready at all times. 

Due to its on-call nature and access to classified networks, 24/7 Watch is an ideal platform for quickly providing combat and weapon system cybersecurity support to Sailors at sea. NSWC PHD is poised to deploy this capability, having already conducted a tabletop exercise to confirm a solid communication path between ships and their respective organizations. 

 “Anytime ships experience suspicious cybersecurity events, they contact Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command (NCDOC),” explained Trinh. “NCDOC serves as the Navy’s cyber security service provider, maintaining watch across networks, managing incidents, and mitigating potential attacks. Oftentimes, they are the first to notify a ship when they detect suspicious activities on the Navy network, and likewise, are the first notified by a ship when the crew detects a problem. The ship can also use 24/7 Watch to contact PHD to receive assistance with conducting further investigation and collecting critical information.” 

Trinh worked closely with NCDOC and key stakeholders to include 24/7 Watch as part of the cyber incident response process. Moving forward, the NSWC PHD cybersecurity team plans to conduct a more formal exercise in spring 2018 to solidify the notification process across all organizations. In addition, the team is working with LCS to identify requirements for future cyber-related support. 

NSWC PHD is a field activity of NAVSEA and provides the global United States Navy fleet with integration, test and evaluation, lifecycle logistics, and in-service engineering for today’s and future warfare systems. Located at Naval Base Ventura County, Calif., NSWC PHD employs more than 2,500 personnel. 

Source: DVIDS (press release)

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